“Hits and Misses” for Sharks at Capitals 2/8/11
Logan Couture – “Captain Calder” scored his 24th goal of the season at 11:55 of the third period to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead. More importantly, the goal was Couture’s seventh game winning goal of the season, which is now a new NHL rookie record. Honestly, if the league gives the Calder Award to Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes, who hasn’t reached puberty yet, the league will show just how much of a joke they are and prove they have a West Coast bias. If Couture played on an East Coast team, like Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin, Couture would be all over Sportscenter.
Dan Boyle – Boyle scored his sixth goal of the season at 14:07 of the third period to give the Sharks an insurance goal. It was Boyle’s first goal since December 18th.
Antti Niemi – I’ve been critical of Niemi all season but no Sharks fan can complain about his last two outings, both of which have been SHUTOUTS! He stopped all 25 Washington shots tonight as well as the 26 he stopped against Boston on Saturday afternoon. He has a 120 minute shutout streak going. Let’s hope he keeps it up because he has looked excellent these last two outings.
Sharks Team – Three games into a long and critical road trip and the Sharks have three victories for six points and more importantly, have won four in a row, matching their longest winning streak of the season. The Sharks have now moved into fourth place in the Western Conference and only trail division rival Dallas by one point for Division lead.
Dany Heatley – Again, I admit I have been critical of Heatley all season but I have to give him credit for his play tonight. Even though he didn’t score a goal, he was skating hard all over the ice, creating chances and playing fundamental hockey. Effort goes a long way when not scoring.
Turnovers – Too many turnovers tonight, most noticeably the Jason Demers one near the end of the second period that Niemi bailed him out on with a spectacular save.
Officiating – Again, not to sound like a homer but that penalty called on Niclas Wallin in the final minutes of the third period was beyond atrocious, especially when the replay showed that Wallin’s stick was being held by the Washington player. Is it too much to ask that the refs officiate the game as it should be instead of letting the home crowd dictate what should and shouldn’t be called? The Jamal Mayers penalty in the first period was totally a make-up call by the refs to please the home crowd after the disallowed goal moments earlier.
Benn Ferriero to Worcester – This is baffling to me. How can the Sharks justify sending Ferriero down to Worcester? No disrespect to John McCarthy, who they kept, but Ferriero is more valuable than McCarthy. I have not been impressed with McCarthy all season and personally feel that Ferriero has earned his spot on the big club with his effort and hard play.
No Derek Joslin – Why the Sharks continue to dress Kent Huskins over Joslin is beyond comprehension. Yes, I know Huskins has a Stanley Cup ring with the Ducks and has a big contract but he’s also a liability and Joslin brings a wicked slapshot from the blueline that Huskins doesn’t. Dress Joslin, keep paired with Marc-Edouard Vlasic and watch good things happen.