BUT BUT BUT!!! The Red Wings/Sharks game more than made up for it! Not quite the best game ever, but definitely the best Sharks game I've seen this season. I generally dislike high-scoring games because most of the time it's the result of defensive ineptitude, but that wasn't the case last night. There were defensive lapses definitely, but for the most part, both teams were solid.
I'm so proud of my boys. Everyone played their heart out last night. Everyone. Even the guys who didn't get any points contributed to the win.
I thought he really stood out last night. :) He did have the great breakaway goal and nifty behind the back pass to Pavelski which made me think oh, that's right, we have a bunch of skill guys too, but I thought he really used his speed to make things difficult for the Wings and battled really hard.
I think for most of the season he hasn't really played as big of a role on the team as I think he can, and it's not to do with lack of effort, but more to do with... modesty? That he doesn't perceive himself as one of the top tier players on the team and plays accordingly. If he can sustain the level of play he had last night, I would be so happy. :D
Rob Blake's going to be out until after the All-Star break with a fractured jaw. :( And we're missing Lukowich until then too so that had me a little concerned, but Ehrhoff stepped in and did a pretty decent Rob Blake impression!
I've always thought that Ehrhoff had the capability to be that defenseman with the big booming shot from the point, and while I don't think he's going to reach Blake's level of effectiveness, I think he can be good enough to fulfill that role.
tersa and I were talking about how happy we are that Goc has been putting in a consistent effort every game. His previous pattern was to just kind of go through the motions, then when he got yelled at or benched, he'd come back with a few really solid games, good forechecking battles, generating good scoring chances, etc. but then fade after a while.
He hasn't done that this season. Plus he actually tried to defend someone's honour, which I find hilarious, but you know, the effort was there.
His scoring touch has kinda' toned down recently, but OMG he leveled someone last night! Devin's been a pretty solid hitter, but usually of the solid check at the end boards variety. To see him knock someone down was pretty amazing.
*sniffles* It's somehow appropriate that he got the GWG (although it was an insurance goal at the time he scored it). I think Joe Thornton is the best player on the team, and that's why a lot of people mistakenly think that he's the captain, but Patty is the heart and soul of this team. For better or worse, the Sharks are Aneroid, Saskatchewan--that's the kind of players we've drafted, and the kind of players we've traded for, and maybe that's why McLellan has had so much success, because he's a Sasktachewan guy too.
I just got my Vlasic jersey a couple of seasons ago, so it might be too soon for me to pick up another one, but every now and then I think idly about what my next jersey will be. I know it's going to be a third, because I already have a white and teal, but I don't know which player I'd pick.
If Boosh was signed long-term as our backup, it would be an easy choice to pick him (I'd be the only weirdo with a Sharks Boucher jersey, haha) but he's not. Then I thought Pavelski because he's so consistent, and he does such a good job with making the best choice in everything he does, whether it's killing penalties or forechecking, etc.
But ultimately, the player I like most on the Sharks in purely hockey terms is Ryane Clowe. Scott Thornton *sniffle* was my original favourite player, and I think Chloe is basically a young Thorty who's been given the opportunity to be a top six forward. He has soft hands, checks, battles on the board, stands up for himself and for his teammates, fights, has that BIG BODY PRESENCE (ahahahaha) and although he doesn't have that personal appeal for me, I do appreciate his Newfieness and his humble background.
So that's what I would get. A Chloe third. :)
Speaking of Pavelski, it's nice to see him finally getting comfortable. I suspect he came back a bit too early from his injury, but you never really know with the Sharks. :P He's the key to that second line, and once the second line goes, it makes the other lines way more effective. The first line is able to score more goals, the third line does a better job checking, the fourth line uhh... they do whatever they do better. :P
So happy to see him scoring goals again. :)
I always say I'm happy that Brian Campbell signed with the Blackhawks because if he'd signed with us, we would have never made the trade to get Boyle. He's really good offensively, but he's got the Pavelski thing going too, where he's very consistent, and he makes really good decisions most of the time, all of which was evident last night.
He played a really solid, tough game last night, and he actually shot at the net when he was in a good position to do so! :O I haven't listened to it yet, but apparently on the radio postgame he was talking about how much fun he had playing the game. Good for him! I want my boys to have fun. :) I feel like everything seemed so grim last year.
I suspect that he might have come back from his injury too early, too. He played hard last night. I'd like to see him doing a bit more of battling to drive to the net and less hooking penalties and giveaways, but I just have high standards for him because I love.
Another solid game from Murray. I enjoy his reverse hits (hit the person who's trying to hit you) that Patty's pretty good at. I like him showing his offensive side recently, too, picking up some assists. Perhaps he'll score a goal soon, haha.
This is probably the guy on the team who makes the highest rate of intelligent decisions. He picked up a couple of assists last night, and I'm really pleased with his offensive development this season. Somebody (analyst? media?) said that he could eventually become a Lidstrom-type player and I agree. I think I might explode with pride if that happens.
Okay, so the first goal was pretty wimpy, but Nabby made a bunch of really key saves, especially the Datsyuk breakaway. He also seemed to be able to freeze the puck at key times last night. I've always thought he was the real thing as a goalie, and I have no doubts about him being the guy to keep (over Kiprusoff and Toskala), but it actually took a while for him to grow on me, personality-wise.
When he was a little kid watching his dad play goal, one of the fans dissed his dad and he KICKED THE GUY IN THE SHINS. He is essentially still that little kid and I love him for it.
I'm generally not receptive (on an emotional level, not a hockey level) of guys who didn't grow up with the Sharks. I'm still neutral towards Joe, and to some extent, towards Boyle and Shelley, etc. But I accepted Mike Grier almost immediately. He's just so Shark-like; we could have raised a boy like that! :P
His non-ability to score goals was in evidence last night, but he did generate chances and keep the puck in the offensive zone through a hard forecheck and for me, that's enough. He had kind of an anomaly recently where he scored 3 goals in 2 games (ahahahaha) but the Mike Grier who, when faced with a clear shot to an empty net from just beyond the hash marks, executed an EPIC FAIL is more like the real Mike Grier, hehe.
Possibly the most generic Czech in existence. The fact that I actually noticed him making a couple of good plays last night is a major victory. :P
The fact that I didn't notice him making any bonehead plays last night is a major victory. :P
It's good to have him back. He doesn't get much ice time, but he plays hard when he does (sometimes too hard and gets boarding/roughing type penalties) and always puts on a good show when he fights.
Brad Staubitz and Derek Joslin
Not that much of a contribution from them but I don't really expect much given that they're babies. Poor Joslin was a -2 and got about as much playing time as Shelley, but playing the Wings is hard! *giggle*
I covered everyone on the team except for Boosh, haha. I have to make up for my limited hockey posting recently. :D
As if I don't like Leverage enough, I find out that JR has a cameo!!! As a bumbling security guard, ahahaha. And if the cameo isn't good enough, they filmed Boyle, Torrey and Boosh playing peanut gallery as they watched the clip, muahahahahaha!!! Torrey was mostly quiet because he's afraid that JR will stop feeding him, but Boyle and Boosh were quite harsh.
BOOSH: He's totally got a double chin going there.
BOYLE: Triple. Triple chin.
*SQUEAKS* Petr just scored a nice breakaway goal. I totally screamed "YES!" ahahaha. PP boy strikes again. Also, he has... a significant amount of grey/white in his beard. I want to cry a little bit.
Oh man, and Petr went to defend Crosby's honour by gingerly bear hugging COLTON ORR. To his relief, Redden rescued him by cuddling him away from the scrum. Milbury just said "Sykora was protecting his teammate" and I totally did a spit take, muahaha!