“Hits and Misses” for Canucks at Sharks Game 3 WCF 5/20/11

Result:  Canucks 3, SHARKS 4    {Sharks trail series 1-2}

San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau scores a breakaway goal on Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo in the first period Friday night. Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports.

HITS

Patrick Marleau – Marleau had a two goal night, scoring his sixth and seventh goals of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, 51st and 52nd of his career, and has now scored a goal in four consecutive playoff games.  Marleau’s first goal came at 3:56 of the first period with the Sharks on a Power Play to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead.  With Canucks forward Maxim Lapierre serving a two minute “roughing” penalty, the Sharks won a face-off in their own end and Sharks forward Devin Setoguchi carried the puck from the neutral zone into the Canucks zone along the lower side-board.  Putting on the brakes, Setoguchi got the puck behind the Canucks net to Sharks captain Joe Thornton, who passed the puck out in front to Marleau, who had positioned himself just inside the top of the goalie crease, and Marleau quickly banged the puck between the legs of Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo for the goal.  Marleau’s second goal of the game came at 17:25 of the first period to give the Sharks a 3-0 lead heading into the first intermission.  The goal came as the result of a great defensive play by Marleau in his own end as he blocked Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler‘s shot from the blue line and was off to the races as he corralled a Thornton chip pass in the neutral zone, skated in all alone on Luongo and beat Luongo glove side with a wrist shot for the goal.  Marleau also registered an assist for a three point night.

Ryane Clowe – Clowe scored his fifth goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, 17th of his career, at 8:22 of the first period with the Sharks on the Power Play to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead.  With Canucks defenseman Christian Ehrhoff serving a four minute double minor “high sticking” penalty, the Sharks Power Play unit displayed tremendous puck movement inside the Canucks zone and with Clowe screening Luongo in front, Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle fired a shot on net from the top of the point that Luongo stopped but the puck rebounded to Clowe, who quickly backhanded the puck between the legs of Luongo for the goal, which was Clowe’s first since Game 4 of the Los Angeles Kings series on April 21.

Dan Boyle – Boyle scored his third goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, 10th of his career, at 6:46 of the third period with the Sharks on the Power Play to give the Sharks a 4-1 lead and registered an assist for a two point night.  The goal, which held up as the game winner, came as the result of the Sharks having a 5-on-3 advantage as Canucks forwards Ryan Kesler and Alexandre Burrows both served “tripping” minor penalties.  With the puck inside the Canucks zone, the Sharks once again displayed tremendous puck movement and Marleau fed a one-time pass to Boyle, who blasted a shot from the top face-off circle that beat Luongo through the legs for the goal.

Joe Thornton – The Sharks captain finished with three assists for a three point night and once again played tremendous three zone hockey as he was both aggressive and patient in the offensive zone and backchecked like a man possessed in both the neutral and defensive zones.  Hands down, these first three games of the series have been Thornton’s most consistent and complete games he’s ever played for the Sharks as he’s become a complete player via spending time on the Penalty Kill unit and has dropped the tunnel vision he had for the offensive side of the game.

Antti Niemi – After giving up seven goals on 38 shots Wednesday night, Niemi had a tremendous bounce back game, stopping 27-out-of-30 shots, and came up HUGE with sprawling saves during the two Canucks 5-on-3 Power Play advantages at the tail end of the second period.

Power Play – Entering tonight’s game, the Sharks were a perfect 3-for-3 with the man advantage in the series.  Tonight, the Sharks scored on their first two Power Play opportunities to jump out to a 2-0 lead and scored three of their four goals with the man advantage.  For the game, the Sharks Power Play unit finished 3-for-10 and are now 6-for-13 in the series.

Penalty Killers – Along with Niemi, the Sharks Penalty Killers came up HUGE during the two Canucks 5-on-3 Power Play advantages at the tail end of the second period to keep the Canucks off the scoreboard heading into the second intermission.  The Sharks Penalty Killers looked just as good, if not better, killing off the 5-on-3 disadvantage as they have killing off 5-on-4 disadvantages throughout the playoffs.  Yes, the Sharks Penalty Killers did allow two late goals {more later in misses} that made the score closer than what it should have been but overall, the Sharks Penalty Killers had a solid night as they successfully killed off 5-of-7 Canucks Power Play opportunities.

