The division-leading San Jose Sharks left with a 4-1 victory after battling the cellar-dweller Arizona Coyotes in an action-packed divisional matchup Saturday night.
Here are three takeaways from Saturday’s game.
1. Aaron Dell
Dell didn’t receive a star following the game, but he deserved one in my opinion. He made a career-high 36 saves for the Sharks, who beat the Coyotes for the second time in five games this season.
Despite being dubbed as the “world’s okayest goalie,” Dell remains a backup goalie to Martin Jones. He has made his case, however, as he went 7-3-1 in 12 games so far this season. He’s pretty good for a backup.
Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area has recently reported the Sharks were searching for a backup. However, I believe there’s already one in front of them and that’s Dell. Barracuda goalie Troy Grosenick may seem like a good option since he currently holds an 18-8-1 record, seven of those wins being shutouts, but Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer tends to overwork goalies and Grosenick isn’t quite there yet. He needs to spend a little more time with the Barracuda.
2. Brent Burns
Burns received the first star of the game after scoring two goals Saturday. He helped put the Sharks on the board. He also sealed the victory for the Sharks.
In 59 games thus far, Burns has scored 27 goals and 36 assists along with a plus-22 rating and 28 penalty minutes. Seven of those goals were scored on the power play and five were game-winners.
Burns certainly deserves to bring home the Norris Trophy. He’s an all-around defenseman who can contribute offensively and lead his team to crucial victories.
“He’s having an MVP season. He’s been that good for us, and it’s every night,” DeBoer told NHL.com. “I don’t know what else to say. In my mind, he’s the best player in the League, and we’re happy to have him on our team.”
3. The fourth line
As you may already know, the Sharks’ fourth line of Melker Karlsson, Chris Tierney and Michael Haley isn’t the most attractive. However, this line contributed to the team’s victory Saturday night. Karlsson notched a goal, his eighth of the season, along with two assists.
Haley scored his first goal of the season early in the second period to continue the team’s momentum.
Tierney didn’t score a goal or collect an assist, but he earned a plus-three rating and logged 14:42 minutes of ice time. That’s better than his performance in the last couple of games.
Overall, the fourth line is good enough. They just need to remain patient and persevere.
The Sharks return to San Jose to host the Boston Bruins (29-23-6) in a nationally televised game Sunday night. The action starts at 5:30 p.m. PST on NBCSN.