With new attitude and new defenseman, surging Sharks ready to plunge into postseason Print
Written by Admin   
Monday, 17 March 2008 13:50
NHL Headline News

 SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -Just a month ago, Jeremy Roenick wasn't totally sure his struggling San Jose Sharks would make the NHL playoffs, even with all their talent, experience and depth.
After the longest winning streak in franchise history, Roenick's only remaining question is whether the Sharks can ride this wave all the way into June.
San Jose's club-record 11-game roll ended Sunday night, but the 2-1 shootout loss to Edmonton still produced the Sharks' 23rd point in 12 games. Led by a rejuvenated captain, a new defenseman and a tireless goalie, San Jose has replied to the doubters who saw the preseason Stanley Cup favorites' first 60 games as a disappointment - particularly the five before their winning run.
d it just built on itself. It's an energy, and everybody thrives off it. We feel really confident right now.''
With 93 points, the Sharks (42-21-3-6) have leaped three points ahead of Anaheim and four in front of Dallas in the tight Pacific Division after mostly trailing for 4 1/2 months. Only Detroit, the overall NHL leader seven points ahead of San Jose, has a better record.
``With a little bit of luck, we might be able to reel Detroit in,'' coach Ron Wilson said. ``But you want to just keep on plugging and win the games in hand.''
San Jose also has two games in hand on both of its division rivals, putting the Sharks in control of their hopes to avoid a rough first-round playoff matchup. The Pacific winner will get the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference postseason, while the second- and third-place teams are almost certain to play each other in the first round.
Just in case the players forget, Wilson's typically detail-oriented staff has posted a spreadsheet outside the locker room with every playoff contender's point total and remaining schedule.
``Absolutely, every single day,'' defenseman Craig Rivet said when asked if he checks the standings. ``Guys are very aware of what's happening. We're in a dogfight to try and get second place. Guys know the repercussions if we don't. We want to be the team that has the home-ice advantage.''
The Sharks seemingly have had every advantage ever since defenseman Brian Campbell arrived from the Buffalo Sabres two games into the winning streak. Campbell, a two-time All-Star and a cornerstone of Buffalo's back-to-back conference finalists, has been even better than San Jose expected. He immediately assumed a lead role on the Sharks' power play, logging heavy minutes and scoring 11 points in 10 games.
Maybe Joe Thornton is rubbing off on him: Campbell is living at his childhood buddy's Silicon Valley home until he finds a place.
``It's easier to play on this team with as much talent as we have,'' Campbell said. ``Everybody on the ice is capable of scoring. I feel pretty fortunate to be in a lineup like that.''
While Campbell was the Sharks' biggest addition, Patrick Marleau seems like a new player as well. After struggling mightily through the first 60 games, Marleau has been outstanding since the trade deadline passed.
He has six goals and three assists in the 10 games since he learned he would stay in teal, including the Sharks' only goal against Edmonton. Marleau insists the trade deadline made no difference to him, even when his departure from his only NHL team seemed to be part of every rumor emanating from Canada.
``He can say that he wasn't worried all he wants,'' Roenick said. ``The fact of the matter is that we all get worried at that time, not just Patty. After it did pass by, I think he did settle down and put those worries out of his mind. This is a game for the free of mind, and if you get cluttered, you're going to look out of place. I think he feels much better for it. Everybody has been waiting for Patty to get going, and he told us he was going to get going, and he has.''
Evgeni Nabokov is likely to get just his third night off all year when the Sharks play at league-worst Los Angeles on Tuesday night, but San Jose has won eight straight road games - after winning 10 straight earlier in the season. The NHL's best road team (25-8-3) is the first club in NHL history with two road winning streaks that long in the same season.
``We've been doing it on the road all season,'' said Jonathan Cheechoo, the Sharks' second-leading goal scorer with 22 after a slow start. ``If we can just start doing it at home consistently, we're going to be a tough matchup for anybody in the playoffs.''
 

NHL Team Pages

Top NHL Public Bets

#1 52 San Jose Sharks 86%
#2 56 Montreal Canadiens 83%
#3 65 Pittsburgh Penguins 74%
#4 71 Washington Capitals 69%
#5 61 Detroit Red Wings 64%
#6 68 Minnesota Wild 64%
#7 63 Chicago Blackhawks 59%
#8 53 Boston Bruins 53%
#9 70 Arizona Coyotes 51%
View All: NFL |  NBA |  NCAAF |  NCAAB |  MLB |  NHL

NHL Futures

NHL TEAM CUP FINALS ODDS CURRENT
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS 6/1
BOSTON BRUINS 10/1
LOS ANGELES KINGS 10/1
MINNESOTA WILD 10/1
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS 12/1
SAN JOSE SHARKS 12/1
ANAHEIM DUCKS 12/1
ST LOUIS BLUES 12/1
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING 14/1
MONTREAL CANADIENS 16/1
View All

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertising | 888-99-SPREAD

THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE – If you think you have a gambling problem click here.

Disclaimer: This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Individual users are responsible for the laws regarding accessing gambling information from their jurisdictions. Many countries around the world prohibit gambling, please check the laws in your location. Any use of this information that may violate any federal, state, local or international law is strictly prohibited.

Copyright: The information contained on TheSpread.com website is protected by international copyright and may not be reproduced, or redistributed in any way without expressed written consent.

About: TheSpread.com is the largest sports betting news site in the United States. We provide point spread news, odds, statistics and information to over 199 countries around the world each year. Our coverage includes all North American College and Professional Sports as well as entertainment, political and proposition wagering news.

©1999-2013 TheSpread.com