“Hits and Misses” for Sharks at Red Wings Game 6 WCSF 5/10/11

Result:  SHARKS 1, Red Wings 3    {Series tied 3-3}

San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton looks down in the final seconds of game 6 Tuesday night in Detroit. Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports.


Logan Couture – Couture scored his fifth goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, ninth of his career, at 3:54 of the third period to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead.  With the puck deep inside the Red Wings zone, Sharks forward Dany Heatley fired a shot on net from inside the lower face-off circle that Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard stopped but left a rebound that Couture batted down out of the air towards the net and the puck squeezed through the legs of Howard for the goal.

Antti Niemi – Without a doubt, Niemi was the Sharks best player tonight and its a shame the other 18 guys in Sharks uniforms didn’t do more to help him out as Niemi was the ONLY reason why the Sharks even had a chance to be in the game in the third period.  Niemi was peppered with shots from the Red Wings all game, 18 in the first, 14 in the second and 12 in third, and stopped 42-out-of-44 shots.  Both goals could have been avoided had the Sharks skaters done a better job with puck possession and own in zone play {more later in misses}. 

Niclas Wallin – Wallin had a game high five hits tonight.

Penalty Killers – The Sharks Penalty Killers once again had a solid night in successfully killing off all four of the Red Wings Power Play opportunities and are 9-for-10 over the last three games.


Sharks Team – Can anyone on the Sharks, except Niemi, look themselves in the mirror and honestly say they gave a full effort and played to the best of their abilities?  I didn’t think so.  One team, the Red Wings, skated and played hard while another team, the Sharks, just went through the motions with a lackadaisical attitude, resulting in the Sharks being out-shot 44-25 while allowing the Red Wings to dictate the pace and tempo of the game, evident by the fact the Sharks didn’t win a single period.  Now it all comes down to a win or go home Game 7 Thursday night at HP Pavilion where the Sharks are either going to prove all their naysayers wrong by showing their resiliency and thick skin or be out of the playoffs, simple as that.

Third Period – For the second consecutive game in the series, the Sharks had a lead in the third period that they could not protect.  Unlike game 5 where the Sharks totally outplayed the Red Wings after two periods of play and deserved to be in the lead heading into the third period, the Sharks tonight were LUCKY to even have a chance for the win in the third period and that was because of Niemi, who had 32 saves after two periods of play.  The Red Wings scored both goals in a 1:54 span and both were the result of mental mistakes by the Sharks.  The first Red Wings goal was scored by Henrik Zetterberg at 10:38 of the third period to tie the game at 1-1 and came as the result of the Sharks failing to pick up Niklas Kronwall coming off the bench and with the puck on his stick, Kronwall fired a shot on net from the slot that Zetterberg tipped over the glove of Niemi for the goal.  The second Red Wings goal came as the result of a turnover by Couture {who took accountability after the game saying the goal was his fault} in the neutral zone to Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk, who skated into the Sharks zone with the puck on his stick and drew both Couture and Sharks defenseman Ian White towards him.  With line-mate Valtteri Filppula crashing the net, Datsyuk fired a backhand pass to Filppula, who fired a quick shot into an open net for his second goal of the playoffs at 12:32, which held up as the game winning goal.  Darren Helm would add an empty net goal for the Red Wings at 18:55 of the period, which shouldn’t have counted as the Red Wings got away with their second “too many men” on the the ice penalty.  If the referees had blown the play dead, the Sharks would have had a 6-on-4 Power Play advantage for the final 1:05 of the game with the chance to tie the game at 2-2.

Coach McLellanI know Sharks head coach Todd McLellan likes to say that “the team is made up of grown men that know what they have to do to win” but its time he interjects himself and gets this team back on track.  Tonight was easily the worst game the Sharks have played since their six-game losing streak back in January and an effective tirade in the locker-room by McLellan seems appropriate given the lack of effort displayed by the Sharks tonight.

Power PlayAtrocious would be the proper word to describe the Sharks Power Play unit, which went 0-for-4 with the man advantage tonight {two of which were very short due to a penalty and 4-on-4 play} and are 0-for-10 over the last three games and 4-for-24 for the series.  Even more disheartening was the fact that the Sharks, just like in game 5, had a golden opportunity to tie the game with a Power Play opportunity after the Red Wings took the lead and wasted it away by only getting one shot on net.


I received the following information in an email Monday morning from Matthew Altman, who informed me of the following stats for Game 5.  All information can be attributed to VERSUSThe San Francisco/San Jose/Oakland market received a 4.77 HH rating and is the market’s highest local rating ever for an NHL game on VERSUS.  In addition, the game was a +19% from the Sharks 2010 semifinal exclusive two-game average in the market on VERSUS {4.02 also against Detroit} and +92% from Game 4of the series on VERSUS this year {2.49}.  VERSUS was the number-one rated network overall in San Francisco/San Jose/Oakland during the time period.


About Jon Allred

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

Posted on May 10, 2011, in Sports and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Team teal looked like a mess out there tonight, with Niemi and Cooch being the exception. There’s only so much Niemi can do and he was spectacular. Was hoping Eager or Murray would rock Kronwall hard tonight. Anyway, putting game 6 in the archives- time to focus on 7, rock the Tank hard, and send Detroit back in tears.

  2. Tough loss last night. The Sharks need to get into the game and get their heads out of their collective butts. Detroit is not going to lay down (as evident by these past 3 games).

    This will make for one of the best hockey games I can anticipate in long time. The action was crazy good last night.

    I’m not a fan of either team but the hockey game was one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. Good luck!

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