So Detroit did a little better on faceoffs, but not to the extent that I thought they would. As far as the match ups go, they did a much better on trying to control the Pavelski line. I think somebody actually sat on him at one point, hehe. But diverting resources led to more chances and room for Joe and Patty. There are two sides to how effective a forward is: the forward and the player opposing him. It's funny how analysts will arbitrarily ignore one side of the equation or the other when evaluating a player's performance.
It was nice to see Nabby get the big save on Zetterberg's penalty shot. I later found out that Couture had pushed the puck under Nabby, but the replays I saw all stopped when he had the glove over the puck so I didn't know it was the wrong call.
I was kind of surprised to see that in the late second and third period that the Wings weren't continuing to press offensively and instead were getting into more of a stance of holding the lead. The strategy of continuing the attack has always seemed to serve them well in the past. (Even in the recent past: Game 7 vs. Phoenix)
Jimmy Howard had a strange night. Made a lot of good saves, but seemed to have a huge chunk of his left leg missing. Or it appeared that way on the first goal! I had to watch the replay because it looked like his leg had dematerialized for the puck to go through.
I was really happy with Torrey Mitchell's puck pursuit last night and Logan Couture doing his imitation of baby!Pavelski. I was sad that Helminen was bumped from the line up for Ortmeyer--and then Ortmeyer didn't even really play all that much!
A lot of things in hockey are decided in very arbitrary ways that are consistent and predictable, but really quite difficult to describe. Like the "distinct kicking motion" rule which a lot of the time disallows goals that aren't kicked in. :P I've seen enough of these to know that Zetterberg's was going to be disallowed and Holmstrom's was okay. Like what they're really looking for is whether the skate is rotating or being swung at the time, but it has nothing to do with intent. Like I remember one goal from Naslund that was disallowed where the puck bounces off his trailing skate that he's rotating to make a turn or stop and he had no idea the puck even hit his skate. So when Zetterberg says he didn't kick it in, it's like.... yes and it's disallowed. This is why they're talking about reviewing this rule. :P (Well really it's the Sedin one, which from what I hear, was ridiculous).
Also, I'm sick of Heatley being cut slack for being injured. EVERYONE IS FREAKING INJURED. Other people don't get the asterisk after the statement that they're not producing.
For tomorrow, I'm looking for the same thing I was looking for in Game 3. A solid effort from all the lines, good defensive awareness and positioning and especially some sort of sustained effort in the offensive zone and less of the cycle for a bit, take a shot and the puck gets cleared out right away.
It's weird, I still think that Game 3 vs. the Avs is the best game the Sharks have played in the playoffs and they lost. I know the media is pointing to Boyle's own goal as the catalyst or whatever, but it started from the beginning of that game. After I watched that, despite the shock of how that game ended, I knew that they weren't going to disappoint me. This is not to say I expected them to win the series, but that I knew they would put forth their best effort and go all out - no fear, no hesitation - and that's enough for me.
Oh hey, I just found someone who said it better than me:
The most important thing for Sharks fans of the Joe Thornton era is not that the team achieves the ultimate prize, although obviously none of us would come even close to complaining about it should it happen. Rather what’s most important for us right now is that our team gives it their all in the game we love. Losing when your team has given up is 100 times worse than losing when your team gave it their all.
No matter what the outcome of the game may be, Sharks fans want to hold their heads high knowing that their hockey players were doing their best for the entire game. Whatever problems the Sharks currently have, with their defensive issues and minimal scoring from it’s big guns, Sharks fans are absolutely ecstatic to be watching their team play a full 60 minutes and not assume for even a second, that the outcome of the game is known. They are playing till the final buzzer.
This was written 5/3 so I guess he was clairvoyant too! :P