3/6 sharks 3, MINNESOTA 0
The Sharks were so happy with the way they played on Sunday, it was worth an encore for the capacity crowd at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul last night. Another solid defensive effort by the boys in teal lead to a second consecutive victory, and a second consecutive shutout for the team, and goaltender Evgeni Nabokov. Nabokov looked strong when he needed to be, making a few key saves (26 in all), including two saves on Wild shorthanded breakaways, earning his 16th win of the season, and 6th shutout of the year.
The Sharks were able to hammer out three second period goals in a span of 5:51. Milan Michalek  crashed the net at 7:57, redirecting a Joe Thornton cross-ice pass right past goalie Niklas Backstrom (Thornton, Marc-Edouard Vlasic). Ryane Clowe  picked up a rebound and flipped a shot past Backstrom (Steve Bernier, Scott Hannan) and Jonathan Cheechoo  took a drop pass and ripped a shot top shelf (Michalek, Thornton) to cap the scoring for the Teal.
Minnesota, dubbed "The State of Hockey" is definitely a state that loves its hockey. In fact, going on now is the State Championships for high school boys hockey. But, even the State of Hockey is not immune to my worst pet peeve, leaving the game early. I can understand leaving because you have plans the next day, but leaving a game before it has reached its conclusion, regardless of the score, is disgusting. And when a building of 18,568 empties out with 7+ minutes remaining on the game clock, while simultaneously being congratulated for being "The greatest hockey fans in the world" for their intense support and ever growing sellout streak (which started on day 1, and includes all games, even exhibition), well, that's just plain silly. If your team is behind, if your team is ahead, it should not make a difference. If you pay money to go to a hockey game, you should stay for the hockey game. THE ENTIRE GAME. [/ end angry soapbox rant]
The Sharks are done with their second to last roadtrip (the one gamers in Phoenix and in Anaheim are just that, one gamers), and will return home for a three game homestand beginning Friday against the Vancouver Canucks (7:30 pst). The series is tied at 1 game a piece, splitting contests at the Garage (GM Place) in Vancouver. The Sharks won the inital contest 6-4, and the Canucks won the most recent game 3-1 on January 28th. Although both teams currently sitting pretty in the playoff hunt, both are looking to continue good play in order to get the all important home ice advantage for the post season.
Go Sharks (NO MORE COLD!)
Xcel Energy Center, the out front.
Postcard from the State of Hockey, on the front door.
Yeah yeah, our fans are #1. Heard that before.
Minnesota is the State of Hockey. Know why? Cause the banner with the blinding lights said so.