Monthly Archives: April 2011

“Hits and Misses” for Red Wings at Sharks Game 1 WCSF 4/29/11

Result:  Red Wings 1, SHARKS 2 {Overtime}    {Sharks lead series 1-0}

San Jose Sharks forward Benn Ferriero celebrates after scoring the game winning goal in overtime Friday night. Photo courtesy of sharks.nhl.com

HITS

Joe PavelskiPavelski scored his fourth goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, 19th of his career, at 10:22 of the third period to tie the game at 1-1.  In addition, Pavelski was responsible for drawing three Red Wings penalties, including the “boarding” penalty to Red Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi.  With Bertuzzi in the penalty box, Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle passed the puck to Pavelski at center ice and with the puck on his stick, Pavelski carried the puck into the Red Wings zone, where he {Pavelski} left a drop pass at the point for Sharks captain Joe Thornton.  With the puck on his stick, Thornton fired a shot on net from the point that was stopped by Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard but Pavelski, who crashed the net after leaving the pass for Thornton, was there at the side of the goalie crease to knock the puck out of mid-air and into the net for the game tying goal.

Benn FerrieroPlaying in his first ever Stanley Cup Playoff, Ferriero, who turned 24 today, scored the game-winning goal at 7:03 of overtime to give the Sharks a 2-1 win and 1-0 series lead.  The goal, which was Ferriero’s first career playoff goal, came as the result of the Sharks generating momentum in the Red Wings zone at the conclusion of their four-minute Power Play opportunity {more later in “hits”}.  Shortly after Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader exited the penalty box, the Sharks were able to maintain puck possession in the Red Wings zone and generate several scoring chances.  Sharks forward Logan Couture battled for the puck in the lower corner and Ferriero, who supported on the play, skated away with the puck along the lower side board and fired a wrist shot on net from just outside the lower face-off circle.  The shot deflected off the stick of Red Wings {and former Sharks} defenseman Brad Stuart‘s stick and beat Howard 5-hole for the game winning goal.

Niclas WallinEven though Wallin didn’t register a point, he affected the outcome of the game with a solid defensive play in overtime by breaking up an odd man rush for the Red Wings.  Wallin, who was the only Sharks player back on defense as Thornton tried to catch up via the back-check, sacrificed himself and blocked Abdelkader’s shot on net and then drew the four minute “high-sticking” double minor penalty when Abdelkader’s stick caught him under the chin and cut him as both pursued the loose puck.

Antti NiemiAfter having a roller coaster of a series against the Los Angeles Kings in the first round of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Niemi had a strong performance in net for the Sharks, stopping 24-out-of-25 shots and came up with huge saves for the Sharks throughout the game.  In addition, this was a huge statement game for Niemi as everyone in the hockey realm wondered how he would handle facing the Red Wings for the first time in the playoffs.

Dan BoyleBoyle had a two point night with two assists to be the only Sharks player with a multiple point night.

Jason DemersIn addition to having a solid all-around game, Demers had a game high five blocked shots.

Douglas MurrayMurray had a team high five hits tonight.

Special TeamsThe Sharks Penalty Killers went a perfect 2-for-2 tonight in killing off the Red Wings Power Play opportunities and the Sharks Power Play unit went 1-for-6 with the man Advantage.  Also, even though the Sharks Power Play unit did not score during the four-minute double minor to Abdelkader, the Sharks Power Play unit, specifically Couture and Ryane Clowe, generated scoring chances and momentum that eventually led to Ferriero’s game winning goal.

Sharks TeamIt took a little over 50-minutes to get one passed Howard and another 17 to score the game-winner but the Sharks once again found a way to win when it mattered and are now a perfect 4-0 in overtime.  With the exceptions of the lone Red Wings goal and the last five minutes of the second period, the Sharks consistently outplayed the Red Wings, who were playing their first game in eight days after sweeping the Phoenix Coyotes out of the playoffs last Wednesday.  The Sharks were able to generate shots on net, out-shooting the Red Wings 46-25 for the game and 18-9 in the second period alone, remained disciplined in taking only two penalties and appear to be getting back to they style of hockey they played towards the end of the regular season as they dished out 26 hits and blocked 26 shots.

