Sharks trump Avalanche 4-3, win fourth straight
Devin Setoguchi scored his first goal in six games, and added another, to extend the Sharks winning streak to four despite playing without Iron Man Joe Thornton.
It was a good win for a team that needed some success after disheartening performances following the Olympic Break, and coupled with the 3-2 victory over Vancouver on Saturday night, San Jose managed to knock off two Western Conference playoff teams in the process. Passes have been crisper, skating more defined, and previously underperforming players such as Torrey Mitchell and Ryane Clowe have managed to elevate their game when the team has needed them the most.
Things are looking to be returning to normal here in San Jose.
- Patrick Marleau and Ryane Clowe wore the A's tonight as Rob Blake and Joe Thornton were out with various ailments. Surprising to see Pavelski not get the nod here, but with Clowe's resurgence of late, it's probably fitting he gets a pat on the back and a letter on his sweater.
- The Colorado forwards gave San Jose a lot of trouble throughout the game, and that's something to look for down the stretch. It was a win, but far from a perfect outing. During the first two games of this current winning streak San Jose gave up 46 shots-- this weekend, they gave up 82.
- Thomas Greiss may have given up some big rebounds during the first two frames but was excellent throughout the course of the game, making 42 stops in the win. In the third period he was nothing short of a thick blanket, deadening slap shots from all angles and forcing faceoffs in the defensive zone. I wonder why he hasn't played more this season.
- Although Staubitz headed to the box for what seems like the 15th straight game, that was one i don't mind him taking. Kent Huskins got caught up in a footrace to the puck behind Greiss and fell awkwardly into the boards. With Thornton going down in a quasi-similar manner yesterday, it sent a message that the Sharks wouldn't be taken advantage of.
- Speaking of the penalty parade, San Jose ran into trouble when both Jamie McGinn and Jed Ortmeyer headed to the box for a 5 on 3 during the second period. That's probably doing nothing to help get them out of McLellan's doghouse. Might as well take out a mortgage right now.
- Dan Boyle saw 25 minutes plus again. A workhorse in every sense of the word. I would like to see McLellan manage his ice time a little more down the stretch here, as Boyle has seemed to lack that skating spark he is known for since returning from the Olympics, but I understand how hard it must be to not call his number when he's on the bench.
- More on Demers tomorrow, but it was nice to see him step in and log 16:54 at evens. McLellan had him paired up with Vlasic for what seemed like the majority of the game, which is a nice idea considering Vlasic's excellent defensive play. We will have to wait and see if that is the route the team takes when Blake returns.
- Matt Duchene opened up the defense with a nice move to the net on the Avs second goal, and followed that up with an even better feed to find Mueller in the slot who ripped it short side to put the Avalanche up 2-1. Tyler Myers likely deserves the Calder, but Duchene is a player who is going to be terrorizing the Sharks for years to come. Great player, was buzzing around the puck all night.
- Logan Couture continued his trend of banging in some ugly goals by driving hard to the net (Ed. Note: Ortmeyer eventually was credited with the goal). It's a story that has been rehashed ad nauseum on Fear The Fin by now, but he truly has been a breathe of fresh air since being recalled from Worcester two weeks ago.