The red hot Sharks looked to continue their perfect season thus far on Sunday evening, and it appeared they would have their work cut out for them with a formidable opponent in the visiting Vancouver Canucks. The previous season saw the Sharks dropping three out of four games to the Canucks, including both games that were held in San Jose. Sunday, however, was a different story, as the Sharks plowed through the Canucks setting a new franchise record with their 5-0 record, and Patrick Marleau continued his goal streak.
The puck hadn’t even dropped on Sunday night before there were two players in the penalty box. Sharks forward Ryane Clowe, who would go on to set a franchise record for penalty minutes in one game with 35, and Canucks forward Alex Burrows were nipping at each others heals before the game begun and were ushered to the penalty box. This type of physicality has become standard between the bitter Western Conference rivals, and there is rarely any bodies spared, as Sunday night proved once again to be a more than hard-hitting affair.
The Sharks tallied two goals from Joe Pavelski, and one from both Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton.
The difference between the Sharks we’ve seen so far this season and the Sharks we’ve seen in seasons past, appears to be an almost complete fluid style of play from nearly every line that steps on the ice. Their puck movement along the boards and ability to get players in front of the net is something I myself haven’t seen in any recent memory. More importantly, the chemistry between the players seems to be in perfect sync.
The most unnoticed stat of the night, at least from the fans that weren’t watching on television, was the fact that the Sharks were a perfect 7 for 7 on the penalty kill. A penalty kill unit like that in any game is something to marvel at, but a penalty killing unit like that against a team like the Canucks is something that’s a little more than special.
At the end of the night, it seemed everyone’s focus on the ice was trying to get Marleau his second goal to continue his multi-goal scoring streak. There was acknowledgment from the crowd and from Marleau himself, and you could easily tell that the players were out on the ice and completely enjoying themselves. When you have a team of top caliber players, as the Sharks do, and they’re out on the playing surface smiling at each other, you know something is clicking.
The Sharks divisional arch-rival Anaheim Ducks will be visiting on Tuesday night, and that game always carries a certain amount of physical and fast play.