Fourth Line – The big question heading into tonight’s game was whether or not Sharks forward Ben Eager would be in the line-up after his antics Wednesday night in Vancouver.  Not only was Eager not in the line-up, none of the Sharks fourth line skaters from the first two games were dressed as Sharks coach Todd McLellan scratched Eager, Scott Nichol and Benn Ferriero in favor of Jamal Mayers, Jamie McGinn and rookie Andrew Desjardins.  The result?  McGinn and Mayers tied with a team high four hits and the line generated tremendous energy for the Sharks, including several dangerous scoring chances.

Sharks Defensemen – Of the Sharks 22 blocked shots, 19 of them were courtesy of their defensemen as Ian White had a game high six blocked shots, Douglas Murray had five in addition to spending over three minutes on the ice during the Canucks two 5-on-3 Power Play advantages, Kent Huskins had four and both Niclas Wallin and Marc-Edouard Vlasic each had two.

Sharks Team – It took six tries but the Sharks finally got their first ever franchise win on home ice in the Western Conference Finals {lost all three home games to the Calgary Flames in 2004 and both home games to the Chicago Blackhawks last year} and got themselves right back into the series.  The Sharks achieved this feat by getting back to playing Sharks hockey, where they moved their feet instead of being stationary and used their speed to frustrate the Canucks, resulting in the Canucks taking 11 penalties and putting the Sharks on the Power Play 10 times.  In addition, the Sharks had more will in their game and controlled the first 51 minutes of the game.  The final nine minutes of the game not so much as the Canucks pulled to within a goal but the Sharks held their ground and were able to skate away with the win.  If the Sharks are going to tie this series up Sunday afternoon, they are going to have to come out just as strong, if not stronger, and MUST be able to sustain the effort for a full 60 minutes. 

MISSES

McGinn Penalty – You can call me a homer but I totally disagreed with the five-minute “boarding” major penalty assessed to McGinn at 11:22 of the third period for his LEGAL hit on Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome.  I’m sorry but how on God’s green earth is it a penalty when McGinn cut in front of Rome and hit him shoulder-to-shoulder?  Is it McGinn’s fault that Rome wasn’t paying attention, didn’t have his head on a swivel and tried to turn his shoulder at the lat possible second?  Had McGinn hit Rome from behind or in the number’s, I would have had no problem with the call.  However, the fact of the matter is McGinn applied a legal hit to Rome and was only assessed the penalty because Rome, who I personally hope is ok, was injured on the play.

Third Period – The Sharks need to fix their third period struggles because including tonight, the Sharks have been outscored 9-2 by the Canucks in the final frame.  Surrendering a goal at the start of the period cannot happen if the Sharks are going to win this series because it gives the opposition momentum and new life.  Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the Sharks did as they allowed Burrows to score at 1:09 of the period to get the Canucks on the scoreboard and cut the Sharks lead to 3-1.  Even worse, the goal was the result of a failed, backhand clear attempt by Boyle from Niemi’s goal crease that landed on the stick of Burrows in the slot that Niemi had no chance to stop.  Also, allowing the Canucks to score twice on their five-minute Power Play made the game closer than what it should have been.

Penalty Killers – While the Sharks Penalty Killers had a solid outing tonight, they did allow the Canucks to score twice during their five-minute Power Play advantage as the result of the McGinn penalty.  Canucks defensemen Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Bieksa scored goals at 13:39 and 16:04 of the third period respectively to pull the Canucks to within a goal of the Sharks.  How is it possible the Sharks Penalty Killers could successfully kill off two 5-on-3 disadvantages in the second period but yet struggle and surrender two goals during a 5-on-4 disadvantage in the third period? 

Brian Engblom – If you don’t recognize this name, you will once I inform you he is the VERSUS broadcaster who called the San Jose Sharks the “San Diego Sharks” during the second period of tonight’s game!  I’m sorry but that is IN-EX-CUS-ABLE!  How embarrassed must VERSUS, a national channel, be that their broadcaster doesn’t even know the correct city of one of the teams in the Western Conference Finals?  Newsflash to Engblom….San Diego is 450+ miles south of San Jose!  It also shows a lack of respect by Engblom for the Sharks because I guarantee you he wouldn’t have announced the Blackhawks or the Detroit Red Wings from the wrong cities had they been playing in the Western Conference Finals instead of the Sharks.

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About Jon Allred

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

Posted on May 20, 2011, in Sports and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Nice breakdown. Love seeing Patty get back on his groove and that Clowe finally scored. Gooch seems to be in a bit of a funk lately so hopefully he gets out of that soon. Horrible call on Jamie. I thought it was a legal hit as well. I came home and has to listen to Engblom say San Diego for real…. The man fails at life.

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