The San Jose Sharks scored twice in the third period on Friday to earn a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames.
The Sharks have now won seven straight games for the second time this season, but in between those two stretches, they had a terrible 6-11-6 record.
So are they just a streaky team that happens to be hot right now or is there something fundamentally different about how they’re winning this time around?
“The start of the season our power play was really hot, but we had two, three or four guys – Patty, in particular – putting the puck in the net,” Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle told CSN Bay Area. “This time around, I think we’re just balanced. We’re getting scoring from everybody, so I think that’s the difference.”
Boyle was referring to Patrick Marleau, who led the Sharks with an incredible nine goals in his first five games. Joe Thornton also got off to a hot start with 14 points in his first six contests.
By contrast there’s no one or two hot streaks that are driving this winning streak.
“We’re playing the type of hockey that allows us to win consistently. At the beginning of the year, scoring five or six goals a night, we looked like the Globetrotters for a while there in Edmonton,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said.
“Everything was going our way, and we weren’t going to continue to play that way. I think we’re playing a better brand of game right now that sets us up for success.”
Even after seven straight wins, the San Jose Sharks aren’t likely to win the Pacific Division. However, they are winning the battle for the fourth seed.
Stars place Lehtonen on IR, call up Campbell and Nemeth
Tim Gleason has likely played his last NHL game. The 32-year-old defenseman has informed the Carolina Hurricanes that he no longer wishes to continue his professional tryout.
“Tim informed us today he wasn’t going to continue to pursue his tryout,” said GM Ron Francis, per the club’s website. “He looked and felt good physically, but didn’t feel up to the grind of the NHL mentally.”
“We got outcompeted in the second period, badly,” Mark Letestu told the team’s website. “Whether it was little puck battles or even just executing on systems. It played right into their game. When you get behind a team like this that’s so dominant in the circle it’s tough to generate chances to come back. We didn’t deserve to win this one at all.”
As if things weren’t bad enough, the Oilers also lost Nail Yakupovto injury after a linesman (yes, a linesman) fell on top of him.
After the game, head coach Todd McLellan didn’t hold back:
"That's a really disappointing effort from our hockey club… We weren't a very determined team." McLellan on the #Oilers defeat