MISSES

Brad StuartI don’t know how many of you saw it but seconds after Ferriero scored the game-winning goal, Stuart, whose stick the puck deflected off of for the goal, THREW HIS STICK into the boards in a fit of rage.  I’m sorry but that kind of unsportsmanlike conduct has to be punished with a fine from the league office at the very least!  Imagine if the stick had bounced back and hit a player or worse, went over the glass and injured an innocent fan. 

Red Wings GoalNicklas Lidstrom scored his first goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs at 9:30 of the first period to give the Red Wings an early 1-0 lead.  The goal came as the result of bad communication by the Sharks in their own end and a nice pass from Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk, who from the lower side board, passed the puck to Lidstrom in the slot and with the puck on his stick, Lidstrom fired a shot on net that beat Niemi glove side for the goal.

RefereesCan someone please explain to me how on God’s green earth Pavelski earned himself a two minute minor penalty for “roughing” after Howard, who was also assessed a “roughing” penalty, sucker-punched Pavelski in the back of the head in the second period?  Pavelski, who was crashing the net on the play, did all he could do to avoid crashing into and injuring Howard by putting on the brakes in front, which caused Howard to get a snow-bath {ice in the face}.  It wasn’t intentional but Howard totally over-reacted and punched Pavelski in the back of the head with both hands after the whistle blew for a face-off.  This is the type of shoddy officiating that is ruining the playoffs and the game of hockey.  The referees have one job to do and that is call the game fairly, not pick and choose what they are going to call and when they feel like enforcing it.  I cannot believe that asking for a fair and consistently officiated game from the referees has become something that is too much to ask of them.

San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson discusses 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs with KNBR

Photo courtesy of sharks.nhl.com

On Wednesday April 27, San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson {pictured above} sat down with Rod Brooks of KNBR Radio to discuss the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs.  Wilson gave his thoughts on the Los Angeles Kings series, his goaltender’s Antti Niemi and Antero Niittymaki, Joe Thornton, the Detroit Red Wings, the Sharks special teams, being good enough at the right time, attention from the Bay Area and winning the Stanley Cup.  To listen to the full mp3 audio of the interview, please click HERE

On the Los Angeles Kings series:
“Well first of all, we didn’t expect it to be a short series.  In the Western Conference, just to make the playoffs means your a very good hockey team.  In the playoffs, you have to expect the unexpected.  I think their goaltender played really well.  What I loved about our group is they didn’t get distracted, whether it be a penalty called at a bad time or certain things.  They stayed focused and they got it done against a very good hockey team and the Kings deserve credit.”

On Antti Niemi and Antero Niittymaki:
“First of all, he {Niemi} has earned a lot of equity with his performance the last couple of years and often when a coach pulls a goaltender it’s reflective of the whole group, not just how the goaltender’s played and you’ve seen that in the playoffs this year probably more so than ever.  He {Niemi} is a guy that our coaches, our players, they all believe in tremendously and want to play for him.  But Niitty also is a very good goalie and we feel we have a very strong tandem but you can expect Niemi to be our number one guy.  But we have confidence that if we need to change the emotion or direction of a game by having Niitty go in in a minute’s notice.  We have a tandem and we look at him {Niitty} and he’s very capable of being a number one but he’s also has great respect for not only our other goaltender but the rest of our team.  Our team has mentioned this before, the sum of all our parts, different people are have to going to step up on different nights and that makes the difference as long as they understand the team comes first and deliver what you can when asked for.”

On Joe Thornton’s series winning goal against LA and criticism of Thornton:
“Well Joe is so respected within the game, he’s one of the great players in our game and his teammates certainly look up to him and do have that respect.  I think Joe, a lot of the emotions were we just overcome killing off a five minute major to win the game and Joe is a team first guy. I think he’s playing his best hockey, all three zone hockey, in that game. I think he was 12-to-5 in winning face-offs, winning battles and that’s what he’s done this year.  The coaching staff believes in him immensely and I think he would have been just as happy if Logan Couture or Seto scored that goal.  That was a team first celebration overcoming a little challenge just prior to that on the PK.”

On the familiarity and success against the Detroit Red Wings last year and this year:
“Well we do.  Playoff history last year and games this year are players know a lot about their team our coaching staff knows a lot about their team and vice-versa.  So I think as always it’ll be played out on the ice.  Our team I think is looking forward to the challenge that’s ahead of them and I think we’ve played well as a team. We’ve had seven guys score over 20 goals this year and five guys were 60 points plus.  I think we’ve got more depth but it will be a heck of a series with two very good hockey teams playing.”

