Well that was FUN!
What a night at HP Pavilion as the Sharks carried a lead into the 3rd period, then found themselves trailing after 2 Vancouver goals before tying it up late in the 3rd and then winning the game in overtime. If that scenario sounds familiar it is because that's what happened in game 2. This time it was Patrick Marleau as the hero that sent the Sharks fans into a frenzy.
The Sharks are now 19-2-5 this season at HP Pavilion and based on some of the tweets after the game by Logan Couture and Brent Burns I would say the Sharks players are picking up and using the energy from their great fans.
@logancouture "Just want to give a huge shout out to the fans. You guys were our energy in the third and in OT. See you in Round 2. Stay Loud!"
@Burnzie88 "Tank was Great tonight .. Lots of legs And energy from you guys. #chompersigns"
@Burnzie88 "Thanks for everyone at tonight's game .. Tank was shaking!! #unbelievable #bestfans"
Sharks fans, thank you for being so awesome.
My thoughts on game 2 ...
Well that was fun!
Who woulda thunk it!
So Brent Burns the forward sets up Raffi Torres for the OT goal. The same Raffi Torres who was on teams that derailed the Sharks chances in years past of getting to and winning the Stanley Cup. He played for the Oilers when they lost in game 7 of the Cup Finals to Carolina and beat the Sharks 4 games to 2 in the second round. He also was on Vancouver when they lost in game 7 of the Cup Finals to Boston after knocking out the Sharks in the Western Conference Finals. Ya, that Raffi Torres!
And now he is a Shark and trying to get back to the Cup Finals for a 3rd time and help the Sharks get there for the first time. You gotta love sports eh!!!
Dan Boyle attempted a pass from the corner in the defensive zone to Joe Pavelski who was in the slot area. The pass was just off and landed right on Ryan Kesler's stick who had time to tee it up and boy did he ever ... firing a bullet past Niemi to give the Canucks a 2-1 lead at the time.
On Marleau's game tying goal in the last minute there were two assists - yup, Boyle and Pavelski.
Weeble's wabble but they don't fall down
Justin Braun is clearly not a weeble because he took a few monster hits to make plays but kept getting up. Brauner's fall but they don't stay down!!!
How good was Nemo, especially in the 2nd period and OT ... I think awesome is an appropriate choice of words.
Tommy Wingels continues to play gritty hockey as he led the team with 8 hits and also added 5 shots.
Need I say more?
Love the city but that doesn't mean I want to go back
Vancouver is beautiful, especially at this time of year and the people in the city are great. I love going to that city but my preference is to not return for awhile.
Game 3 Reminder
Don't forget it starts at 7pm on Sunday and I don't have to tell you to be loud but let's really welcome our Northern neighbors with the loudest building in the NHL.
This is an important playoff series for both teams/organizations because someone will be getting bounced from the first round two years in a row, which means not meeting the high expectations that are set in both dressing rooms. The statistics from the regular season and the matchups have all the makings of a long, tough series. So in the end, what will push one to team victory and send the other to the golf course?
3 Keys to the Series
I don't think teams need a rallying point when trying to win the Stanley Cup. We've seen it in the past, Ray Bourque for instance, and it made for a wonderful story, but just winning the coveted trophy is a rallying point in itself because it's so hard to win.
The Sharks road to the Cup starts tomorrow night in Vancouver. Who knows what is going to happen because there are are so many good teams in the West. Someone from the West will be alive in 6 weeks and they will likely have the opportunity and challenge of beating the Pittsburgh Penguins.
As for the Sharks, the focus is solely on Vancouver right now. But I think it would be remiss not to bring up someone who has meant so much to this organization and won't be around for the first time ever to watch the playoffs. That person is George Gund III.
Mr. Gund passed away on January 15 of this year. His passion, vision, and fortitude was instrumental in bringing the Sharks to San Jose. But most of all it was his passion ... passion for hockey.
Winning the Stanley Cup takes passion and lots of it. I don't see it as a rallying cry, but as we embark on the 2013 playoffs I know the spirit of Mr. Gund is watching over this team and it would be very cool to...
"win it for George"
Enjoy the playoffs, there is nothing like it in sports.
Day 99. Game 48. Hard to believe but the last day of the regular season is upon us.
What a grind for the players, coaches and trainers - 1 NHL game every 2.06 days. Throw in travel and that is a lot of hockey and an incredibly demanding schedule both mentally and physically.
A short demanding season has been volatile with wild swings for almost every team in the NHL. Here is a snapshot of the roller coaster the Sharks just endured:
The Start - January 20 to February 9
11 Games in 21 days
Overall 7-2-2 (5 ROW's)
Home 5-1-2 (3)
Away 2-1-0 (2)
The Grind - February 11 to March 25
20 Games, 15 of them on the road in 43 days
Overall 7-9-4 (4)
Home 3-0-2 (2)
Away 4-9-2 (2)
The Push - March 27 to April 27
17 Games in 32 days (game 17 tonight vs LA)
Overall 11-4-1 (8) does not include game vs LA
Home 9-1-1 (7)
Road 2-3-0 (1)
The Start and Push were enough to offset the Grind so the Sharks could participate in the next season, the PLAYOFFS!
I remember how loud you were when we played the first ever playoff game at The Shark Tank.
I remember how loud you were when we played game 3 against Toronto, the first home game after defeating Detroit in game 7 and splitting the first 2 games in Toronto.
I remember how loud you were during the incredible 5-3 against vs Edmonton back in the 2005 playoffs.
I remember how you came back after this latest lockout.
I remember how loud you were just last week when the Sharks and Kings battled it out.
And I know how loud you will be come the 2013 NHL Playoffs.
Sharks fans, you are part of the memories for every player that has played for the Sharks or against them at HP Pavilion.
Today is your day; FAN APPRECIATION DAY.
Thank you for your loyalty and for being so loud ..... and awesome!!!
You're the Best
Three Wise Men have spoken recently and their comments are very interesting.
Head Coach Todd McLellan - after his team defeated the LA Kings on April 16.
"The most important recognition of character is from within the locker room. What they think of each other and how they compete."
Assistant Coach Larry Robinson - what the team needs to improve on while having the 27th best offense and 6th best defense in the league.
"We need to tighten up defensively, especially in the defensive zone".
Assistant Coach Jim Johnson - on explaining what it means to play simple, or have a simple game.
"Take risk out of critical area decisions."
I suggest you read those again and absorb them, because they are tremendous quotes from some wise hockey men who know what they are talking about.
Including tonight's game against Dallas, the Sharks have eight games remaining.
Here is who they play:
Dallas - 2x - have won 4 in a row and are only 2 points out of a playoff spot
Phoenix - 2x - have points in 8 of last 10 games and are 2 points out of a playoff spot
LA - 2x - Defending Champs are 1 point ahead of Sharks for 4th place
Minnesota - 1x - 3 points out of 4th and 3 points ahead of teams tied for 9th place.
Columbus - 1x - They are on a roll right now, have beaten the Sharks twice and are only 2 points out of a playoff spot