Joe Thornton must have read my blog (yeah right) when I called him out for being a minus-9 on the season and in need of stepping up as a captain. Wednesday night, at ‘The Tank’, he did just that. Jumbo Joe had three goals and assist and the big trio – Thornton, Dany Heatley, and Patrick Marleau – combined for 13 points as the Sharks rolled over the listless New Jersey Devils 5-2 on Wednesday night.
The Devils, who are winless on the road, looked as if they would rather be watching the World Series than playing a hockey game – completely leaving Martin Broduer out to dry. Ilya Kovalchuk looked, to me, like the most lazy hockey player I had seen in a while. Zero interest in battling for pucks, going into corners, covering his man, and never coming close to finishing a check – he floats so much that if he were on a boat, he wouldn’t need a lifevest. Pretty disappointing and must be frustrating for Devils fans, players, and coaches.
Though it was a big win and the Sharks played for 60 minutes, I wouldn’t exactly call this a breakthrough for them. It was a good start though.
It seems obvious that the Sharks have found their starter in Antero Niittymaki who looked solid against the limited offense the Devils were able to produce. Niitty stood his ground and did a very nice job covering low shots. His defensemen also did a better job in simplifying their game.
The Sharks will face the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night at HP Pavilion where Anaheim is 2-5-0 this season on the road.
About the Author
Written by Alex Wasserstrom
Native Californian, former minor league pro, and current men's league superstar, Alex Wasserstrom is ProSportsBlogging.com's San Jose Sharks correspondent. Wanna talk puck? Shoot him an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or follow him on Twitter (@Awassers).