“Hits and Misses” for Predators at Sharks 3/8/11

Result:  Predators 2, SHARKS 3  {Overtime}

San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi makes in a glove save in overtime against the Nashville Predators. Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports.

HITS

Patrick Marleau – He did it again!  Just like he did on February 15 in Nashville, Marleau scored the game winning goal at 3:24 of overtime, his 27th goal of the season and eighth career overtime goal.  The play started in the Sharks own zone as Sharks defenseman Ian White blocked a shot on net.  Marleau picked up the loose puck and skated down the right side of the ice as White jumped in on the play.  Marleau made a strong move to the net and fired a quick shot from the right face-off circle dot that beat Predators goalie Pekka Rinne glove side, specifically, over the glove.  The goal came on Marleau’s only shot on goal the whole game.

Ryane Clowe – Clowe scored his 19th goal of the season at 8:17 of the first period to give the Sharks an early 1-0 lead.  With the puck in the Predators zone, Sharks defensemen Jason Demers did an inside juke fake at the Predators blue-line that freed him up and from the right face-off circle, Demers passed the puck over to Sharks forward Dany Heatley, who was standing in front of the goal crease.  The puck deflected off of Heatley’s stick, then deflected off of Clowe’s left skate and into the net.  The goal was reviewed and stood because Clowe never made a kicking motion with his skate.

Justin Braun – Braun scored his second goal of the season at 4:17 of the second period on the Power Play to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead.  Clowe was able to keep the puck in the Predators zone at the blue-line on a failed clear attempt by the Predators Penalty Killers and got the puck over to Heatley.  Heatley passed the puck over to Braun, who was in the slot at the blue-line, and with Sharks forward Logan Couture screening Rinne in front of the goal crease, Braun fired a shot that left a vapor trail on the ice and deflected into the net off a diving Predators Penalty Killer’s stick.

Dany Heatley – Heatley had himself a two point night, assisting on the Clowe and Braun goals, giving him 33 assists for the season.  In addition, Heatley extended his point streak to three games in which he has two goals and three assists.

Antti Niemi – Niemi was once again outstanding in net for the Sharks, stopping 23-out-of-25 shots and bailed the Sharks out of trouble all night, specifically in the first 40 minutes of the game when the Sharks had trouble clearing the puck out of their own zone.

Jamal Mayers/Andrew Desjardins/Ben EagerMayers played in his 800th career NHL game and the trio’s fourth line changed the momentum of the game by doing an outstanding job of generating energy for the Sharks via their strong forecheck and the trio used their size and speed to create space in the offensive zone.

Ian White – White gets a “hit” for his blocked shot in overtime that set up the game winning goal.  White now has 21 blocked shots in his last six games.

Sharks Team – While the first 40 minutes weren’t the Sharks best 40 minutes of the season, the Sharks picked it up in the third period and overtime by sticking to the gameplan and not deviating.  The Sharks won the races to loose pucks, got pucks in deep and generated a plethora of scoring chances.  Had Rinne not been in net for the Predators, the Sharks would have blown out the Predators in the third period.  With the win, the Sharks remain in first place of the Pacific Division with 85 points, six ahead of the second place Dallas Stars, and now only trail the Detroit Red Wings by one point for second place overall in the Western Conference standings.

MISSES

Joe Thornton – The Sharks captain took an ill-advised elbowing penalty at 16:36 of the second period.  With the Sharks in control of the puck in the Predators zone, Thornton intentionally threw an elbow at the head of Predators Ryan Suter, who was back-checking Thornton against the boards.  I don’t care if its true that Suter had caught Thornton with a pretty good slash moments before the elbow, which was tweeted by SharksInGame, because all Thornton did by taking that penalty was hurt his team by putting them shorthanded.  Thornton has to know as the captain that he cannot be taking foolish, retaliating penalties like that, especially when the Sharks Penalty Kill unit had been struggling all game.

Penalty Killers – The Sharks Penalty Killers surrendered two Power Play goals to the Predators that tied the game both times and the Penalty Killers finished the night 2-for-4 short-handed.  Both goals were the result of bad in-zone play by the Sharks as the Penalty Killers either didn’t pick up a loose rebound, such as on the Joel Ward goal, or they were caught looking at the puck for a split second, such as on the Shea Weber goal.

Referees – Simply put, the referee’s were atrocious tonight.  I lost track of how many penalties the refs refused to call on the Predators throughout the game as they turned a blind eye to all the infractions.  Thornton had his stick held by a Predators player in front of Rinne and no call;  Heatley was pulled down from behind by a Predators’ player and no call;  Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray was cross checked into the boards from behind in the second period and tripped in the Predators zone in the third period and again, no call;  At one point in the third period, the Predators had seven players on the ice and again, no call.  What amazed me even more was that the more the home crowd booed the no calls, the more the refs seemed determined to not call anything against the Predators.

MISCELLANEOUS

Sharks forward Devin Setoguchi is attempting to get 15,000 followers on his twitter page {@seto1661} by March 15th and if that number is achieved, Setoguchi will donate $5,000 to a cancer charity.  You can follow Setoguchi on twitter by either clicking on his twitter link in the “Shark Pond” on the left hand side of the page or by clicking here.

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About Jon Allred

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

Posted on March 8, 2011, in Sports and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Miché Saaijman

    Do you go to the arena to physically watch every game,coz it always sounds like you were RIGHT THERE. You have some serious dedication and passion!

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