Support TheFeeder, visit our sponsors
  HOSER of the WEEK
  Contact Us
  Meet the Staff
  Join the Team
  Our Sponsors

Sharks knock off Leafs
SJ rallies to win second straight
12/3/05 - by Derick Bellamy

For fear of having to face him themselves, The Boston Bruins didn't want to trade Joe Thornton to another Eastern Conference team. The last two nights almost make it seem as though they deliberately sent the star center to a team about to play two Northeast Division (which Boston is last in) opponents. San Jose, forgetting their recent ten-game losing streak, won their second straight in two days Saturday while visiting Toronto, following Friday's victory in Buffalo. Thornton, who played his first game for The Sharks on Friday, had two assists in each contest.

Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, who almost shutout The Sabers Friday but left due to injury halfway through the third, wasn't in action. Vesa Toskala played instead of Nabokov or the other back up, Nolan Schaefer, who had finished off the 5-0 victory against Buffalo Friday.

San Jose opened the scoring up again at 4:10 into the first Saturday against The Leafs. Defenseman Scott Hannan made the tally, assisted by forwards Patrick Marleau and Grant Stevenson.

Less than two minutes later, Leafs' captain Mats Sundin, who's used to rivaling Thornton as a high-scoring forward, scored at 05:51, and from then on in the first it was all Toronto. Eric Lindros and Matt Stajan scored at 9:26 and 10:44, providing The Leafs with a 3-1 lead. Toronto out-shot San Jose 12-4 in the period.

Things turned around in the second period when Stajan received a hooking minor at 3:43. Marleau and the new Thornton continued to prove themselves as a power play combination when Marleau took an assist from Joe and scored, to bring The Sharks within one. Former Leaf Alyn McCauley tied it 3-3 at 08:51, and Mark Smith put San Jose ahead by one with a short-handed turn-around goal at 11:46. Nick Dimitrakos had an assist on both of the previous two.

The Sharks continued to put the pressure on in the third, while goaltender Ed Belfour kept Toronto in the game. Alyn McCauley tried to wrap it up by scoring his second of the night with under six minutes left at 14:15 in, putting San Jose ahead 5 to 3.

Leafs forward Jason Allison picked the puck up from behind the goal and sent it into the apparently open part of the net with under three minutes left, while Vesa Toskala was paying attention to the other side. The Sharks goaltender was barely able to throw his stick over and get it in front just as the puck was entering. The Toronto forwards threw their hands up, but the referee signaled that it wasn't a goal. However, the play went under video review and it was later decided that it did count, putting Toronto within one. From an overhead view the puck appeared be wedged right between the goal line and Toskala's stick.

Toronto kept The Sharks in queue for the rest of the game. A penalty to Joe Thornton for delay-of-game for purposely throwing the puck into the stands with 35 seconds left, along with Toronto pulling their goalie, put San Jose into a 6-on-4 situation. Toronto tried to tie it but The Sharks cleared the puck twice in the last half-minute of the game and hung on to win it 5-4.

San Jose and Boston have each won two games since the Thornton trade. The rest of The Sharks, who were one of the lowest scoring teams in the league, have been playing better as well, scoring 5 in each of the last two contests, two of each being from a Thornton assist.

"I think it took the trade to wake up (the) guys," McCauley said. "If we don't shape up and do the things that we are capable of doing, new faces are going to be in and the old faces are going to be somewhere else."

"We had a slow start in the first but the boys played great in the second and third. It's another good two points for us," Thornton said.

Mats Sundin's assist on Tucker's goal was his 769th point in Toronto, putting him one ahead of Borje Salming on The Leafs' all-time list. Ed Belfour could have moved into full control of second place, ahead of Terry Sawchuk, on the all-time NHL netminder wins list. But because Toronto lost, he remains tied with Terry at 447. They both trail Patrick Roy, who is the only goalie in NHL history with more than 500.

San Jose is now only 4 points behind Anaheim, who has played one more game, in the Pacific Division. They hope that the chemistry between Thornton and the rest of the team will endure and bring them out of last in the division. The Sharks are back home on Tuesday to play the visiting Atlanta Thrashers, and will follow that with 3 more straight Home games before going into Anaheim on Sunday December 18th. Despite the 10-game losing streak, San Jose is still 4-3-2 at home, and Tuesday will be Joe Thornton's home debut.

What did you think of this article? Post your comments on the Feeder Forums

What did you think of this game? Post your comments on the Feeder Forums
1 2 3 T
SJ 1 4 1 5
TOR 3 0 1 4
1st period - 1, San Jose, Hannan 2 (Marleau, Stevenson), 4:10. 2, Toronto, Tucker 12 (Sundin, Steen), 5:51. 3, Toronto, Lindros 11 (Steen, Allison), 9:26. 4, Toronto, Stajan 4 (Colaiacovo, Wellwood), 10:14.
2nd period - 5, San Jose, Marleau 11 (J.Thornton), 5:34, (pp). 6, San Jose, McCauley 5 (Marleau, Dimitrakos), 8:51. 7, San Jose, Smith 3 (Dimitrakos), 11:46, (sh).
3rd period - 8, San Jose, McCauley 6 (Preissing, J.Thornton), 14:15, (pp). 9, Toronto, Allison 6 (Klee, Ponikarovsky), 17:21.
1st period - Smith, SJS (hooking), 8:39; Thornton, SJS (high-sticking), 13:12.
2nd period - Stajan, TOR (holding), 3:43; Davison, SJS (illegal stick), 10:53; Colaiacovo, TOR (hooking), 13:03; McCauley, SJS (interference), 16:47.
3rd period - Lindros, TOR (hooking), 2:28; Stevenson, SJS (tripping), 7:53; Antropov, TOR (tripping), 12:36; Steen, TOR (holding), 13:49; Thornton, SJS (delay of game), 19:25.
  Shots Saves
SJ - Toskala 28 24
TOR - Belfour 27 22
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 4 8 15 27
TOR 12 8 8 28
Power Play Conversion
SJ 2 of 5
TOR 1 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Alyn McCauley
Patrick Marleau
Joe Thornton
Referees: Dan Marouelli, Dean Warren. Linesmen: David Brisebois, Scott Driscoll.

Privacy Statement   |   Contact Us   |   Advertise
Copyright 2005 All rights reserved.
This website is an unofficial and independently operated source of news
and information not affiliated with any team, or league.