Sharks want to ‘stockpile’ points before Olympics


Tonight in Edmonton and tomorrow in Calgary, the San Jose Sharks will play two of the worst teams in the NHL. After that, it’s four straight home games, followed by the 17-day Olympic break.

The Sharks should be favored in all six of those games, but head coach Todd McLellan is still wary.

“The issue that I’m sure a lot of teams will have is, let’s make sure we don’t go on the break early,” McLellan said, per CSN Bay Area. “Let’s make sure that we get to the finish line and stockpile as many points as possible. We’ve been good to this point. … We’re going to push hard, and we expect the players to respond, and then they can earn that time off.”

The Sharks are actually in a pretty unique spot. Nine points back of Anaheim and eight points ahead of Los Angeles in the Pacific Division, they couldn’t be much more solidified in second spot at this point in the season. It’s highly likely, though admittedly far from guaranteed, that second place is where they finish, meaning a first-round playoff match-up with the Kings (probable), Canucks (still possible), or Coyotes (you never know).

Chasing down the Ducks isn’t out of the question though. Not when you consider the Sharks have two games in hand and a less-than-harrowing schedule to finish the season.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal

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Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: