For the San Jose Sharks, eight was enough, when it came to goal scorers, to absolutely destroy Calgary 9-1 Monday night at HP Pavilion. The eight different scorers set a Sharks record for different players in a single game finding the mark and the nine tallies fell one short of the team record of 10 goals at home. With San Jose on the power play for the last 3:30 of the contest, the chant of “we want ten” soundly loudly through the building.
Many of the players who scored hadn’t been on the board in quite some time. For Joe Pavelski
and Ryane Clowe
, it was Dec. 30. For Rob Blake it was Dec. 11. For Manny Malhotra it was Dec. 9. For Scott Nichol it was Nov. 17. For Jed Ortmeyer it was Nov. 14.
Everyone seemed to be part of the action and they enjoyed every second of it.
“It’s great to be rewarded,” said Nichol who reached the 100 point total for his career. “That’s why we play the game. It’s fun to score.”
There had been so much talk recently about secondary scoring, or the lack of it, for the Sharks but it started to rebound with Devin Setoguchi’s two tallies Saturday. Nobody could have seen Monday’s outburst happening.
“We were putting the puck on the net and good things happened,” said Nichol.
“It’s nice to see different guys (scoring) so it’s not 12, 15 and 19 all the time,” said McLellan. “Sometimes the hockey gods treat you a little different.”
As important as the goals were, it was the manner in which they came.
“It’s not just the goal scoring, it’s the way the guys won the battles and why the goals were scored,” said Nichol.
“We’ve been playing hard and had opportunities so it’s good to see them go in,” said Pavelski. “We know if we take care of the process, things will come.”
McLellan couldn’t recall a specific game with this many goal scorers.
“I can’t (remember), but there’s probably been some,” said McLellan. “Usually someone has a hat trick. It’s nice to see everyone contribute.”
What the early 3-0 lead after one period did, along with the subsequent avalanche of goals in the second and third, was provide the Sharks the ability to rest their big dogs and get everyone else involved. Jay Leach was the only skater to reach the 17 minute mark and Dany Heatley led all forward with 14:19 of ice time.
That will be very important with the second game of a back-to-back set on the road.
“It’s great we were able to roll four lines,” said Pavelski. “We were able to stay out of the box and it gives the other guys a chance on the power play.”
“It’s nice to win a game like that and have a little cushion to use different guys,” said McLellan.
A game like this will be able to be enjoyed until the plane lands in Los Angeles tonight. By tomorrow morning, the work of the next day will be at hand.
“It’s important to enjoy it and then be ready (for L.A.),” said Pavelski.
TWO DOESN’T WORK
Heatley scored twice for Team Teal which would normally make him one of the game’s stars, but on a night like this even a superstar can get lost in the shuffle.
Fourteen different players managed to register at least on point on the night and Pavelski led the way with a goal and three assists.
San Jose finished the first with a dramatic 17-4 shot advantage. After two periods it was 34-12. The final shot totals were 46-22.
Entering the third, Calgary used the break to replace Miikka Kiprusoff with Curtis McElhinney.
Devin Setoguchi may have ended his slump the previous game, but he became the Sharks seventh goal scorer of the game early in the third and he did it in an amazing fashion.
With a defender draped on his back, Setoguchi faked to the forward and simply slid the puck in with only his left hand on the stick. Watch the highlights online as seeing is believing.
Midway through the first period there was a good fight between Brad Staubitz and Brandon Prust. It began with a clean hit by Staubitz on Calgary’s Dion Phaneuf. Prust took exception to the play and went after Staubitz. The crowd was almost at goal-scoring noise levels when Staubitz took Prust to the ice.
That was not the fight of the night though. Staubitz has the fisticuffs as part of his tool kit. Torrey Mitchell
doesn’t. Or at least people didn’t think so. Yet, when Rene Bourque elbowed him in the face, Mitchell took exception and the bout was on. Despite giving up the size, Mitchell got the better of Bourque and took him to the ice.
“That is what this team is all about,” said Nichol. “He showed he is ready to complete and it’s good to see him do something not in his character.”
Having played college hockey before turning pro, Mitchell’s fighting career is limited.
“I had two in the American League,” said Mitchell. “In college you couldn’t fight and in high school a fight would get you suspended.”
TOUGH TO HANDLE
While the Sharks were very happy with their efforts, they have all felt the pain of a bad loss during their careers.
“We’ve all been on the other side,” said Nichol. “It seems like you’re a dog chasing his tail.”
Nichol tied his career single-game high for points and assists (1-2=3) and also set a career high with a +4 rating. He tallied four shots on goal as well.
Pavelski set a new career high for points in a game (1-3=4).
Devin Setoguchi notched his second multi-point game in a row (1-1=2). His assist on Nichol’s first period goal was his 100th career point.
Ortmeyer tallied a season high three points (1-2=3). It is the second three-point game of his career [MR: 1/29/07 vs. Boston (with Nashville)]. Ortmeyer was +3 on the evening.
Heatley notched his 12th power play goal of the season pulling him into a tie for the league lead with Marian Gaborik. Heatley also added an even strength marker in the third period extending his point streak to seven games (5-4=9).
Jay Leach recorded his first point as a Shark with an assist in the third period.
CALGARY FLAMES HEAD COACH BRENT SUTTER
“To be quite honest, I’m kind of stuck for words. It’s obviously very embarrassing. We did not come even close here.”
“We had a pretty good night off today. We are certainly not a tired team.”
The Sharks will play in Los Angeles Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. and the game will be on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.