Bay Area Sports Fan!

A blog for a Bay Area Sports Fan

Sharks Battle Thrashers (Live Blog From Shark Tank)

Posted by davefowkes on 02/21/2009

It feels pretty darn bizarre to be here in the midday. I apologize in advance for any reference I make to “tonight,” a hockey writer’s curse. Anyway, big game today. Sharks wrap up a three game homestand against Atlanta. The Sharks come into the game riding a pair of 4-2 wins. The Sharks still lead the Western Conference by one point over Detroit. They have a four game road trip coming up against Dallas, Detroit, Ottawa and Montreal. It will be a tough grind so getting a sweep on the homestand today would be huge.

It is a winnable game as Atlanta is wrapping up a road trip of their own. The team with the second fewest points in the NHL beat Anaheim, beat the Kings in a shootout, then lost to Phoenix on Thursday in a shootout. The Thrashers actually have a much better record on the road than at home: 12-15-4 vs 9-17-2.  Ilya Kovalchuk has been red hot with goals scored in 6 straight games (9 goals during that stretch)

The Sharks sent some of their youth back to Worcester today. LW Jamie McGinn, RW Brad Staubitz and RW Lukas Kaspar were where all sent to the minors today. That tells me we may see a return of some of the injured today. I do see Jeremy Roenick on the ice for the pregame skate.

Patrick Marleau has been hot for San Jose. He has a 4 game goal streak scoring 6 goals on that streak. Joe Pavelski has a 5 game point streak (4-1=5) and Joe Thornton has a 4 game point streak (1-8=9)

Bad visiting team, early start, I will be curious if we get close to a sellout. Personally I would start Brian Boucher today to get Nabby some rest going on the road, but it is going to be Nabby instead. Coach knows best I guess! That is it for now, more to come with faceoff!!! GO SHARKS!

Jeremy Roenick is in fact back in teh lineup, so are Tomas Plihal and Jody Shelley. Nice to see the Sharks get healthy in time to hit the road!!!

1st Period:

McLellan again has the line of Pavelski, Michalek and Clowe going against the opposition’s top line.

With the return of the injured, the top line is back together with Thornton, Marleau and Setoguchi. Tomas Plihal centers the third line between Cheechoo and Grier leaving a very physical 4th line of Roenick, Lemiuex and Shelly.  That should be fun to watch!!!

We in the press box are guessing that the 4th line might be the oldest front line in hockey. It certainly has to be one of the oldest. Shelly is the baby at 33 to go with Roenick at 39 and Lemiuex at 43. That is what you call experience! 🙂

Not much juice to this first period. Sharks got a delay of game penalty when Vlasic cleared the puck into the stands. They end the period on the penalty kill thanks to a Rob Blake penalty. The crowd is trying to pump the game up but just not much going on. I would say both teams are struggling to wake up with the early start but they both seem to have some jump. Just neither team is using the jump to do anything but skate up and down the ice. The Sharks have a couple of more scoring chances but really not much at this point either way. Even the shot totals are down with San Jose out shooting them 7-5. I’ll hope for a more entertaining 2nd period and hopefully some Shark goals!

2ND PERIOD:

Good way to start the period. Huge save from Nabby and the penalty kill comes to an end. Atlanta now 0-2 on the power play. Let’s see if San Jose can get momentum out of it.

The Sharks are now channeling last year’s club. First power play opportunity and they did not get a single shot on net. This game has gone from wildly unentertaining to flat out sloppy!

FINALLY! Okay, no goal but the Sharks have finally picked up the pace a bit. Over the course of the last five minutes they are outshooting Atlanta 5-0 and more importantly getting some quality shots. Unlike the first half of the game when every shot was at Lehtonen’s belly. The Sharks keep up this pressure they will get a goal this period. Of course the big question, can they keep it going?

Welcome back Jody! now the crowd is pumped. Shelly and Boris Valabik just dropped gloves. Shelley clearly got the win grabbing Valabik’s sweater and then just jabbing him in the face numerous times. The crowd enjoyed, both teams seem to have some fire now.

Well we go to to the third still tied at 0. Fun, fun, fun! Things were definitely more interesting that last 10 minutes but overall the Sharks can not be pleased with this game. Heading on a 4-game road trip, the Sharks just can’t lose on home ice to the second worse team in the NHL. The Sharks need to score early in the 3rd and try to put this one away. The later this 0-0 games the more it opens up for weirdness to happen. We’ll see.

3RD PERIOD:

Now we are talking. I was just telling my colleague the Sharks would score in the first 5 minutes of the period. How about 30 seconds!!! Ryan Clowe did a great job of crashing the net and backhanding in the rebound. Now the Sharks need to put this away so they don’t have something screwy happen in a close game. Here is an opportunity as the Thrashers go back to the box!

That should be the ball game there! nice to see Cheechoo get on the scoreboard again. Power play goal, his 9th of the season and Roenick gets the assist. Do the Sharks now have 3 lines for the power play? Just what the doctored ordered. A quick start to this period, get out of dodge with a win…we hope.  By the way, that assist was career #700 for JR.

Uh oh! This is huge. 1:17 of 5-3 for Atlanta! Thrashers take advantage with one goal. Bad play by Murray. He should have come down and played the puck on Kozlov. By staying out in front he hung Nabby and Boyle out to dry on the shot/pass option. At least the Sharks were able to kill the second penalty to keep the lead.

Okay, I would like to be able to call this game over this time! Very nice pressure by the Sharks on the power play. JT did a great job keeping the puck in the zone. After that it was just like they draw it up: Shot from the defender, dribbles through traffic to the side of the net, JT pokes it home! 3-1!

SUMMARY: Far from the prettiest game. Our expectations are high for the Sharks so 0-0 through 2 periods against the second worst team in the NHL was a bit scary. In the end, the Sharks sweep the three game homestand to right the ship, they get healthy, and now they hit the road for a very difficult road trip!

I am going to try and post Sharks sound at some point soon in case anyone cares about post game interviews.

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