“Hits and Misses” for Red Wings at Sharks Game 5 WCSF 5/8/11

Result:  Red Wings 4, SHARKS 3    {Sharks lead series 3-2}

San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi and forward Devin Setoguchi look up after Tomas Holmstrom scored the winning goal for the Red Wings in the third period. Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports.


Devin Setoguchi – Setoguchi scored his fifth goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, 12th of his career, at 17:18 of the first period to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead.  With a face-off in the lower face-off circle of the Red Wings zone, Sharks captain Joe Thornton won the face-off and got the puck back to Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle, who walked the blue line before firing a shot on net from the top of the point that Setoguchi, who was in the slot, tipped downward with his stick, causing the puck to go between the legs of Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard for the goal.

Joe Pavelski – Pavelski scored his fifth goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, 20th of his career, at 15:32 of the second period to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead.  The goal started all the way back inside the Sharks zone after a great defensive play by Sharks forward Kyle Wellwood, who blocked Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski‘s shot on net after turning the puck over to him at the blue line.  With the puck on his stick on the lower side board inside the Sharks zone, Wellwood chipped the puck out to the neutral zone where Sharks forward Ryane Clowe corralled the puck and skated into the Red Wings zone 2-on-1 with Pavelski.  Clowe held onto the puck until the last possible second before passing to Pavelski, who tipped the puck into the net for the goal as he was crashing the net.

Logan Couture – Couture scored his fourth goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, eighth of his career, at 0:54 of the third period to give the Sharks a 3-1 lead. With the Sharks breaking out of their own zone, Couture took a neutral zone pass from line-mate Dany Heatley after sneaking behind the Red Wings defensemen for a breakaway opportunity and beat Howard through the legs with a slick deke for the goal.

Jason Demers – Demers was probably one of the most consistent Sharks players tonight with his effort as he made smart reads on the defensive side and jumped in on the offensive side.  This game made me a fan of Demers, who I’ve always been on the fence about.  If Demers can continue to have solid outings like he did tonight, Demers will have a long and bright future in San Jose.

Douglas Murray – Murray had a team high five hits tonight.

Penalty Kill – The Sharks Penalty Kill unit went a perfect 2-for-2 in killing off the Red Wings Power Play opportunities but it wasn’t so much that the Sharks Penalty Killers killed off the Red Wings Power Play opportunities, it was more about how the Sharks did it in not allowing the Red Wings to establish any puck presence or pressure in their zone.  The Sharks Penalty Killers won the races to loose pucks, blocked shots, won the battles along the boards and held the Red Wings Power Play unit at bay with ease.


Sharks Team – While the Sharks still lead the series 3-2, the Sharks character and mental toughness are now going to be tested because the Sharks just gave all their “naysayers” new ammunition to fire at them over the course of the next 48 hours as the result of their complete meltdown in the third period.  Sharks fans might be asking themselves, “How on God’s green earth did the Sharks blow a 3-1 lead in the third period at home?”  The answer to that is the Sharks went into retraction mode after Couture’s goal and took their foot off the gas instead of flooring the pedal and ending the series when they had the Red Wings wounded.  The Red Wings took advantage of the Sharks lackadaisical play by scoring three unanswered goals in a 10:11 span with the game was on the line and forced Game 6 back in Detroit on Tuesday evening.  What’s important for the Sharks now is that they lick their wounds, learn their lesson {If your A-game is not there, your B-game has to provide an impact}, pick themselves up and get the series clinching win in Detroit, which the Sharks can do by playing the entire game like they did the first 40 minutes of tonight’s game, staying in the moment and not even think about the possibility of a game 7 back in San Jose. 

Third Period – In addition to their lackadaisical play and taking their foot off the gas pedal in the third period, defensive lapses are what cost the Sharks the game tonight.  Yes, mistakes will happen over the course of an intense playoff game but the Sharks inexplicably allowed themselves to have lapses at critical moments in critical situations of the last 19 minutes of the period after playing nearly mistake free the first 40 minutes of the game.  The lapses were the following:  Heatley didn’t get his head around on a swivel to find Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson in the slot and Ericsson took advantage by scoring first goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs at 3:43 to cut the Sharks lead to 3-2; Setoguchi collapsed and guarded the goal post instead of going behind the net to play Red Wings forward Dan Cleary, who threw the puck out in front and the puck deflected off of Setoguchi’s skate and into the net for the tying goal at 5:29;  the game winning goal at 13:52 all started because Sharks forward Patrick Marleau charged at Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk instead of making a strong defensive play, which allowed Datsyuk to get the puck to Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, who fired a shot on net from the blue line that Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom tipped in front of Sharks goalie Antti Niemi.

