12/11/07 SHARKS 4, minnesota 1
The one (and truly only positive) thing noticeable when the Sharks get humiliated by a large score is how they respond the next game.
Last year they came back from an 8-0 drubbing to win 4-2 the next night on the road. This year they went down to Colorado 6-2, and took a strong victory out of Chicago the next game, and last night the Sharks responded from their 7-1 destruction by the Buffalo Sabres by beating up on a visiting Minnesota Wild team last night.
On a night that just reeked of another bad beating on the horizon, it was 60 minutes of hard work from guys who have been underperforming a bit that did the trick for the Teal. Steve Bernier had a pair of goals, Mike Grier added one as well, and Patrick Marleau looked like the Patty of old, if for just one night (hopefully not), hitting guys and using his size and speed to get scoring chances for himself and his linemates all night long. Marcel Goc, making his first appearance in 9 games since being on the IR with back problems, showed up in a big way as well, sharing a line with Bernier and Marleau, and working hard all night long, getting an assist for his troubles. Joe Pavelski added a goal and an assist as well, making the theme of the entire evening a "Uh, that was good. Where was this on Saturday?" motif. Evgeni Nabokov, king of the twine, made his 29th start in 29 Sharks games played this year, making 36 seemingly ordinary stops in the winning effort.
Touched on above was how easy the Sharks made their win last night look. The line of Marleau-Goc-Bernier lead the way, as there was not really one Shark who had a poor game. Why there is such discrepancy between their effort from night to night, who knows, but it's the good nights that make the fans happy, and as long as 525 W. Santa Clara fills with 17,496 critics who want to see success, it will probably be the goal of the Sharks to bring it to 'em.
Thursday evening is the next opportunity to bring that success to the fans, as the homestand continues, when the Vancouver Canucks make a stop (7:30). Coming off a win in Anaheim tonight, the 'Nucks won't have much time to recover, as they will be here tomorrow, sans an injured Roberto Luongo. Curtis Sanford made the start down south, unknown yet if he or Drew MacIntyre will defend the goal tomorrow. Vancouver currently sits atop the Northwest Division, and will not be a pushover for the Teal. The Sharks lead the season series 2-0, sweeping the pair of games played at GM Place (3-1 on 10/5, and 4-2 on 10/15).
GO SHARKS (Make it 3-0)