Thursday, January 31, 2008

1/30/08 CALGARY 5, sharks 4

Good news: Owen Nolan had a hat-trick in the Sharks game last night. Bad news: Owen Nolan is not a Shark.

The Teal didn't come away from the 'Dome victorious last night, but they didn't give up either. Yeah, it's a small battle won, but after a snowball quickly rolled downhill in the 2nd, the Sharks brought their best mittens and tried til the end to roll that sucker back up hill. Captain Patrick Marleau netted the opening goal halfway through the first, getting the Sharks on the right foot, Unfortunately, they got off-balance in the 2nd, when former Sharks Owen Nolan and Wayne Primeau scored, capped with a PP goal from Dion Phaneuf. Nolan added goal #2 of the night early in the 3rd, before Tomas Plihal got his first career goal. Not exactly a pretty marker, but hey, they don't draw pictures on the scoresheet. Nolan capped his hatty, and all seemed lost for the Sharks, officially that is. Patrick Rissmiller potted a slapper with just two minutes left, and just 59 seconds later, Jonathan Cheechoo knocked a puck out of mid-air to make it 5-4. Unfortunately, that's all they'd get, but for a team that seemed to fold easily late in blowout games in th first half of the year, it sure was nice to see the boys battle back. Evgeni Nabokov wasn't bad, but wasn't great last night, stopping 24 in the loss.

The Sharks did lose last night, but yet this loss is a bit more palatable because of their win Wednesday night, and their effort in the 3rd last night. The season is awfully long, to dwell on one game for more than about 10 minutes following the final horn will just throw off your focus. Fortunately, or not, we as fans don't need to focus on the upcoming game, so we can dwell on one game, but last night doesn't seem dwell worthy: they came out strong, got outworked by a fresher team in the 2nd, and battled the best they could and made the Flames and their fans sweat a bit, and not because of the high heat in the Saddledome.

Out of the cold, and back home, where a Bay Area chilly 45 seems like Rio de Janeiro, for the Sharks next game on Saturday, when they host the Chicago Blackhawks (NOTE, GAME IS AT 2:00PM PACIFIC TIME). The Sharks have won both games against the Hawks this year, 2-1 in Chicago on 10/10 and 3-2 in San Jose 3-2. Chicago comes back to the Tank just 12 days after losing 3-2, the first game in what has turned into a 3 game slide.

On a side note, and I'm not sure how I forgot to mention this yesterday, the Sharks made what would be classified as a minor deal, even though the man they traded for has nothing minor about him. Sending a 6th round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Doug Wilson acquired longtime enforcer of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Jody Shelley. Shelley was a huge fan favorite in Columbus, and apparently is a great character guy, but fell off the depth charts when younger guys with more offensive spark and upside came into the picture. Shelley may be best remembered by Sharks fans as the man who delivered the punch to the back of the head of Brad Stuart, an act that has everyone here in Teal Town believing that is what altered Brad Stuart and totally stunted his on-ice growth. Regardless, that's in the past now, and Shelley is a guy you'd rather have on your side. Welcome to SJ, Jody, hopefully you get to see some time.

GO SHARKS (Again, welcome to not freezing cold San Jose, Mr. Shelley)


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