SAN JOSE – For the duration of the 2018-19 campaign, the Sharks’ schedule has been less than forgiving. Long road trips that have included leaping multiple time zones in a short span of time. Numerous contests scheduled back-to-back, some even involving travel in between.
Now, Team Teal will play 12 of its last 18 games of the regular season in the cozy confines of SAP Center. For perhaps one of the very rare times this season, the team likes the schedule -- especially with how it can set them up to gain some ground in the standings.
“Just being at home, sleeping in your own bed, (having) our home crowd,” Sharks bench boss Peter DeBoer said. “We’ve been a really good home team this year.”
He’s right. Team Teal has gone 19-5-5 at the Tank so far this season. With less than 20 games to play and positioning in the standings at its most important, having all that time on home ice is ideal.
“We’ve had a heavy road schedule, and we have a really favorable schedule from here on in,” DeBoer said. “Those road trips take a toll on you. I think we’re glad they’re in the rearview mirror.”
San Jose wrapped up their final leg of East Coast travel earlier this week with a game in Boston on Tuesday night. DeBoer admitted traveling cross-country was still taking its toll on some members of the team.
“Long travel day -- I mean, that’s as long a flight as you can take,” the head coach said.
Although the Sharks dropped their final game on the roadie – a contentious 4-1 loss to the Bruins – and split the four-game trip. DeBoer was happy with how the team played overall.
“I thought overall it was a pretty good trip,” he summarized. “Despite us going 2-and-2, you look at that trip at this point in the year with some of the moves some of those teams have made and the desperation level. It could’ve been better but we found a way in some tough buildings to go 2-and-2.”
With all big roadies finally out of the way, the Sharks can continue their quest for first place in the division in their home barn. San Jose is seven points behind the Calgary Flames in the Pacific and has every intention of closing that gap.
“Now we get a great stretch of home games here this month to really try and hunt some teams down ahead of us,” DeBoer said.