SAN JOSE Logan Couture and Ryane Clowe got the goals, but Sharks winger Marty Havlat might have had the strongest game of anyone on the teams second line - or the entire team, in general.
On Thursday night, Havlat seemed to have the puck on his stick more than anyone in the 4-3 Sharks win over Montreal. Todd McLellan was nothing but complimentary of Havlat following the game.
Martys best game as a Shark. I dont even think its close, he said. If he continues to play that way, using his speed and offensive abilityhe was around pucks, he had some dangerous shots. Thats the Marty that we think we have and that well need moving forward.
Easily, his best game.
Havlat himself wouldnt go quite that far, but
I felt much better tonight than the last few weeks, for sure, he said.
While Couture and Clowe have a history of chemistry together, Havlat seems to be developing a good rapport with those two as well. In fact, Havlat had eight assists in his first eight games before that line was somewhat inexplicably broken up after a 4-3 overtime loss in Nashville on Nov. 5.
Since then, Havlat had been invisible for far too often. His slump can be traced directly back to that breakup, with just one assist in his last eight games entering Thursday night.
Im new here, so I understand they are trying to see everybody and see who you click the most with. You never know who youre going to play with during the game, but theyre both great players and once we get to know each other even more, it can be even better than it was tonight, he said.
Havlat was finally rewarded on the score sheet when his shot from the wing resulted in a rebound in the slot for Clowe to tie the score.
Both of the guys were going to the net, and its exactly what we did Wednesday in practice, he said. I just shot it at the net, Cooch had a great chance for the rebound and Clowie had another rebound. It was a great rush.