Eight in a row is an impressive winning streak, so impressive that it is tied for the longest in the NHL along with efforts previously put forth by Chicago and New Jersey. San Jose has used their streak to push into first place overall in the NHL (ahead of Chicago and New Jersey) and the eight straight wins is the third best streak of all-time for the men in teal. The Franchise record is 11 consecutive wins.
The Sharks are happy with the streak, but aren’t letting it get in the way of their long term goals.
“It’s not like anyone here is going through the roof,” said Murray. “We want to win the Presidents’ Trophy, but our goal is the playoffs.”
And pushing the streak to nine is preferred over the alternative.
“It’s a nice streak and we want to keep it going,” said Dany Heatley.
Overall, the Sharks just want to keep doing what’s working on the ice and improve every day.
“We’re playing all right, our goaltending has been really, really good,” said Rob Blake. “We can still get better, but we’re trying to get where we want to be. We’ve won eight in a row, but we don’t want to look too far ahead.”
Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan will work to keep the train moving in the right direction and noted the Sharks had a five-game winless streak prior to the winning streak and that one game can alter the current trend.
With his second goal of the season, Douglas Murray
set a new career high and with a helper on the night tied his single game best point total with a two-point night.
“It is nice to contribute a little bit,” said Murray.
Murray’s goal was the third of his career and Saturday’s was the game-winner.
San Jose opened the scoring do to a simply wrister from Kent Huskins. With Jamie McGinn parked out front and Jed Ortmeyer surrounding the crease, McGinn got a piece of the puck and it trickled through Jeff Deslauriers’ legs for the game’s first goal.
Both McGinn’s and Murray’s tallies were slowed by the netminder, but slowly moved across the goal line. The Sharks are 7-0-0 this season and 10-0-1 in his career when Jamie McGinn scores a goal.
To start the second period scoring, Dany Heatley used his long reach complete a wraparound. Taking a puck from Thornton, Heatley skated behind the pipes and stuffed the puck in with his backhand before Deslaurier could close the gap. Backhand or forehand, Heatley noted the difficulty of a wraparound.
“It’s tough to do it anytime in this league,” said Heatley.
The Sharks 3-0 lead closed to 3-1 early in the second off an unlucky bounce. On the play, Nabokov was clearing the puck with a pokecheck and it bounced off Joe Pavelski
and right back into the net.
The contest was not as close as some during the streak and the Sharks knew they were facing an Oilers team left shorthanded because of injuries.
“We had to make sure we played hard and not give them any confidence,” said Murray.
“The second goal put them on their heels,” said Blake.
San Jose got on top early and made sure not to allow Edmonton any breathing room.
“We did a good job of getting ready and kept going,” said Heatley.
The Sharks used the open ice and a four-on-four goal by Patrick Marleau
to respond after Edmonton’s lone tally.
With 15:21 to go in the middle stanza, Ryane Clowe
and Jason Strudwick had a bout with Clowe eventually putting Strudwick on the ice. The two clubs had several minor scrums on the night including one at the end of the contest when Edmonton put a late shot on Nabokov. The Sharks were there to stick up for their goaltender.
recorded his first assist since Mar. 18, 2008 vs. Los Angles.
Brad Staubitz recorded his second assist, tying a career high and setting a new career-high for points in a season (4). Staubitz and Jody Shelley both made their lineup returns to extended absences due to injuries.
OILERS HEAD COACH PAT QUINN
“We’re a team and one of the things we don’t ever do is throw blame here and there. I’m sure (Deslauriers) would like a couple back but that happens to all (goaltenders). Maybe the game is a little different because the goaltenders sit back in the net. I don’t blame them, we have to build our trust up.”
“The first couple of goals were point shots from the boards … You say to yourself well ‘we don’t mind that shot…We’ll get that.’ But two of them find their way to the back of the net. And then the third goal is on the penalty kill. We hit the puck twice and don’t clear it. I could never question the try…They battled every inch of the way. They got themselves some good chances but we’re also not putting the puck in.”
The Sharks will be Los Angeles Monday night at 7:30 p.m. and the game will be on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com. Tickets can be found at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at ticketmaster.com.