Wednesday, January 30, 2008

1/29/08 sharks 3, EDMONTON 0

There was one thing that was incredibly cold last night, and, for a change, it wasn't the Teal attack.

The Sharks took advantage of an overmatched opponent to continue just where they left off, playing strong, winning hockey, all the while playing in -8,000,000 weather. Joe Pavelski opened the scoring [11] at 11:48 of the 2nd on a rebound that he shoveled past Oilers goalie Mathieu Garon (Setoguchi, Rivet). Mike Grier, who isn't usually known for his offense, capitalized on a late 2nd Period 3-on-2, slapping a Patrick Rissmiller pass top shelf on Garon [6] (Rissmiller, Mitchell). Rissmiller added an empty netter with just 30 seconds left in the game to seal the deal. Evgeni Nabokov only had to stop 13 saves in the win, his league leading 28th victory this year.

Nabby made his job look real easy last night, partially because, well, his defense made it easy for him. The Sharks blueliners let just 13 shots make their way to the net, while blocking 16 more from even seeing Nabby. They had 6 takeaways, and forced 19 giveaways, playing what looked to be one of their most complete victories this year. They did lack a bit in the faceoff department, an area where they're usually tops, going 15-32 in draws on the evening, a tiny 32% win percentage.

It's too bad the Sharks played so well last night, because that is the kind of game you want to just sit back and smile about, saying, "I only want them to play again if they're gonna play like that". I only say it's bad that they played so well, because they're right back on the ice tonight, a couple hundred miles to the south, visiting the Calgary Flames in the Saddledome (6:30). Calgary is deeply entrenched in the Northwest division race, sitting in 2nd today with 58 points. The Flames enter tonight's contest winners of three straight. The season series is split between the teams 1-1, San Jose winning the contest in Calgary in October (4-1), and the Flames stealing an OT victory on San Jose ice just a couple weeks ago. It's expected to be cold again tonight in Calgary, and fire doesn't usually do so well in such cold. It'll take another strong stifling effort by the Sharks to keep the Flames cold, and get out of frozen Alberta on fire.

GO SHARKS (do it again boys)


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