When the San Jose Sharks departed for their recently concluded three game road trip, they had just gone three games without a victory. The returned home from Los Angeles riding a three-game winning streak and have moved into the seventh playoff position.
The Sharks now trail Anaheim by just three points for the fifth position and Colorado by one point for the sixth spot. With regards to Edmonton, the two clubs are tied for seventh, but San Jose holds the tie-breaker with the most wins and still has a game in hand. As for Vancouver, the Sharks are now two points up with one game in hand.
“The guys are doing a good job defensively,” said Captain Patrick Marleau
. “Vesa (Toskala) has been standing on his head back there.”
During the three-game run, the Sharks have outscored their opponents 10-3. The 5-0 route of the Kings was a bit surprising after the two one goal wins.
“I was expecting much more from them,” said Toskala. “Obviously they didn’t come hard and that helped us. I had to make a couple of tough saves in the second. tough because it a back-to-back, but it doesn’t matter when you win.”
Jonathan Cheechoo scored twice on the evening, making 50 goals a very realistic possibility in the season’s final six games. His second tally on the night came off an impressive play in the Kings zone where Joe Thornton
turned a faceoff into a two-on-one rush.
“We’ve tried it a few times,” said Cheechoo. “It’s just something you have to try every now and again off the faceoff.”
Cheechoo was characteristically more concerned with the victory than the goals.
“It was huge win,” said Cheechoo. “We got off to a great start in Dallas and we kept it going. We’re getting into playoff mode early.”
“The road trip gives us a lot of confidence going forward,” said Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson.
And one can’t help but wonder if he was referring to the next six games or the potential games that would be played in the postseason.