Besides the multiple club records set in Thursday night’s 9-4 victory against Detroit, it also marked the official halfway point of the Sharks 2006-07 campaign.
San Jose is sitting second in the Pacific Division with 54 points and is on pace to top their all-time point total of 104 set back in 2003-04 when they reached the Western Conference Finals. Team Teal is on pace for a 108-point season and if not for Anaheim’s current pace of 124, San Jose’s point total would look rather impressive.
Team Teal’s record would have them leading the NHL’s Atlantic, Southeast and Northwest Divisions. The Ducks pace has slowed lately and Team Teal trails them by just eight points (the lead was 12) and the Sharks have a game in hand.
Several club marks have been broken on the year. Among them: most consecutive goals in a game (9, Jan. 4 vs. Detroit), fewest shots faced in a road game (13, Dec. 4 at Dallas), most power play goals in a game (6, Jan. 4 vs. Detroit), most power play goals in a period (4, Jan. 4 vs. Detroit), most power play attempts in a home game (13, Oct. 21 vs. Detroit), most power play attempts in a road game (10, 2 times, most recently Oct. 12 at Edmonton), fewest penalties against at home (1, done 5 previous times, most recently Dec. 23 vs. Calgary).
Individual marks set or tied include: most assists in a game (4, accomplished 12 previous times), last by Joe Thornton
Jan. 4 vs. Detroit, most shots in a period (6, accomplished 12 times, last by Joe Pavelski
on Dec. 30 1st period at Phoenix);.
On the netminding front, the Sharks are on pace for 12 shutouts, which would top the previous high of 11 and Vesa Toskala posted the longest unbeaten streak over two seasons (12, April 3 at Dallas-Oct. 23 at Columbus) and his .916 save percentage would be amongst the all-time top-five.
On the team front, the current power play clip, which leads the NHL at 24.3 percent, would set a franchise standard, and the current pace for shorthanded goals allowed (four) would tie a club record last achieved in 1999-00. The current penalty minute average of 12.5 would also set a franchise mark.
In addition to setting all-time franchise marks for points and assists (plus he’s one goal short of tying the goal scoring mark), Patrick Marleau
is tracking to set a high in goals (36) and Thornton is heading towards his third, 100-point year.
On the rookie front, if Pavelski continues his current scoring pace through the next 41 contests, he would finish with 28 goals, which would top Pat Falloon’s rookie season mark of 25 and Pavelski’s projected point total would wind up at 47, good for second all-time. Should Matt Carle quickly return from Worcester, he’s on pace to break Marcus Ragnarsson’s points record by a rookie defender. Ragnarsson’s mark of 39 would fall to Carle’s projected number of 42 and Carle’s assist pace of 36 would best Falloon’s current standard of 34.
But the one mark the Sharks want is: to go further in the playoffs than ever before. San Jose reached the Western Conference Finals in 2004, but that would not be considered a success this year.
“Everyone recognizes we are a good team,” said Marleau. “We need to be ready physically and mentally every shift and when we get teams on the ropes, we need to go after them.”
If that happens, the Sharks could easily being playing shifts into June.
Thornton is expected to play in his 100th game as a San Jose Shark Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Acquired last season, Thornton already has posted 142 points (31-111=142) with Team Teal. Jumbo Joe is just four points shy of 600 points in his career (200-396=596) and four assists short of 400 for his career.