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The Perfect Game

Nitty knows everyone! See how friendly? All is well in the universe.

It almost was perfect.  If they still had tie games, it would have been.  In it’s haphazard way, the game was balanced within the weight of a feather.  Both teams stayed in character.  Both teams had 3 goal periods.  Both had one goal periods.  They each had one goal waved off, one for kicking, one for time expired.  There were a lot of missed penalties, they both had to deal with the same blind ref.

It had never occurred to me that the game would go to overtime.  Both teams tend to surge or fade in big dramatic ways before OT, and with the score at 3-1 half way through, I thought for sure the Sharks were done.  But no.  Not at all.

It also did not occur to me that it would go to a shoot-out.  The Flyers know Nitty but Nitty knows a lot.  While Bob has been working on his 1 on 1 issues, he doesn’t know as much as Nitty.  In a shootout, what the goalie knows is very important.  When the puck that flew 0.1 seconds too slowly past Nitty was waved off, I felt 99.9% certain that the Sharks would win.

How close is close? Richards' non-goal at the end of OT.

There was almost one fight.  Zherdev pushed Clowe, Clowe swatted Zherdev, the refs pulled them apart.  The announcers said Clowe initiated.  Ridiculous.  I saw that shove after the whistle.  Thank you, Clowe, for giving him a tap on the leg, as if to ask “you sure you wanna do this?”

No one was badly injured.  Even Briere’s 4 minute penalty did not seem to impede Nichol much.  The mouth is a good place to get hit- if you must get hit.  I guess Briere was agitated= stick to someone’s face.

I am afraid to go see what Lavy has to say.  I suspect he will not be so happy about it as I am.  Neither will McLellan.  Both teams took turns “inconsisting.”  They also took turns being Godzilla.  If they had synchronized their moods they might have caused some kind of seismic upheaval.  Someone might have been hurt.

Local tv announcers are uncomfortable calling Couture “Cooch.”  They do not seem interested in calling him “Cooter.”  I think he should pick the name.  He has certainly earned it.

As for players absent from the scoreboard, I imagine they feel that absence.  Many are vocal about blaming them for it.  I try not to blame anyone but even if I did, it is hard to ignore all the skating about and effort expended by all team members, on both teams.  If all you do is help take the edge off the other guys, you’ve done your bit.

During the game, the Versus guys mentioned that Lavy prefers not to change up his lines.  That doesn’t seem exactly true, but he certainly has not made so many changes as McLellan has lately.

The teams are in very different situations.  The Flyers sometimes need tweaking, but mostly they are doing fine.  If it ain’t broke and all that.

The Sharks have been more inconsistent.  Even if I didn’t spend so much time reading the complaints of SJ fans online, I would still think so, due to their record.  But it isn’t clear to me that changing up the lines is really the answer…

What am I saying?  THE SHARKS WON!  Two in a row!  For the first time in eight games, and both against very good teams.

I’ll let Todd and Peter hash out the darker side of this game.

While they work on that, I will be glad these teams meet so infrequently.  If it happens again before next Fall… I’m gonna go buy a bunch of lottery tickets.

For other stuff people like to know about games, here’s Panaccio’s recap: Flyers suffer tough shootout loss against Sharks.  For something with a happier title, see Fear the Fin’s recap: The Thick Red Line: Sharks storm back in the third, steal a 5-4 win.  I haven’t read either on yet, I am too happy to want to know facts, but I trust the sources.

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