Thursday, November 6, 2008

Light a candle for Nabby, and KILL A ZEBRA - Sharks beat Blues in S.O., 5-4

Tonight was one of those hockey games that shave minutes off your life. Not Game 6 of the 2008 Semifinals, but still pretty rough.

The San Jose Sharks came back from behind to force overtime, and subsequently won in the shootout over the visiting St. Louis Blues, 5-4, to stay unbeaten at home (8-0-0).

For those of you on the very early President's Trophy watch, the Sharks recaptured the lead over the New York Rangers, who won tonight over Tampa Bay. The Sharks now have 24 points to the Rangers' 23, with games in hand.

The game was off to a bad start for Teal Town, as Keith Tkachuk, previously without points against the Sharks in his last 5 games against us, scored his 9th goal of the season with four seconds left of the 5-on-3 (Alexei Semenov - roughing; Rob Blake - hooking). Lee Stempniak and rookie defenseman Alex Pietrangelo assisted (Pietrangelo's first point in the NHL).

Less than a minute later, Lee Stempniak struck again, this time with a goal of his own (his 8th of the season). Patrik Berglund and David Perron assisted. Poor Jonathan Cheechoo - he stepped on the ice as Rob Blake left the sin bin, only to be powerless to stop Stempniak's goal. Minus-1 just for that...

Finally, at 9:24 of the 1st, San Jose got on the board courtesy of Joe Thornton, who got it past backup Blues goalie Ben Bishop. His second goal of the year came with help from Patrick Marleau and Devin "Write-Me-In-2009" Setoguchi.

It took a power play goal from Rob Blake - his first of the season, and thus his first with San Jose - at seven minutes into the second to even it for the Sharks. Christian Ehrhoff assisted - way to go, d-men!

Aside from five minor penalties in the second (four for hooking! - 3 against St. Louis), the other "highlight" was David Backes' 10 minute game misconduct - he took out a pane of glass in Section 102. A girl proudly held up the torso-sized chunk, only to have it removed by a purple usher... way to be a kill-joy.

Elsewhere in the second period, St. Louis defenseman Roman Polak was injured in the leg - I didn't see it all the way, but people said the puck hit his leg or skate.

The third period... I had a feeling things were going to be odd when Milan Michalek got called for CLOSING HIS HAND ON THE PUCK (yeah, right) at 0:53. And the award for most obscure penalty goes to...

The St. Louis Blues got a BIG break when linesman Tony Sericolo (yes, I am calling him out) needlessly got in the way of the puck, which otherwise would have crossed the red line and out of danger. Instead, former Duck Andy McDonald scooped it up, rounded the net, and managed to get it past Nabby. Unbelievable - bad calls and missed calls aside, that was the low-light of the night, as far as officiating went. Brad Boyes and Barret Jackman may have been credited with the assists, but so help me - Zebra #84, you're a marked man in San Jose. Even if people do like you elsewhere.

Thank God Almighty for Ryane Clowe - he evened it just over a minute later with help from Jeremy Roenick and Rob Blake.

Unfortunately, Mr. Game Misconduct, David Backes, took the Blues back into the lead with his second goal of the season, assisted by Stempniak (again) and Berglund.

Starting at 14:41 in the 3rd, a penalty parade began. First, the Blues' Dan Hinote was called for hooking. FOUR SECONDS LATER, Jonathan Cheechoo was called for the same. TEN SECONDS LATER, Barret Jackman was called for interference. Aye aye aye... three penalties, in 14 seconds? There would be one more penalty for each team to finish off the night, if you can believe that.

Once again - thank God Almighty for Ryane Clowe. With just 1:39 left in regulation, he struck again with his 8th goal of the season - and the Pavilion exploded. Zebra assists, bad calls, missed calls... Team Teal rose above the b.s. to say "enough is enough." Oh, and Brad Lukowich and Setoguchi assisted.

In regulation, the Sharks outshot the Blues 41 to 26. They also never had the lead against St. Louis.

OVERTIME - couple scary moments, couple key chances. The Sharks were outshot 2 to 3, but no matter.

SHOOTOUT - if we were to drop a point at home, this was NOT the way it should go out, and NOT against this team (with all due respect, Blues fans).

It was looking scary as Joe Pavelski's shot went wide to open up the shootout. On the other end of the ice, Andy McDonald got it past Evgeni Nabokov. Bishop caught Jeremy Roenick's shot, and all eyes turned to Nabby. Thankfully, he caused Brad Boyes to miss, which set up Dan Boyle. BEAUTIFUL GOAL - great puck control. David Perron's shot was held by Nabby.

Ryane Clowe unofficially notched a hat trick - I'm sticking to that description. His goal would hold up, as Nabby caused Patrik Berglund to miss his shot...


It appears to be his left knee - we will have details shortly, I imagine. Shake it off Nabby... please.

In conclusion, I just have to ask - why is that when Sarah Palin drops the puck for a team, that team subsequently goes to overtime against us? TWO OVERTIMES against the Philadelphia Flyers, and now tonight's against the Blues. Two shootouts, even.

Thankfully, the San Jose Sharks extended the curse all three times. Just sayin'.

GO SHARKS! And get well soon, Nabby... not so much you, Paul Kariya.

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