Players never think like fans on that subject, and we would not want them to. But if the Canucks continue to play the kids a lot, and let the nature of parity, and just the simple fact that in a "game of mistakes", rookies are going to make more of them than the best players in the world, #TeamTank will be happy enough, one would think. Kids are going to make mistakes is the maxim.
Except for Ben Hutton. Reading this article, it is like you can see that ever present smile with each quote. That partnership with Christopher Tanev sounds like it could be ( roommates off the ice, partners on it? They'll be finishing each other's sentences soon... ) a long term plan now.
So, the plan to inject youth continues apace. ( and if it means one of the most popular players on the team ever is reaching the end of the line, so be it. I'll still be a fan of the guy if he hangs them up. Maybe not the SNET / CBC cabal for him, but I could see TSN snapping him up. Thanks for everything Burr' ). All we want now is for the team to "bring it" every night. The entertainment value of the past few losses has been pretty good, as the youth shows it's flashes of the future.
Just bring da funk....
- When you play someone over and over again, you just don't like them. Haley was sporting a shiner from his fight with Dorsett in the last one, and it seemed like the Canucks were finishing their checks all night. This game had emotion. Never a bad thing for enjoyable to watch hockey, which this one was.
- It was a mistake by the goaltender that led to the opening goal for the home team, as he, in the parlance of the game, gave Hutton a "grenade" to handle. ( though Ben pretty well passed it to the wrong guy ! ) Credit the Sharks' tough guy for the pressure, and his offensive play on the puck, but that one was a tough one for Jakob Markstrom. He felt he had it, until it rolled on through after the initial save for the opening goal.
- Markstrom made a big save on Ward not long afterwards, and the Sharks pressed pretty hard to get another goal. Credit the big Swede for his play all night. This was the kind of save that teammates love after a goal.
- It got a little "oh for #$@% sake" with about 6 minutes to go in the opening period, as Brent Burns had a clean hit ( I don't think Hank expected it though. Burns got in front of him and pushed on through, and the referee was in there too, but Henrik Sedin stayed down for a whie. He tried to go a couple more times, but it was a no go, and he was gone to the room for the game with what was called an "upper body" injury. If it is anything persistent, they should just shut him down. It was serious enough that he was sent home after the game. Uh Oh...
- The tough guy giveth, and he taketh away, as he got his stick up on Sven Baertschi, drawing blood for a double minor.
- Ben Hutton made a good play to start this one...
....and Vey made a goal scorer's play at the end, but I sure do enjoy how Sven Baertschi is confident on the puck. His instincts are excellent, and that shot is pretty good too. Thanks Calgary. I know Sven pulled from the Motown catalogue at Dice and Ice, but I but he could hold it down with the Commodores or Parliament Funkadelic. He is always bringing it.
- Jared McCann almost set up a pretty goal for Jake Virtanen at the death of the period while still on the power play, but Big Country was stopped on the tip by Reimer.
- The Sharks were good on the draw all night, and it was Joe Pavelski going 5 for 5 who powered their 16-8 edge on the draw, but against a strong team on draws, Bo Horvat at least tried to pick up the slack of losing the captain by going 4 for 9 draws in the opening stanza.
- Both teams blocked 6 shots, but it was Tanev who led the way with 3, and Vey of all people had 2 as well.
- You need to shoot to score, and it was the visitors who led on the shot clock 12-9, as Vey and Virtanen led the way with 2 each.
- After the Sharks got in on an initial shift, Pavelski got his stick in the feet of Baertschi for a penalty 200 ' from his own net. Coaches hate that. The power play was suddenly powerful on this one, as they threw it around pretty well...
... before Baertschi once again got off that wrister. This one ticked off of Daniel Sedin ( watch that clip, he mirrors Reimer pretty well there. Execution brings da funk Swedish / Swiss style ! )
- The second period was the one that can really get a fan of the "rebuild on the fly" excited, as everyone seemed to be bringing it. The team handled the loss of their captain well.
- You knew that with the calls going the Canucks way in the first, there would be some the other way ( not to bitch about the refs, more of an observation, but holy hell refs. All the calls were justified, and one was where Baertchi bled his own blood. I will never get why they have to try that ), even though the Sharks kept taking penalties all night. The two straight on the Canucks were tough ones, as Bartkowski did not seem to lay the stick that hard, and Markstrom moved only a little, and was way deep in the blue of the crease, when a Shark who was in there was deemed to have been interfered with. I don't remember seeing that called very often!
