“Hits and Misses” for Kings at Sharks Game 2 WCQF 4/16/11

Result:  Kings 4, SHARKS 0  {Series tied 1-1}

San Jose Sharks forward Ryane Clowe is called for cross checking Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty Saturday night. Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports.

HITS

Justin Braun – Making his Stanley Cup Playoff debut and filling in for injured Sharks defenseman Ian White, the rookie Braun was one of the best Sharks player out on the ice tonight despite not registering a point on the score sheet.  Braun kept his game simple and played within himself by making smart decesions with the puck once it was on his stick and moved the puck well.

Scott Nichol – Nichol had a game high six hits for the Sharks tonight.

MISSES

Sharks Team – The Sharks were shutout at home for the fourth time in Franchise history in a Stanley Cup Playoff game and shutout for the first time since game three of their 2010 first round series against the Colorado Avalanche {Sharks lost in overtime 1-0}.  The Sharks lacked a competitive spirit tonight and had no fire in their belly.  Simply put, the Sharks were dominated in every aspect of the game by the Kings and were served a big helping of humble pie by their California and Pacific Division rival.  The Sharks lost face-offs; lost the battles and races for loose pucks; had 19 giveaways; couldn’t clear the puck out of their own end; were undisciplined; didn’t kill off penalties; didn’t convert on their Power Play chances and left goalie Antti Niemi out to dry by providing no support for him.

Discipline – The Sharks uncharacteristically took three consecutive minor penalties in final eight-and-a-half minutes of the first period, all of which were retaliation penalties, and the Kings capitalized on two of them via their Power Play unit to take a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.  For the game, the Sharks took seven penalties, six minor and one misconduct.

Penalty Killers – In a 3:30 span of the first period, the Sharks Penalty Killers surrendered two Power Play goals on the Kings first two Power Play opportunities of the game.  The first goal was scored by Kings defenseman Jack Johnson at 12:13 of the period on a slapshot from the blue line that Niemi never saw as Kings forward Ryan Smyth was screening him in front.  The second goal was scored by Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, who drove one past Niemi at 15:43 after Sharks captain Joe Thornton inexplicably turned the puck over in the neutral zone instead of clearing the puck down the ice when he had the chance.  After the first two unsuccessful attempts, the Sharks Penalty Killers did get into a rhythm and killed off the next four Kings Power Play opportunities to finish the night 4-for-6 but the damage was already done.

Power Play – Two games into the series, the Sharks Power Play unit, which finished ranked number two overall for the regular season, is 0-for-7 after finishing 0-for-5 with the man advantage tonight.  The main problem with the Sharks Power Play unit is that the players are too stationary.  No one on the Sharks is cutting or creating a shot for themselves as they all seem content to stand in one spot and pass the puck around like a hot potato until someone decides to shoot the puck, which is usually shot high and wide of the net or blocked by a Kings defender.  In addition, none of the Sharks are getting in front of the goalie and blocking his vision with a screen and when a shot does manage to get through on net, none of the Sharks are there in front for a rebound goal opportunity.

Joe Thornton – Not only did Thornton’s miscue lead to a Kings Power Play goal late in the first period, but Thornton was also responsible for the Kings fourth goal of the game, scored by Kings forward Kyle Clifford at 4:54 of the third period.  Somehow, Thornton, who was in front of Niemi, allowed himself to be out of position by losing sight of Clifford and as a result, Clifford banged in a rebound goal off a Brad Richardson shot.

Ryane Clowe/Ben Eager – As a Sharks fan, I enjoy seeing the team have an edge to them with players such as Jamal Mayers, Nichol, Eager and Clowe.  However, to be successful in the playoffs,  the players have to be smart, disciplined and know when to have that edge, something both Eager and Clowe forgot tonight as they took horrible retaliation penalties late in the first period that led to two Power Play goals for the Kings.  Eager was called for “slashing” at 11:26 of the first period, which led to Johnson’s goal at 12:13, and Clowe was called for “elbowing” at 13:50, which led to Doughty’s first goal of the game at 15:43.  To make matters even worse, Clowe didn’t learn his lesson as less than two minutes later at 17:52, Clowe took a foolish “cross-checking” penalty {pictured at top of post}.  Lastly, Clowe, as well as Sharks forward Dany Heatley, were responsible for Doughty’s second goal of the game, which came at 15:42 of the second period to make it 3-0, as neither gave a full effort to get in front of Doughty’s shot from the point for the block.  Both hesitated, thinking the other was going to do it and as a result, Doughty patiently waited for his shot and put the puck in the back of the net for the goal.

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About Jon Allred

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

Posted on April 16, 2011, in Sports and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Yeah, the Sharks lost and its a bad penalty to have to take, but that picture is CLASSIC for the expression on Doughty’s face! Ha!

    PS Bring on Game 3!!

  2. “For the first time in franchise history, the Sharks were shutout at home in a Stanley Cup Playoff game and shutout for the first time in the playoffs since game one of their second round series against the Detroit Red Wings back in 1995 {Sharks lost 6-0}.”

    Weren’t they shut out in 2009- 2-0 in game 1 vs. the Ducks?

  3. Miché Saaijman

    Very dissapointed that this game turned out so bad! Awful start to this Sunday morning!

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