“Hits and Misses” for Coyotes at Sharks 4/9/11

Result:  Coyotes 1, SHARKS 3

San Jose Sharks forward Joe Pavelski scores his 20th goal of the season in second period Saturday night. Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports.

HITS

Ian White – White scored his fourth goal of the season, his second in as many nights, at 7:11 of the second period to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead.  The goal came as the result of a relentless forecheck by the Sharks third line of Torrey Mitchell, Joe Pavelski and Kyle Wellwood inside the Coyotes zone.  The trio refused to let the puck leave the zone and generated a tremendous amount of pressure on Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.  Wellwood, from the end board, passed the puck out to Mitchell on the side board, who passed the puck out to White at the blue line.  From the blue line, White fired a shot that beat Bryzgalov for the goal.  White also had a game high four blocked shots.

Joe Pavelski – Pavelski scored his 20th goal of the season at 18:37 of the second period with the Sharks on a Power Play to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead heading into the second intermission.  The goal, which held up as the game winning goal, marked the third consecutive season that Pavelski has scored at least 20 goals and came as the result of good player and puck movement by the Sharks on their Power Play inside the Coyotes zone.  From the side of the goalie net, Sharks captain Joe Thornton passed the puck out in front in the slot to Pavelski, who from the top of the goalie crease, went backhand to forehand and fired a shot that beat Bryzgalov through the pads for the goal.

Logan Couture – The “Playstation Sharks Rookie of the Year” scored his 32nd goal of the season at 18:29 of the third period with the Sharks on a Power Play to seal a 3-1 victory for the Sharks.  With possession of the puck inside the Coyotes zone, Sharks forward Dany Heatley carried the puck down behind Bryzgalov’s net and passed the puck out in front to Couture, whose initial shot on net was blocked by a Coyotes defender.  However, Couture followed up on the puck and lifted a rebound shot passed Bryzgalov for the goal.

Antti Niemi – Niemi, the “Sharks Foundation Player of the Year,” was once again outstanding, stopping 35-of-36 shots on net for his 34th win of the season and stood on top of his head during multiple stretches of the game to protect the Sharks lead.

Kyle Wellwood – Wellwood had a two point night with two assists on three of the Sharks goals {White and Couture}

Marc Edouard Vlasic – Along with White, Vlasic also had a game high four blocked shots.

Scott Nichol – In his second game back from injury, Nichol had a game high seven hits tonight.

Todd McLellan – Coach McLellan won his 152nd game as Sharks coach, tying him with Mike Keenan for the most wins by a coach in their first three seasons as a head coach.

Special Teams – After going 0-for-8 with the man advantage the last two games, the Sharks Power Play rebounded with a huge night on the Power Play by going 2-for-3 and the Penalty Killers went a perfect 2-for-2.

Sharks Team – With the win in their regular season finale, the Sharks officially clinched the number two seed in the Western Conference standings, finishing with a record of 48-25-9 with 105 points.  However, the Sharks will not know their first round playoff opponent until after the Chicago Blackhawks vs. Detroit Red Wings game tomorrow morning.  Here are all the possibilities….The Sharks will host the Los Angeles Kings if the Blackhawks lose in regulation; the Sharks will host the Nashville Predators if the Blackhawks win in a shootout; the Sharks will host the Blackhawks if the Blackhawks lose in overtime or a shootout; the Sharks will host the Coyotes if the Blackhawks win in regulation.  Here is the interesting one…..If the Blackhawks lose in regulation and the Dallas Stars win in regulation or overtime (no shootout), the Stars would finish in the eighth seed and the Blackhawks would miss the playoffs.

MISSES

Own Zone Play – Multiple times during the game, especially in the first and third periods, the Sharks had trouble clearing the puck out of their own zone.  Part of it was the relentless forecheck applied by the Coyotes forwards but a majority of it was the Sharks turning the puck over on their clear attempts.  That’s one area that the Sharks need to address before the playoffs start because if the Sharks continue to struggle getting the puck out of their own zone, teams in the playoffs will make them pay for that on the scoreboard.

Third Period – Until the Couture goal late in the third period, the Sharks were getting outworked in the final frame by a hungrier Coyotes team.  At one point, the Coyotes were out-shooting the Sharks 12-5 in the period and scored their lone goal at 8:36 when Coyotes forward Lauri Korpikoski scored on a breakaway after blocking a Sharks shot on net attempt at the blue line of the Coyotes zone.

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About Jon Allred

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

Posted on April 9, 2011, in Sports and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Miché Saaijman

    I missed reading your blog,so I super enjoyed catching up and I’m glad to hear the Sharks are doing good,that’s more than what I can say for the rugby team I support

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