The two best teams in the Pacific Division in this early NHL season faced off against each other Monday night. The "struggling" San Jose Sharks were at Dallas facing Marty Turco and the Stars.
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The Sharks have only gotten a win when playing Turco 5 times out of the previous 25 games before tonight. Coming off their two "worst" games of the season, many were expecting San Jose to come out strong.
Take the way the Sharks played the last two losses to Columbus and Detroit (the top team in the West right now). Reverse it, and that is how they played tonight.
The Sharks had 16 shots in the first period alone. That is 1 less than they had in the Columbus game, and 5 more than they had in the entire Detroit game.
The Sharks were shooting, skating, hitting, hustling, fighting. I believe this was Steve Bernier's first career fight. It was great to see him stand up for himself and Morrow.
After two periods, however, the Sharks were down 2-1. The funny thing is they played two very solid period of hockey. Joe Thornton and Ron Wilson conquered. Normally this is where we'd see San Jose fall apart and sit back and watch the game slip away, especially against a team like Dallas. Not tonight.
I am from Saskatchewan and have been greatly anticipating Devin Setoguchi's inevitable start in the NHL. Setoguchi played for the Saskatoon Blades in the WHL and being from Regina I had the opportunity to see him play against the Pats. Needless to say, I was watching him every time he was on the ice.
And I'm glad I didn't take my eyes off of him because he played a fantastic game. He was arguably the first star of the game. His first goal was a bullet and tied the game up. His second goal was just as impressive, putting the Sharks ahead with what would end up being the game winning goal.
Nabokov has been the team MVP so far. No question. The only two goals Dallas scored tonight were one unstoppable shot and one lucky bounce.
It was hard to find a single Shark who had a bad game tonight, which is very encouraging.
For all of the Sharks fans saying how the team is struggling and calling for the heads of Head Coach Ron Wilson and Captain Patrick Marleau... My advice is to relax and be patient.
The Sharks can only get better from here.
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