11/2 new york rangers 3, SHARKS 1
On Tuesday, the Sharks wrapped up one of their best Octobers in team history, but on Thursday, the Rangers made sure to welcome the Sharks to the eleventh month of the year. On this night, there were no Sharks bounces, no power play success, and way too many Ranger fans at the Tank.
Upon entrance into the Tank, I was happily welcomed by the fake white marbled floors, the giant stalk of wheat thing that hangs high above the concourse (that is the logo of the proud city of San Jose), and, of course, the abundance of teal walking around. After being on the road for a couple weeks, and seeing 5 buildings other than the Arena, it was nice to come home to: a seat I already knew how to get to, food that I already knew which was worth the price, and mainly, the freedom to be much louder in support of my team. Unfortunately, on this night, there was not a whole lot to be supportive of.
Despite 30 shots on backup Kevin Weekes, the Sharks were only able to come through once, and that was on a very wild laser from Kyle McLaren late in the third. The Sharks came out flying in the first, really their best period. Shooting and hitting and moving the puck, they had a few chances, but all denied. At the end of the period, (8 seconds left) with all 5 Sharks in the zone, a costly Scott Hannan turnover lead to a Ranger 3-on-0, but it was just Matt Cullen who was necessary to give the the Rangers a 1-0 lead with 0.7 seconds left in the first.
Even though it was just one goal, it was really all the momentum the Rangers would need, as Martin Straka would pick up his own rebound off a nice sliding save by Evgeni Nabokov, and, even from a sharp angle (he was pretty much at the boards, between the face-off circle and the goal line), was able to fling it by a still sprawled and laid out Nabokov to give New York a 2-0 lead. The McLaren goal gave the Sharks a glimmer of hope, although it was a very small, a 2 minute-24 seconds glimmer. The glimmer proved to not be enough, as the Rangers were able to stop the late onslaught by the Teal, and hang on for the win. A Brendan Shanahan clearing attempt found its way to the back of the net, the final straw to the Sharks camel on this night.
As it was possibly the last time the Blueshirts will be in San Jose until 2009/10 (the NHL is looking at altering the schedule), it was nice to see some of the Eastern Conference in SJ. This season already saw the Islanders, and after tonight there are still to come the Pittsburgh Penguins (Saturday), the Philadelphia Flyers (Nov 18), and the New Jersey Devils (Nov 25).
Saturday sees the Pittsburgh Penguins make a visit to the Arena for a 7:30 clash time.
Go Sharks (go see Borat)