Sharks @ Flames, Feb 25 2011
I can’t remember what was sixy about the Kings game back in the Fall because I can’t remember the last time the Sharks won six in a row. Oh, right, they haven’t done that this season. This Sharks team hasn’t done that before. So this one takes the cake for sixiness. It flat wore this fan out with white-knuckled suspense. First, a word from Twitter:
There’s only one hat you wear to a shootout. I recommend Stetson.
Should it be white? Nah, white is old hat. I could make it teal but that might be too Village People for the NHL.
Was this game supposed to be a gimme? No. Did the Sharks walk all over the Flames? No. Are the Flames the most formidable opponent in the West right now? Probably not. But they are hungry, confident, on a roll, and pretty darn good no matter what they did at the start of the season. The Sharks know all about how a team sometimes has to say “that was us then, this is us now.” That is what the Sharks are trying to do too.
The refs made some strange calls. An overly quick whistle, an overly quick holding call on Clowe, a quick-tempered call on Clowe’s untempered words. A slew of ignored penalties. But both teams had some power play time, so no one can say they didn’t get a little. I would probably feel differently if the Sharks had lost.
But with those cards stacked against them, the win was all the more uplifting. Once upon a time things like that might have taken the starch out of the Sharks. They kept swinging. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t a tidy duel. Nemo got beat a few times, hardly anyone had a spotless game. But like the adversity from the other team and the officials, their own slipping and sliding didn’t put them down.
That Jackman got hurt in a fight was emblematic of how this game went. The Sharks may not have the same sense of urgency as the Flames have when it comes to points for standings, but they have other things to prove. The season has not gone according to plan. They have not played up to their potential. They need to make a big statement to fix that. There may even be some self-respect on the line. They are doing a lot of things a little harder and with more urgency than they did before. Maybe it wasn’t the fight with Clowe that took Jackman out of the game, maybe it was the cumulative effect of two fights. In any case, this may not be a good time for anyone to fight the Sharks.
If you do, be sure to bring the proper equipment.