Sharks Begin Longest Home Stand

The Sharks Are On Their Longest Home Stand of the Season

Wednesday, 03.02.2011 / 7:32 PM / News
By San Jose Sharks Staff
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Sharks Begin Longest Home Stand
Colorado Avalanche Milan Hejduk, left, and San Jose Sharks' Ian White battle for the puck during the third period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, March 1, 2011, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
The San Jose Sharks have played a National Hockey League-leading 35 road games (tied with Nashville) and are an impressive 24-11-3. Conversely, the 29 home games played at HP Pavilion are the fewest in the NHL (also tied with Nashville). Now that March is here, it’s time for the schedule to balance out and it began with Tuesday’s 2-1 shootout victory against Colorado.

San Jose is in the early stages of a six-game homestand with runs through March 12 and is the first home stretch of more than three games since a five-game run in November. The Sharks have played well at home so far this year, going 16-10-3. But they’re looking to put a little more bite into their home ice advantage down the stretch.

“We have to establish our game at home and figure out what works,” Douglas Murray said. “What works right now is working hard and playing simple.”

In short, playing the road game at home. It can be easier said that done, but all the Sharks have to do is maintain the current formula.

“We get most of the games at home this month which is fun to play in front of all our fans,” Devin Setoguchi said. “We did a great job being on the road and getting wins, but now we have to play in front of our own fans and get some wins. It’s always exciting to come back and play at the Tank.”

The boisterous HP Pavilion crowds are part of the reason the Sharks love playing in San Jose and there’s a part of each player that wants to reward them. That being said, they can’t alter their style and start doing things outside of what they’ve been practicing.

San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi, right, looks to block the shot of Colorado Avalanche Matt Duchene in a shootout during an NHL hockey game Tuesday, March 1, 2011, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
“You want to play good for the fans, but we have to stick with our game and to what’s working,” Setoguchi said. “If we can do that at home, we’ll continue getting wins.”

“We’ve got to keep playing simple and working hard,” Antti Niemi said. “We’ve got enough talent if we keep working hard.”

San Jose’s players want to play like they did on the road, but they can’t assume it will happen.

“Big to win in those buildings, some tough buildings to play in,” Coach Todd McLellan said of the wins in Detroit, Pittsburgh and Calgary. “It’s pretty rewarding, but that’s behind us now. The danger now is we get home, get comfortable and take our foot off the gas. That would be unacceptable.”

There’s a reason teams fight all year for home ice advantage and the regular season numbers shade to the host each night. Still there can be pitfalls on native soil.

“There’s the danger of coming home and relaxing,” McLellan said. “You’re in a comfortable environment. You’re eating your food and sleeping in your bed. Around town people are telling you things are going well. That can be dangerous. If we’ve taken anything from early in the season, we should be able to block that out.”

San Jose Sharks' Devin Setoguchi (16) celebrates with teammates at the end of an NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011, in San Jose, Calif. Setoguichi scored his first career hat trick. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
The homestand continues Thursday with Detroit coming to town. There’s a chance the Sharks could finish the evening two points behind the Red Wings for second in the conference or sit six points behind their rival depending on tonight’s Detroit-Anaheim game at Honda Center.

That contest is followed by Dallas (who had been leading the Pacific Division for most of the season), Nashville (fighting for a playoff spot), Vancouver (leading the NHL) and the New York Rangers (the only Eastern Conference visitor the rest of the season).

It should be a fun first half of March for Sharks fans anxious to see more of their team in person.

SEVEN HEAVEN
San Jose’s seven-game winning streak is their longest of the season.

NEXT GAME
Tickets for Thursday’s 7:30 p.m. match with Detroit can be found at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com. The game will be on CSN California, KFOX 98.5/102.1 FM and sjsharks.com.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 82 41 38 23 79
J. Thornton 82 11 65 20 76
P. Marleau 82 33 37 0 70
L. Couture 65 23 31 21 54
B. Burns 69 22 26 26 48
T. Wingels 77 16 22 11 38
D. Boyle 75 12 24 -8 36
J. Demers 75 5 29 14 34
T. Hertl 37 15 10 11 25
M. Nieto 66 10 14 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Stalock 12 5 2 .932 1.87
A. Niemi 39 17 7 .913 2.39
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