The San Jose Sharks remain one of the top road teams in the NHL with 20 victories this season.
With their defeat at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night, the San Jose Sharks wrapped up the road portion of their schedule against Eastern Conference opposition. While the loss to the Hurricanes was certainly a disappointment, the Sharks finished the year as one of the best teams on the road against the East.
As Darin Stephens points out, San Jose concluded the season by winning 12 of their 16 matchups against Eastern Conference teams in their own barns.
That’s a pretty impressive feat considering the Sharks have had to make four trips into the Eastern time zone this season which can wear down a team from the West Coast.
Despite the amount of miles logged, San Jose continued to perform at their peak when facing the opposite conference in their home arenas. The Sharks defeated the top four teams in the Atlantic Division, including a pair of victories over the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers on this current trip.
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Furthermore, San Jose picked up their first road win of the season in the East by taking down the best team in the NHL, the Washington Capitals, by a 5-0 margin. While that was eye-opening, nothing was as impressive as the Sharks run through the Eastern Conference in mid-November.
San Jose set a new franchise record by sweeping all six games of their Eastern Conference swing from Nov. 13 through Nov. 22. What a performance from team teal, winning six contests in 10 days, including two sets of back-to-backs.
That was the road trip which helped forge the identity for this Sharks team where they knew they could compete with any team despite being on the road.
For the season, San Jose remains one of the top teams in the entire NHL away from home ice as their 20 victories are the most in the Western Conference and tied for second in the league.
The Sharks are a better all-around team on the road as their 2.94 goals for away from SAP Center ranks fourth in the league, while their 2.58 goals against is tied for ninth.
Another key reason for San Jose’s success has been the play of their goaltender on the road. Martin Jones has recorded 18 of his 28 victories away from home ice, and he had a nine-game win streak against Eastern Conference opponents snapped by Carolina. He’s put up outstanding numbers in away contests with a 2.25 goals-against-average and a .922 save percentage.
Despite ending on a sour note against the Hurricanes, the Sharks ability to win games on the road, especially against Eastern Conference opposition, has allowed them to find themselves in a good position for the postseason.
Now, San Jose must continue their strong play against Western Conference opposition and make sure to handle their business when they do return to the Shark Tank. It was an impressive season for the Sharks on the road against the Eastern Conference, but they need to make that hard work pay off down the stretch.