Despite the noticeable absence of Raffi Torres, the Sharks sailed to only their third victory over the Kings since their elimination from the 2014 playoffs. This time, it was a 5-1 victory, made possible only by Joonas Donskoi’s early-third period ‘goal’ that ensured the Sharks would finally go up 4 on the Kings.
Speaking of the Kings, they must not have heard José Mourinho, because they let loose this second-period banter:
Coming back from a deficit of 3 against the Sharks? It has been done before.
— LA Kings (@LAKings) October 8, 2015
That was seen as hilarious by those in SoCal and butthurt by Northerners.
Martin Jones had a solid outing against his former team, sporting a .950 save percentage and demonstrating that the Sharks’ strategy of nabbing goaltenders from other teams’ benches works at least some of the time.
As for the Sharks’ offense, Tomas Hertl scored a power play goal that probably helped my fantasy team more than it did San Jose while Thornton, Pavelski, and Burns showed that, while their leadership may be questionable, they will be the ones keeping the goal light flashing at SAP Center.
The aforementioned third period had some interesting, sin-bin-filling moments on both sides, not the least of which came when Milan Lucic earned a match penalty for shoving poor, innocent Logan Couture into the bench. Not that Couture had just flipped him or anything. Mike Brown also seems to be returning to his role as enforcer, with a solid penalty minutes / time on ice ratio of 1.1.
Overall, the Sharks continued their trend of beating the Kings by 4 in their home opener, and look primed for another decent season.
And since this is sports journalism, we can’t forget to include a sensationalized statistic based on insufficient data. So, courtesy of BASTA Stats & Info, the Sharks are projected to go 79-3, which will probably be enough to earn them the President’s Trophy and a new set of clubs for when they head out to the golf course after losing in the first round of the playoffs. That is, if there’s any water left in California to water the course.
Cover Image: San Jose Sharks’ Joe Pavelski, left, celebrates his goal with teammates during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015, in Los Angeles. The Sharks won 5-1. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)