Power Play – For the second consecutive game, the Sharks Power Play unit went failed to capitalize with the man advantage, going 0-for-4 on the night and are now 0-for-6 in their last two games.  Even more heart-sinking for Sharks fans was the fact that the Sharks let their Power Play opportunity with 5:05 left in the game go to waste by not establishing any puck control in the Red Wings zone or getting any shots on net.

Antti NiemiThis is a minor “miss” as Niemi played ok but he did allow four goals on only 22 shots.  To be fair though, Niemi had a “jaw-dropping” save on Ericsson in the first period and wasn’t solely responsible for the meltdown in the third period.  Two of the Red Wings third period goals came as the result of miscommunication between Niemi and the Sharks skaters, who did more harm than good when they collapsed to help Niemi out.  The game-winning goal would have never happened if Marleau had made a strong defensive play on Datsyuk instead of charging him.

Jeremy Roenick – After the game, Roenick, who played for the Sharks for two seasons from 2007-09 and is now a broadcast analyst for Versus, said on the Versus Post-Game show that Marleau was “GUTLESS” and held his hand up in a circle, saying “that’s how many points Marleau has in this series against the Red Wings.”  I respected Roenick as a player but his comment about Marleau being “gutless” was totally uncalled for and WRONG because Roenick, who played with Marleau in San Jose, knows darn well that Marleau does have guts, which was evident in the 2008 playoff series against the Calgary Flames where Marleau took a huge hit and got right back up.  In addition, this is not the first time Roenick has called out or gone after Marleau in the media this season, leading me to wonder if Roenick has an axe to grind with Marleau from their playing days in San Jose or if he’s just frustrated with Marleau’s play and is trying to light a fire under Marleau?  If Roenick is frustrated with Marleau’s play, I don’t blame him one bit because  all Sharks fans, me included, are frustrated with Marleau’s play this series and post-season as he’s been practically invisible!  However, to put a positive spin on this, as a Sharks fan, I would love nothing more than for Marleau to use this comment by Roenick as fire to fuel him to a breakout performance Tuesday evening in a series clinching win and serve Roenick a piece of humble pie with a side of crow.


About Jon Allred

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

Posted on May 8, 2011, in Sports and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Great post. This games’ third period reminded me too much of earlier in the season. 😦 I hope the Sharks can rally. I was really bummed that we couldn’t convert a goal on the PP either.

  2. Diane Guymon

    You forgot to put coach McClellan on the miss list again…why not have Eager in, he has a Stanley Cup ring, his name is on that cup, he HAS to be better than McGinn or Ferriro. And his not using his time out earlier was also a mistake. And he IS the coach….he should have motivated them better, maybe it was him who told them to just sit back and protect the lead…haha, prob not! But certainly he belongs on the miss list this time (and last).

  3. Also, “lackadaisical” is an awesome word.

    I’m glad people didn’t jump down Niemi’s throat like they always do because there was a complete defensive collapse. There is only so much he can do without a solid defense.

    Pretty sure Holmstrom is paid to be posted in front of the goalie and create a screen. Sigh.

  4. Great recap of the game. Thanks so much! Demers was seriously beasting so hard today. Too bad him and block-shots Murray were the only ones in it for longer than 30. Boys were not in it for a full 60 and Detoilet totally capitalized.

    As for the JR business IMHO I realize its his opinion and I don’t have to agree, which I don’t, but I don’t think he shouldve said it so publically. It seems like personal beef which you pointed out wasn’t the first time he’s criticize Patty and it should stay private. If that’s JR way of lighting a fire its not the right way.

  5. Great post. JR’s comments were harsh and totally unprofessional. Got love for Marleau (been watching that first line since I was young) but there’s somethig amiss with his game. Hoping they come back with a vengeance on Tuesday. 🙂

  6. Is Joe Thornton trying for an Oscar! never knew any canadian players that dove or faked an injury – that’s your problem Sharks, Thornton played like a cdn boy when Canada won the gold in Vancouver at the Olympics as he was given the opportunity and played great, but this faking is not what wins a stanley cup – need to grind it out with 16 wins, not 7, Danny Heatly playing in the spotlight must be tough, as he got away from the media as a Senator!

  7. Get ready to buy your game 7 tickets Sharks Fans, cause the Wings will win game 6 at the Joe way more than 1 goal, breaking the trend of 1 goal games, the Wings have way more experience than the 1st round Kings – I’ve been impressed by Pavelski though, hasn’t he been something

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: