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NHLs Best Road Club Heads Out

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks
For those that think the Sharks lost home ice advantage by only taking a split in the first two games with Calgary, please further explore the Sharks road record during the regular season. The road is where the Sharks played like they owned the ice.

San Jose Sharks center Jeremy Roenick (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
San Jose went an amazing 27-10-4 away from HP Pavilion and earned 58 points. Only two other NHL clubs managed to earn even 50 points on the season away from their home rinks. And no NHL club had a better home record than the Sharks had a road record.

“We know we’ve been the best road team all year long,” said Jeremy Roenick.

The Sharks experienced some terrific camaraderie when the team hit the road during the regular season. And unless a player has family or friends in a specific town, the group eats together.

“There are no cliques,” added Roenick. “It’s a close knit group. Every trip, the dinner has 10-11 guys.”

“We have fun and it doesn’t feel like the road,” said Campbell. “The atmosphere is great and the staff treats it just like home. Management does a great job and the guys respond.”

In short, things are simpler on the road.

Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff (34), of Finland, and center Matthew Lombardi (18) saves a score from San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski (8) (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
“It’s hard to say,” said Joe Pavelski. “You don’t have the pressure you have at home, but we’ve learned to handle that.”

On the year, the Sharks tied the second longest road single season winning streak in NHL history with a perfect 10-0-0 mark from November 14 through December 31. However, that was not their only extended run. They also posted a nine-game road winning streak from Feb. 21 through March 16, making them the only NHL team ever with two road winning streak of eight or more in a season.

A big part of the success is their ability to score first. From Dec. 26-March 1, Team Teal notched the first goal in 16 consecutive road contests which set an NHL record.

“We’ve scored first a lot on the road,” said Pavelski.

And it is not just this season. Since 2006-07, the Sharks have compiled 53 road wins in 82 games and the next best club has 46 wins over the two years.

Calgary Head Coach Mike Keenan stated after Game 2 that he would reach out to the NHL office regarding the officiating.

“He just has to talk to his own players about not taking bad penalties,” said Roenick. “We did the same in the third. You can’t get involved in what the refs are going to call.”

“Coaches do what they need to do,” said Brian Campbell. “A penalty is a penalty. In the third, Clowe was crosschecked from behind and he’s not a diver. He’s a big guy and they argued it.”

San Jose Sharks coach Ron Wilson (Ap Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Wilson said he sided with the referee’s calls.

“If they can show the video of a call they didn’t deserve, I’d like to see it,” said Wilson. “I’m more upset that our power play didn’t get the job done.”

Wilson has some ideas to simplify things.

“Partly it was our fault, partly Kipper was unbelievable,” said Wilson. “We stubbornly tried to pass through people and we have to get past that. We had 27 shots (in the second), but we could have had 50 shots if we avoided forcing plays. We can’t try to pass through sticks or legs.”

Roenick has a lot of respect for the Flames bench boss, but is keenly aware of how Keenan coaches, having played under him in Chicago.

“A lot of times, I would have liked some ear plugs with Mike on the bench,” said Roenick. “They (Keenan and Wilson) are both intense, passionate and they care.”

The Sharks may have earned a shutout in Game 2, but they are still looking for another gear.

“I don’t think we’ve played our best hockey by a long shot,” said Roenick.

The Sharks will visit Calgary on Sunday in a 7 p.m. contest that will be available on CSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and
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