There’s certainly no argument about the result – the Sharks rolled the Avalanche 5-1 last night, with scoring coming from all four lines, allowing just one goal, Niemi looking solid in net, getting a power play goal, and allowing none in return.
There were just a few moments all night where the Sharks weren’t in control of the tempo – late in the first period and then again for a brief spell in the second. The score could have been 7-1 if Thornton and ‘Somebody Else’ (Maybe it was Handzus?) hadn’t hit the post.
On top of that, the Sharks took advantage of timely losses to jump to first in the Division. So, what now? There are 6 games remaining, all of them are still crucial, and no more so than Wednesday night – Sharks v. Ducks in Anaheim. The Ducks are 4-1 against the Sharks this year and really looked dominate in the most recent game, but the Ducks are also out of the running for the playoffs. Wins Wednesday and Thursday (v. Phoenix) would put the Sharks in the driver seat… stay tuned.
p.s. Maybe its just me, but Havlat has really looked good the past few games – lots of deft maneuvering with the puck to create opportunities. I don’t recall him doing this earlier in the year.
p.p.s. One continuing note of concern: defensive zone turnovers. It seems to be a combination of just being to casual – the little dump pass that can’t be handled, and just making bad choices – the pass into traffic when it sure seems there are better options. Against a team that really jumps on those I think we’re still in trouble.