That’s right, the Ducks clearly own the Sharks this year. Thanks Manny Ramirez for that memorable line. Thanks Sharks for just not having it against the Ducks this year. Its a good thing we won’t see those suckers in the playoffs.
Five games left – ‘yotes, Stars, Stars, Kings, Kings… 5 wins and we’re set as the 3 seed… anything else and it’ll be totally down to the wire. At the least I think we must win 3, although 4 or 5 would be a lot better.
As an aside, I really don’t like CSN analyst Ray Ratto – he seems to always be negative to the extreme.
Update 1: and what the hell was that 3rd goal about… The referees reviewed the play, you could clearly see that the puck was past the net on the outside – who paid them off? Come on NHL, get your heads out of your butts on this type of play.
and also… In the one bright spot of the night, the Sharks scored their goal in the next shift after the Ducks first goal… nice work boys. Do that some more.
Sharks v. Ducks – all the games matter at this time of year, but I think this one more than others.
The Ducks have really had the Sharks number this year leading the season series 4-1. Last game was really emblematic of that dominance: twice in the game the sharks scored only to have the Ducks score on their very next shift.
The Sharks have been skating and generally playing well for the last several weeks… can they do it to the Ducks? Game time 7:30 PDT, get your teal going.
There’s certainly no argument about the result – the Sharks rolled the Avalanche 5-1 last night, with scoring coming from all four lines, allowing just one goal, Niemi looking solid in net, getting a power play goal, and allowing none in return.
There were just a few moments all night where the Sharks weren’t in control of the tempo – late in the first period and then again for a brief spell in the second. The score could have been 7-1 if Thornton and ‘Somebody Else’ (Maybe it was Handzus?) hadn’t hit the post.
On top of that, the Sharks took advantage of timely losses to jump to first in the Division. So, what now? There are 6 games remaining, all of them are still crucial, and no more so than Wednesday night – Sharks v. Ducks in Anaheim. The Ducks are 4-1 against the Sharks this year and really looked dominate in the most recent game, but the Ducks are also out of the running for the playoffs. Wins Wednesday and Thursday (v. Phoenix) would put the Sharks in the driver seat… stay tuned.
p.s. Maybe its just me, but Havlat has really looked good the past few games – lots of deft maneuvering with the puck to create opportunities. I don’t recall him doing this earlier in the year.
p.p.s. One continuing note of concern: defensive zone turnovers. It seems to be a combination of just being to casual – the little dump pass that can’t be handled, and just making bad choices – the pass into traffic when it sure seems there are better options. Against a team that really jumps on those I think we’re still in trouble.
Why do they do this? How do they do this? Five games…Predators, Red Wings, Ducks, Kings, Bruins… Win, win, loss, loss, win… I’m going slowly crazy…
I know I haven’t posted here in a while… between being generally busy and in too much Shark induced agony I just haven’t had it in me. However, here we are with 11 games to go and the Sharks look like they have possibly pulled it together just in time, so its time for an intrepid post.
First thoughts: adding several new players right at the trade deadline isn’t necessarily the best thing to do – it takes time for people to fit in to the system and become comfortable with their teammates / linemates / etc. Have the Sharks pulled together just in time? I hope so. These last two games have given me some hope – even though both games went to OT, the Sharks ‘looked good’ throughout the game. There were not any extended periods of time in which they struggled to clear the defensive zone (although this aspect of their game still makes me nervous). They generated lots of good chances on ‘O’fence (that’s Canadian for offense), and for the most part they were really solid on D.
Second thoughts: Datsyuk’s goal last night was just another example of why I think he’s the best all around player in hockey. There was exactly on place to put that puck to score, and he found it. Havlat’s return has been amazing – 2 goals including the OT game winner last night, some deft stick handling, and generally good impact – I didn’t expect this much from him – but it sure has been a lift for the Sharks.
Final thoughts: Ducks Monday, Kings Tuesday – and why I’m saying we’re ‘starting the playoffs early’ – these are literally must win games, and the Sharks have really struggled within the division this year… but a couple more wins and we might end up with some breathing room… time will tell.