By: Sean Vernon
The San Jose Sharks continue to exceed expectations, winning their third straight to start the season with a 5-0 victory over the Ovechkin-less Washington Capitals.
Everything seems to be going well for the Sharks so far. Martin Jones has let in only one goal in three games, and has not allowed any since the season opener. On the offensive side of things, the Sharks have been playing with more aggression than a Raffi Torres forecheck, with nine different players scoring so far this year – everyone from Joe Thornton to Mike Brown seems to be finding the back of the net. Overall, they are playing beautiful hockey, making smart defensive plays and scoring on an incredible 1 out of every 9 shots, leading to the best goal differential in the league at +11.
Today’s game was no exception. Five players contributed scores (although two were garbage-time empty-netters) and Jones was perfect in net. However, there were flashes of luck that aided the Sharks to their shutout win, as two Washington goals were waved off- one due to the goal coming out of place, and one on a San Jose challenge of goaltender interference that led to a goal being overturned. These, of course, were not popular decisions amongst Caps fans:
— Connor Barron (@BadMoonBarron) October 14, 2015
Peter DeBoer showed that he would not be afraid to use his challenge in the case of the second overturned goal, which ended up paying off well for the Sharks. Hopefully this sets a precedent of good coaching decisions that DeBoer will live up to the rest of this year, as the Sharks are desperately in need of a wise leader to push them past round 1 of the playoffs. In any case, it annoyed Capitals fans, which is never a bad thing.
The Sharks are also seeing smart play from their veterans. Joe Thornton doesn’t look a day over 30, and Brent Burns dove to the ice with gusto to stop a Capitals 3 on 1:
Joe Pavelski is also displaying flashes of brilliance, including this beautiful behind-the-back pass to set up a Joe Thornton goal:
And who can forget Martin Jones, with this beautiful save to stop both the shot and the rebound:
The highlight-reel Sharks travel next to New Jersey, to see if any of the New York-area teams can force them to start regressing to the mean.
Cover Image: San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl (48), of the Czech Republic, celebrates his goal against the Washington Capitals during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)