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Sharks Surprise on Opening Night


With an unexpected 3-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on day one of the 2017-18 EHE season, the San Jose Sharks chalked up a small moral victory in what projects to be a trying year: rookie GM Kyle Phillips didn't have to wait long for the first win under his regime.

It was something about which Phillips expressed relief after the game.

"I'm certainly under no illusions about the spot I've put us in for the short-term," he said. "But I don't enjoy losing any more than my 30 colleagues around the league, so it's nice to get that first W in the books as early as possible."

Before puck drop, rumors were circulating that recent trade negotiations had turned tense between Phillips and Wild GM Harald Geissler, which presumably would have made a win even sweeter for either general manager. But Phillips poured cold water on that theory.

"I won't deny that there were trade talks, and that things got a little sour at times," Phillips said. "But to my mind that's just two guys working hard to improve their clubs, and there will probably be more good battles in the future. Harald is a classy guy, and for me it's water under the bridge."

Though the outcome of the game may have been a surprise, one thing that didn't come as a shock was an outstanding performance by goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. The Russian 'tender turned aside 33 of 34 shots, including 18 saves in the 3rd period alone. It was the kind of performance the Sharks will need many more times if they hope to stay afloat thoroughout the season.

Also vital to the victory was 26-year-old rookie defenseman Tim Heed, who scored the game-winning goal midway through the third period. Heed, who joined the Sharks as an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, looked comfortable in his first NHL action and seems poised to be a feel-good story for the team.

And though it's certain that an unheralded, middle-age defenseman along with elite goaltending won't be enough to keep the Sharks competitive for 82 games, for one night at least, things are perfect in San Jose.

Thomas Gidlow

Aside from a 26-year old defenseman being considered "middle-aged", this was well written sir. And as Dennis Green would say..."That's why we took the damn (ice). You want to crown them? Then crown their ass! They were who we thought they were!" :P

Sharks Surprise on Opening Night
New GM relishing 100% win rate while it lasts

• 0 teams Like this  1 year
Kyle Phillips I meant middle-aged for a hockey player :)
1 year  1 teams Like this
Harald Geissler

i think we will have plenty more good games kyle even the written bridge is already build over troubled water now bur only cause we lost !!!!haha stil hope i win today.....vs la

Sharks Surprise on Opening Night
New GM relishing 100% win rate while it lasts

• 0 teams Like this  1 year