On fixing Special Teams and if they will be a concern:
“Well, just like goaltending is making the right save at the right time, getting a big Power Play goal is as much the right goal at the right time take advantage of your opportunity.  Penalty Killing, which we weren’t pleased with our Penalty Killing most of the season this year but they’ve come up very big when its mattered, particularly the last game and our Power Play was top two or three in the league so we know what our capabilities are now its just being efficient and executing up to the levels we expect.”

On being “good enough at the right time”:
“Well I think the commitment to the details in our coaching staff, I think uh….oh back in January had to revisit that because you’ve got to be really efficient.  You can get by certain games and there were times I don’t think we liked how we played in the LA series, and there’s other period of times where we very played well.  The first period in the final game against LA, we were like a machine.  We did all the things with puck support, preparation and how we played in our own zone, that’s what we’re striving.  As you move forward in the playoffs, you’ve got to get better and better and play longer period of times at the high level of expectations to beat good hockey teams.  So were gonna have to play better this series than we did  last series but we have had a good body of work since mid January of playing the right way and that’s what were gonna push for our guys.”

On getting more attention from the Bay Area the more the Sharks win in the playoffs:
“Well we’ve got a great fan base here and our rink is arguably the loudest rink in the league and that does make a difference.  We feel that we like high expectations.  We’ve got a group of athletes and coaches that welcome that, the pressure, and expectations and challenges and that’s what pro sports is all about.  So you look forward to this time of year and you look forward to the opportunity in front of you.”

On the Sharks winning a Stanley Cup Championship:
“Well the one word you just said is the most important…..”WE.”  We do it as a group and we stay in the moment. Our big focus is to just to get ready for our first game against the Red Wings.  If you have the right people and you’ve got the right commitment and effort, results will take care of themselves and you want this group to have the success it deserve but you’ve just got to go one day at a time and be ready for that first shift on Friday.”

“Hits and Misses” for Sharks at Kings Game 6 WCQF 4/25/11

Result:  SHARKS 4, Kings 3  {Overtime}  {Sharks win series 4-2}

San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton celebrates his series and game winning goal in overtime Monday night. Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports.

 

HITS

Kyle Wellwood – Wellwood scored his first goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, fourth of his career, at 2:58 of the second period to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead.  With tremendous pressure inside the Kings zone, Wellwood jumped up on the play and missed a backhand shot wide from in close on Kings goalie Jonathan Quick.  The Sharks were able to keep the puck in the Kings zone and got the puck behind the Kings net to captain Joe Thornton, who passed the puck out in front to Wellwood, who fired a knuckle-puck of a shot from in the slot that went over the glove of Quick for the goal.

Jason Demers – Demers scored his second goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, third of his career, at 16:52 of the second period to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead heading into the second intermission.  The goal was the result of the effort by Sharks forward Joe Pavelski, who started the play from deep in his own zone with the puck on his stick and carried the puck out to the neutral zone where it was knocked off his stick near the benches.  Pavelski though, did not give up on the play,  got the puck back on his stick and carried the puck into the Kings zone.  Once in the zone, Pavelski went around the Kings net and was bumped off the puck by a Kings defender.  Along with line-mate Torrey Mitchell, a battle for the puck against two Kings players ensued in the lower corner, which Pavelski won as Wellwood skated into the play and created a second of time for Pavelski to make a play.  With the puck on his stick on the lower side board, Pavelski fired a cross zone pass to Demers, who jumped in on the play from the blue line, and with the puck on his stick, Demers fired a wrist-shot from in the slot that beat Quick for the goal.

Dany Heatley – Heatley scored his second goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, 14th of his career, at 8:48 of the third period to give the Sharks a 3-2 lead.  With the puck outside of the Kings zone at the blue line, Sharks forward Ryane Clowe floated the puck into the Kings zone that was knocked down inside the blue line by Kings forward Brad Richardson.  However, the puck  bounced off of Richardson and Heatley carried the puck into the high face-off circle of the Kings zone and sniped a shot pass Quick for the goal.

