San Jose’s game at Nashville’s Sommet Center tonight will conclude their last road trip of three or more games this season. And if they can increase their franchise record winning streak to 10 games, they’ll finally be on top of the Pacific Division.
“Dallas (which is off tonight) is still in front of us,” Jonathan Cheechoo said. “We don’t want to let our guard down, but we’re always looking at first place. It’s been our goal from Day One. We’ve kept a close eye on them and are focused on what we’re doing.”
San Jose enters tonight one point behind the Dallas Stars and still has three games in hand. In theory, the Sharks still have time to catch their long-time division rival, but they would just as soon pass Dallas tonight and keep on winning.
“We’d love to make this a great trip (with a third straight win) and get to first place,” Cheechoo said.
San Jose’s current winning streak, which includes seven straight road wins, is good for postseason momentum. Inside the locker room, the Sharks players are not surprised at their recent run.
“With the team we have, anything is possible,” Cheechoo said. “It’s a good group and we’re playing some of our best hockey. We’re playing with a lot of confidence.”
If the Sharks pass the Stars on Tuesday, what will be more amazing is that on Feb. 29, just 12 days ago, the Sharks sat 11 points behind Dallas, their biggest gap of the season.
There are two reasons why San Jose now trails Dallas by just one point. First, San Jose started making up their games in hand, so they were gaining ground when Dallas was idle. But now, San Jose’s winning ways, combined with Dallas going 7-5 since Valentine’s Day, has made the difference.
Should Team Teal win in Nashville, they’ll lead the Pacific Division for the first time since Jan. 17. If San Jose comes out of Nashville with just one point, they’ll share first place for the first time since Feb. 1.
FIRST ON THE BOARD
During the Sharks nine-game winning streak, seven of those have come away from HP Pavilion. Even for the NHL’s top road club, a long road winning streak is fairly amazing. A big part of the reason is San Jose’s knack of scoring first.
San Jose recently set a single-season NHL record by recording the game’s first goal in 16 consecutive road games (Dec. 26 – March 1). That streak was snapped in a victory against Chicago on March 7, but San Jose regained their form by potting the first two in the 3-2 win at Minnesota on Sunday.
“Getting that first goal has been pretty important,” Cheechoo said. “About 75 percent of the time, the team that scores first wins.”
And when an opponent scores first, or responds to a Sharks tally, San Jose has proven they will strike right back.
“We’ve been a lot better when we’ve been scored against,” Cheechoo said. “If we don’t score right away, we come back with a good shift in their end.”
The Sharks tied for the second-longest road winning streak in an NHL season with a 10-0-0 record from Nov. 14 at Dallas through Dec. 31 at Minnesota. A win in Nashville tonight would give them eight straight road wins, their second-best road streak this season. WORCESTER SHARKS JERSEY AUCTION
Worcester Sharks President and CEO Michael T. Lehr announced that the Worcester Sharks will auction off the remaining Special Olympics Massachusetts Worcester Sharks third jerseys during an online auction on www.sharksahl.com.
The auction will start on Sunday, March 9th at 6 p.m. and conclude on Sunday, March 16th at 6 p.m. with proceeds benefiting Special Olympics Massachusetts and Sharks Charities.
The Sharks wore the specialty jerseys in a 2-1 win over the Manchester Monarchs at the DCU Center on Friday, February 29th. The Massachusetts Special Olympics opening ceremonies were held before the game against the Monarchs, the second straight year the Sharks and the DCU Center have hosted the event. Fans who weren't able to make it to the game for the silent auction now have the opportunity to bid on the following jerseys on www.sharksahl.com beginning Mar. 9th at 6 p.m.
Game issued jerseys of Devin Setoguchi, Tomas Plihal, and Mike Morris.
Game worn jerseys of Dimitri Patzold, Thomas Greiss
, Dan Spang, Derek Joslin, and Lukas Kaspar.
All jerseys will include a certificate of authenticity.
The Winter Games is one of Special Olympics Massachusetts’ largest annual sporting events. This year marks the fifth-consecutive year the DCU Center and City of Worcester have welcomed the Special Olympics to the Worcester community. The weekend-long games bring over 2,000 athletes, 600 coaches, 1,000 volunteers, families and supporters to the area, generating more than a $2 million economic impact on the greater Worcester area.
to start bidding!
For more information regarding the Sharks partnership with Special Olympics Massachusetts and the online jersey auction, please contact the Worcester Sharks Front Office at 508-929-0500 or visit www.sharksahl.comNEXT GAME
The Sharks will visit Nashville today at 5 p.m. and the game will be available on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.