Bay Area Sports Fan!

A blog for a Bay Area Sports Fan

Sharks vs Oilers (Blog from the Tank)

Posted by davefowkes on 02/17/2009

The Sharks are back in action at the Shark Tank tonight. They return home after their monster 5-game 10-day road trip. They have been slumping of late. They went 1-1-3 on the road trip, but of bigger concerns to the first place club is just the effort that they have put forth. The penalty kill has struggled the last couple of games. The goals against are up, and so are the losses. On top of that the injuries are up as well. With Marcel Goc out, Coach Todd McLellan decided to mix up the lines. Lukas Kaspar is skating on the first line tonight while Patrick Marleau is playing center on the third line between Mike Grier and Jonathan Cheechoo. The Sharks have traditionally been slow their first home game back from an extended road trip. Should be interesting to see how they react tonight against Edmonton. The road team is undefeated in the two games these two teams have played this year.

PREGAME:

There is some debate among my colleagues and I about whether a few members of the crowd actually booed Nabby. I did not think so but my two neighbors say there was a smattering of boos. Interesting the fans would turn on him after just a few bad games. But in goal it is what have you done for me lately. And when the backup has a 1.79 GAA and 93 percent save percentage, the natives get restless quickly I guess.

1ST PERIOD:

Well that was interesting. The Sharks looked good early. They were forcing the play. Had a couple of nice scoring chances that they could not convert. Then they scored first on a nice shot from Joe Pavelski. First time the Sharks have scored first in 6 games. Unfortunately that is when Edmonton decided to play. The Oilers scored just 2:10 later. But the real back breaker was with just under two minutes to go. On the power play, Sheldon Souray sent the puck in on the boards and as Nabby went behind the net to play the puck, it took a hideous bounce off the boards right out in front of the net for an easy empty net goal for Erik Cole. Terrible play. The Sharks opened good but again they are showing problems trying to keep up their intensity. And unlike in the beginning of the year, when they make mistakes Nabby has not been bailing them out. Now Cheechoo is off in the penalty box putting the Sharks behind the 8-ball again when the second period opens. Apparently the Sharks have not fixed their problems from the road trip!

2ND PERIOD:

That is what I call a wildly entertaining period. Goals, power plays, fights and 56 minutes worth of combined penalty minutes. I am not sure what the original catalyst was but these teams clearly hate each other right now. Just about every dead puck someone would be getting in an extra punch or two to cause a ruckus of one sort or another. Huge props to the Sharks in that period for finally waking up. And you can thank captain Marleau for that. The Sharks looked a bit listless to open the period, but Cheechoo made a pass to Marleau who tipped the puck behind the defender and skated in with a nice shot top shelf to get the crowd roaring. Later in the period after killing off a 5-3 penalty Marleau’s shorthanded goal really erupted things here.

Meanwhile, both benches keep getting thined as the fighters keep rotating through the penalty box. We have not had a great head to head matchup but we certainly have an abundance of scrums. It has been fun to watch. The Sharks used the energy of the goals and the fights to build this 4-2 lead outshooting the Oilers 17-7 in the period. This is the Sharks we have come to know and love earlier in the season! Let’s see if they can keep it going for one more period.

A couple of notes: Marleau’s first goal was his 600th career point. He has 5 goals in his last 3 games.

3rd Period:

After that 2nd period that was a pretty safe and sane 3rd. Not much action. I think both teams were a bit tired after the 2nd period. I expected the Oilers to have more pop since they were down. The Sharks played it just as they needed. Safe. Some nice shots, Nabby made some nice saves. They did what they needed to do.The most excitement came at the end as the Sharks needed to kill off a 6-4 thanks to a delay of game penalty.

All in all a good win for the Sharks. Just what they needed in their home coming!

A few of the game notes for you:

Ø Patrick Marleau recorded his 600th NHL career point as he scored his 31st goal of the season. He finished with two goals on the evening for a career total of 601 points.

Ø Patrick Marleau scored his fourth short-handed goal of the season, tying him for second among all NHL skaters in short-handed goals.

Ø San Jose tallied a single-game season-high of 40 penalty minutes. The previous high for the season was 34 minutes at Nashville on Nov. 17.

Ø The Sharks set a new 2008-09 season high for most penalties in a game with 13. The previous high was 11 penalties, also at Nashville on Nov. 17.

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