Sharks captain Joe Pavelski could not have summed it up any better than after the Sharks' 3-2 win over Edmonton Oilers on Thursday.
"This team can still reach a different level," he told reporters in Edmonton.
Sure, the sharks did a lot on Thursday. Heck, to get into the profit column after the run in which they have run, is an advance. However, there is only one game left before the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs, and the team still has a lot to do before it proves to be playful.
"I still think there is room for improvement," Pavelski said. "As the atmosphere in the remote buildings increases and the teams advance, we must continue the attack and remain aggressive."
The Sharks returned to the game with a 1
"Victory or defeat, I think we wanted to do the right things," said Logan Couture after the game. "I think we've done good things, but there are still things we need to work on."
Couture even went so far as to say it was only a minor matter to get into the victory column for good Restore habits.
At any time of the year, you'll lose the win in these games and want to play the game you want to play in a week or so, "he explained. "For a lot of the game, I thought we had done a good job."
San Jose was certainly much better at holding on to a defensive play and blocking 16 strokes compared to Edmonton's seven. The Sharks also played a good physical game – something they need against the Vegas Golden Knights when the playoffs begin – against the Oilers 24-15. Props must also turn to Netminder Aaron Dell, who recovered well after scoring in the first shot. Without some of Dell's seven saves in the third period, the Sharks might not have won.
But Dell's big stops also showed an area where the sharks still need to improve, and this leads to an increase in leads while shutting off opponents. When San Jose performed best this season, relentless scorers and avaricious defense were the hallmarks.
In the last two street games of the regular season, the sharks could not expand their one-goal lead. She did not bite against Edmonton like she did at Vancouver, but the takeaway is the same: The sharks are not allowed to hang around opponents. The Golden Knights can be challenging if they have too much extra room left over, especially in the playoffs.
"I still want to drop teams and have some pillows there, Haie coach Peter DeBoer summed up.
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During this time, the Sharks did not use the pedal offensively. The Oilers scored in the last frame a 7: 5 lead in shots on goal, and four of Edmonton's shots came from the threats of the first choice, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
"I think we could have attacked the third period better. I thought we were too hot on our heels, "he said. "I would have liked to see something more attacking than sit back and open the ice. What this Topline loves to have. I would have changed that. But all in all, the good things the sharks did on Thursday will bring them one step closer to being ready for the playoffs next week. However, they still have some ironing folds and another regular game to repair them.
"We are working there," said DeBoer. "It's not there yet, but next week I'm confident."