A big part of the NHL leading 32 points for the San Jose Sharks is the current streak of 12 consecutive games earning a point. In that mix is a six-game winning streak and a grand total of 21 of 24 possible points.
There is still a lot of work to do before thinking about the franchise’s all-time record of 20 games (18-0-2 in 2007-08) and the 15 game tear (12-0-3) from last year, but the Sharks are playing the type of hockey necessary to lay a foundation for the postseason.
What started October 24 in Atlanta is now three weeks old. Seven of the games have occurred on the road while five have been at HP Pavilion.
During the run, San Jose has faced everyone from the two teams in last year’s Stanley Cup Finals to lottery clubs to rising powers. From the Sharks perspective, while acknowledging the extra pomp and circumstance when the traditional powers come to town, they have been successful because they don’t change one aspect of their game from contest to contest.
“We go into each night saying we want these two points regardless of the opponent, whether it’s a division or conference opponent or whether it’s an east coast team. We want points out of whoever it is. We don’t look at the standings.”
The opponent matters less because San Jose’s system keeps the team focused more on what they need to do, not as much on what the opponent is trying to do.
“It’s more about our focus,” said Malhotra. “It doesn’t matter if a team is 18th, first or 30th, it’s about what we want to do and that’s how we approach it. We know what we need to do.”
Malhotra has played for several clubs in his NHL career, but notes the Sharks have been excellent about carrying through their plans.
“Every team has that focus, but in this lockerroom it is more about what we do,” said Malhotra. “Some other teams have to adjust. We want you to change your style.”
Internally, the streak is not a big deal to those who are making it happen.
“To be honest, no one really talks about it,” said Malhotra.
The streak itself may not be important, but the way it has come about is and it’s a sign McLellan’s foundation is taking shape.
DAY TO REST
Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan took Monday to give many of his players time to rest their bodies and minds during the three games in four night road trip.
The Sharks sent Logan Couture
to Worcester on Monday.
San Jose will visit Nashville in a 5 p.m. start on Tuesday and the game is only available on 98.5 KFOX (and the Sharks Radio Network) and sjsharks.com.