3/18 COLORADO 4, sharks 3 OT
Well, at least we ended Paul Stastny's 20 game point streak (record for a rookie).
The Sharks have had great goaltending over the past couple weeks, but sometimes, it takes more to win, and the Sharks learned that the hard way last night losing to the Avalanche in OT. Evgeni Nabokov made 36 saves, and received his 16th loss of the year for his troubles, despite playing very well.
Joe Thornton led the charge on the offensive side of the puck (Thornton, good on offense, big surprise) with a goal and an assist. Thornton put the Sharks on the board first  when he picked up a rebound and slapped it past keeper Peter Budaj (powerplay) (Matt Carle, Milan Michalek). After a Tyler Arnason goal tied the game at 1, Michalek untied the game just 27 seconds into the 2nd  with a wrister that was out as quick as it went in (Thornton, Scott Hannan). Bill Guerin made it 3-1  just a couple minutes later (Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Patrick Marleau). The Avs, came back however, and eventually won it on an iffy penalty to Jonathan Cheechoo with just 14 seconds left in regulation.
On this trip, I've experienced a Sharks loss in almost every Western Conference building, but only after leaving the Pepsi Center did I find what I have awarded the rudest fans of the Odyssey. All throughout my solemn walk to the parking lot did I have to deal with such taunts as "Hey Cheechee, better luck next time" or "Cheechoo this" or "WOOOOOOOOOO AVALANCHE AHHHHHHBLALBLBLBAAAAH".
Now, I have absolutely no problem with being taunted, I expect it, but even in Canada, where hockey is in the food, water, and bloodstream of everyone, was I taunted with a bit of respect. Not to mention, it was done to my face, accompanied by a smile, and a laugh afterwards, with fun conversations all around. But in Denver, no way, (san) Jose. They talk the big game from ten feet away and behind you, not wanting to say anything of actual substance, and then they walk away (keep in mind of course, no one says anything until AFTER the game ends). Oh well, I guess this just gives me another reason to dislike the Avalanche (besides all 87 banners hanging in the rafters).
The Sharks have a couple days off before playing again, but when they do, it'll be in the very windy city of Chicago, for the final meeting with the Blackhawks (5:30 pacific). The Sharks have won all three matchups against the Hawks, with the last one coming last week by a score of 7-1.
With just nine games left, the Sharks have a magic number of 9 points to clinch the postseason (magic number, a combo of points earned by the Sharks, and points not earned by the Avalanche). It is at this time that I wish to introduce the magic number countdown to postseason counter at the bottom of each post.
Go Sharks (boo avalanche fans)
Sharks magic number - 9 points
Avalanche next game - 3/21 vs Edmonton
Outside of the Can.
Patrick Ruhwah's retired number.
Longtime Avalanche member Raymond Bourque and his retired number. (Bourque was a member of the Colorado sqaud for a year and a half, prompting endless criticism when the Avalanche retired his number).