12/11 SHARKS 4, phoenix 0
When the Sharks played the Coyotes the first time, a blowout was expected. Even though it took them until the second time around, it was nice to see the Sharks play up to expectations. Joe Pavelski scored his 5th goal in nine career NHL games, and both Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau had 3 assists a piece as the Sharks finally stuck it to CuJo big time. Steve Bernier, Curtis Brown, and Milan Michalek also scored for the Sharks.
Curtis Joseph, a man who seemingly is older than dirt, and apparently plays only better than that when facing the Teal, has about 800 career victories (not terribly true) against the Sharks, and, if my memory serves me correctly (which I'm pretty sure that it doesn't), he hadn't allowed four goals in every game combined against the Sharks (also not very true). The Sharks put up 34 shots against the man who provided the name for Stephen King's killer dog (bad attempt at humor, poking at Joseph's age again), 22 of those in the first period. If CuJo hadn't allowed four goals playing behind the depleted Phoenix defense, he would have been the number one star of this game. Thankfully, for all Shark fans, he did allow four goals, and Vesa Toskala made 23 saves for his 14th win, and 3rd of the shutout variety.
Whether it's because of their poor record or their poor history, the Phoenix Coyotes had a very small contingent in the Arena on this night, which was too bad for all the drunken "Sharks fans" who would have spent the evening heckling them. When in Phoenix, it's clear the fan support is there, but, possibly due to the fact that it was a Monday, I saw but one 'Yote jersey last night.
The Sharks take a brief break from their home stand to visit a SoCal rival when they finish this back-to-back on Tuesday with a 7:30 meeting with the Los Angeles Kings. This is the 4th meeting between the teams, 3rd meeting at Staples, with the Sharks holding the season edge 2 games to 1. With the Sharks seemingly on the way up, and the Kings continuing their slide to the basement, this is another game that the Sharks have won, on paper that is. However, as Sharks fans know all too well, an inferior opponent is often met with a Sharks inferior effort. Here's to a strong showing that would bring a three-game winning streak back to the Tank on Thursday.
Go Sharks (go effort)