Joe Thornton – The Sharks captain scored the game winning and series clinching goal at 2:22 of Overtime to give the Sharks a 4-3 victory and 4-2 series win.  The goal, Thornton’s second of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs and 17th of his career, came shortly after the Sharks Penalty Killers successfully killed off Jamie McGinn‘s five minute major penalty near the end of the third period {more later in “hits” and “misses”}.  From center ice, Thornton chipped the puck into the Kings zone, which was picked up by line mate Devin Setoguchi, who carried the puck behind the Kings net and out to the lower face-off circle, where Setoguchi fired a pass to line-mate Patrick Marleau in the slot that bounced off his stick.  Thornton, who had positioned himself at the side of the goalie crease, reached out for the loose puck and fired a turnaround shot from on top of the goalie crease that went into the net for the game and series winning goal!  Thornton finished with a two point night {1 goal, 1 assist}.

Antti Niemi – After being pulled in game 5 as the result of giving up three goals on only four shots in the first 8:42 of the game, Niemi, who Thornton said after tonight’s the game is the backbone of the team and the reason why the Sharks are where they are today instead of 9th or 10th place,” had himself an outstanding bounce back game, stopping 26-of-29 shots on net and came up with huge, key saves in the final moments of the third period as the Sharks Penalty Killers worked to kill off the McGinn five-minute major penalty.

Penalty Killers – Despite giving up two Kings Power Play goals on four Power Play opportunities, the Sharks Penalty Killers rose to the occasion and passed their “Gut Check” test as they successfully killed off McGinn’s five minute major penalty, which was called at 16:37 of the third period and resulted in 1:37 of carry over time at the start of overtime for the Kings.  For those who don’t know, had the Kings scored at anytime during the final minutes of the third period, the Kings would have continued to stay on the Power Play for the duration of the game because the penalty was called a major.

Joe Pavelski – Simply put, Pavelski came to play tonight by doing all the little things such as battling for the puck along the boards and making smart decesions when having the puck on his stick.  Along with the usual consistent play of his line, Pavelski fired a team high seven shots on net, including five on seven shifts in the first period, had an assist and three hits.

Devin Setoguchi – In addition to his one assist tonight, Setoguchi had a team high six hits tonight.

Niclas Wallin – Wallin had a team high four blocked shots tonight.

Sharks Team – To win the Stanley Cup Championship, a team has to find a way to overcome adversity when faced with a daunting task. Tonight, the Sharks did just that when they successfully killed off Jamie McGinn’s five-minute major penalty for the final 3:23 of the third period and the first 97 seconds of overtime.  Without a doubt, prior Sharks teams would have hung their heads, especially after blowing three leads, but this Sharks team continued to battle and stuck to their gameplan.  As a result, the Sharks dug deep, found a way to win and are now headed to the Western Conference Semifinals for the eighth time in franchise history and fifth time in the last six seasons.

MISSES

Brian Pochmara – If you don’t recognize this name, you will once I tell you that this is the official that inexplicably deemed Jamie McGinn’s hit on Richardson worthy of a five-minute major and a game misconduct.  I’m sorry and I may be a bit biased here but after all that happened during the game tonight and was allowed, there is no way on God’s green earth that Pochmara or any other official tonight could honestly say that McGinn’s hit was worthy of five minutes and a misconduct, especially after Kings defenseman Drew Doughty CROSS CHECKED Setoguchi in the FACE shortly before McGinn’s hit and was only assessed two minutes!  I’ve watched the hit multiple times and all McGinn did was track down the Kings player who had the puck, which was Richardson, and lay a hard hit on him against the side boards that at the most should have been just two minutes.  Pochmara and the officials need to learn that as big of a shock as it may come to them, fans are not paying their hard earned money to see them decide the outcome of a game.  Pochmara and the officials have one job to do and that is call the game fairly, which now-a-days seems to be asking way too much of them.

Jamie McGinn – Playing his second game of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs in place of Ben Eager, McGinn had the “Hit of the Night” that could have cost the Sharks the game and to an extreme extent, his career on the Sharks as some Sharks fans on Twitter stated, after his hit on Richardson resulted in a five-minute major for “charging” and a game misconduct.  However, to be fair to McGinn, up until that hit, McGinn had done what was asked of him by the Sharks coaching staff, which was to inject some energy onto the Sharks fourth line, which had a +/- rating of -10 coming into tonight’s game.  Yes, McGinn has to be smart in that instance but he pursued the puck and finished his check and honestly, after all that was allowed tonight by Pochmara and his officiating crew, I can’t fault McGinn’s effort and no, I don’t think his career with the Sharks is done.