- The special teams brought the funk all night. They brought it on both ends of the rink, even if it was somewhere along the way in this period where Christopher Tanev was injured and did not return. He will stay with the team, unlike the captain, so it can't be too serious. This IS only a two gamer. The Sharks had a great chance at the end of the first one, and were dangerous at times on the second one ( San Jose has scored more goals on the PP than any other NHL team so far ). On the second one, the PP was better, but Markstrom was there too, especially on a Hertl tip of a Burns shot, where he smothered the rebound with al kinds of folks in front.
- There was a late power play for the Canucks, and this one was killed pretty well. With the Canucks giving up ( great stat by HNIC )74 goals in the third, that is 20 and 33 more than in the first and second, and they are worst in the NHL carrying a lead into the last period, giving up 16 points when most teams close it out. ( They are not making the playoffs because of this. Even with all the injuries, if the team is even respectable at this basic team skill, they are into the race at the least.
- The Sharks outshot the Canucks 9-7 in this one, but it was a good period for the visitors. They closed the gap on the draws, from winning 8 of 24, to 20 of 45 after two, and the blocks were still tied, not at 11 each, with Tanev leading the way with four of them. That last one was the one that got him maybe ?
- Pavelski was 8 of 10 in the circle to this point, but credit the rookie and sophomore for the battle. Picking up the slack of the veteran face off guy on the top line, both were at least OK, as Horvat was 8 of 18 after two, and Granlund was 4 of 9. Hell, Linden Vey was even 4 of 7 to go above 50% !
- Wow. Just Wow. Jakob Markstrom could have given up an early third period goal, and the Sharks are maybe off to the races against a "shaky in confidence" visitor. But instead, the big goaltender absolutely ROBBED Hertl after Marleau outwaited a sliding Sbisa to get the puck across the crease. What an extension. What a save.
- Brent Burns should just have the designation "rover" instead of defenseman. He was first on a puck on a dump in, made a nice pass to get the play started, and then found some empty ice in the slot to beat the goaltender. Just under 5 minutes in, and it is tied...uh oh.
- Joonas Donskoi is a good player, and seems to have a helluva nose for the net, but he took another lazy penalty, tripping up Hutton for yet another power play for the Canucks. That is when this happened...
....the rare non Sedin Sedinery. He wont get a point on it, but I believe that is Biega with the excellent hold at the blue line, before Harvat and McCann worked the puck to an open Dan Hamhuis for the empty netter, on his first of the year.
- The Sharks put the push on at home after that, but it was Markstrom who was a "Brick House" in net the rest of the way. After a flurry of saves, the Sharks won a faceoff, but with the empty net, Alexandre Burrows brought the funk for a well earned empty netter. That is came after a penalty where the head snap was "noticeable" ( yes, it was a penalty on Burns though ), and where he got under the caveman's skin late is kind of fitting as it winds down for him. He brought da funk old school style.
So, a great win that won't mean that much in the big picture, but will feel amazing after the way they lost the last two against these guys. Isn't it fun watching a win, instead of crunching the numbers on who won what ? ( OMG the Flames won a game too ! And the Leafs are better...KEEP LOSING ! ) Ahhh, to enjoy a game like this one where the players overcame adversity by working their asses off, instead of hoping for a loss to get a netter chance at the lottery. They earned this win, and a hard earned win is always a good ting, even in the dregs of a season.
- That flurry at the end probably inflated the numbers, but they were 16-7 on shots in the third, and 34-26 on the night. Pavelski had 4 shots, Marleau 5, and Burns had 8 freaking shots. Damn. Well done Jakob Markstrom.
- Perhaps it was score effects, but the Sharks came back to edge out the visitors 18-16 on the hit count in the end.
- The big number? How about holding the most dangerous power play in the NHL to nothing for 3 opportunities, while getting 3 shots on the 7 opportunities you had on the road. And they did it without their PP QB and captain.
THAT is bringing the funk. Now, there are many choices, but I have to go with George Clinton and the P Funk All Stars. This is a good one too. George just gets them going, and they take it up themselves. Well worth the 17:43
Until the next one !