The San Jose Sharks took a positive step forward Saturday night
with a 3-0 win over Vancouver, but still have a long ways to
The San Jose Sharks took a positive step forward Saturday night with a 3-0 win over Vancouver as the second half started, but still have a long ways to go if they are to get to the playoffs especially after a 3-2 loss Monday at Los Angeles, who has lost 9 of 11 games.
The Sharks received a strong effort from backup goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff in both games.
Kiprusoff, who began the season with a bumpy start, was perfect for the Sharks Saturday.
“We still expect to make the playoff, and that is the way we have to play,” said Kiprusoff, who is 2-6.
But in order to do that, the Sharks will need at least 90 points to sneak in. The Sharks, who are currently at the bottom of the Pacific Division with 41 points, need to put together four or five game wins streaks in the second half.
San Jose is now two points behind Los Angeles and is tied with Phoenix.
But they also have to worry about catching some of the other teams in their conference. The top eight teams from each conference go on.
“We got to put together a great second half, and that started tonight,” said coach Ron Wilson after the game Saturday. “We have a very good chance of making the playoffs if we play consistent hockey the remaining 40 games.”
In the Western Conference, only Nashville and Calgary, who both have 37 points, are worse than the Sharks.
In the Eastern Conference, there are also just two teams worse than the Sharks. That means that San Jose is tied with two other teams for forth worse in the NHL.
San Jose has improved its record in each of the past six seasons, starting with 47 points in the 1996-97 season and ending with 99 points last season. Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Dean Lombardi was one only two executives to guide his team to improvement over six consecutive campaigns.
Inconsistency has plagued the Sharks this year, and the team hasn’t been able to put together any win streaks longer than two games this season.
“Momentum isn’t in just one game although it helps because you have a starting point and a rallying point,” Wilson said after the game Saturday. “Now we go on the road, and we want to bring the same game with us.”
The Sharks got some work to do to make sure they are not one of the seven conference teams that goes home at the end of the season.