San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton (19) works for the puck against Vancouver Canucks defenseman Jason Garrison (5) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)The Associated Press
San Jose Sharks center Patrick Marleau (12) high-fives teammates after scoring against the Vancouver Canucks during the second period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)The Associated Press
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton have found the perfect way to silence the talk about whether their window for success is closing in San Jose.
With Marleau scoring goals at a record pace to start the lockout-shortened season and Thornton at his playmaking best, the Sharks have won their first five games to get off to the best start in franchise history.
The fast start comes nine months after an early finish last season when the Sharks got eliminated in five games in the opening round of the playoffs by the St. Louis Blues. The step back after two straight trips to the Western Conference finals raised questions about whether a club led by 33-year-olds in Thornton and Marleau had missed its opportunity to win a Stanley Cup.