Hey sports fans, welcome to a long overdue post about the San Jose Sharks, quite possibly one of the best teams in the NHL but also one of the most maddening. The Sharks have been in a bit of a funk lately, only one win in five and demonstrating a lack of ability to close out wins when they have a team on the ropes. On their recent homestand, they lost to a team that had lost TEN straight, the New York Isles after taking a 2-0 lead into the third. But I digress, last night’s opponent was the powerful St. Louis Blues who play a punishing style under Ken Hitchcock. They were a bit banged up, missing their captain David Backes and Vladimir Tarasenko but they still had most of their weapons. Jaroslav Halak was in net and the Sharks traditionally have trouble beating him. St. Louis had played the night before in Ottawa and lost in a shootout, so they may have been a bit tired from travel, but hey who am I kidding? These guys don’t have to do anything except get on a plane.
The game stated with a lot of offensive zone time for the Sharks and they were rewarded for their efforts with a goal off a designed play that utilized the lively yellow dasher board. On a shot from the point that was purposely directed wide the puck came to the Big Pavelski just to the left of Halak and he did not miss giving the Sharks a 1-0 lead. Three minutes later, on a rush by D man Matt Irwin who dropped the puck to Brad Stuart, the puck came off those darned boards again and onto Irwin’s stick who put it home for a 2-0 lead. The Sharks were out shooting the Blues by a wide margin and looked good going into the second. They took a 3-0 lead early in the second and were cruising along when the Blues began to up the tempo, pinching their defensemen and on a terrible giveaway by Andrew Desjardin, Kevin Shattenkirk made them pay with a nice wrister that eluded Niemi. Jay Bowmeester got the Blues within one with only 24 seconds left in the period on a shot past the screened Sharks netminder.
Things seemed dire for our beloved Tiburones, but I think there might have been some screaming from Todd McClellan between periods because the Sharks upped their game and Marty Havlat added an insurance goal off of a sweet pass from the Captain. There were a few nervous moments near the end when Logan Couture somehow put the puck over the glass with his hand? in the Sharks own zone (weird play, never seen it happen). But that actually was good because they played a strong penalty kill and made several nice clears even though they were outnumbered 6-4. All in all, a great road game, especially when they haven’t been great holding leads lately. Tonight they play the Kings in LA, where they haven’t won a game in a long time. Go get em boys!!