The San Jose Sharks took five out of the possible six points on their three-game road trip as they swam all across the country. Different defensive combinations, phenomenal point streaks and strong special teams play highlight the Sharks performances in one of the toughest short journeys away from SAP Center.
The San Jose Sharks should give themselves a pat on the back after battling through tough road tests against the Nashville Predators, Carolina Hurricanes and Anaheim Ducks.
Now standing tall with a 6-3-2 record and sitting atop the Pacific Division, the San Jose Sharks went on the road, in what was one of the biggest challenges to overcome in the young 2018-2019 season.
The road trip kicked off with a smackdown in Smashville. The Sharks and the Predators, two defensively-dominating Western Conference teams, clashed in high-scoring affair at Bridgestone Arena. In a furious final 20 minutes of play , the San Jose Sharks stormed back with three goals to defeat the reigning Presidents Trophy winners 5-4.
Their third road victory of the season marked the first time since October 25, 2011 that the San Jose Sharks had stolen a regulation win from the Predators in their arena. It was a tremendous performance, as head coach Peter DeBoer’s group restructured and finally showed an edge in the third period – something that had been absent through a handful of games into the season.
The Sharks trekked to Raleigh where the top two teams with the highest shot totals per game (CAR: 41.5 Shots/GP and SJ: 37.7 Shots/GP) piled on even more bullets to their impressive accumulations.
In an electric atmosphere at PNC Arena, the San Jose Sharks started out strong, jumping out to an early 2-0 lead. However, the Hurricanes, known for rallying late this year, did exactly that and knotted the game up in the third.
Luckily, Aaron Dell muscled out the barrage of attacks late in the contest. The Sharks settled with a shootout loss, but to no dismay, they held their ground when they need be and it served well to get the one point in all of the drama at the end.
Lastly, the San Jose Sharks came back West confidently for round 2 of Duck Hunt, hungry for revenge after Anaheim spoiled the home opener and San Jose Sharks debut of Erik Karlsson. Timo Meier’s OT thrilling goal was so sweet, putting the cherry on top of the road trip. The overall performance reminded me of the team that swept the Ducks in last year’s first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
San Jose dominated in all facets of the game, despite two lucky breaks to newly-acquired forward Pontus Aberg. The Sharks managed to score four times past Vezina candidate John Gibson, who tried his best to keep the Ducks in the thick of the game. However, team teal prevailed with the 4-3 victory in overtime and successfully secured five points for the happy flight back home and reassured for the upcoming four-game homestand.