“Hits and Misses” for Sharks at Red Wings Game 4 WCSF 5/6/11

Result:  SHARKS 3, Red Wings 4    {Sharks lead series 3-1}

San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi makes a Save on Red Wings defenseman Johan Franzen during the third period of the game Friday night. Photo courtesy of sharks.nhl.com

HITS

Logan Couture – Couture scored his third goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, seventh of his career, at 18:16 of the first period to cut the Red Wings deficit to 3-1.  The goal, which came 17 seconds after Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom scored a Power Play goal to give the Red Wings a 3-0 lead, came as the result of a turnover in the Red Wings zone by Red Wings forward Darren Helm, who gave the puck away to Sharks forward Ryane Clowe at the blue line.  With the puck on his stick, Clowe skated further into the Red Wings zone before angling off to the high side-board near the top corner.  With Helm pursuing him, Clowe fired the puck on net with a fade-away shot that Couture, who had positioned himself on the goal line near the side of the goalie crease, tipped with his stick, causing the puck to squeeze past Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard on the short side for the goal.  Couture also had an assist for a two point night.

Dan Boyle – Boyle scored his second goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, ninth of his career, at 13:44 of the second period to cut the Red Wings deficit to 3-2.  The goal came as the result of the Sharks winning a face-off inside the Red Wings zone, which led to Sharks forward Kyle Wellwood making a strong move on net that was stopped by Howard but Wellwood was able to corral the puck back on his stick on the end-board.  From the end-board, Wellwood skated out to the face-off dot of the lower face-off circle and fired a cross zone pass to Boyle, who snuck in backdoor on the weak side, and with the puck on his stick inside the high face-off circle, Boyle fired the puck over the glove of Howard for the goal.

Dany Heatley – Heatley scored his third goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, 15th of his career, at 1:14 of the third period to tie the game at 3-3.  With the puck deep inside the Red Wings zone, Couture corralled the puck at the high corner and fired a pass behind the Red Wings net to line-mate Clowe, who centered the puck out in front of the slot to Heatley, who fired a shot on net that beat Howard on the blocker side for the goal.

Antti Niemi – Niemi was the sole reason why the Sharks were able to battle back and tie the game at 3-3 early in the third period because had Niemi not been in net tonight for the Sharks, this game would have been a blowout just like last year’s 7-1 loss in Game 4 in Detroit.  Niemi was outstanding in net, stopping 36-of-40 shots, and stood tall as he was bombarded with shots all night from the Red Wings.

Penalty Killers – The Sharks Penalty Killers had another solid outing, successfully killing off three of the Red Wings four Power Play opportunities, three of which came in the second period alone.  Even though the Sharks Penalty Killers did surrender Lidstrom’s Power Play goal late in the first period, the goal came with only four seconds remaining on the Power Play opportunity.

Ryane Clowe – Clowe had a three point night with three assists and along with Couture, were the only Sharks players to have a multiple point night.

Douglas Murray – Murray had a game high three blocked shots and team high four hits.

Sharks Team – While it would have been nice to see the Sharks complete their first ever franchise sweep of a playoff series, the Sharks can hold their heads high on the flight back to San Jose tonight knowing they showed the entire hockey realm what they are made of as they took the Red Wings best shots in the first period and dug themselves out of a three goal deficit by scoring three times over the next 23 minutes of the game.  Plus, how sweet would it be for the Sharks to close the series out on home ice on Mother’s Day?  I think that would be the perfect Mother’s Day gift.

MISSES

Sharks Team – The Sharks did the one thing head coach Todd McLellan said they could not and that was they sat back on their heels in the first period instead of pushing back.  Had the Sharks not got off to such a slow start, there is no doubt that the Sharks would have won the game and completed their first ever series sweep in franchise history.  If you don’t think the players are upset, think again as Boyle told the following to the San Jose Sharks twitter feed“We wanted to finish it tonight. We won the first one here and I’m not happy with a split. I don’t think anyone in here is.”

