SAN JOSE -- Since making his NHL debut during the 2014-15 campaign, Barclay Goodrow has been one of the younger guys looking up to Sharks veterans like Joe Thornton. But for the last two games, he’s been on No. 19’s wing.
“We’ve kind of joked about playing together for a while now,” Goodrow said with a chuckle after he skated with the veteran for the second consecutive game, a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild. “So it’s nice to get out there with each other, and especially score some goals.”
But it goes beyond both skaters finding the back of the net over the last two games. Along with Marcus Sorensen, the combination has quickly developed a winning chemistry, one that gave the Sharks the depth they needed to beat a very tough Wild team.
It’s what Sharks coach Peter DeBoer wants to see on a nightly basis.
“I thought our depth won us the game tonight,” he said afterward.
DeBoer showed he needed more from the bottom six when he scratched center Antti Suomela ahead of Saturday’s overtime win over the Flyers. Suomela returned to the lineup on the fourth line Tuesday and found the back of the net -- a goal that Sorensen set up, no less.
The coach pointed to Suomela, Sorensen and Goodrow as players San Jose needed to contribute.
Skating on the third line Tuesday, both Sorensen and Goodrow got on the scoresheet, while Thornton looked the strongest he has all season. DeBoer singled out the trio’s performance as an example of how important contributions down the lineup are for the Sharks -- especially with some of the team’s big players battling injuries.
“You get goals from Sorensen and Goodrow -- it was big for us tonight, with [Tomas] Hertl out of the lineup,” DeBoer continued. “I think [Minnesota’s big] line and our big line going at each other, it was going to come down to some depth scoring. I thought our depth guys were great.”
Getting goals from the third and fourth lines also helps take pressure off the top-six forwards -- particularly the Logan Couture-led combo that has been responsible for the bulk of San Jose’s big goals as of late.
Having bottom-six forwards like Sorensen -- who notched three points on the evening after tallying three in his previous 14 games -- speaks volumes. It’s something the forwards know they have to bring to the table every night.
“We need [to roll] all four lines every night,” Sorensen said. “I think every line has to play good every night.”