Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Farewell, hat

To those who saw or heard about the game last night, this story will be decidedly anti-climactic. Others, read on. So Bill Guerin has been scoreless since he joined the Sharks at the trade deadline- 6 games, no goals, no assists. And not only that, he's been largely unnoticed on the ice. Victor Chi, on the Sharks beat for the SJ Mercury makes a good point- he hasn't gotten much practice time with his linemates (Marleau and Pavelski) because they've been hurt or sick most of the time lately.

So last night the Sharks are completely dominating the game in terms of puck possession, and Guerin drives down the right side on a seemingly routine play, and slides the puck towards the net sort of as an afterthought. It goes right through Patrick Lalime's legs for the first goal of the night. Maybe that's why Lalime's been on 3 teams the last three years. Anyway, the Sharks score two more in the first, one in the second, but sort of stagnate a bit in the 2nd period and get outshot, but not scored upon.

The 3rd period, they're jumping again. Joe and Grier score, and then Guerin scores again, on the power play. Nice little backhand coming from behind the net. So now the fans are rustling a bit- Guerin now has three points, and there's still time for a hat. Guerin has a couple more chances, but nothing goes in. Then, with only seconds left in the third period, Guerin gets a clear chance at the goal, but hooked from behind. Penalty shot!

Sure, the game is 6-1 at this point, so another goal means precisely nothing, but it was pretty electric in there. Guerin had a hat trick against the Sharks while he was with the Blues, and now he might have one for us, his first three goals in a Sharks uni. Crowd on its feet, many waving hats in the air in anticipation, myself included, although it's my beloved Sharks hat.

Guerin skates down slightly left of the goal, pauses, and calmly shoots the puck right through the 5-hole. Pandemonium. Hail of hats. I let mine fly just as the red light went on. Someone relayed it onto the ice for me, and the cheers continued for a long long time. Great stuff.

You'd think we won a playoff series in there, as opposed to beating up on the 13th-best team in the Western Conference. Still, time to buy a new hat.

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