“Hits and Misses” for Blues at Sharks 3/19/11

Result:  Blues 3, SHARKS 5

San Jose Sharks forward Joe Pavelski reaches out for the puck during the second period. Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports.

HITS

Torrey Mitchell – Mitchell had himself a two point night {one goal, one assist} and scored his seventh goal of the season, and third in his last six games, at 4:03 of the first period to give the Sharks an early 1-0 lead as the result of tremendous pressure in the blues zone by Mitchell, Joe Pavelski and Kyle Wellwood.  As the Sharks battled for the puck near the front of Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak, the puck slid freely over to the right face-off circle where Sharks defenseman Ian White fired a slap-shot from just inside the face-off circle.  Halak stopped White’s shot and the rebound shot by Pavelski but Mitchell followed up Pavelski’s shot and buried home the puck.  In his last six games, Mitchell has six points, three goals and three assists.

Patrick Marleau – Marleau had himself a two point night {one goal, one assist} and scored his 29th goal of the season with the Sharks on a Power Play at 4:45 of the first period to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead.  With Halak getting called for a “Delay of Game” {Shooting puck over the glass} penalty, the Sharks won the ensuing face-off in the Blues zone to control the puck.  From the end-board, Sharks captain Joe Thornton passed the puck behind the net to Sharks forward Devin Setoguchi, who passed the puck out in front to Marleau in the high slot.  With the puck on his stick and from just outside the two face-off circles, Marleau fired a wicked slapshot that beat Halak.  In his last 12 games, Marleau has recorded 15 points {seven goals and eight assists}.

Joe Pavelski – Pavelski had a two goal night, his 15th and 16th goals of the season, and showing class and his true character, Pavelski negated his first career NHL “Hat Trick” by arguing  after the game that the first goal he was credited with {Marleau’s goal} was not his {Replays showed that while Pavelski was in front of Halak on the Marleau goal, Pavelski did not touch the puck}.  Pavelski’s first goal came on the Power Play at 7:41 of the first period to give the Sharks a 3-0 lead and sent Halak to the showers early.  With Blues BJ Crombeen in the penalty box for an “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” penalty, the Sharks won the ensuing face-off in the Blues zone to set-up their Power Play.  With puck possession at the blue-line, Boyle passed the puck over to Pavelski, who ripped a laser beam from just inside the blue-line that beat Halak, who had no chance to stop the puck due to his own teammate, Alex Pietrangelo, screening him in front.  Pavelski’s second goal came at 19:54 of the second period off a tip in front of Boyle’s blue-line slapshot that put the Sharks up 5-1.

Devin Setoguchi – Setoguchi scored his 20th goal of the season at 12:30 of the second period to put the Sharks up 4-1.  With puck pressure in the Blues zone, Thornton, who was on the side board, passed the puck to Marleau in the slot.  Marleau carried the puck out to the blue-line and passed the puck over to Setoguchi, who fired a slapshot from just inside the blue-line that was tipped in front by Blues defenseman Roman Polak and past Blues goalie Ty Conklin.

Joe Thornton – With his assist on the Marleau goal,  Thornton moved into a tie for 54th place on the NHL assist list with 688, tying Henri Richard, and into 77th place on the NHL points list, passing Jarome Iginla with 992 points.  Thornton would later add his 689th assist and 993 point with his assist on the first Pavelski goal.

Antti Niemi – Making his 28th consecutive start in net for the Sharks, Niemi was once again outstanding, stopping 42-out-of-45 shots.  With the way Niemi has been playing and the season winding down, will backup goalie Antero Niittymaki ever get a start in net again before the playoffs?

Special Teams – The Sharks Power Play unit went a perfect 2-for-2 and the Penalty Killers went a perfect 2-for-2.

Sharks Team – With the win, the Sharks remain in first place of the Pacific Division with 92 points, three ahead of the second place Phoenix Coyotes, and trail the Detroit Red Wings by two points for the second overall spot in the Western Conference.

MISSES

Logan Couture Injury – In my 18-years of attending Sharks games at HP Pavilion, I have never heard the crowd get as silent as they did when Couture went down with what everyone thought was a season ending injury early in the second period.  Couture was skating after a loose puck in the Blues zone and when trying to put the brakes on, Couture lost an edge and slid right into the end-board feet first.  Couture crawled over to the Blues net to pull himself up but crumbled back down.  Sharks Ryane Clowe and Ben Eager had to help Couture, who wasn’t putting any weight on his leg and was biting the top of his jersey, over to the Sharks bench, where trainers immediately took Couture into the locker room.  No update was given on Couture until after the game when Couture {@Logancouture} tweeted the following…“Thanks for the support everyone.  Thankfully, it isn’t as bad as it looked or felt at first.  Hope to be back soon!  Big win tonight.  On a side note, been thinking about getting my haircut.  Against it because I enjoy saying #longhairdontcare a little too much.”

Third Period – The third period was not the Sharks best 20 minutes of hockey this season, especially after they had been dominating the Blues for the past 40 minutes.  In the third period, the Sharks stopped skating and took their foot of the pedal a little too much.  As a result, the Blues took the game over in the final period and scored two goals to make the final score closer than what it should have been.  The Sharks have got to remember that no lead in hockey is safe if they don’t play defense and don’t go all out with a full 60 minute effort, especially against the good teams once the playoffs start.

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About Jon Allred

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

Posted on March 20, 2011, in Sports and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Even with an injury, Couture sure knows how to handle himself & still crack jokes. Hope you had fun at the game! PIZZA!

    • Yup. I couldn’t help but laugh at his tweet. I always have a blast at the games. I wish they would’ve kept the Pee Wee’s on the ice longer at intermission. They were fun to watch in their shootout.

  2. Right on! Hopefully Couture comes back and is ok to play next Wednesday. He’s been an outstanding player and I know he’ll ratchet his game up a notch or two in the playoffs. Great game, and hope you had a great time at the Tank!

  3. Sharks won on my birthday, that’s all I have to say about this game! 🙂

    I watched the hit that Couture took, I hope he comes back soon.

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