November 1st: 4-1 Win at San Jose
The annual California road trip has become less and less intimidating over the years. Both the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks have taken steps back over the years so two thirds of the trip gets easier for teams.
But the San Jose Sharks are still a daunting team and beating them in the Shark Tank is tough. They have a great goalie, the best defensive corps in the NHL, and a great forward unit that can certainly carry the Sharks to the Cup.
But the Jackets played an excellent game in the Shark tank to open their California trip and took down the Cup contenders, 4-1.
Sergei Bobrovsky put on his best performance to date with 44 saves on 45 shots from San Jose. He allowed a Kevin Labanc goal midway through the first period and shut out the Sharks for the next 48 minutes.
Although the Jackets didn’t score on the power play, they did play well on the penalty kill and offensively took advantage of their limited opportunities at five on five. Although they only had 26 shots on goal, they had excellent high danger chances that turned into goals.
They also were able to shut the door in the final two minutes of the game despite a Riley Nash penalty that gave the Sharks a 6-4 advantage with the goalie pulled. Josh Anderson closed the door though with the shorthanded, empty net goal to seal the 4-1 win.
Although the Sharks were still trying to gel with their new addition in superstar Erik Karlsson and weren’t quite humming along at 100%, the win was impressive. It would be remembered much better if the Jackets didn’t put forth a terrible performance two nights later in Los Angeles, but it was a good win against a great team.