Sharks @ Kings, WCQF Game 3, April 19, 2011
Apparently when the water gets sucked away from the shore as a prelude to a tsunami strike, that is called a drawback. That really doesn’t have a lot of punch. You’d think there would be a better name for the dramatic event that momentarily exposes land unseen for ages, but there isn’t. Anyway, that’s what happened last night during the Sharks @ Kings game. The Kings were busily staking their claim to this newly formed ocean front property when the wave hit.
The Sharks were down 3-0 going into the 2nd period. Fans had intermission to mull that over, pour another drink, share their woes on Twitter or FaceBook or their favorite message board. It looked grim but there was still time. To heck with that “race to 3 goals” rule.
I’ll admit I freaked out. I started tweeting nice things about the Kings, since that once worked during the playoffs last year. When Steve Whyno tweeted that he had just turned the game on and the Sharks had started scoring, I latched on to that. I told him I would blame him if he went to bed before it was over and the Sharks did not make a comeback and win. Byfuglien is out of the playoffs, I can’t blame him for everything anymore. Like I said, I freaked out, but it wasn’t such a big request. Whyno never sleeps.
When Nemo missed like the first shot of the 2nd period, McLellan pulled him. I was thinking he should, even though I didn’t expect Nitty was in any shape to save anyone’s tail.
But he did fine. Nemo had let in 4 of 10 shots. Nitty could hardly do worse. He didn’t:
We have to give Nitty credit, he came in, relieved us, made some big saves. He deserves some credit too. -Dan Boyle
Nitty only got to handle 12 shots, he stopped 11. So he did fine.
The team also did fine, after the first period. By the final tally, the Sharks had 36 SOG to the Kings’ 22. The teams were even in number of players taking penalties. I say it that way because one of those players taking a penalty was Wallin, who took a 4 minute penalty. A replay of that showed that maybe Pavs should have gone to the box instead of Wallin. C’est la ref.
In any case, it was a comeback that stunned everyone. You just don’t come back from a 3 goal deficit in the playoffs, unless you’re last year’s Flyers. And you REALLY don’t come back from a 4 goal deficit. You just don’t. But the Sharks did. They just did.
I gave Whyno full credit, thanked him, told him I loved him. I haven’t been so drunk sober in a long long time.
I saw a tweet that said McLellan mentioned the Dec 8 SJ @ Philly game during his post game press conference. I didn’t see him say that but I can see the parallels. The Sharks deserve credit for hanging in there despite the odds, but the Kings also deserve blame for falling apart.
Seto got a lot of attention for scoring the OT game winner, and Pavs for scoring the tying goal. But before that, I thought Seto was making a lot of mistakes. I’m sure everyone was, even Boyle. Pavs not so much. If Pavs makes mistakes he hides them well, like getting Wallin locked up for the high stick. Crafty! But all that doubt and worry went away when the right team won.
The Philly game was a lot like that, both teams took turns being awesome and awful. In December I didn’t mind because I love that about these teams. Awesome all the time is boring. Awful provides the needed contrast to really make your awesome pop.
That can make for a rough ride if you’re a fan. I’m pretty sure it was one of those movies about God appearing to someone as an old man (George Burns I believe it was) that taught me how bad makes good better. No one would appreciate the great without the terrible.
That may be no comfort for people destroyed by terrible events. I’m sure a very boring wonderful life would be preferable to most people. That isn’t a realistic option. So if you can’t have perfect, roll with with imperfect and revel in how far away the lows look when you’re on a high.
As we say in horse country: yee-haw!