Pardon the completely obvious statement in the title. The past week for the Sharks has been one of the better since the beginning of this roller coaster of a season. Getting a win the previous week following a season-high six-game losing streak, they were looking to put together the ever-elusive winning streak and prevent their fanbase from collapsing into a tear-strewn reality that doesn't include a playoff hunt. Well, they got it done, and in exciting fashion.
A 4-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes that saw Logan Couture, perhaps the best Shark this year, net the game-winner in the second period was the game that officially put them on their streak that remains today. It was Patrick Marlaeu's 1,000th career game - all of them with the San Jose Sharks. Antti Niemi was the goalie and he played solid, stopping 34 in the win. It has thus far served as a turning point for San Jose.
The next game was monumental for the Sharks, taking on the Vancouver Canucks, one of the hottest teams in the NHL. Antti Niemi was in net again, and only gave up one goal on 37 shots. Logan Couture scored San Jose's goal in regulation, making a steal and scoring off his own rebound. It's a demonstration of his playmaking ability that is perhaps the biggest bright spark for the Sharks this season. The goal took them into the shutout, where Joe Pavelski scored and pout the Canucks away with a 2-1 loss.
Fellow goaltender Antero Niittymaki was placed on injured reserve, though Niemi had conceivably taken the "starting" role for his own prior to it.
Lastly, we had the Minnesota Wild coming into town, and this showed that the Sharks could still win a good ol' shootout, taking home the 4-3 win off a pair of Devin Setoguchi goals. Setoguchi played very intense hockey throughout the game. Guess who else happened to score? If you said "Logan Couture," pat yourself on the back because you'd be right. He opened up the scoring in the first period with a devastating wrister.
Coming up this week is a lone showdown with the Los Angeles Kings, a team who has fallen far since the beginning of the season, but is no less dangerous because of it. The Pacific Division remains open, and San Jose's current streak is like assurance to fans who have become spoiled with the certainty of playoff hockey: they need to take out the Kings before two more division games the following week.
Check back throughout the week for more updates regarding the Sharks and opponents.