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Cracking Eggs

Sharks @ Canucks, WCF Game 1, May 15, 2011

The game started off in fifth gear.  I thought “Hoo boy, his has to slow down, they can’t keep this up,” and also “Glad I’m not watching this with a non-hockey fan, no way I could explain this fast enough.”

I hate one goal games.  Even with a two goal lead, if there’s more than three minutes left I will still be nervous for my team.  I would make a lousy hockey player.  I am far too pessimistic.

Tim Panaccio re-tweeted this during the game yesterday:

When I see a zero, I think of an egg.  A vulnerable, uncooked egg just waiting to be cracked.  And so it was.

Other eggs were lined up last night too.  The “neither team has fallen behind in a series yet this year” eggs were a sure bet.  One of them was going down.  And the “Canucks have not won a game in these playoffs when they trailed going into the third period” egg was begging to be split open. Last night was just one big egg-smashing mess for the numbers people.

Joe Thornton said the team wasn’t tired. Todd McLellan suggested they were.  I liked both of their post-gamers.  Joe made no excuses, got a little testy with reporters, said Nemo was great, and the team just had to do better.  Excellent attitude.

McLellan reminded everyone that yes, the team probably was a little tired, but that should have been made up for by the Canucks being a little rusty.  When asked about Wellwood, he went out of his way to say Welly was fine, the team didn’t care what his history in Vancouver was, lots of players move around, and he was playing well for the Sharks.

I find it curious that the reporters would ask about Wellwood as if he had some dubious history with the Canucks.  The Canucks have never said that.  He was fine in Vancouver aside from jokes about his inefficient recovery from injury.  He just didn’t fit into their system at some point so he was sent packing.  I suppose these teams offer little in the way of scandals for reporters to chase.

A great deal was made of how poorly the Sharks played in the third period.  Were they tired?  Were they just quitting in the third again?  Were the Canucks just that awesome?

I don’t really care.  I think the Sharks got muddled, that is all.  What’s more, it was still a one goal game.  So even if the Sharks were out shot and out played for half of the game, they still hung in there.  And the Canucks are not so terrible that they should not have been able to take better advantage of the Sharks losing their legs, focus, whatever.  Nemo was amazing, sure, but I didn’t think the game was a complete meltdown.

I don’t know what to make of Demers being out for Huskins.  I don’t think Huskins was a big problem, but I am nervous about the team going forward without Demers.  Vlasic is used to playing with Demers now, and now is not a good time to go switching things up.

I don’t know if I would have wanted Braun in for Demers either.  I don’t remember him playing much with Pickles, and if you are going to swap out players at the last minute, better to replace with a veteran.

On the other hand, I would really like to see Braun in this series.  Unless I am mistaken, he is pretty fast, and that seems to be an issue when playing the Canucks.  So I don’t know who I would put him in for but I would like to see him in there somewhere.  Unfortunately, he played with Wallin.

Now White is playing with Wallin and I don’t want White out.  Even the Wallin haters would have to concede that you probably don’t want to pair two offensively-minded d-men.  You are likely to end up with no one minding the store.

Also a topic of discussion is the use of the fourth line, or lack thereof.  Last night it was the three vets, Nichol, Mayers and Eager.  They seemed fine.  No better or worse than anyone else.

Like many fans, I was very disappointed with a loss, but I’m not demoralized.  I anticipate that the next game will be good, the series will be good, and maybe another two days off will help the Sharks refuel.

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