“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.

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About Jon Allred

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

Posted on April 30, 2011, in Sports. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Pavelski’s knee did kind of hit the goalie in the head…the penalty may also have been for Pavs hitting the other Red Wing player in the face, with his gloves on. The refs had let a few other things go, so it also may have been a “make up” call???? And the Sharks are lucky the line guy called the High Stick to Wallin’s beard, cuz the middle guy was letting it go…..

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