Wow, those Twitter quotes are BIG.
Someone on NHL On the Fly said “Who needs Joe?” about the Sharks 5-2 win over the Lightning. I wouldn’t go that far, but certainly it is a good exercise for the team. Also, the “Free Jumbo” signs were very cute.
I saw a tweet that said Ellis would be in net. Maybe he should have been. I’m not complaining.
Through the first period, and into the second, the crowd seemed quiet. I wondered if we were all thinking “they’ve blown a 2 goal lead before….” Or were they thinking “this game seems very restrained”? Someone in the smoker’s corral said no, it was just a north-south game, very fluid. Opportunities for hits just were not there. Others said “yes, everyone looks scared to hit anyone.”
As for why that would be, see turmoil over the Thornton suspension.
I distinctly noticed one incident. A Lighting player came up behind a Shark with the puck along the boards, in the Lightning’s zone. He was moving pretty fast, but instead of finish the check, he stopped short. He had to stop very hard to avoid touching the Shark. Was that the strategically sound choice? I don’t know, but it looked downright weird to me.
Highlights from other games yesterday assure me that no one else was pulling their hits. Maybe that Lightning player wasn’t a hitting sort of guy. But everyone else looked contact shy too.
McLellan observed that the Sharks made a particular effort to avoid penalties:
“We didn’t have to go on the penalty kill five or six times in the first half of the game whereas they had to and then they ran out of gas at the end,” he said. -Working the Corners
So was the game just north-south or fluid or whatever? I don’t know, but Murray giving someone a shove did seem to loosen things up.
I was with someone who was at his first hockey game. He commented on Murray’s shove. I told him no, that was not a hit, that was a teddy bear touch. They were not even moving at the time.
My friend made a very good observation later: the team seemed very focused, and this is how they should continue to play. From the mouths of babes.
The first period seemed very long, especially once the team was ahead by two. I’m going to have to work on my trust issues. They can maintain a lead, they can, they can, they can.
Not that squandering a lead is particularly Shark-like. That might be the Flyers. I don’t know. But it happens and it makes me nervous. Nothing makes me happy, apparently.
Not true: Nitty facing down Stamkos twice and stopping him made me very happy. I was a little miffed that Stamkos did finally score, but that was through traffic and entirely different.
The fact that Bob finally stopped a breakaway also made me happy, since that seems to be his Achilles’ heel. Now to get a grip on his puck handling.
Someone grab the kids! Only Wellwood’s third NHL game. A lot of promise there, and a great number. I hope he gets to keep it, since I believe he will be back. Both teams have greenery issues, and cuckoo suspension problems. A little time will cure all. The Flyers beat the Islanders anyway.
I could go a little crazy about the Sharks’ 5 and 2 scores. But I won’t. 7 is a very common number.
What I am a little excited about is that the Sharks beat Tampa Bay. Unlike some of the Shark’s other victories, this was not a “should be able to win barring catastrophic brain failure.” Many say the Western Conference is a lot better than the Eastern right now, but I don’t think they include Tampa Bay in that. They are kicking some tail this year, so beating them was a very good sign.
Also, this win boosted Philly in the standings. The Sharks helped themselves and the fellas in orange in one fell swoop. Or should I say “chomp”? What is a “fell chomp?”
From Wiktionary: “fell (comparative feller, superlative fellest): 1. (archaic) fierce, savage (e.g., one fell swoop)”
Cool. Perfect. One fell chomp it is.