Power Play – Even though the Sharks Power Play unit only got two chances with the man advantage, both of the opportunities came in the third period after the Sharks had tied the game at 3-3 and unfortunately for Sharks fans, the Sharks weren’t able to capitalize on those two golden chances.

Bertuzzi Goal – Versus broadcast analyst Jeremy Roenick pointed out during the first intermission report that Red Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi‘s goal should NOT have counted because Red Wings forward Danny Clearly was OFFSIDES by being inside the Sharks zone before Bertuzzi skated into the zone with the puck!

Helm GWG – Helm’s game winning goal all started with the face-off in the Sharks zone that the Sharks won but couldn’t clear the puck out as their clear attempt was kept in at the blue line by Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski, who fired a shot on net that was blocked in front.  Red Wings forward Patrick Eaves corralled the rebound and with four Sharks players on the high side of the zone, Eaves passed the puck down to Helm, who had snuck in on the play on the backside, and Helm fired a shot on net that beat Niemi for the goal.  HOWEVER, I would like to point out that it did appear that Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader was running interference on Niemi, which prevented Niemi from getting across his goalie crease in time to stop Helm’s shot.

Referees – Once again, the referees put their “seal of approval” on the game by being totally inconsistent with their calls throughout the game.  For example, the referees missed the offsides on the Bertuzzi goal but made sure to call it later in the third period when the Sharks had a 3-on-1 opportunity that could have given the Sharks the lead and the best part was the fact that the Sharks were NOT offsides.  Another example was when Sharks captain Joe Thornton not only got tripped inside is own zone by a Red Wings player along the high side-board but Thornton also got cross-checked in back by a Red Wings player while down on the ice on his knees and no call!  Even better was that the first four penalties of the game went against the Sharks, whom didn’t get their first Power Play opportunity until 4:12 into the third period or at 44:12 of the game.

Versus Announcers – Were those the Versus announcers or the Red Wings regional announcers because I honestly couldn’t tell the difference with all the nauseating, bias commentary from the Versus crew for the Red Wings.  I would expect the Red Wings regional announcers to be in favor of their team because that’s who they announce for but for Versus, a national channel, to have their commentators so one-sided was ridiculous and a huge slap in the face to all Sharks fans that tuned in to watch.  Don’t believe me?  The following comments were made by the Versus crew during the game….“Oh that’s an un-earned goal” was said after Couture’s goal; “Oh that’s textbook interference” was said after Sharks defenseman Ian White was called for an interference penalty in the first period; “Oh that might be holding the stick” was said when the replay showed Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson clear as crystal holding the stick of Sharks forward Jamal Mayers.  Still don’t believe me?  Then I suggest you go back and listen to the announcer after Bertuzzi scored the first goal of the game.  My God!  One would have thought the Red Wings had just won the Stanley Cup with as excited as the announcer got.

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About Jon Allred

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

Posted on May 6, 2011, in Sports and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Dead on with those announcers and the refs. I turned the volume down on the game and turned up some music. Much better that way.

    The @#$!% refs are blind as heck. Although Seto did get away with a trip early, but that was about it. The Sharks got no breaks from any calls the refs made. Oh well, the Sharks are still up 3 games to 1. Let’s close it out at home!!

