SAN JOSE During their recent run of success, in which the Sharks have just one regulation loss in their last 10 games (8-1-1), the team has faced some of the NHLs best netminders. A closer look reveals that five of those eight wins have come against clubs in the Top 10 in the league in goals-against (through games of Nov. 10).
Heres the breakdown, thanks to CSN stats wizard Darin Stephens:
Team - GAA (NHL rank) - Result (Goals for)
Minnesota - 1.82 (2nd) - W (3)
NY Rangers - 2.01 (3rd) - L (2)
Pittsburgh - 2.07 (4th) - Shootout W (3)
Los Angeles - 2.20 (5th) - W (4)
Boston - 2.34 (8th) - W (4)
Detroit - 2.37 (10th) - W (4)
Ironically enough, the only loss in that group came to Rangers backup Martin Biron not starter Henrik Lundqvist. The five goaltenders to suffer losses to San Jose were Niklas Backstrom (Minnesota), Marc-Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh), Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles), Tim Thomas (Boston) and Jimmy Howard (Detroit).
No question, some of the NHLs best.
Sharks forward Ryane Clowe admitted on Friday that the team may get a little extra charge up from facing the better goalies in the league.
You kind of take it as a challenge, especially when you see them getting some shutouts and shutting out other teams. You dont want that to happen, said Clowe.
Is there a different strategy involved in facing the star netminders?
Usually, when a goalie is hot, what you talk about is that youre not going to score on the first opportunity, its a lot of second and third opportunities. Sometimes you have to get lucky, too, like Patty when you get a rebound and skate into it (against Minnesota on Thursday). Mostly, its going to take probably 40 shots and a lot of second opportunities.