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Sharks Aiming To Be Even Better

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks

San Jose has won three in a row thanks to their 4-3 victory against the Blackhawks Saturday night and the bad news for their opponents is San Jose feels they are still just getting their legs under them.


"We can play a lot better than tonight and we'll have to be better going into Detroit," said Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson.  "We didn't move the puck quick enough against a pressure team.  We were fortunate we managed to win the game."


"There were times we could have played better," said defenseman Rob Davison.  "It's still early and we're still hoping to hit our stride."


Still, the Sharks played well in most aspects of the game, it was just that Craig Anderson turned in a brilliant night in net for Chicago.


"He battled hard and had some big saves at the end with the puck bouncing around," said Marleau.  "He did a good job."


"Anderson was spectacular," said Wilson.  "We had a couple of chances to make it 5-2 and he made incredible saves.  He only played two exhibition games, but he was impressive.  I tip my hat to him."


During their current three-game winning streak, the Sharks have jumped out to strong starts in all three.


"Our homestand had to be good and it was," said Brad Stuart.


"We want to come out strong and use our speed," said Marco Sturm.  "They had a game last night and flew in to Oakland."



During the Sharks final two power plays, Chicago kept a man back in the neutral zone, hoping to get a tally by cherry picking. 


"I knew one guy was back so we concentrated on working it on the perimeter until something opened up," said Stuart. 


Don't be surprised if the Sharks attempt the tactic when down late.


"It's a good play when you're down a goal," said Wilson.  "It is something we'll experiment with."



San Jose made hay during their brief two-game homestand, but they fly to Detroit Sunday morning to begin a six game trip.  Team Teal will return home after game four for two days of practice before going out to Dallas for the final two contests.  The total trip includes Detroit, Minnesota, Columbus, Nashville, Dallas and Los Angeles and when they return to HP Pavilion, they will have played nine of their first 11 contests on enemy ice.


"It's not too bad," said Stuart.  "We'll come home for a little break after the first four, then it is a little two game trip."


And what would make a successful trip?  In the past most clubs were happy with a .500 road record, however, with the new rules, good teams good be even more successful on the road.


"We're going in every game expecting to win," said Jim Fahey.  "We're playing some good teams, but our goal is to come home with six wins."



San Jose's two power play goals proved to be the difference in the 4-3 win as Chicago posted a goose egg with the man advantage.


"The first shot, we had traffic in front," said Marleau of the goal that answered two straight Chicago tallies.  "It was a big time to get them back."


The traffic in front was actually Stuart dipping into the slot.


"Stuey was sharp tonight and he won some battles that our forwards should have won," said Wilson.  "He was the perfect screen (on Marleau's shot).  He was all over on that shift, like Jim Carey in The Mask."



Marco Sturm's opening goal extended his point scoring streak to five games.  It also gave him two game opening goals on the season.


"It worked out pretty good for the team and me," said Sturm.  "It is always nice to score that first goal."


The goal almost didn't get past Anderson.


"He got a lot of it, but when he fell down, it kind of rolled in," said Sturm.



Fahey's return to the ice has coincided with the current three-game winning streak.


"It is awesome playing back here in our building with the fans being so loud," said Fahey.  "You get the chance to play and you want to stay in.  I've got to work on a couple of things like not getting the hooking penalty."



Surprisingly, there were no third period goals despite 21 shots. 


"With the new rules, you can't sit back," said Marleau.  "They came back from down two once in the game."



San Jose's 44 shots were a team best thus far in 2005-06.



National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman tonight released the following statement regarding the retirement of Brett Hull: "The National Hockey League will miss Brett's skill, his scoring touch and his fun-loving attitude. He was a splendid athlete, a passionate player and someone who never hesitated to speak his mind.  His achievements further cement the Hull family legacy of hockey greatness."

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