11/7/07 dallas 3, SHARKS 1
There were two milestone markers up for the breaking on Wednesday night, however only one was broken. Unfortunately for Sharks fans, it wasn't the guy in teal that broke it.
Wednesday, November 7th, 2007 will be a day to live in American Hockey history as Mike Modano, however much his team and maybe he himself are hated, became the highest scoring American-born player in NHL history.
Two vintage Mike Modano goals (a streak up the left side/mega-accurate slapper and a short-handed breakaway tucking the puck 5-hole) proved to be the difference despite a 39 shot effort from the good guys. Matt Carle had the lone goal for the Fins, an absolute lighting bolt wrister from the point with the man-advantage. The Evgeni Nabokov games started counter hit 15 in the Sharks 15th game of the year, Nabby making just 12 saves in the losing effort.
Sometimes teams are beaten by a better effort by their opponents, sometimes teams are beaten by their own mistakes, and even sometimes teams are beaten by poor officiating. The Sharks, on Wednesday, were beat by all three.
Modano's excellent offense coupled with Marty Turco's excellent goaltending stood out huge for the Stars. Too many shots not followed up by crashing the net in the offensive zone, and just way too much sloppy play with the puck in the defensive zone lead to too many turnovers.
And lastly, a poor double minor call on Steve Bernier accompanied a kinda-iffy no goal call and another poor double minor call on Steve Bernier didn't cause the loss for the Teal, but it sure as h-e-double hockey sticks (never thought I'd actually use that) didn't help anything.
This game brings the division record to 2-2, and keeps things tight in the Pacific. With the Phoenix win last night, the entire division is separated by just two points. Dallas leads with 16, the Ducks and Sharks have 15, and the Kings and Yotes taking last with 14. There is a lot of hockey left to be played, but all five of these teams could be real close for the next couple months.
Game 5 of the Pacific Division Binge, or the PDB for short, comes tonight, Friday, when the Sharks visit Orange County and take on the struggling Ducks (7:00). Anaheim is coming off of a 6-5 OT loss to the Coyotes on Wednesday, when both Ilya Bryzgalov and J.S. Giguere struggled in net for the Ducks.
The break even predictor has the Sharks winning tonight, but the common sense factor has the Ducks with the home ice advantage. I hope the common sense factor is wrong.
Small side note: Since their inception in Dallas, the Stars fans have screamed "STARS" and "STAR" at the appropriate points in the US National Anthem. As an answer, for the last few years or so, when the Stars come to SJ, the Sharks fans have acted accordingly, booing both parts of the song where the Dallas team name is mentioned. Last night was the first of four times us Sharks fans get to do that this year, and needless to say, it's incredibly fun. In the grand scheme of things, it's meaningless, but it's just another thing that adds to the fun of being a sports fan.
GO SHARKS (BOO DUCKS, EVEN THOUGH THEY'RE NOT IN ANY ANTHEM)