It was a season to remember for Sharks territory. With the new year coming around and the Sharks nearing the midway point of the 2013-14 season, let’s take some time and reflect on the 5 most memorable moments for the Sharks in 2013.
5. Dan Boyle Goes Coast-to-Coast
We all know that Dan Boyle thrives on the power play. But this sick power play goal shows his power play expertise even more.
Boyle picks up the puck behind the Sharks goal line, stick handles until the Minnesota Wild’s blue line, then burns Ryan Sutter between his legs, skates in alone, and completely dekes out Nicklas Backstrom for the Sharks’ second goal of the game.
4. Consecutive 6-0-0 starts to the season
Life is good when the Sharks are winning. In two consecutive seasons this year (the shortened one and the current 2013-14 one) the Sharks have been the last remaining undefeated team. These hot starts made franchise
history for the fastest start to a Sharks season. The previous record was 5-0-0 set in the 2008-09 season when the team won the Presidents trophy.
That was not the only record that was set, however. Patrick Marleau, in the beginning of the shortened season, became only the second player in the last century to have 4 consecutive 2-goal games. The last person to
achieve this unbelievable feat was Ottawa’s Cy Denneny in 1917-18.
Unfortunately, after the shortened season’s streak, the Sharks would go on to lose a lot of games after their hot start and fall out of playoff position for a while. However, they would finish the season out in strong fashion to lock in as the 6th seed in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Oh well, it was good while it lasted.
3. Brent Burns’ first career hat-trick
Brent Burns was once a defenseman. But that seems like a long time ago as he has been playing forward ever since Todd McLellan promoted him to the top-line on March 12th in an attempt to kickstart the slumping Sharks. He scored a goal that night against the St. Louis Blues, which is kind of ironic considering what happened a couple of weeks ago, this season.
In Burns’ 4th game back from a 12 game break due to injury, he potted his first career NHL hat-trick against the Blues. The Sharks went on to win the game 6-3 at the SAP Center. Even when Burns got back to his house, there were hats littering his driveway.
2. First sweep in franchise history
This one felt good, really good. The Sharks came into this series as the 6th seeded underdogs and pretty much put on a clinic against the Vancouver Canucks. The Sharks tore apart Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider in net and went on to win 4 straight games, backed by strong performances from Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture.
Game 1 in Vancouver saw the Sharks concede the first goal of the series to Kevin Bieksa. Team Teal would then explode for 3 unanswered goals to win the game 3-1.
Splitting the two away games was already good enough for the Sharks, however, Raffi Torres wasn’t going to accept “good enough.” At 5:31 he buried the OT winner from a perfect pass from Brent Burns on the 2 on 1 rush to send the Sharks back to the Shark Tank up 2-0 in the series.
In games 3 and 4 the Sharks, motivated by the rowdy HP Pavilion crowd, didn’t slow down. Game 3 was a 5-2 blowout and game 4 was a 4-3 OT win for the Sharks. The series winning goal came from Patrick Marleau in the first overtime period while Daniel Sedin was in the box for boarding Tommy Wingels.
1. Tomas Hertl: “This is dream”
In the 9-2 trouncing of the New York Rangers, Tomas Hertl, at only 19 years of age and in only his 3rd ever National Hockey League game, felt the need to score 4 goals in a single game. In only the game before, a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks, Tomas Hertl scored his 1st and 2nd NHL goals. The 4 goal game made him the youngest player since Jimmy Carson in 1988 to score 4 in one game. As if this moment wasn’t already good enough, Hertl’s mother and girlfriend were in the stands to see it all.
Most players only dream about scoring an NHL hat trick, however, Hertl did not stop his surge after 3 goals. Not only did he score again on another breakaway, but his fourth goal was a goal that will never be forgotten. If you haven’t seen it then you are missing out, it was a beauty. Hertl received a pass from Jason Demers, who was at the Sharks blue line. Hertl skated by a defender and found himself in a 1-on-1 with the Ranger’s goalie. He put his stick between his legs and roofed the puck.
One could only expect that a goal this awesome would have some nay-sayers. That it did. Adam Oates, head coach of the Washington Capitals, was the first to express his discontent with Hertl’s fourth goal:
I think it was a little bit of a mood thing, which I’m sure they talked about, because they didn’t play him after that. I’m glad the coach did that because this league, it will bite you if you’re not sharp. Don’t disrespect the league. I’m sure it was a rookie mistake.”
When all is said and done, nothing can be said to go against the fact that this was a sensational goal, a sensational night, and the most memorable moment in the 2013 Sharks campaign.
There they are, the top 5 moments from 2013. January 1st will open a new chapter in San Jose Sharks history, may it be as memorable as this one.