Two dudes blogging and podcasting about the San Jose Sharks, straight from sunny California.

post Don’t Look a Gift Horse In the Mouth

December 23rd, 2009, 11:33 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike
Especially when a bear is riding it.

Especially when a bear is riding it.

Doug wanted at least three points on the recent back-to-back, and he got four.  However, it’s a time of giving, and I could argue that all four points were gifts from the hockey gods.  As I said on the recent podcast, if Ivan Vishnevskiy hadn’t fumbed the puck into our own net, Dallas would have tied that game; I’m sure of it.  And last night, Nabby withstood a hailstorm of biblical proportions, making 45 saves, giving the Sharks the win despite being on the short end of just about every statistical category, even faceoffs.

Watching the post-game interview with Dan Boyle with the sound off, you would have guessed that they lost.  Other than the power play, which was pretty damn good, there weren’t a lot of high spots.  One high spot was Patrick Marleau, who again made the Hawks defense look incredibly foolish, generating chances for himself out of very little.  This guy HAS to be on the Canadian Olympic team.  In fact, it was a veritable showcase of Olympic talent last night- Marleau, Heatley, Thornton, Boyle, Pavelski, Kane, Toews, Keith, and Seabrook all have good shots at making their respective teams, and that’s just North America.  Nabby, Hossa, Hjallmersson, and Murray are the European reps.

Clearly this was a marquee matchup, and the Sharks came out on top.  A win’s a win, right?  I suppose.  It’s difficult to believe that the Sharks would win another game if they played Chicago ten more times like that, so it rings a bit hollow with me.  As I’m writing this, Doug just texted me with “Last night was a perfect example of why the Hawks will not win a Cup with Huet.”  But I disagree.  Huet had two consecutive shutouts before last night, and gave up only two goals on 33 shots the night before that.  I do admit that Huet wouldn’t be my first choice to backstop a Stanley Cup contender, but given the Hawks are best in shots allowed, and second best in shots taken, they can continue to shield Huet if they keep playing like this.

Actually, there were times last night where I thought to myself that this Hawks team was not unlike the Sharks last year.  Gaudy shot totals, though many were of the unscreened long range variety.  Top of the league in December (they still are in my mind, because they have two games in hand).  Could Chicago meet the same fate at the Sharks did last year, because they “peaked too early”?  Who knows?  All I know is there’s no way I’m missing the final matchup of the season between these two teams on 1/28.

2 Comments to “Don’t Look a Gift Horse In the Mouth”

  1. Evilducks says:

    As has been mentioned in many places, watching the game last night was eerily similar to watching the Ducks vs. Sharks series.

    We outplayed the Ducks in every single category except the one that mattered. Goals. We lost in 6. They had a better goalie and made sure that we didn’t set up in the crease, which is exactly what happened to the Blackhawks last night.

    I also don’t think it was a forgone conclusion that we would have blown the game against the Stars, the Sharks picked up the tempo in the 3rd and didn’t just try to sit on the lead (like they did against the Blackhawks). I think our recent losing streak has just made you more pessimistic than usual.

  2. Tom says:

    I was listeing to NHL live this morning and Mikle Millbury was on. He went so far as to say this loss was actually a “statement game” by Chicago…


    If the Ducks taught the sharks anything last year in the first round, it is that it doesn’t really matter who “played better”, it only matters who wins. The Sharks totally outshot and skated circles around the Ducks last year in the first two games of that series but Hiller was better. Remember Joe Thornton saying “well, we played well so we’ll be ok.”, and Dan Boyle saying, “it doesn’t matter how we played we didn’t find a way to win.” We have talked a lot about these two conflicting views…

    The Versus crew and Mike Millbury act as if the Sharks dressed up some stragner off the street and put him in net, who proceeded to absolutley steal a game from the much better Blackhawks.

    Perhaps the Sharks are finally learning that it doesn’t matter who “plays better”or who outshoots who… at the end of the game you want your best players to be the best players on the ice. Nabby, Joe and Heatley all played great and they were the best players by far. The capitalized on their chances, which were fewer… Joe scores a shortie on a great play and they score 20 seconds after a Hawks goal, which I though totally defined and sealed this game for the Sharks…

    Yes the Hawks are an elite team. But what exactly was their statement last night? “We’re gonna shoot the hell out of the puck and hope for the best…” or maybe, “We are satisifed with ‘playing better’ when we can’t find a way to win”. Both of those “statements” are what people have been criticizing the Sharks for years about.

    The Sharks skaters, aside from the PK, didn’t play their best last night, agreed. Even with that though, they survived a Hawks onslaught, and WON… they finished when they needed, their best players stepped up, and Nabby was spectacular. Those are the wining combinations the Sharks need to bring come playoff time. You can be convinced all summer long you played better but you will still be hitting golf balls.

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