“Hits and Misses” for Sharks at Canucks Game 5 WCF 5/24/11

Result:  SHARKS 2, Canucks 3 {Double Overtime}    {Sharks lose series 4-1}

The San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks shake hands during the tradtional post series handshake as the Canucks won the series 4-1. Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports.

HITS

Patrick Marleau – Marleau scored his eighth goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, 53rd of his career, at 9:57 of the second period with the Sharks on the Power Play to tie the game at 1-1.  With Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa in the penalty box for “high sticking,” Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle fired a shot on net from the blue line that deflected off the glove of Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard in the slot, ricocheted off the stick of Marleau, who was cutting into the slot from the side, and passed Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo for the goal.

Devin Setoguchi – Setoguchi scored his seventh goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, 14th of his career, at 0:24 of the third period to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead.  With the puck inside their own zone, Sharks defenseman Kent Huskins chipped the puck out to center ice, where the puck bounced off the stick of Sharks forward Joe Pavelski and passed Canucks forward Henrik Sedin, who was positioned at the blue line of his own zone.  Pavelski quickly got passed Sedin and pursued the puck into the Canucks zone as Luongo came out of his crease to poke the puck away but Pavelski beat Luongo to the puck with a diving effort and got the puck over to his right side, where Setoguchi fired the puck into the open net for the go ahead goal.  Setoguchi also had a game high nine hits!

Joe Thornton – Even without the use of one of his hands, the Sharks captain gave an awesome individual effort as he had a game-high seven shots on net and logged the most ice time for the Sharks, playing 32:15.  Any critic or naysayer that continues to label Thornton a choker by bringing up his past playoff failures is misinformed because Thornton not only finished with 17 points this post season {3 goals, 14 assists} but he totally revamped his game by becoming a complete three-zone player as the result of spending time on the Sharks Penalty Kill unit and developing a relentless back check.

Antti Niemi – After allowing four goals on 13 shots in a lemon of a game on Sunday afternoon, Niemi once again showed his mental toughness and resiliency by having an outstanding bounce back game in stopping 31-of-34 shots on net.

Joe Pavelski – Pavelski was the only Sharks player to have a multiple point night, registering two assists, and had a five blocked shots.

Sharks Defensemen – Of the Sharks 26 blocked shots, the defensemen were responsible for 19 of them as both Niclas Wallin and Ian White had a game high six, Douglas Murray had four, Marc-Edouard Vlasic had two and Huskins had one.

Sharks Team – After a disappointing effort Sunday afternoon, the Sharks tonight played like a team you want to support and get behind as they manned up and gave a hell of an effort.  There’s no one on the Sharks team that anyone can point a finger at and say they didn’t empty out their tank.  Yes, it sucks that the Sharks are eliminated and their season is over but when one thinks back to that horrendous six-game losing streak in January, no one, not even Sharks fans, thought the Sharks were going to even going make the playoffs, let alone a second consecutive trip to the Western Conference Finals.  Yet the Sharks did just that and did so by taking accountability in their play and realizing that the only people who were going to end that losing streak were themselves.  If nothing else, look how much this team matured from the start of the season back in October to now, especially rookie forward Logan Couture, who entered this season as a boy and is entering the off-season as a man and the building block of the Sharks future.

MISSES

Referees – Just when it looked like the Sharks were going to kill the clock and head back to San Jose for Game 6, the referees put their “stamp mark” on the game by making a HORRENDOUS call that Sharks fans are not going to forget anytime soon.  With less than a minute to go and trailing 2-1, the Canucks pulled Luongo for the extra skater in the hopes of tying the game and forcing overtime.  With only 30 seconds remaining and the puck behind Niemi’s net, Boyle rimmed the puck around the boards and down the ice, which the referees INCORRECTLY ruled icing as the puck DEFLECTED off the shoulder of Daniel Sedin inside the Sharks zone before going down the length of the ice.  The Canucks won the ensuing face-off inside the Sharks zone and Canucks forward Ryan Kesler got himself to the front of the net, where he deflected Henrik Sedin’s slap shot from the blue line passed Niemi for the game tying goal with only 14 seconds remaining in regulation.  Speaking of referees, can someone explain how all four referees did not see Boyle’s clear attempt deflect off the shoulder of Daniel Sedin but all four knew exactly where the puck was when Canucks defenseman Alexander Elder fired a shot on net in the second overtime period that everyone, referees included, thought had deflected into the netting, only for the puck to be in the net behind Niemi four seconds later?  The replay did show that the puck deflected to Bieksa at the top of the point, who quickly fired a shot on net that squeaked past Niemi for the goal as everyone was looking up into the netting but I don’t think any of the referees knew where the puck was or they wouldn’t have huddled together after the goal to discuss whether the goal was good or not, which is why I’m still scratching my head because I thought the rule in hockey was a play was whistled dead if the referees lost sight of the puck? 

Power Play – While the Sharks did get a Power Play goal and finished 1-for-4 on the night with the man advantage, the Sharks squandered a golden opportunity in the first period with a 5-on-3 advantage that they should have scored on.

Coach McLellan – If what Brodie Brazil tweeted before the game was true that Sharks defenseman Jason Demers, who had not played since Game 7 of the Detroit Red Wings series, did not play tonight due to a “coaches decision,” then Coach McLellan deserves a miss because Demers, who said yesterday and today that he was ready to go, should have been in the line-up.  What would it have hurt to put Demers out on the ice and see what he could have contributed?  I said it a few posts ago and I’ll say it again in this one, Demers earned the right to be in the line-up after how played in the Red Wings series, where he made me a fan of his as the result of his solid play and high hockey sense. 

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About Jon Allred

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

Posted on May 25, 2011, in Sports and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. This game was amazing. Of course I wish the outcome was in our favor. Can’t wait until October. 🙂

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