“Hits and Misses” for Sharks at Coyotes 4/8/11

Result:  SHARKS 3, Coyotes 4

San Jose Sharks forward Joe Pavelski maintains puck control Friday night against the Phoenix Coyotes. Photo courtesy of sharks.nhl.com

HITS

Ian White – In his 22nd game in teal, White scored his third goal of the season at 4:31 of the second period to tie the game at 1-1.  The goal was White’s first in his last 62 games and first as a San Jose Shark.  The goal came as the result of the Sharks winning a face-off in the neutral zone from just outside the the Coyotes zone and maintaining puck control once inside the Coyotes zone.  From the top corner, Sharks forward Torrey Mitchell passed the puck out to Sharks defenseman Niclas Wallin at the blue line, who passed the puck over to White, who showed great patience and poise at the blue line with the puck.  After repositioning himself for a better shot and with Sharks forward Joe Pavelski screening in front, White fired a wrist shot from the blue line that beat Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov for the goal.  White also had a team high three blocked shots.

Joe Thornton – The Sharks captain recorded his 1000th career NHL point via his 21st goal of the season at 9:27 of the third period to cut the Coyotes deficit to 4-2.  With relentless pressure in the Coyotes zone, Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray fired a shot on net from the blue line that was blocked in front by a Coyotes defender and Sharks forward Logan Couture.  With the puck in mid-air, Thornton, who was positioned in front of Bryzgalov, took a swing at the puck and knocked it into the back of the net for the goal.

Dany Heatley – Heatley scored his 26th goal of the season at 16:21 of the third period to cut the the Coyotes deficit to 4-3.  With puck possession in the Coyotes zone, Heatley wound up and fired a laser of a shot from the top of the point between the two face-off circles that Bryzgalov had no chance to stop.

Kyle Wellwood/Joe Pavelski/Torrey Mitchell – While the trio was only credited with one point in the box score, a Mitchell assist, this line was once again the most consistent Sharks line all game as the trio generated a majority of the Sharks scoring chances and helped sway momentum away from the Coytoes.

Douglas Murray – Murray had a team high four hits in the game.

4-on-4 – Playing with one less skater both ways was very kind to the Sharks tonight as two of their three goals {White and Heatley} were scored during these stretches of play.

Penalty Killers – After an abysmal night in Anaheim on Wednesday, the Sharks Penalty Killers rebounded with a solid performance, killing 5-of-6 Power Play opportunities for the Coyotes.

Third Period – Had the Sharks played the entire game the way they did the final 11:33 of the third period, there is no way the Coyotes would have beaten them tonight.  When the Sharks play with that type of urgency, energy and focus in their game in addition to their ability to win races to loose pucks, the Sharks are not only a tough team to play against, they are a tough team to beat.

MISSES

Sharks Team – After their abysmal performance Wednesday night in Anaheim and after having a chance to see film of the game Thursday in practice, one would think that the Sharks would have started the game with their foot down on the pedal and taken it to the Coyotes.  However, the opposite occurred and the Sharks spent the first 50 minutes of the game playing lackadaisical, eerily similar to how they played in Anaheim.  Honestly, in the last two games, the Sharks have not been ready to play and have lacked focus and energy.  I hate to say it but it’s almost as if the Sharks have decided as a team that finishing third overall in the Western Conference standings is good enough instead of fighting for the second overall seed.

Coyotes Fans – The Coyotes fans tonight proved they do not respect the game of hockey nor have an appreciation for the game as a result of their ridiculous behavior in booing Thornton after the announcement was made inside the arena that Thornton had recorded his 1000th career NHL point after his goal.  To those Coyotes fans that booed, get over yourselves already and show some class and appreciation for a milestone achievement!

Andrew Ebbett Goal – This goal for the Coyotes was totally preventable and came as the result of the Sharks failing to clear the puck out of their own zone when they had possession of the puck!  The Sharks turned the puck over in their own zone at the blue line to Coyotes forward Kyle Turris, who skated into the slot on Sharks goalie Antti Niemi and passed the puck over to Ebbett, who KICKED the puck into the net for the goal at 15:58 of the first period for a late 1-0 lead.  Despite replays showing that Ebbett made a distinct kicking motion with his skate on the puck, the league office in Toronto up-held the kicked in goal for the second consecutive game against the Sharks.

Second Period – In the middle frame, the Sharks surrendered two goals that were easily preventable.  The first goal of the period came as the result of Coyotes forward Eric Belanger carrying the puck into the Sharks zone from the neutral zone.  Once in the Sharks zone, Belanger passed the puck over to Coyotes captain Shane Doan, who from inside the top face-off circle, passed the puck down in the slot to line-mate Ray Whitney, who beat Niemi with a one-timer shot at 8:57 of the period as Sharks forward Andrew Desjardins lost focus for a split second.  The second Coyotes goal was scored by forward Radim Vrbata at 11:31 of the period and came on a 3-on-1 rush in transition after Thornton hit the crossbar in the Coyotes zone and sharks defenseman Dan Boyle fanned on the rebound shot.

Power Play – With the man advantage, the Sharks went 0-for-4 and are now 0-for-8 in their last two games, both of which have been losses.

Penalty Killers – While the Sharks Penalty Killers did have a solid effort in killing off five of the Coyotes six Power Play opportunities, the one Power Play the Penalty Killers didn’t kill off ended up being credited as the game winning goal as Doan scored his 20th goal of the season at 8:22 of the third period on a simple shot from the point that extended the Coyotes lead to 4-1.

Discipline – For the second game in a row, the Sharks uncharacteristically took a plethora of penalties, six minors for the game, and the one that hurt them the most on the scoreboard ended up being the game winning goal.

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About Jon Allred

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

Posted on April 8, 2011, in Sports and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Definitely true about the 3rd period. The Sharks could use more of that, less of the rest of the game.

    Otherwise, what’s crazy is that even though the Sharks were going through the motions for most of the game and generally playing with a lack of enthusiasm or effort (excluding the 3rd period/last 10 minutes or so) they still almost won. A couple posts, a few bad bounces…if those go the other way, Sharks might have won another lopsided one, even without the improved effort in the 3rd. Playing at 50% effort the Sharks almost won. Hopefully the Sharks want to seal up the 2nd seed bad enough tomorrow to play at 100% the whole game.

  2. That’s two awful games in a row I’d like to forget. I can’t help but feel that the team would have put in more of an effort if Niemi had played against the Ducks Wednesday. Nitti should have been put in a game earlier and not this late in the regular season. But oh well. We’re just couch coaches right? It doesn’t give me a good feeling going into the playoffs with the Sharks playing so badly…

  3. I agree with Jay Sharky about Nitty sitting on the bench for that insane amount of games. Niemi’s a heck of a goalie, but Nitty won’t improve his skills by sitting there and watching how Anti does all the job.
    I see through these posts (remember I’m not able to see the games on TV) that the Sharks tend either to play like your-average-Stanley cup-winners or a team of undisciplined college hockey players… I guess McLellan has some work to do there.

    • I just wanted to say that, not just you, but a lot of hockey “experts” always credit the line that “generates a lot of chances” with postitive feedback, but cant it be looked at like they “generated but didn’t convert” a lot of chances….if looked at like that, then that line should not be overly applauded.

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