The Sharks have been on the road a lot this year, haven’t practiced much, and are doing so with a revised leadership group led by 4 assistant captains and no official captain.
They have been streaky, had good starts, bad finishes, bad starts, good finishes and everything else you can imagine. This season has certainly been unpredictable and intriguing to say the least. To that point, here are 4 streaks the Sharks have accomplished prior to their game against Tampa:First 5 games: 4-0-1
Next 4 games: 0-4-0
Next 4 games: 3-0-1
Next 4 games: 1-3-0
The Tampa game was, in my estimation, the third game this year where the Sharks were really tested from an adversity standpoint. Here are the 3 scenarios:
Game 1 vs LA – after a long summer the team had to endure a delay before the game as the Kings had their Cup Banner raised to the roof. There was no way to know how they would respond.
Outcome: Win 4-0
After a horrible home effort and loss to Buffalo the Sharks found themselves on a 4-game losing streak heading to Anaheim who was at the top of the Western Conference and had not lost on home ice in regulation. It was back-to-back games for the Sharks against a rested Ducks team.
Outcome: Win 4-1
After an uninspiring loss to a Florida team the Sharks next opponent was Tampa who was 6-1-1 at home, had won 4 straight at home, was 6-0-1 in their last 7 games where they averaged 4.7 goals per game and sat atop the Eastern Conference and were 1 point behind Anaheim for top spot in the NHL.
Outcome: Win 2-1
It’s still early but this road weary team has passed the test on 3 occasions against very good hockey teams.
This is great theater, and what sports is all about!