San Jose has had its problems of late. No one would deny that.
While the Sharks have earned points in eight of their last 10 games, they’ve also been handed 40 percent of their regulation losses and 60 percent of their shootout losses for the entire in that space. And while the two regulation losses were to very good teams in Detroit last week and Calgary tonight — both of which are closing the gap between the Sharks and the rest of the West in second and third place, respectively — the Sharks have been thoroughly outplayed in both.
The embarrassing 6-0 loss to Detroit was about as heavily-discussed as you’d imagine, tonight’s 5-2 loss to the Flames might go under the radar because, frankly, San Jose ain’t exactly San Jose any more.
Calgary opened a 3-0 lead in the first and Daymond Langkow added his second of the game early in the middle period to make it 4-0. San Jose just kinda skated around for most of that time, turned the puck over in the neutral zone, and hoped Evgeni Nabokov would somehow enough saves to erase the deficit. The rest of the Sharks, meanwhile, totalled four shots in the time it took Calgary to score its four goals.
There’s something seriously wrong with the Sharks now. They shouldn’t be settling for loser points against Columbus, St. Louis and Minnesota. A little over a month ago, they were in the middle of winning nine in a row and 17 of their last 20. Now look at them. Eight teams have more than or as many points from their last 10 games. One of those is Dallas.
The Sharks just aren’t playing like the Sharks any more, and maybe it’s because Todd McLellan looks like the game show host in Slumdog Millionaire.
(Yes I acknowledge that this is a five percenter.)
Minnesota 1, Boston 0
You mean the two best defensive teams in the NHL played to in a one-goal game? Get out of town. Boston deserved to lose this game as much as Minnesota deserved to win it because of its incredible parade to the penalty box that saw the Wild get three power plays basically back-to-back-to-back in the second period. Marek Zidlicky had the game’s only goal on the third of those power plays. Meanwhile, Goalie Nicklas Backstrom was spectacular in making 28 saves, including several of very high quality. He completely stole the game from Boston.
Buffalo 4, Ottawa 2
Big whoop, the Senators lost. One step closer to Tavar… holy Jesus Jarkko Ruutu f’n BIT SOMEONE!?
Yikes. Surely he got a penalty for th… no? But Andrew Peters, the person who was bitten, DID?! Ooooookay…?
Washington 2, Philadelphia 1 (SO)
Forward Nicklas Backstrom had the only Caps goal, Braydon Coburn had the only Flyers goal. It’s sad when the most entertaining part of a game is all the trash talk in the lead-up. Both Jose Theodore and Martin Biron made 34 saves before the shootout, where the former was perfect and the latter was beaten by a nifty backhander from Viktor Kozlov.
Carolina 3, New Jersey 2
Killa Cam Ward made 25 saves? Check. Sergei Samsonov scores a goofy goal? Check. Tuomo Ruutu continues to have a surprisingly respectable season? Check. The Hurricanes are really good under Paul Maurice after all? Check, I guess. Snap a four-game winning streak on ESPN.com’s Streak for the Cash because I picked New Jersey to beat Carolina? Checkmate.
Florida 4, Toronto 2
Memo to the Maple Leafs: When you’re down 3-0 headed into the third period, it’s not always a good idea to only score twice. That is, if you’re trying to actually win. Also don’t let your two goals be broken up by an insurance marker from the guy that got beat up by Sid Crosby. That too.
Pittsburgh 3, Atlanta 1
Speaking of Crosby, he was clearly frustrated. He entered tonight’s game looking for a problem with someone and ended it with a goal, his first point in four games, and another four penalty minutes. The latter bumped his total to 29 in his last three games, which is awesome. I like this new, edgy Sidney Crosby. Maybe one night he’ll be hanging out at Bleeker’s Cafe and some girl will dance over to him and say, “Hey Sidney, what are you rebelling against?” Sid will look her dead in the eye and say, “Whaddaya got?”
Detroit 3, Columbus 0
The Red Wings got third-period goals from Pavel Datsyuk, Marian Hossa and Hank Zetterberg. Yeah, that’ll do it. So that’s what it takes to beat Steve Mason: three of the best players on Earth. No problemo.
Coloardo 2, Nashville 1
Wojtek Wolski scored twice. The Predators scored once. Ballgame.
Chicago 6, Phoenix 0
Yes well Chicago typically does very well against the Coyotes, so the 41 shots on net and goals from Adam Burish, Kris Versteeg, Colin Fraser, Ben Eager, Jonathan Toews and then Jonathan Toews again should come as no surprise. Cristobal Huet making 22 saves and picking up the shutout: now that’s shocking.
Anaheim 3, Los Angeles 1
Okay it didn’t really end up mattering, but Kyle Quincey scored tonight for LA, giving him 22 points in 36 games. Pretty goddamn impressive for a kid that got picked up off waivers. Los Angeles may be a boring, incomplete team right now, but they’re this year’s version of the Coyotes c. 2007-08. They’ll be dangerous next year and possibly even deadly the year after that.