“Hits and Misses” for Sharks at Red Wings 2/22/11

Result:  SHARKS 4, Red Wings 3

San Jose Sharks Joe Thornton scores his 300th career NHL goal late in the first period. Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports.

HITS

Joe Thornton – The Sharks captain broke a scoreless tie with his Power Play goal at 19:52 of the first period that not only gave the Sharks the lead and momentum going into intermission but the goal was also Thornton’s 300th career NHL goal.  Thornton also earned two assists, giving him three points for the game.

Devin Setoguchi – Setoguchi recorded his 15th career multi-goal game with two goals tonight, one of which was the game winner, giving him 17 goals for the season and five goals in the last six periods of hockey.  Setoguchi’s first goal of the game came at 18:43 of the second period that put the Sharks up 3-2 heading into the second intermission.  Logan Couture took a shot from the left side and Thornton grabbed the rebound, went behind the net and centered the puck out to Setoguchi, who was crashing the net.  Somehow, Setoguchi got his stick on the puck while Todd Bertuzzi was cross-checking him {Setoguchi} from behind {No surprise there} and shot the puck over the goal line and into the net before being cross-checked into the net himself.  The game-winning goal from Setoguchi came at 13:12 of the third period, which put the Sharks up 4-2.  Setoguchi was the third man in on the play and saw Thornton had gotten a turnover down low on the boards in the Red Wings zone.  Setoguchi positioned himself in the slot, a little bit away from the blue-line and after taking a Thornton pass, Setoguchi ripped a laser-beam one timer that no one saw until it was in the back of the net.

Antti Niemi – Niemi, who was voted the NHL First Star of the Week, was spectacular in net again, stopping 35-out-of-38 shots, including one in the final 30-seconds that took away the game-tying goal from Johan Franzen, who was dumbfounded on the ice after the Niemi save.  Somehow, someway, Niemi pushed himself across his crease and stuck his right leg pad out as far as he could reach and in doing so, robbed Franzen of a sure goal.  Had Niemi not played on top of his head the first 10-minutes and final 10-minutes of  the game, the Sharks would have been headed to Pittsburgh tonight with an “L” in the loss column.

Ryane Clowe – Clowe’s breakaway goal at 14:08 of the second period was a thing of beauty.  The play started in the Sharks own zone when “The Beast from the East” got himself into the shooting lane of the Red Wings player who took a shot from just inside the blue-line.  In doing so, Clowe blocked the shot and won the race to the puck.  Once Clowe was in all alone with Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, Clowe deked and lifted a backhanded shot up and over a sprawled out Howard to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead.

Logan Couture – Despite not scoring a goal, “Calder Couture” did have two assists, both coming on Setoguchi’s goals and had himself a typical Mike Ricci night.  In the first period, Couture took a puck right off his chin, followed by a stick to the face, giving him a fresh cut and moments later, Couture took another high stick to the face from a Red Wings player, opening another cut near the side of his mouth.

Joe Pavelski – Despite not appearing on the box score, Pavelski had himself a solid game as he was alert of his surroundings every shift, played solid defensive hockey and created several turnovers for the Sharks in the Red Wings zone.

Sharks Team – By winning tonight, the Sharks did something they had never done in team history before and that was sweeping the two-game season set in Detroit.  In addition, this game proved to be a good measuring stick for the Sharks as they faced a red-hot Red Wings team that had won five games in a row and were ahead of the Sharks by eight points {80 to 72} in the Western Conference standings.  With the win, the Sharks now have 74 points, are still in fourth place of the Western Conference but just one point out of first place in the Pacific Division {Phoenix Coyotes lead with 75 points}.  In addition, the Sharks proved their resiliency by not freaking out when blowing their one-goal leads or when the Red Wings scored a late third period goal on the Power Play inside of two minutes to go.  The Sharks buckled down and played solid defensive hockey by sweeping the puck away from danger, blocking shots and forcing turnovers, all of which prevented the Red Wings from tying the game in the final minute

MISSES

Dany Heatley – Heatley gets a “miss” because it was his interference penalty at 17:43 of the third period that allowed the Red Wings to get a Power Play chance, which the Red Wings capitalized on.  Also, had Heatley got himself in the shooting lane on his shift like Clowe would do later on, the Red Wings would have never tied the game at 1-1 because the shot would have been blocked out of  the Sharks zone.  Its the little things that make such a difference and have a huge impact on the outcome of a game.

Referees – I know that a road team is not going to get calls but tonight’s officiating was beyond atrocious. Even Drew Remenda said in the final five minutes of the game that the refs weren’t calling anything.  What truly irked me was when Couture got high-sticked in the face in the first period and was cut, the officials only assessed the Red Wings a two-minute penalty instead of the correct four-minutes because the Red Wings were just assessed a four-minute penalty and the refs said they couldn’t tell the difference between the first cut on Couture’s face and the new one.  Yeah, if one can’t tell the human chin from the mouth one would have  problem differentiating the cuts.  Is it too much to ask for the officials to call the game fairly and assess the correct penalty minutes instead of balancing the penalties out?

Special Teams – Even though the Sharks did score a Power Play goal at the end of the first period, that still doesn’t change the fact that the Sharks failed to capitalize on both a four-minute double minor penalty to the Red Wings and the ensuing five-on-three advantage they had for a full two-minutes.  Also, the Penalty Killers gave up a late Power Play goal to Henrik Zetterberg at 18:09 of the third period that not only cut the Sharks lead to 4-3 but also gave the Red Wings life in the closing moments of the game.

Blowing Leads – While it is a “hit” the Sharks proved their resiliency, it has to be considered a “miss” that the Sharks blew two leads in the game.  One thing the Sharks have to address is seizing the moment when the opportunity presents itself. The Sharks don’t want to give a good team like the Red Wings any sign of life or hope because in the blink of an eye, teams like the Red Wings can tie the game and take the lead.

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About Jon Allred

Life long San Jose and Worcester Sharks fan that bleeds teal and black.

Posted on February 22, 2011, in Sports and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I agree that the referee should make the best choices possible,so that no one has reason to doubt him.Even though it sounds like the game was a close call,I’m still proud of the Sharks for winning!

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