The Sharks have now officially darted out to their best start in franchise history as they now stand 6-1 after seven contests. And it is necessary as others in the division and conference are winning early and often as well.
Detroit though, still carries clout around the league and many will notice the Sharks 5-1 victory.
“We wanted to come out strong tonight because they played last night,” said Patrick Marleau
“They are a dangerous squad and we wanted to stay out of the box,” said Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson.
The Sharks posted all five goals on the power play and allowed just one meaningless third period power play to Detroit.
“Our special teams were good,” said Marleau. “We had a couple of five-on-threes we didn’t complete.”
On the man-advantage, and sometimes two-man advantage, the Sharks tied club records for most power play goals in a game and in a period. Both records were set last February against the same Detroit Red Wings.
The Sharks will take their fast start into Saturday night’s contest at HP Pavilion against the Western Conference’s lone undefeated club, the Minnesota Wild.
“It’s going to be a good game,” said Marleau. “We knocked off one undefeated in Dallas and we hope to do it again.”
“This is their first trip, but they are not the same team as in the past,” said Wilson. “They look for the long pass. It will be a test for us.”
TOSKALA STAYS HOT
Netminder Vesa Toskala kept his record perfect on the season at 4-0 and, dating back to last season, he is a perfect 11-0 dating back to the 2004-05 regular season. It is the longest undefeated streak in franchise history over a two year stretch.
Toskala did not let it bother him that he just missed out on a shutout.
“To me the win is the only things that matters,” said Toskala. “A shutout is always nice, but I really don’t care. My goal every game is to give the team a chance to win.”
And he has done that perfectly this season.
As he and Evgeni Nabokov usually do, Toskala pointed out the quality of the defenders in front of him.
“The forwards and defensemen block a lot of shots,” said Toskala. “If a shot gets through, it can be screen, so I like the blocks.”
CARLE LEADING THE LEAGUE
With his two helpers on the Sharks first two tallies, including the primary assist on the Mark Bell’s game-winner, Matt Carle moved past Niklas Lidstrom in the NHL’s defenseman scoring race.
“I heard that stat, but there are a lot of good players in this league and a lot more hockey to be played,” said Carle.
MICHALEK LEADING THE SHARKS
With six goals in just seven contests, left wing Milan Michalek is leading San Jose’s goal scoring rush. He has found success parking in front of the crease, most notably on five-on-three power plays. Thursday was no exception as he redirected a puck past Chris Osgood from right out front. It moved the third-year winger’s point streak to five games.
“The coaches are telling us to go to the front of the net,” said Michalek. “I worked this summer and in practice on my shot. I’m really confident and I hope it continues.”
Michalek, like Carle, knows it is still very early in the 2006-07 season.
“It’s really nice, but it is still the beginning of the season,” said Michalek. “We have some really good scorers like Patty, Joe and Cheech.”
The Sharks will host Minnesota at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night at HP Pavilion and limited tickets are still available at the HP Pavilion Box Office and through www.ticketmaster.com. The game will be aired on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and www.sjsharks.com.