Thursday, February 28, 2008

2/27/08 sharks 4, COLUMBUS 2

Figures. The one game on this trip I'm not at, and they bust out for goals.

Jonathan Cheechoo scored again, and the Sharks extended their win streak to three. Cheechoo's marker was his 5th in 6 games, and also extended his goal scoring streak to 4 games. Matt Carle, Joe Pavelski, and Jeremy Roenick also added goals for the Sharks, who got to the 4 goal marker for the first time in 8 games. New Shark Brian Campbell made his presence felt immediately, helping his new teammates on the PP, which went 2 for 5 on the night. The same PP which was 1 for 30 before Soupy made his way to San Jose (well, Columbus). Evgeni Nabokov made 17 saves in the winning effort, his 34th win of the year.

This night commemorated Brian Campbell's first as a Shark, current Shark Jody Shelley's return to Columbus, and, 1000 miles away, Steve Bernier's first game as a Buffalo Sabre. Campbell had an assist, a hit, and four shots on goal in 24:34 of ice time, looking like a perfect fit with defensive partner Douglas Murray. Jody Shelley had 11:28 of ice, 5 hits, a shot on goal, and a nice video tribute/standing ovation from the Jackets crowd midway through the 1st, but it was now former Shark Steve Bernier who had the big night. Bernier, who got to play in his new home, made an instant impact by scoring the first two goals of the game, adding an assist, and carrying a plus three in 15:44 of ice time. Now, it'd be easy to say, oh, Buffalo won the trade, but let's at least let them play two games before we scrutinize this deal so heavily (two games or maybe a full season would be better).

The Sharks enter the homestretch of their roadtrip as they continue westward. The final two games are of the back-to-back variety, the first of which coming tomorrow night as the Sharks head to Joe Louis Arena to face the Detroit Red Wings (4:30). The Wings are struggling mightily, losing their last 3, and 9 of their last 10. They have been hit by the injury bug, sidelining forward Daniel Cleary and defensemen Chris Chelios, Nicklas Lidstrom, Nicklas Kronwall and Brian Rafalski. The only real negative for the Sharks coming into this contest is that the Wings lead the season series 3-0, winning both games in San Jose (4-2 on 10/18 and 6-3 on 1/19) and taking the only contest in Detroit (5-1 on 10/26). This game is just two points, but a win over the Wings would go a long way towards establishing some confidence in the Team Teal lockerroom.

GO SHARKS (Flying to Detroit today, back to the road for a couple more)


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