It was a strange game last night at the Shark Tank. First, they gave us white pom poms. White? Why not teal!? Sea of Teal man! It makes it look like we are waving the white flag.
Wilson sends Clowe out for the opening faceoff, even though it isn't his line. Why? So he can start a bloodbath. But instead, no fights. In the whole game!! Where is the revenge for the dirty ass hits! (PS: Props to Bernier for being back out there for Game 2 after that vicious hit to the head). In fact, SJ only took 2 minor (BS) penalties the whole game.
Then, for 2 periods, the Sharks were doing their best Flames impression. They could not handle a pass to save their life. Passes were jumping over sticks, the guys looked nervous. And that's weird, because of the ~10 games Sharks game I've gone to this year, approximately 9 of them have featured total domination. Normally the Sharks make the other team look like AHLers.
The only guy who was going all out balls-deep was Mike Grier. Hitting anything that moved, diving for pucks, taking it deep on the PK. He was the only Sharks giving it his all. Thornton and Marleau were pretty much invisible. Rivet had giveaway after giveaway.
It wasn't quite an accurate Flames impression though, because they were outshooting the Preds by a 2-1 ratio. However, every time Nashville gained the zone, their chances were dangerous. Another oddity - Nashville kept sending players off the ice for a few minutes at a time. It was like a revolving door. I think I saw Hamhuis, Erat, Kariya, and Forsberg all go off for 2-3 mins each. Strange.
Preds take a 1-0 lead in the first on a nifty passing play, picking apart the defence and Nabakov fully committing to a shot that was passed. In the 2nd, the Sharks finally take a shot from the point with traffic, and Vokoun probably never even realized they were shooting. Michalek tips it, 1-1.
The game winner was my favourite. You couldn't see this on TV, but at the game it was crystal clear. Kariya leaves the penalty box with the Sharks applying pressure. Instead of racing in to help his short-handed team out, like any good player would do, especially in the playoff, Kariya hangs out at the red line, cherry picking for a good 20 seconds. You see, Kariya felt that 4 Preds could take on the league's #2 ranked PP without him. He's just skating around, waiting for the Hail Mary. Next thing you know, Clowe puts it in the net. I hate Kariya. He's my least favourite Olympic Canadian. Well, after Bertuzzi I guess.
The third was more what I'm used to. SJ settled down and dominated. The passes start bouncing over the Predator's sticks. Marleau with a beautiful tip to ice it with 3ish minutes to go.
The icing on the cake? 1st star for Grier, with no goals. Just an all out gutsy playoff effort. Nice to see him get rewarded. What an awesome team player.