The San Jose Sharks, at long last, smarted up and came to play—well, all except two players.
Everything was against the Sharks tonight; it was as if they were banned from winning and banned from getting breaks in the playoffs.
Countless times, I heard dings from Sharks' shots rattling the posts, pucks fumbling away from Sharks players, pucks bouncing right toward opponents, bogus penalties on the Sharks when they aren’t called against opponents...the list continues….
But, somehow, these men picked up their lunch pail and went to work. I’ve never seen a harder working Sharks game, ever. There were constant battles along the boards, players moving their feet and winning 50/50 battles.
There’s no doubt the Sharks deserved this win.
It took overtime to do it, though. 6-5! That’s right, 6-5!
There were, simply, two reasons why it wasn’t 5-1 or 6-1—Douglas Murray and Evgeni Nabokov. It’s quite possible they played some of their worst hockey of their lives.
They single-handedly were the cause of four goals. Murray blew coverage twice giving "Nabby" no chance to stop the shots. Then, on two others, Nabokov had brain farts and couldn’t make simple stops.
San Jose destroyed Colorado in every aspect of the game besides those plays. The Sharks are too big, and, on this night, too determined.
I haven’t even mentioned how bad the referees were. There were so many holding, hooking and interference penalties on the Sharks that went uncalled. But then of course when Rob Blake lowers the boom on a precious Av, it’s a penalty.
In the overtime, the exact same play Rob Blake did happened to Ryane Clowe; an Av came in and decked him into the boards, and it was a clear interference call. Nope, not called.
Luckily, the refs smarted up for one play when Adam Foote bolted Jed Ortmeyer into the net, which was called a penalty.
Devin Setoguchi cashed in on that power play by deflecting a shot and sending the Sharks to Colorado with a 1-1 series tie.
Fantastic work by every forward. I can’t state that enough. I’d like to single out Scott Nichol. That man has some engine in his body. I think he was the reason the rest of the Sharks worked as hard as they did. And guess what? Nichol was rewarded with a goal in the game.
Craig Anderson is not that great. A random thought, but I need to say it. Guarantee he will go back to being a nobody, average goalie next year. One-hit wonder.
One can only hope the Sharks can bottle this energy up and unleash it again in Colorado. This could be an organization-changer.
You know those NHL commercials where they show old highlights in reverse saying “What if so and so didn’t happen?
There could be one in 10 years showing Setoguchi’s overtime goal.
Hard work needs to be rewarded, and thankfully it was tonight.