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Sharks, Blackhawks Lead NHL West at Quarter Point of Season 19

Posted on November 28, 2009 by Scott Weldon
San Jose Sharks v Vancouver Canucks

Evgeny Nabokov and the San Jose Sharks are off to a hot start.

It’s almost impossible to win a football game in the first quarter. There’s too much time to come back, adjust to the other team, get lucky. A team can lose a game in the first quarter though. They can put themselves in such a deep physical and psychological hole that they won’t be able to climb.

The NHL season is a little like that. Everyone has played at least 21 games out of a total of 82. The early favorites have been established, but who is the best team? That title is still up for grabs. Who is likely to make the playoffs? Well in the new NHL where there’s a point given out every time a team completes their pre-game warm-up that’s still undecided yet.

Who has played themselves out of the playoffs and are likely to be lottery pick drafters, well that I can tell you. The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Carolina Hurricanes and their five wins respectively are out of the playoffs, in November. It’s a neat trick.

How have the teams in the NHL done this first quarter? Lets’ take a look at teams in the Western Conference in the order they’re in now.

San Jose Sharks
GP: 26   W: 16   L: 6   OT: 4   PTS: 36    WPCT: .692   GF:87    GA: 69

The Sharks are off to a great start. They’re tied with Washington as the best offensive team in the league.

The revamped line-up featuring a first class sniper, Dany Heatley, and the leagues best set-up man, Joe Thornton, is thriving. Patrick Marleau had a great season last year and is looking to do better this year. The injury to Devin Setoguchi hasn’t slowed the team at all. Evgeny Nabokov is shouldering the goaltending load in San Jose and doing it well with a 2.19 goals against average and a .926 save percentage. Throw in Canadian Olympian point man Dan Boyle and all seems rosy in Sharktown.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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