The San Jose Sharks hit the All-Star break on a high note. Following three very lopsided loses, the Sharks rode a Tomas Hertl hat trick to a 7-6 come-from-behind victory over the Washington Capitals.
It was probably one of the more entertaining games I've enjoyed in quite some time. San Jose showed true grit and guile in climbing out of a two-goal third period hole to force overtime and eventually grab the two points. Even though the Caps are scuffling it was a win this team can hang their hats on.
The victory snapped San Jose's three-game skid. They hit the unofficial midpoint of the season with 65 points via a 29-16-7 record. They remain in second place in the Pacific, trailing Calgary by six points. The Flames have played one less game.
Now a few Shark Bites to nibble on:
- The Sharks needed seven goals to dispatch the Caps, marking a fourth consecutive game in which they allowed six goals. San Jose has allowed six or more goals seven times through the first 52 games. With Marc-Edourd Vlasic and Erik Karlsson each sidelined with injuries the defense is a bit porous. Couple that with a down year between the pipes and I smell trouble.
- Hertl's hat trick was his second in a week, giving him 22 goals thus far. That matches his career high in only 47 games played.
- Timo Meier has five points (1g 4a) in the last three games. That's the good news. The goal he scored in the Florida loss was his first since December 13th - a dry spell spanning 17 games.
- The Sharks boast one of the leagues most balanced attacks. Twenty-one different players have scored at least one goal this season with eight players reaching double-digits.
- Joe Pavelski has 27 goals at the break. Barring something catastrophic, the captain will reach the 30-mark mark for the fifth time in his career. He'll also reach a few milestones in the second half - He's six goals shy of 350 career goals and two assists shy of 400.
- Evander Kane has five goals in the last four games and 21 goals total. That's all well and good, but I was most impressed by something else. Kane's played in all 52 games this season. Why is that impressive? Because the 28-year-old has never played in all 82 games. Kane's high is 78 games. he's done that just twice in 10 seasons.
- Meier is a plus-17. No other Shark forward is even close. Last season Joonas Donskoi led all forward at plus-10.
- Four of Brent Burns' nine goals this season are of the game winning variety. Can you say "efficient?"
Enjoy the All-Star game!
Thanks for reading,