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Sports Then and Now



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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