Prior to the Sharks contest with Colorado, the thoughts surrounding the evening were on how the club would handle their first game without Joe Thornton
since acquiring him from Boston. The answer was in the results and San Jose looked just fine in downing Colorado 4-3.
Devin Setoguchi led with way with two tallies, including the game-winner in the third with the contest tied at three. The theme of the night for San Jose was ugly goals as it seemed as if every tally was bouncing off one person or another.
“We’ve been (talking about) getting to the net and scoring dirty, second goals,” said Setoguchi. “It was like that tonight, but they all count.”
“You always work on it and we did a great job,” said Dany Heatley. “We had a lot of traffic and had dirty goals.”
The players know full well that the days of the pretty goals may be out the window as the postseason approaches.
“We talked about it before the game,” said Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan. “I might be wrong, but I don’t think we’ll see a lot of pretty goals from here on out. They will be off the foot or (off a stick). Part of it is getting it to the net. Joe Pavelski
’s spin and shot (that went of Setoguchi) takes talent and he had a decision to make. That’s how goals are scored.”
There is a degree of skill involved, but by getting pucks to the net, a little luck can happen, like on Boyle’s goal where a shot was not his original intention.
“I saw Pavs on the other said, made a bad pass and it worked in my favor,” laughed Boyle. “Guys are so good at getting in the shooting lane and you need guys out front and one to the side.”
The Sharks didn’t try to pretend they didn’t notice Thornton’s absence, but still feel confident with whoever dresses on the night.
“Everyone has to step up,” said Setoguchi. “We have a pretty good team with the forwards out there. Hopefully he’ll be back soon. Guys go down with injuries, even Joe.”
“The guys in the dressing room are going to get the job done,” said Heatley.
The Sharks have a rock in net in Evgeni Nabokov, but once again Thomas Greiss
showed his worth when he stood in the pipes. Colorado was charging hard in the third to tie the contest and Greiss did what good goalies do and came up with the key stop.
“Greiss made a big save and that was the turning point,” said Boyle.
“For a young man who doesn’t play regularly, he made some really good saves,” said McLellan. “I thought he carried himself better than his last game against Florida.”
Greiss was tested throughout the game as the Sharks were outshot 45-32 on the evening.
“You want more shots (as a goalie),” said Greiss of the busy night. “Your job is to stop the puck and it’s easier to stay in the game.”
SHARKS HEAD COACH TODD MCLELLAN
“Any team is going to miss one of their best players. Collectively we weren’t at our best tonight, but we found a way to get it done with out him (Thornton) and that’s important for our confidence.”
“Coming out into the third we made a conscious decision that it was going to be really important that we compete and I thought we were able to keep up with them.”
COLORADO HEAD COACH JOE SACCO
“I thought we played hard tonight. We came out and tried to work our game plan as far as keeping the puck down low, playing goal line to goal line.”
“On the third and fourth goals I thought we caught a couple of bad breaks. But I think at the end of the night the guys can say that they did everything in their power to help the team win tonight.
“We came up a little short. I think if we play like we did tonight down the stretch here, we’ll be fine. That’s how we have to play, with that desperation. It’s a word that’s overused this time of the year, but it’s true. You could see our guys tonight for the most part were desperate and we just have to keep battling.”
A few Sharks will be talking up the Frozen Four in the coming weeks as Heatley and Pavelski’s Wisconsin Badgers are making a return visit, as are Dan Boyle
’s Miami RedHawks.
The Sharks will next play Wednesday in Dallas at 5:30 p.m. The contest will be on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.