On a night of multiple team records, the Sharks Captain set a notable one of his own. Patrick Marleau
’s four points contributed to him becoming the Sharks all-time leading point scorer. Marleau now has 454 career points, three better than previous record holder Owen Nolan. Marleau is also one goal shy of tying Nolan’s franchise record for goals with 206.
“It’s nice to get recognition like that and to come in a win makes it that much better,” said Marleau.
Some players have to go back to their teenage years or further to recall games like Thursday nights.
“I haven’t been involved in too many of those,” said Jonathan Cheechoo. “Maybe in junior.”
“To come back and get that many, I don’t remember one,” said Marleau.
Despite trailing 3-0 early in the game, San Jose became the first team in almost 16 years to win a game by five or more goals despite trailing by at least three goals at anytime during that contest. The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Toronto 11-4 despite the Maple Leafs taking a 3-0 lead early in the second period in a game played Feb. 21, 1991, in Pittsburgh. San Jose’s nine consecutive goals set a franchise record that bested the old mark of eight.
“It was a good response by the group,” said Mike Grier. “We didn’t hang our heads and we kept digging. We are the youngest, biggest and fastest team and we wanted to forecheck and get the loose pucks in their end.”
“There was no quit,” said Marleau.
And the team wasn’t the only group not to quit.
“The fans didn’t give up,” said Ron Wilson.
Dominating wins in the last two games against Dallas and Detroit means the Sharks may have turned the corner and are again playing their forceful style displayed early in the season. The Detroit contest marked the second consecutive game in which San Jose had registered a four-goal period.
“It started the last game and continued to this game,” said Jonathan Cheechoo. “We had the confidence to come back. We corrected our mistakes.”
“It feels really good to get the confidence going,” said Marleau.
Still, the Sharks know turning the corner is not 100 percent of where they want to be.
“There is still al lot of work to be the team we want to be in April,” said Grier.
POWER PLAY SUCCESS
Winning against teams like Detroit is not surprising now that the Sharks are a regular Western Conference power, but Team Teal has displayed an impressive dynamic recently against the Wings. In their last three contests against Detroit at HP Pavilion, San Jose has posted five or more power play goals.
“I wish it was like that with all the other teams,” quipped Marleau.
Even though the power play has to be hot to have success rates such as six for nine (and the six power play goals set a Sharks single game record), there is always another side to the story.
“One, the power play has to have a good night and two, the penalty kill has to have an off night,” said Wilson.
Detroit had a chance to retake the lead at 3-3 when they had a five-on-three power play, but they couldn’t connect and the Sharks crowd grew even more excited.
“Tosk was huge on some saves,” said Wilson.
Toskala was in after Wilson pulled starter Evgeni Nabokov, who had been in net for Detroit’s first three goals. Wilson noted that Nabokov was not necessarily pulled for bad netminding.
“We changed goalies for the psychological effect of it,” said Wilson. “I didn’t think Nabby was doing anything wrong, we just needed to change momentum.”
1ST FOR GORGES
While Marleau is setting franchise career marks, a couple of San Jose’s younger players reached first-time individual marks. Josh Gorges is in his second NHL campaign, but he did something for the first time Thursday evening. With San Jose trailing 3-0, Gorges got the Sharks rolling downhill with the first tally of his career. Gorges’ goal was a bit quirky, as the puck was not even on net, but bounced off the butt-end of Dominik Hasek’s stick and across the goal line.
“I’d like to say I drew it up just like that,” said Gorges. “I thought Grier tipped it. It was a lucky bounce, but I’ll take it. Maybe the goal helped spark us.”
It may not have been pretty, but it was a critical goal, setting the Sharks off to a club record nine unanswered tallies in a game.
“We just kept saying, let’s get one before the period ends,” said Grier. “It was a good first goal by Josh.”
registered the first two-goal game of his career in his first game back from the injured reserve list.
1ST FOR DETROIT
San Jose’s victory marked the first time this season Detroit lost a game when leading after the first period.
The Sharks didn’t have the only comeback in the NHL on the night.
“You look around and Boston was leading 2-1 and Toronto scored 9 straight and Edmonton lead 4-1 (and lost in the shootout),” said Ron Wilson.
THANKS FOR THE HELP
With four assists on the night, Joe Thornton
has now picked up seven points (1-6=7) in his last two games and nine points (2-7=9) in his last four games.
RED WINGS HEAD COACH, MIKE BABCOCK:
“After the first period, we didn’t win any battles. Obviously, our penalty killing wasn’t so good.”
“I just thought our competition level in the second and third periods wasn’t good enough. Give them [San Jose] credit. They did some good things, but we weren’t competitive as a group, individually or collectively.”
“We were in this together as a team, and we were all bad together.”
“Once we lost our composure, we didn’t play very (play well), and the bottom line is we just got humbled beyond belief. So now it’s an opportunity for us to rebound.”