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Dan's Thought of the Day - 4/12/2013

Friday, 04.12.2013 / 2:04 PM
By Dan Rusanowsky - Sharks Broadcaster / Great White Bites
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Dan\'s Thought of the Day - 4\/12\/2013

Here are two sidebars from last night’s great Sharks win against the Detroit Red Wings that continued the tremendous history in the series between the two clubs. Both have a somewhat predictive quality, and one is illustrative of what hockey is all about.

If you listen to the “Coach’s Chalkboard” segment with Todd McLellan on KFOX 98.5/102.1 and the San Jose Sharks Radio Network affiliate stations near you, you usually get a gem or two from the leader behind the bench. Here is a modest case in point from last night’s game:

McLellan was showing some concern about the previous loss in Columbus, but he saw the Detroit game as a chance to squash the poor memory of that disappointment. “Our opportunity that lies in front of us is a good one,” he said on the radio. “There are some key people on our team that have to play a certain way and play well to lead and we expect everyone else to follow. Now, they can’t do that every night – it’s not humanly possible – so when they’re not doing it, others have to pick up the slack. But the key people right now are our leaders and they have to get things done.”

It was a bit of a message to the likes of Patrick Marleau, who had 0 goals in his previous 7 games and just 1 in his last 11; to Joe Thornton, who played a Sharks-career-low 10:30 in Columbus, and who had 0 points in his previous 3 games; to Martin Havlat, who had 1 goal in his previous 8 contests; to Logan Couture, who had 0 goals in 4 and 1 goal in his last 10 games; and to Antti Niemi, who had allowed 4 goals in each of his previous 2 starts.

Everyone played better, and the Sharks won in the shootout, 3-2, capturing the season series with the Red Wings with a 2-0-1 record. But as I pondered the greatness of the resolve and the win, I flashed back to a heartwarming moment that I witnessed in the morning.

The Sharks were heading out to morning practice, and as is the custom, a few folks were waiting to secure a handshake, a photo, or an autograph from them. As is usually the case, there were a few folks who I call “professional autograph seekers,” who are usually pretty recognizable.

But on this particular morning in Detroit, there was a young boy standing quietly, with his mother by his side. This Motor City youngster was wearing a Sharks jersey with the number 12, and the nameplate “MARLEAU” on his back. He wasn’t a professional autograph seeker. He was a Patrick Marleau fan who wanted a moment with his favorite player.

Patrick spotted his young fan, and stopped for a moment to sign the jersey and pose for a picture before departing for practice. As he walked away, I saw a look of sheer joy on the boy’s face, which was punctuated when he turned around and high-fived with his mother in celebration of the moment. “Patrick is going to have a good game for this kid,” I found myself thinking.

Well, we all know what happened next. Marleau scored a brilliant shorthanded goal in the first period, and scored another magnificent goal in the shootout that decided the game. Something tells me that his young fan in Detroit was high-fiving a lot of people last night, whether he was at Joe Louis Arena, watching on TV, or listening on the radio.

I love stories like that.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 VAN 23 16 6 1 72 61 33
2 ANA 24 14 5 5 64 60 33
3 NSH 22 15 5 2 62 45 32
4 STL 23 15 6 2 63 49 32
5 CGY 24 14 8 2 75 64 30
6 CHI 23 14 8 1 70 47 29
7 LAK 23 12 6 5 64 53 29
8 WPG 25 12 9 4 52 56 28
9 MIN 22 13 9 0 63 52 26
10 SJS 24 10 10 4 62 66 24
11 DAL 23 9 9 5 68 79 23
12 ARI 23 9 11 3 57 71 21
13 COL 23 8 10 5 59 73 21
14 EDM 24 6 14 4 54 82 16

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Thornton 24 7 13 1 20
J. Pavelski 24 9 10 3 19
L. Couture 24 8 11 -1 19
B. Burns 24 7 12 -7 19
P. Marleau 24 6 12 -5 18
T. Wingels 24 6 5 -3 11
T. Hertl 24 4 6 -1 10
M. Nieto 23 1 6 -1 7
J. Braun 24 0 7 8 7
M. Vlasic 24 2 4 10 6
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Stalock 2 2 1 .925 2.38
A. Niemi 7 7 3 .917 2.49
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