After 1st period, Sharks @ Avalanche
The Sharks all look very nice clean-shaven. It was a little early in the season for fur.
I was happy to see several two on three rushes. I don’t know what the right term is, but that’s the only way I can describe two Avs entering the Sharks’ zone, with three Sharks already there. Overall, I found the way the Sharks used space very comforting. Made it a lot easier to enjoy game. The intermission guys talked about the Sharks entering the zone with more authority, but I see everything backwards. I see the Sharks stopping the Avs from doing that.
As for Nitty’s error, eh, it happens. I think Nitty might have gotten back in front of the net if his team hadn’t jumped in to rescue him, falling all over themselves to be helpful, thus blocking his path. I don’t blame them, that is the right thing to do when your goalie goes behind the net and gives the puck away: help.
Aside from that mistake, Nitty did show better judgment handling the puck than Niemi had done. I still think Niemi is better down low than Nitty, but Nitty seems sharper with his hands.
More importantly, the team recovered pretty quickly, no catastrophic breakdown in the face of a mistake. The fourth line helped with that, but to do so they first had to jump the muddle. Brilliant start for Mayers. Also good for Nichol to score that first goal. Good psychic boost.
At the start of the second power play, I heard noise in the kitchen and knew I had a mouse in the trap. I put the game on pause and went to check, make sure the trap was holding. Not only was the humane trap secure but there were two mice in there.
When I got back to the game, there were two Avs in the box. When Pavs scored his second goal of the night, I named the mice TJ and Kev. I wanted to take a picture of them but they did not want to pose. The mice I mean. They have since been released like their namesakes, but not until they watched the game go south for the Avalanche.
Last moments of 3rd period
“Liles runs into Nitty” they say? How can they say that about Nitty’s fine piece of clean-up work after that stray turnover? I call it a stray turnover because it seemed like a leftover from previous games: out of place tonight. So, maybe he did not jump over Liles but he did get the puck out in a way that ought to have been mentioned as something other than “Liles runs into Niittymaki.” Pish.
Nitty did another very impressive thing, I think in the 3rd also, when he flipped the puck way the heck over a whole bunch of players inconveniently milling about in his zone. That made me hold my breath for a second. I think there was even a Shark there waiting for it. Can’t remember who, but in any case it was a bold move well executed.
Bold moves well executed can pay off. Bold moves badly executed can make you feel really dumb. Everyone makes mistakes. I have a feeling he will play some more before Niemi is back in.
Thank you to whoever threw the towel during Pavs’ interview. It helped loosen him up. He should do that more often. He’s not the Captain, he doesn’t have to be Mr. Serious, and he has a nice smile.
Also lurking in the back of my brain is the mention that Foote was out after the first period, with a head injury. I would have liked to hear more about that. It is actually sort of unforgivable for me to have not heard more about that. I didn’t see where it happened, and no details followed, not for the next two periods. For shame CSN.
I have a lot of thoughts about the Flyers game tonight too. Like, when your team is so good at scoring short-handed goals, to have the defense jumping up into the offensive plays so much is a little like driving drunk with a baby goalie on board. So I think I will write about that game tomorrow. Or maybe not at all.
The only good thing to come of that game was that Bobrovsky did not get bucked off. He rode that beast until it rolled over on top of him. Bravely done. It’s not his fault his team let him down.