The San Jose Sharks won back-to-back games for the first time this season with wins against Nashville and Calgary, but have had to endure a three-day layoff before attempting to make it three in a row. And they will look to extend their streak on the road, where they continue to be among the NHL’s best.
San Jose proved last season how efficient they can be away from HP Pavilion, leading the NHL in road wins with 26 and they are off to another hot start away from San Jose.
Of all clubs that have played at least four contests away from home, Team Teal leads the way with a 4-1-1 mark, accumulating nine of the possible 12 points. That is a 75 percent success rate 15 percent into the road schedule.
What makes the Sharks so difficult on the road? It is more a matter of what they don’t try to do than what they do.
“I think we’re able to come out in other rinks and play our game,” said Marleau. “We’re able to go and block out the distractions that come with playing road games. It’s just another sheet of ice, the same size as all the others. It shouldn’t be a factor in the way we play.”
Will the break between Calgary and Detroit affect the Sharks as they look to improve their road and overall record?
“No,” said Captain Patrick Marleau
. “It was good to get all the guys together. The team bonding was nice, especially after a couple of wins.”
It should make for the usual entertaining hockey when the Central and Pacific Division leaders hook up, but that is not the only difficult game left on the four-game trip.
A win would ensure the Sharks the Pacific Division lead 10 games into the season and San Jose knows how important an early start is to winning the division. Plus, continuing their success won’t be simple, as Detroit leads the Central, Columbus is right behind them and the travels conclude in Dallas with the Stars currently right on the Sharks heels.
“Most road games are not easy, but we have a lot of top teams in a row,” said Marleau. “We want to play our best games against the other top teams. That’s how you get better and it makes you feel good about yourself.”
The Sharks contest against Detroit will begin at 4:30 p.m. PST and will be available on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.