San Jose Sharks Win Two Games Over Division Rivals

February 4th, 2011 by MJ Kasprzak Leave a reply »
On back-to-back nights, the San Jose Sharks showed they are still the team to beat in the Pacific Division.

After falling down 3-0 and pulling goalie Antti Niemi, they found a way to score five unanswered goals in the final 20:08 of Tuesday's game against the Phoenix Coyotes. This exemplified why at the All-Star break, I predicted the Sharks to rise to the fourth-best record in the West and the Coyotes to fall to eighth.

It all comes down to talent. As the games become more important, teams with superior talent usually rise above over-achievers because they start to match the intensity and work ethic of those squads. It is one of the reasons the Sharks have been in the top 20 percent of the league in each of the last six seasons from March on.

It also may be one reason they are barely over .500 in the playoffs—bad habits are learned, as is the idea that they can always turn on the switch. But that is a matter for another day.

In the first game back from the All-Star break, and the Sharks' last home game before their seven-game road trip, they played flat. They were being outshot 27-17 when coach Todd McLellan made the switch in ...

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