Saturday, November 10, 2007

11/9/07 ANAHEIM 3, sharks 2 (SO)

Ok, so it was technically a loss tonight, but the boys are finally starting to look like a team. Almost 65 full minutes of effort, hitting from everyone (even that Captain fellow who's had a tough go of it lately), a decent forecheck, pretty good funnel backcheck, and even a couple goals.

Torrey Mitchell tipped home his first career NHL tally, and Milan Michalek screened Anaheim goaltender J.S. Giguere on a Joe Thornton shot. The Sharks created a few strong chances in the extra period, but were unable to convert. In the breakaway challenge, the Sharks faltered (surprise), failing to connect on either attempt (Joe Pavelski hit the post and Jonathan Cheechoo hit Giguere square in the chest pad). Evgeni Nabkov, strong in the normal game, was his usual sieve-y self, giving up goals to Ryan Getzlaf and Andy McDonald.

5 games into this stretch, the Sharks are 2-2-1, amassing 5 points, while allowing 6 to their division opponents, but if any positives can be gathered from Wednesday's loss and the SOL tonight, (not **** Outta Luck, you crazy pessimists) it's the Sharks are finally showing signs of playing like they can. No, they have not been winning non-stop. No, they're not dominating the standings, but they are dominating game play. In their last five games, they have been outscored by their opponents 12-13 (tonight's third goal doesn't count really), but they have outshot their opponents 173-121. The goals aren't there yet, but the chances are, and goals will not come without chances, and, thanks to the Statistics class I've been taking this semester, I've learned about probability and such, and the probability that the Sharks will score more if they have more chances is, well, um, put in simple terms, GREATER (three big cheers for the college education system). As long as the Sharks keep creating scoring chances, they will better their chances of scoring, and as long as they have the puck, their opponents won't, bettering the liklihood they don't give up many goals.

Phew, that was a big, logic filled paragraph. The Sharks return home from Orange County tomorrow night (Saturday) to face the Desert Dogs, the Phoenix Coyotes (7:30). Now, logic would state that the Sharks should destroy the 'Yotes Saturday night, but two things: A) Sharks wins have not been a sure thing, and 2) (there's that college edcuational system again) the Yotes have been ok this year. A young team with maybe a bit of a direction, the Coyotes are looking to be no longer a pushover. Hopefully, they forget that direction over the next two games, as they are in SJ for a rare doubleheader, with games at the Tank both tomorrow and Monday. A SOL (still not for **** Outta Luck) tonight wasn't great, but a win Saturday night would feel much better.



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