Friday, October 5, 2007

Sharks 3, Canucks 1

Now that's more like it.

Jeremy Roenick took a quantum leap toward No. 500, scoring twice as the Sharks exorcised any demons that lingered from the team's shootout loss to the Oilers the night before.

Stifling defensive play, exceptional goaltending from Nabokov and keenly capitalizing on their chances lead San Jose to a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks, placing the Sharks (albeit prematurely) first in the Western Conference. There's still room for improvement, however, as the team's power play -- its strong suit for much of last season -- looked poor, going 0-for-7, although Roenick's first goal was less than a second after a four-minute man advantage. San Jose could also be accused of taking the foot off the gas early in the 3rd period.

Torrey Mitchell registered his first NHL point on that Roenick tally, and has easily been one of the team's best forwards through two games, even with Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau playing excellent hockey. Douglas Murray has also cemented himself as the team's 6th defenseman. After displaying his physicality during a fight with Raffi Torres in Edmonton, Murray registered a career-high two assists against the Canucks, along with his patented brand of gritty play.

Looking towards Sunday's contest against Colorado, the Sharks will probably looking for Jonathan Cheechoo, who has so far been the weak link of the team's phenomenal top line, to contribute a little more on the scoresheet. Milan Michalek's production should also improve if his linemates Mitchell and Roenick continue to make an impact.

Three Stars:
1. Jeremy Roenick: 2G, 0A, +1
2. Evgeni Nabokov: 22S, 1GA
3. Douglas Murray: 0G, 2A, +3, 20:20TOI

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