Noel's Hat Trick: San Jose Sharks Get "Mased" By The Blue Jackets 3-0
As the game started, I was glad to see that the Jackets carried on the physical game that they had used to swiftly rout the Sabres 4-0. Not only that, but Mase continued to play the same way, making great save after great save.
The Jackets worked the forecheck throughout the game, outhitting the Sharks 36 to 22. I saw a great hunger from all of the guys throughout the game, and Jakub Voracek showed that hunger by scoring through the 5-hole. The players were using a "shoot first mentality" (A Davidge-ism I hate, but not as much as "A goal-scorers goal"), and as Voracek said, they were "Shooting the Biscuit."
At first, the Jackets were unable to stop the Shark's transition, as they got down the ice quickly. Mase was amazing tonight, stopping all 40 shots; most of them on the rush. As Nash took the first goal, the Jackets celebrated the fifth game in a row that they've scored the first goal (and have won three of them). They then proceeded to keep heavy pressure throughout the game. Mase made several great saves from giveaways and takeaways by the Sharks. Boll almost scored, but even more importantly, he almost had a fight with Shelley, which would have been fun to watch (My money's on Shelley).
Through the third period, the Sharks utilized their great transition to create 7 scoring chances, the exact number they had in the first two periods. Mason was able to knock down six of them, and glove them without a rebound.
There was one scoring chance the Sharks had, when Mase was out of the net, and Hejda stepped in the net and knocked it down with his body. It's always a pleasure to see the defense blocking shots, and keeping the puck away from the net. Clark has seemed to find the reason why he was the captain over in Washington, and brought his offensive flair to the table.
Vermette worked extremely hard for the last goal, and cashed in the work on the empty net, as Captain Nash stood at the blue line.
Fun Facts of the night:
1) There were 14 Olympians on the ice tonight; 8 Sharks and 6 Jackets.
2) Voracek scored, breaking a 26 game scoring drought.
3) Mase has now stopped 92 shots in a row.
4) Three's a Company: The Jackets have won Noel's three games as the Head Coach with a total of 8-1.
MY THREE STARS:
1) Steve Mason, He stopped 40 out of 40 for his second shutout in a row, fourth this season.
2) Antoine Vermette, 1G 1A 2P +2, Worked his butt off for that empty netter, helped set up Nash's goal.
3) Jakub Voracek, 1G 0A 1P +1, Scored for the first time in 26 games.
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