Sharks Even Series in Penalty Fest Sharks 2 Flames 0
April 10th, 2008
Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman made the seven deadly sins
look simply ghastly in the classic movie Seven. From top to bottom,
each and every "sin" scene had many a patron covering their eyes in
The Flames, a group that have committed a few
sins themselves this season were looking to walk out Greed tonight and
chase down a road start sweep in San Jose, grabbing a choke hold on the
first round series. Winning one is huge for a seventh seed, but winning
In the end it was a Gluttony of penalties that turned a
tight scoreless game into a 2-0 Sharks victory, evening the series at
one ... sending the series back to what is sure to be bedlam at the
Saddledome on Sunday night.
On The Line
It's the playoffs, everything is on the line in every
game - who we kidding? However, in a series the pressure ratchet can
bounce from one team to another and in this one that pressure anvil
bounces to the Sharks having lost the first game of the series. Calgary
would love to have this game but the Sharks clearly NEED this game.
Given the situation at hand, you have to hand it to the
Flames for their first period. A few giveaways in the club's own zone,
a few nervous moments near Miikka Kiprusoff, but overall a solid 20 for
the Flames. They out shot the Sharks by a 10-8 margin, and probably out
chanced them as well..
A solid start to the second, but San Jose went up after they
answered some solid Flames shifts with a goal Kiprusoff would likely
love to have back. From there it was San Jose powerplay fest as they
ran up the perimeter shots putting the CBC crew into a lather. It was
only a matter of time until they found the net and doubled their lead.
Flames passed up a great chance to flip a nightmare when they started
the third with a man advantage but gassed it on giveaways and soft
plays. Five on five they picked up the play though and hemmed the
Sharks in for a few shifts in a row. Some late penalties against
Calgary kept any attempt at coming back at bay, putting this one away.
1 - Evgeni Nabokov : Less powerplays, less shots, less scoring
chances, but the man was huge stopping five to six blue chip chances
that kept the game going the Shark's way. 2 - Miikka Kiprusoff: Gave up two, but was incredible in net for
the Flames in this one. Kept his team in the game and refused to bend
after killing powerplay after powerplay. 3 - Joe Pavelski: Scored the game winner, and almost led the Sharks in ice time in a great performance for the Fish.
There are saves that require physicality, surreal
timing, instinct, but sometimes you get a play that takes all of that
and coming at a crucial moment of the game. Evgeni Nabokov was ready
and willing to preserve in a first period scoreless draw when he stoned
Jarome Iginla with his trapper on an Alex Tanguay pass with just
seconds left in the first. Earlier he simply stoned Cory Sarich on a
one timer as well. ... In the third Kiprusoff was huge when he got a
glove on a Joe Pavelski chance that could have sailed the game. ... Not
enough? How about Nabokov on Nolan in the third, great goaltending
performance in a game that should have been a 5-4 game.
Big Hit Mike Grier caught
David Hale behind the Calgary cage that sent the young Calgary defender
down in a spiral that sent his legs out and took out Grier himself. .
Each team's powerplay. The Sharks were handed a complete
gift in the second, a gift that should have buried the game, but
instead the outcome was in doubt heading to the third. Bad passing, too
much passing, and shooting with clear lanes and no screen could have
cost them the game. Then in the third the Flames were given three
straight man advantages but didn't even manage a shot in the first two
attempts. ... If you really want a player take your pick between Alex
Tanguay and Jim Vandermeer. I go with the latter, as he fought the puck
in almost every way and took a stupid penalty on Thornton.
Both goaltenders. They were incredible. Save after save.
Kiprusoff had to deal with a second period onslaught that featured the
Sharks on the powerplay for 12 of the 20 minutes, but Calgary had at
least a half dozen insane chances five on five that could have put the
visitors up a few early. Nothing is coming easy in this series.
Odds and Ends
Jim Vandermeer was singled out for some serious CBC
praise last night, but had a miserable first period with giveaways, bad
passes and overall chaos in his own zone. Maybe we should be happy when
CBC praises the Sharks, and the Sharks only. ... Speaking of CBC,
seemed like their was a lot of Flame love to open the show and then
after the first period. Think the crew or producers surf the web? I'm
guessing as much. After the game it looked like Hrudey had the same
shtick but Ron Maclean was marching to a different drummer. ... Cory
Sarich took some criticism for his game one performance, but was huge
in this one, clearing the zone with presence, and even jumping into the
play offensively. ... Ok, I understand that you can't be careless with
your stick, or your glove, or any other part of your body, but six
straight against the Flames in the second? Some were deserved but you'd
think the terrible call on Iginla would put them wise to an even up
call. Then in the third two late calls against Calgary just to make
sure we can't get an interesting finish. Bizarre. Clearly a different
team of officials. ... Have to feel for Miikka Kiprusoff, getting
within nine seconds of a miracle kill in the second. ... Tonight's Cory
Sarich? Alex Tanguay. Simply terrible in all zones of the ice, save his
great pass to Iginla to end the first. ... I'm clearly way to
sensitive, but Simpson's comment to end the second hit a nerve. A late
interference call to San Jose leads to "I guess all that Calgary
complaining finally paid off". So any penalty to San Jose from that
point on? ... Great vision by Kiprusoff to run out on a tired Grier and
send the puck the other way in the third. ... In the end the Sharks
went 1 for 10 on the powerplay while the Flames were ouch for four. The
time of advantage read 16:13 to 6:20 or 1/5 of a game in disparity.
Clearly, this series boils down to this. A repeat of ten powerplay
nights for San Jose and this could still end in five. A cast back to
game one and only two chances for the Sharks and the Flames have a very
good chance, as five on five they seem to be fine.
A new angle to a game story fit for the playoffs, we
look at series momentum; an important angle in a playoff series when
the opposition doesn't differ night to night. ... This one is hard to
get a grip on. The Flames had a great first period given the anxiety
level of the opposition, but ran into severe penalty trouble in
the second. They deserved some of the chaos, but had some tough calls,
and could have been blown out ... but weren't. If that's the best the
Sharks have they could be in trouble if the Flames can stay out of the
box. Huge game in Calgary on Sunday night.
Tied up series looks to a swing game in Cowtown and game
three on Sunday night in what is sure to be loud and insane, and a heck
of a lot of fun. Game three last year against Detroit was impressive in
that the nation did their best to jack it up, this time a split has
been one and it's no longer charity. Rip it up.