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Successful Start Puts Sharks Atop The Pacific

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks
The San Jose Sharks are off to just their third 3-0 start in their 18-year history. A win tomorrow will give the Sharks its first-ever 4-0 beginning.


San Jose’s coaching staff isn’t ready to start printing any banners, but have acknowledged they’re happy with the season’s beginning.

“I think it’s important,” Assistant Coach Trent Yawney said. “Thirty teams have talked about it, but it’s (not everything).”

Through the first three games, the Sharks have practiced what the new coaching staff has preached: plenty of pucks to the net on offense, speed up the middle and denying shots on their goaltender.

“It helps with what we’re trying to get across as a staff and makes things easier,” Yawney said.

The Sharks know the race to another Pacific Division title or even the best record in the NHL isn’t something you can win in October. However, they’re glad to be 3-0 instead of 0-3. While Phoenix is undefeated in two contests, Anaheim, Dallas and Los Angeles have yet to win a regulation game in two contests apiece. All three of the Sharks victories have come at the expense of a Pacific Division opponent.

“There are so many good teams. If you can invest the points early, it helps,” Yawney said. “There are going to be times where you play well and don’t get the points.”

Several recent Stanley Cup winners have found themselves several games above the .500 mark when the opening month concluded. The Sharks hope to be in a similar situation.

“I think if you look at the teams that have been successful in the past, they’ve gotten off to a pretty good start,” Yawney said.

As for division and points races in the regular season, it’s not the primary focus of this coaching staff.

“We don’t talk about it that much,” Yawney said. “We talk about what we’re going to do. We have to focus on the process and make sure we’re where we want to be.”

Yawney and the rest of the coaches aren’t too concerned about setting franchise records, but would much rather be 4-0 than 3-1 after Tuesday’s contest.

“Absolutely, we want the best start we can have,” Yawney said.

Many changes have taken place in the way the Sharks play hockey this season, but the coaching staff says credit should go where it’s due.

“A lot of the credit should go to the players,” Yawney said. “They’re doing what we ask them to do. Ultimately, they’ve won the games that we played.”

How many more wins are in the offering is the question.

PETRECKI A PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN

Nick Petrecki, a Sharks first round pick in 2007, won a national title with Boston College in his freshman campaign.

Below is what www.insidecollegehockey.com had to say about the sophomore who posted five goals and seven helpers in 42 games.

“He's considered one of the baddest men in college hockey — one of the toughest, most outstanding defensemen in the nation. Yes, we know he only turned 19 over the summer and we're still calling him a man.”

Over in the WCHA, Minnesota Duluth goalie Alex Stalock, a 2005 fourth round selection, received two votes in the conference’s preseason player of the year voting.

1ST GOAL
After scoring his first NHL goal, Sharks forward Lukas picked up the phone after the game and called home. It was a bit early back in Czech, but that was not a problem.

“I woke my mom up,” said Kaspar. “It was around seven in the morning, but she was so happy. She called my grandma and all my family. I’ve gotten some texts. It is probably the best part of being here. You want to make them proud because they’ve been so supportive and this is part of paying them back.”

NEXT GAME
The Sharks will play hosts to Columbus on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com. The game will be available on CSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.


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