The San Jose Sharks are just a point off the National Hockey League’s overall points lead (and they do have a game in hand on Detroit). But they do lead in a few categories that could be beneficial come playoff time.
For starters, San Jose is tied for first in the NHL with six 20-goal scorers, but they lead the entire League in players who have recorded a game-winning goal.
An amazing 19 players on the Sharks roster have posted a game-winner, three more than any other club. Patrick Marleau
not only leads the Sharks but shares the NHL lead at 10 with Washington’s Alex Ovechkin and former Sharks, now St. Louis Blues, forward Brad Boyes.
Marleau is happy to lead the Sharks and share the NHL lead, but he’s all about the team. “It’s nice to see everyone contributing,” Marleau said.
“We’ve got a lot of guys who’ve stepped up,” said Jonathan Cheechoo, who scored the shootout winner over Nashville on Thursday.
When games are close in the waning moments, the top lines eat up the ice time. That means less time for other players to record a game-winner. However, the Sharks have scored early and often most of the time this year, which has resulted in a somewhat even spread of game-winning goals. “That helps with the distribution,” defenseman Rob Blake said.
The all-time record for different game-winning goal scorers is 22 and with 12 regular season games remaining, San Jose still has a chance at that record.
Right wing Mike Grier skated with his teammates at practice. He’s taking some initial steps towards returning to the lineup for the playoffs.
NABBY’S THE ONE
According to Coach Todd McLellan, Evgeni Nabokov will start in goal for San Jose against Dallas on Saturday afternoon.
The Sharks will play hosts to Dallas at 1 p.m. on Saturday and the game will be on CSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com. Tickets can be found at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com.