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San Jose Sharks

Just Another January Game For The San Jose Sharks

sharksfanThe guys on NHL Home ice were talking about the San Jose Sharks – Detroit Red Wings game and one guy emphatically stated “it doesn’t matter!” His argument was it is only January, it is just one game. He said the Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks – good for them but until the playoffs the only proven commodity in the NHL is the Red Wings. Driving down to San Jose for the game I tried to keep that in mind, it is just one game in January.

Then the puck dropped. The first two periods were two periods of very good hockey – the third period turned into a playoff game. This game lived up to all the expectations. It was, in my opinion, the best game of the season for the Sharks if not for the NHL.

Seeing them up close I have to concede the Red Wings are a very good hockey club, not just from a skill and teamwork perspective but from a “championship” perspective. There was never any time during the game that you felt the Red Wings were distracted, deflated, worried, panicked or off their game in any way. For the entire 60 minutes the Red Wings played like they had a job to do and they were going to do it. It was nice to see, because for the better part of the last 3-1/2 months we’ve seen what the new Sharks are capable of from a hockey perspective. However we’ve known all along that what’s really been missing from the club is that “championship” work ethic. The problem was there was never any real way to know if they were improving that ethic, you need some kind of benchmark to compare to. Watching the Red Wings tonight set the benchmark. Even though they lost, the Red Wings played at a consistent level and were almost never affected by the score. In games past, I can’t say the same thing about the Sharks. Tonight however, they Sharks showed they are capable of such a performance, they just have to learn to play that way consistently, for 60 minutes, for an entire season – playoffs included.

The truest test came at 5:26 left in the third period. The Sharks extended their lead to two goals when I reminded my friend Paul that we’ve seen this before. We’ve been in the Tank watching the Sharks defend a late two goal lead against the Red Wings, it was Wednesday May 2, 2007 during the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Sharks lost that game and eventually that series. Could the Sharks finish off an opponent in the closing minutes of (what felt like) a must win game? The answer was ‘yes’…for tonight anyway.

It is now 11:50pm, my ears are still ringing and my voice is partially gone. Not bad considering it’s just one game in January.

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5 comments for “Just Another January Game For The San Jose Sharks”

  1. Hey guys, great game. Not sure your view of the ice, but did you think Patrick was off-sides on his break-away? Drew and Randy did not say anything, but I thought for sure he was off sides. Can’t believe Fraser did not make a call.

    Posted by FC Sharks FanNo Gravatar | January 18, 2009, 12:10 pm
  2. Marleau’s goal was righteous - I just watched it again, freese frame on the dvr. He dragged his right leg and his skate was on the blue line when the puck crossed the line. One of the best games I’ve ever seen. Great come back team win for the Sharks with everyone making key contributions!!!!

    Posted by Son of OTNo Gravatar | January 18, 2009, 3:03 pm
  3. And for the record - Son of OT was not trying to hear sharksfan in the 3rd period talking about previous blown leads against the Wheeling Wings!

    Posted by Son of OTNo Gravatar | January 18, 2009, 3:21 pm
  4. I love winning - it’s great - period!

    Posted by sharksfanNo Gravatar | January 18, 2009, 4:00 pm
  5. Wings fans are whinning about Marleau goal on the Detroit Free Press blog - here is a link showing that it was not offside

    Posted by Son of OTNo Gravatar | January 18, 2009, 10:08 pm

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