The San Jose Sharks are not known for being a physical, hard-hitting team and they proved that Tuesday night in a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto out-hit the Sharks 56-19 during the game, but San Jose played its game to secure the victory.
The Sharks didn’t hit the ice head-hunting as the Maple Leafs did, but were still able to earn its sixth win in a row. Think about suffering almost 40 more hits than your opposition and needing to somehow bounce back for goals. San Jose was able to brush off the hits and focus its physicality on scoring goals.
After San Jose allowed Toronto to score two goals early in the second period to tie the game at two all, Brad Stuart stepped up by sending the puck off a defenseman’s skate and into the net. Center Joe Pavelski helped manufacture the goal by creating havoc in front of Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer.
Maybe it was the amount of hits Toronto was delivering to San Jose, maybe it was the two goals Toronto scored early in the second, but somehow the Sharks were able to wake up and earn the win.
Regardless of how it happened, San Jose debuted another way it knows how to win. The usually tough power play kill unit of San Jose allowed two in the second period. The Sharks battled through adversity between the hits and the pair of power play goals and did whatever that needed to happen in order to extend their win streak.
Now, the power play goals are a bit of an eye-opener, but San Jose looks like its playing its best hockey of the season.