Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Pollak of Working the Corners at the Mercury News,
Players rarely talk about giving up soft goals because that pretty much reflects on the man in the pads who was the last line of defense.
But they used that term Wednesday night after the Sharks lost 5-2 to the Anaheim Ducks and no one would challenge the usage. The Sharks played well, undermined by three goals that got past Antti Niemi before Todd McLellan replaced him with Alex Stalock just before the game’s midpoint.
“We played a heck of a game,” said Joe Thornton, who professed he was fine despite leaving the game late in obvious pain (more on that later). “We were in their end the majority of the night, but a couple soft goals and you lose the game. That’s all.”
All season McLellan has done everything possible to quash any hint of a goalie debate – let’s not even call it a controversy. Niemi was his No. 1, Stalock was the backup.
But Wednesday night, when asked directly if Niemi was “his guy going into the playoffs,” McLellan was hedged.
continued and watch the game highlights below...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Tune in for the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks and you might be confused, because the spectacle you'll be treated to will resemble a no-holds-barred postseason affair.
Kind of like when the Sharks beat the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday 2-1. Or when the Sharks beat the Ducks 3-2 on March 20. Or when the Ducks beat the Kings 2-1 on March 15.
If this were soccer, we might be able to create a separate competition during the season, calling it the California Cup, perhaps. I'd pay to watch every single game between these three teams.
Two of them are guaranteed to face off in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs next week, with the Kings -- in third place in the Pacific Division -- waiting to see whether it's the Ducks or Sharks who finish second in the division and get rewarded with an all-out war with the 2012 Cup champs in the opening round.
So, yeah, there's definitely something on the line Wednesday night. The Ducks can clinch the Pacific Division title with a win in regulation over San Jose.
via Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider,
Drew Doughty, who did not return after issuing a hit on San Jose’s Tyler Kennedy in the first period of Thursday’s 2-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks, will travel with the team to Vancouver. Certainly this is not bad news, though the extent and nature of the injury – other than being described as “upper-body” by the team – is not known at this time. More will be learned in Vancouver over the coming days.
The Kings lost to the Sharks 2-1.
Too bad it is goalie Al Montoya...
No penalty on the play.
Did Perry try to "draw" the call?
from Brian Cazeneuve of Sports Illustrated,
They do it to us every single year, don't they? Just when you assume that it's OK to dismiss the San Jose Sharks as a regular-season points magnet that will fray and fade in the heat of late spring, they get rolling again and look like one of the NHL's hottest teams heading into the postseason.
Then they make you wonder again.
Coming into this week, that Sharks had won 10 of their past 12 games. Though their six-game winning streak was snapped by Florida on Tuesday, their 97 points were good for the league's third-highest total going into a Thursday night battle with the Anaheim Ducks for the Pacific Division lead.
So the question once again is which Sharks do you believe in? The team that was challenging for the Presidents' Trophy, hot on the heels of the St. Louis Blues, or the one that sank to the depths of a rare home-ice loss to the woeful Panthers just when it seemed like it was making a serious run at the league's best record?
Let the videos be the story...
And a video story on Sam Tageson special day is below...
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
The seeds of the San Jose Sharks' six-game winning streak, their 8-1-1 record since the Olympic break and ascent to a tie with the Ducks atop the Pacific Division were planted at last season's trading deadline, when Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson and his staff realized their plodding team needed a new identity and a major infusion of youth.
"We did the reset/refresh, where we clarified how we wanted to play. We wanted to be a much faster team," Wilson said.
He had a head start with strength down the middle in Joe Thornton, Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau, so Wilson mostly reconfigured the wingers and defense. That meant unloading Ryane Clowe, Douglas Murray and Michal Handzus and giving chances to Tommy Wingels, Tomas Hertl and Matt Nieto. "It has allowed us to play the way we wanted to play," Wilson said Monday.
via the NHL Situation Blog,
At 16:45 of the second period in the San Jose Sharks/New York Rangers game, the Situation Room initiated video review to further examine Carl Hagelin's wraparound attempt on the San Jose net. No camera angles provided to the Situation Room provided a clear image of the puck completely across the goal line. As a result, video review was inconclusive, therefore the referee's call on the ice stands - no goal New York Rangers.
Watch the video below and start at the 1:12 mark when the review process begins...
added 7:44pm, Another video added below...
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
I have nothing against the shootout. In fact, I like it. I've never changed the channel when a game goes to the shootout and always notice that every fan is on their feet in an arena where a game goes to a shootout.
Still, I hated to see a great game between the San Jose Sharks and Columbus Blue Jackets end in a shootout Thursday night. That one needed at least five more minutes of overtime, because the entertainment level was off the charts.
You had one of the West's hottest teams in San Jose exchanging punches with a Columbus team that is trying to prove to the world it's for real, in a Nationwide Arena that was absolutely electric. It didn't seem right that it ended the way it did, with a 4-3 shootout win for the Sharks.
But even in the loss, the Blue Jackets continued to bolster their case, and are now tied with the Rangers for second in the Metropolitan Division. Nationwide won't be an easy building to play in if the Blue Jackets make the playoffs.
more topics with Burnside on the Leafs, LeBrun on the Lightning and Strang on the Bruins...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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