This past off-season, the Sharks acquired Ryan Donato in exchange for a third-round pick.
The latest back to back for the Sharks was against the Minnesota Wild, a recent trade partner for the team teal as they brought in Ryan Donato.
It is clear that he had some hurt feelings about the move, and his play made that clear as he returned to the Xcel Energy Center. In his first game against the Wild, he was frustrated, as he was able to get off five shots with no goals to show for it.
This led to him being held to just one goal and zero assists to start the year. But that all changed in the second game of the back to back.
He clocked in his most points of the season, with a combination of one goal and one assist. Paving the way as the best offensive player in a 5-3 victory.
The game was a huge confidence booster for both the 24-year old forward and his new team.
During Donato’s post-game interview, he put a very positive and tactful spin on his second goal of the season.
“I think it felt better knowing that I had so many opportunities the past couple games and didn’t score,” Donato said. “It’s funny how sometimes the ones that are least expected go in, I was just happy.”
He continued by commenting on team morale as they advance after a confidence-boosting win.
“This [boosted morale] a lot. Sometimes when things aren’t going well things can pretty negative,” Donato said. “To finally have a positive outlook on the team. To know that if we play a certain way we can win and have fun, it’s definitely a fun outlook.”
“Playing with those guys, it’s just a matter of learning each others tendencies and feeding off each other,” Donato said. “The more games we play… the better we’re going to get. Hopefully we’ll create more chances and be a line that can play in defensive situations as well.”
As Donato and the Sharks look forward to the next upcoming games, it is clear that this win was absolutely crucial.
The team will now head to Denver for a back to back against the Colorado Avalanche. Then return to their makeshift home at Gila River Arena to have a back to back against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Facing off against two teams with some of the deepest runs in the NHL bubble will be no easy task.
But currently, the Sharks are in a good spot with six points on the season. Positioning themselves in a four-way tie with the Avs, the Kings, and the Ducks.
Should they beat Colorado Avalanche tomorrow, the Sharks could seize the opportunity to solidify themselves somewhere in the top-four in the newly formed Honda West division.
The expectation of sweeping the Avs in the Pepsi Center is unrealistic, but should the team split the mini-series like they’ve done all season. San Jose should be in good shape traveling back to Arizona.