Sunday, December 16, 2007

Emotions Will Be Riding High Tonight

Yesterdays loss was disappointing, but I wasn't disappointed in the Sharks overall team effort. To my eyes, the Sharks have shown more life in the last three games than they have all season. This is why I've found it odd that Bay Area sports reporter, Ryan Garner on hockeybuzz.com, picked today to blast the Sharks for their total team effort, lack of fire and intensity.

Here is my take Ryan.

1) The Sharks outhit Dallas 26-14

2) Rivet made a statement by roughing up Dallas agitator Steve Ott, assessing 17 penalty minutes in the process - all of them well worth it.

3) The Sharks crashed the net and scored a goal that didn't require three passes or Joe Thornton.

4) 4-2 is a deceiving final score. The Stars scored one goal on a fluke puck rolling up the back of the net and off Nabby's back. The other was an empty net. So really, in my eyes, this was a 2-2 matchup and a great game by both sides.

The effort was there - the result wasn't. Now the team is walking into an emotional game in Anaheim - a showdown with the Ducks featuring their two new players - former Captain Niedermeyer and Doug Weight. The crowd will be electric. The Ducks will be fired up. How will the Sharks respond?

I think this could be a pivotal game for the Sharks season and potential roster changes. If the Sharks play hard, physical hockey like they have this week and pull out a road win or lose a close, hard fought battle - Doug Wilson will feel inclined to keep this roster intact before the trade freeze next week. If the Sharks turtle up, like they have before this year in the face of adversity, then perhaps Ryan Garner is right - and change could be in order. The rumored deal with Montreal netting the Sharks NHL iron man and poster boy for overcoming adversity, Saku Koivu, for our Patrick Marleau would certainly shake things up. At this point, I would not part with my favorite whipping boy of the early season, Steve Bernier, in any deal. This kid has finally found himself and we're seeing what a potential physical force he could be in the NHL. Don't trade Bernier, Dougie. If he has to be in the package, its not worth it. Use your poker face and tell Gainey to "go fish".

Do you think the Sharks play the party pooper role tonight at the Pond?

3 comments:

Mike said...

Good call. The main differentiator in my view were the PP opportunities- the Stars had two 4-minutes PPs and a 5-on-3 for almost 2 minutes. You give the second best PP team in the league those kind of chances, and they'll hurt you.

I love watching that kind of game- tons of hitting, extracurriculars after the whistle, all that stuff.

Chris said...

No doubt it will be a great game tonight, especially if they play like yesterday's first 30 minutes. But as far as the outcome... I'd put money on 2-2, going to shootout, AGAIN.

Ian said...

If they trade Marleau for Koivu, I will scream for Doug Wilson's head. And I'm a big Doug Wilson fan. We do not need a slick passing small center with a career high of 22 goals. Especially one with a history of injury problems.

The Sharks definitely need to bring it tonight.