  2. Diane Guymon

    Ok, beware…it seems you and I watched a totally different game yesterday—
    There you go again giving the players who score the goals “hits” EVERY time. I know scoring in hockey is HARD, but the scorers can score AND have a bad game. DID you see Boyle WHIFF on a shot which led to him being out of position which led to a Red Wings goal. Did you watch how bad Boyle and Murray played yesterday, how many times they got beat, how many times they were out of position, how disorganized and lost they looked out there??? Guess not. Go watch the game again, focusing on Murray! Watch how he is repeatedly skated passed. Were he and Boyle on the ice for most of the goals, yes!
    You thought Niemi was a “hit”? What! Yeah he made some saves during some scrambles, but a lot of the times that the Wings had their best chances, they just MISSED, rather than Niemi doing anything. On the first goal, how SLOWLY and without effort did Niemi lift his glove?!?!??!!!! And I thought he could have saved some of the other ones too. He had a BAD game, expecially the first period. If a goalie gives up 4 goals, they should NOT be considered a “hit”. 4 goals is A LOT. Does he expect his team to have to score 5 to win. 5 is nearly impossible! You stated that Niemi was the “sole” reason they were able to come back, ummmm…how many goals did he score, they couldn’t have made the comeback without the goals….he was not the “sole” reason for the comeback. If they hadn’t scored, it would have just been 4-0.
    Stop complaining about Versus. I have extreme hearing loss and can NEVER hear the commentary. A true hockey fan does not need to hear what is going on. Just watch the game. The people at the stadium aren’t being told what is going on. I bet if you weren’t a Sharks fan you would think that Randy and Drew were biased toward the Sharks in what they say and how they “cheer” goals. You were upset that the guy got excited on Bertuzzi’s goal, I bet you were also one who wishes Seto’s first “History will be made” commercial was set to Randy’s call.
    Each and every foul called on the Sharks was legitimate, the refs didn’t make them up.
    Tell me the truth, did you notice the offsides without the help of Jeremy Roenick and his replay desk computer board thingy? The refs don’t have those at their disposal, either.
    I would have put Todd McClellan as a “miss”. He had the, in my opinion, WRONG guys out there a few times. I saaw Ferriro and Mitchell on a power play which could have determined the game. And Nicol was out there on that last series when Helm scored. And he had a time out he could have used earlier to change the personel or give them a rest before that last goal took place.
    I enjoy your blog and your “opinions”, sorry to disagree or critizize so many of them today.

    • Ok be ready….

      I agree with you about Boyle and Murray. I already mentioned this to someone else because I forgot to include them as a miss. I knew I was missing something but didn’t know what until after I posted it.

      We are going to have to agree to disagree on Niemi because I don’t know how much more he could of done to keep the Wings at Bay and not let it become a blowout like last years 7-1 shackling.

      He was scrambling in the crease making saves and if were going to get technical, he was screened out of the crease on two goals [Boyle screened him out on the second Detroit goal and Andelkader screened him out on the GWG, which doesn’t happen if the Sharks clear the zone.

      As for Bertuzzi’s goal, I noticed it before Jeremy Roenick pointed it out at intermission, which was confirmed once they showed the replay right after the goal.

      As for the commercial….What the heck does Setoguchi’s commercial have to do with anything? I never said one word about it!

      Plus don’t even imply I’m not a true hockey fan because I’m upset with the commentary. I wasn’t the only Sharks fan upset with the commentary and a plethora of fans of other teams have felt the same way about Versus announcing crew ALL SEASON, which is why real fans want the NHL back on ESPN where it should be!

      In case you missed it, I clearly stated that I would have expected it from the Red Wings regional announcers because that’s their team and would have no problem with it!

      Versus is a NATIONAL channel whose broadcasters are suppose to be neutral, not favor one team over the other. If the guy wants to get excited, fine but do the same thing when the Sharks score.

      As for Randy and Drew, again they WORK FOR THE Sharks! Big difference. Plus, they are not Sharks homers in that they don’t go on and on about the Sharks while shunning the other team. They are the opposite which is they have not only won awards but have a reputation amongst the NHL and NHL fans as the least biased announcers. Randy & Drew do an excellent job of crediting both teams and it’s players.

      As for the refs, I don’t know how much clearer I can be….I don’t mind a missed call but take issue when refs watch an infraction and turn a blind eye. Plus, I will say it again, there is No Consistency from the refs with regards to what is and isn’t a penalty. You look at some of the calls being made and the thought that comes to mind is “That’s a penalty with all that’s been allowed all game?”

      I’ll put this way…..if I watched these games with someone new to the sport of hockey, they would be totally lost due to the inconsistency of the refs. They would be saying all game, “Why wasn’t that a penalty? Shouldn’t that be a penalty?”

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