3rd Period – The Sharks started the third period up 2-1 on the scoreboard.  That was erased in 18 seconds as Kings forward Ryan Smyth scored his second goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs to tie the game at 2-2 off a rebound shot by line mate Jarrett Stoll.  Niemi made the initial save but Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle allowed Stoll to get position on him and let Stoll out-muscle him for the rebound.  The Sharks though did respond with Heatley’s goal to go up 3-2 but the Kings battled back and tied the game at 3-3 via the Power Play {more later in “misses”}.  In addition, the Sharks were out shot 11-5 and were horrible in the face-off circle, losing seven of the first 11 face-offs of the period.

Power Play – If the Sharks are going to advance to the Western Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Championship, the Sharks Power Play unit has got to pick it up!  After finishing the regular season ranked number two in the whole league, the Sharks Power Play finished this series 2-for-22 after going o-for-3 with three shots with the man advantage tonight.  Even more alarming, the Sharks Power Play unit was 0-for-11 AT HOME during this series!  The best way for the Sharks to fix this hole in their game…..stop waiting and passing up chances and JUST SHOOT THE PUCK!

Penalty Killers – While the Sharks Penalty Killers did rise to the occasion late in the game, they did allow two Kings Power Play goals that tied the game in both the second and third period and finished the night 2-for-4.  With the Sharks up 1-0 in the second period, Pochmara and his crew assessed Thornton a four minute double minor penalty for “high sticking” even though Thornton’s stick was raised up by Kings forward Wayne Simmonds.  The result?  Kings forward Justin Williams scored his third goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs off a rebound shot at 13:27 of the second period to tie the game at 1-1.  In the third period, Demers took a bad “interference” penalty after Heatley had given the Sharks a 3-2 lead.  The result?  Kings forward Trevor Lewis scored his first goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs off a rebound shot at 11:39 to tie the game at 3-3.

“Teal Town Tweet Talk” for 4/17/11 – 4/23/11

If you’re on Twitter, chances are you follow a high amount of people whether it be friends, celebrities or your favorite athletes.  Unfortunately, unless you have the ability to refresh your time line every 10 seconds, you are going to miss quite a few tweets throughout the day, which is why I came up with the idea for “Teal Town Tweet Talk.”  “Teal Town Tweet Talk” will give Sharks fans the best tweets of the week sent out by the Sharks players and staff members themselves and hopefully, give sharks fans a good laugh in the process.

Sena Acolatse

“Game of thrones. Me and @Doherty_4 Joining an elite class.”  {April 17}

Jamie Baker

“The Chickens needed a feeding and a feed they got. Seto with GWG in OT as Sharks improbable comeback is complete. Wild night in LA!”  {April 19}

Brodie Brazil

Just saw Kato Kaelin tank at standup. Now watching mechanical bull riding. Welcome to Hollywood.”  {April 20}

Ryane Clowe

“So will they send me a twitter jacket for my first tweet? Just like the NHL sends you a leather jacket for your first game #insidejoke  {April 22}

Logan Couture

“Just had that awkward taste when you brush your teeth then eat something minutes later…I think that’s why @seto1661 never brushes his..”  {April 17}

Dan DaSilva

“Once again lookin forward to a night of nhl playoff hockey. Hopefully some games go into overtime. #otheroes”  {April 20}

Randy Hahn

“In 20 years of doing the play by play thing for the Sharks, that game ranks right up there. Unforgettable!”  {April 19}

Carter Hutton

“Hollywood is running short on ideas…Cowboys and Aliens #comeonman {April 22}

Jamal Mayers

“Just got verified! Sick!! Told ya I’d take of you fellas @Logancouture @seto1661 #EliteStatus  {April 22}

Devin Setoguchi

“Trending world wide??? Wow feel blessed thanks to all my fans u rock”  {April 19}

S.J. Sharkie

“I am speachless! Well, I always am, I just can’t even type right now! How bout them sharks! Down 4-0, and come back to win!”  {April 19}

Sean Sullivan

“Whoever just pulled the fire alarm in the hotel is dead meat.”  {April 22}

*All photos courtesy of their respective Twitter pages*