Photo credit: Ronald Martinez for Getty Images
Say it with me, kids: Quadruple overtime. Three extra 20-minute periods and nine minutes of a fourth for a total of 129 minutes of all-out, do-or-die play with San Jose's playoff life at stake.
Make no mistake—Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals between the San Jose Sharks and division rival Dallas Stars was not for the faint of heart.
For 68 of those extra minutes, the game was knotted at one goal apiece. With heroic goaltending from both Marty Turco and Evgeni Nabokov, fans must have been wondering what it was going to take to put the puck past either man.
I certainly did. They both looked completely unstoppable.
And although both teams were beyond tired, no one gave up. It wasn't a question of who wanted it more, but a question of which team could endure the crippling mental strain of fatigue while keeping their heavy legs moving.
The Sharks gave everything short of their souls in Game 6. But nearly halfway through the fourth overtime, Brian Campbell got called for a minor penalty, putting the Stars on the power play.
Stars' captain and all-around badass Brenden Morrow finally figured out how to score on the superhuman Nabokov, garnering Dallas the win and the right to move on to face the Detroit Red Wings.
A note to the Sharks: next time, sell your souls. Sign the papers. Make the deal. Do whatever needs to be done.If you're wondering who might broker such an acquisition, look no further than the Stars' No. 10, Brenden Morrow. I'm sure he'll gladly take what you're offering. He did last night.
Now, here's where I'm gonna take a different approach to the end-of-the-season wrap-up. Not wanting to be overly negative (because believe me, I could be!), I feel like focusing on the good things from the Sharks season.
Despite a premature and unceremonious departure from the second round (for the third straight year) and certain players and coaches who need to pack their bags, this has been the most entertaining season of hockey that the Sharks have put forth in a long time.
Here are the highlights, according to me:
Torrey Mitchell, Mike Grier, and Patrick Rissmiller
This line clicked so well and made some seriously jaw-dropping plays. Torrey Mitchell is fast and exciting and even though I've slammed Rissmiller in the past, he really seemed to find his stride alongside the veteran and the rookie.
These guys single-handedly made hockey thrilling for me again.
Curtis Brown and Ryane Clowe
Both came back from fairly serious injuries to really contribute when it counted. Why was Curtis Brown was scratched from so many post season games? The world may never know.
The Acquisition of Jeremy Roenick
This had me scratching my head a little, but I think JR has shown that he is FAR from finished in the NHL. Look for him to come back for another season. His leadership is undeniable.
Joe Thornton and Jonathan Cheechoo
So what if these two didn't have another Rocket Richard/Hart Trophy winning season? Those two really compliment each other's strengths.
Cheesy as it sounds, I can't imagine one without the other. They're made to play together. It's like they're soul mates.
I've never been a Nabokov supporter. I think I may have cried when Vesa Toskala was traded. I've always felt that inconsistent play was all Nabokov had to offer. And despite claims of his ability to "focus," he just always looked bored to me.
Well, I'm still not on the Nabokov train, but I have to say, last night he was phenomenal. Amazing. Unconsciously good. I have a new level of respect for the guy. I just wish he could play that kind of hockey all season.
Randy Hahn and Drew Remenda
I know for a fact that I got a little misty when Drew announced he wasn't coming back two years ago. Marty McSorley held it down in the broadcasting booth for a year, but there's no denying the chemistry that Randy and Drew have together.
Having Drew back this season has made Sharks games all the more enjoyable. Talk about soul mates!
I think all of us Sharks fans can concur, we have the best broadcasting team in the business. Randy and Drew...drop me a line. I'd like to buy you both a beer. Thanks for the laughs.
The playoff beards are gone along with San Jose's hopes of finally winning hockey's most coveted prize. Even though I am crushed, I'd like to thank the organization as a whole for keeping me on the edge of my seat for the entire season. It may not have always been pretty, but it definitely kept this fan coming back for more.
Here's looking forward to October!