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8 Str8

Red Wings @ Sharks, March 3, 2011

The 80s party. Much better

Last night’s win against the Red Wings was pretty exciting.  Beating the Red Wings is always fun, so much so that I don’t even mind having been present for the Sharks’ one loss against them this season.  But winning eight in a row is also exciting because it’s EIGHT!  Remember when the team could barely win four in a row? Also, eight can be found in a lot of words:

I went a little nuts using words that have “eight” in them.  I also attempted to summarize the game in a tweet:  “1p:McDs supr sz rbnds.DH pots 1.Wings-nogoal.2p:Speedy.Braun:)DH pots 1.3p:Lidstrom not tired.SJPP fail.JT clrs,PM chases,3-1 SJ”  That was not easy, and it requires decoding.  Fear the Fin found it amusing, but evidently chose the wrong key to decode it.  Braille won’t work here.

That tweet means this:

In the first period, MacDonald was very sloppy controlling rebounds, though he did manage to stop the puck most of the time.  Heatley scored first, tipping in a shot from Ian White.  That was quickly followed by a disallowed goal from the Wings.  It was disallowed for goalie interference.  Nemo was pretty noncommittal about that call:

“I didn’t know. I felt the puck hit my shoulder and I wasn’t sure at first. . . .  You can never trust that they call it, so you’ve got to try and stop it anyway.” -Working the Corners

What, no jumping up and waving your stick and crying foul?  That isn’t really Nemo’s style but even so, I don’t think he was looking for a penalty there.  True, Holmstrom was in his face but that is where Holmstrom usually is.  No one ran over Nemo or got tangled up in his legs that I saw.

The only way to make up for that, I decided, would be for the Sharks to win by more than one goal.  That would be fair.

The second period was very fast.  I’m not sure if anyone was to blame for the puck being turned over so often and play shifting momentum at such a high pace.   If someone was to blame, then there were some of them on both teams.

That was one of the better periods of hockey I have watched in a long time.  I noticed near the end that Braun was right in the thick of all that.  He might not have gotten a whole lot of minutes but he was out there in that mad dash.  That was good.  If everyone is dashing around, it is good to have fast young players out there.  That Heatley scored again, this time set up by Pavs, of course made it better.

The chatter before the game was that the Wings would be tired after playing the Ducks the night before.  I don’t buy that.  Sure, some of them might have been tired, but I didn’t see anyone looking sluggish or being outskated.  Lidstrom, who should have been more tired (being old and all), did not seem off his game.  He caused the Sharks a good deal of grief.

Fatigue of a less obvious variety may have contributed to a Red Wings penalty in the third.  The Sharks power play was unproductive.  After that fail, though, Thornton cleared the puck into the Red Wings’ zone and Marleau decided to go after it.  It didn’t look very promising but Marleau did get to the puck with only one player harassing him.  His shot deflected off that player’s stick and flipped up over MacDonald into the net.  It was a ridiculously lucky fluke, but it did give the team that extra goal they needed to make up for the disallowed goal back in the first.

3-1 Sharks, Final

Dan Boyle, Scott Nichol and Kent Huskins were all out with injuries.  That could have posed a problem for the Sharks, missing familiar key players.  But come on, this is the Sharks.  They play better with a tangible handicap.  Or most of them do.  Some don’t need it but if you want everyone on the ice to show up, you need a little extra sumthin’ to inspire them.  I look forward to the regular troops coming back, but in the mean time, I’m not too worried

The game was so much fun I completely forgot that the Flyers lost to the Maple Leafs earlier in the day.  Sigh.

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