San Jose solid between the pipes

The Sharks wouldn't be among the best teams in the West without strong goaltending.

Updated: January 19, 2004, 3:45 PM ET
By By Jim Wilkie | NHL Insider
San Jose's turnaround and return to respectability this season after a disastrous 2002-03 has been possible because of excellent goaltending from Evgeni Nabokov and Vesa Toskala.

The Sharks (20-11-11-4) are tied with St. Louis for the fourth-best point total (55) in the Western Conference and they lead the Pacific Division by six points over second-place Los Angeles. Although it's not the sole reason (better team defense, improved penalty killing and maturing young veterans) for San Jose's revival, it's safe to say the Sharks wouldn't be among the best teams in the West without strong goaltending.

"That's where it starts, goaltending and solid defense," Sharks forward Vincent Damphousse told the San Francisco Chronicle. "That's what wins games. Our two guys have been so solid and it's been a huge factor why we're where we are."


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