Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Revisiting the Sharks

This is an old post from my first blog. Let's take some time out and enjoy the success we've had against San Jose this year.

Dismantling the Sharks.
24 days and 11 games after putting a hurting on the Sharks in their own arena, the Wings returned. And apparently the blood was still in the water. After giving up 2 goals within the first 10 minutes of the game, which I’ll just chalk up to jetlag, the Wings woke up and made the Sharks look more like the Guppies.

Consider this: 9 SOG for the Sharks in the first 9:45 of the 16-shot 1st by the Sharks. 8 SOG in the entire 2nd period, and 10 over the course of the whole 3rd period. Take out those 9 shots that occurred before the Wings collectively decided to get their shit in order, and you’re left with 25 shots on Yimmy Howard. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Comfortably familiar. Like the Red Wings of yesteryear.
For about 39 seconds in the first period, on a penalty kill no less, Kronwall was stuck out on the ice with what amounted to one operational skate. The blade on his right skate -for some reason- came off while he was applying pressure on Ryane Clowe.
I don’t think that he really got enough credit for this last night (as all of Hockeytown was freaking out about him being possibly injured again), but I checked out the video from that again and one thing jumped out at me. From his knees, and then on one skate, he kept playing. He got in passing and shooting lanes, and doing it pretty well, I might add. Definitely an underrated moment in the game last night.
I’ve been saying it, you’ve been saying it… Yimmy needs to work on his rebound control. It’s been getting better, I guess, but both San Jose goals were directly related to his inability to control the rebounds.
Kronwall tweaked his ankle in a behind-the-play little piece of interference by Ortmeyer during Cleary’s goal. I’m positive of this. Yes, he went over and did his congratulations and all that, but he bent in a way I’d feel bad doing to Gumby. He also took a while to get off the ice. I’m not certain on his ice time after that, but I’d bet all the money in my left pocket that THAT was when it happened.
Meech’s goal was that really ugly kind of pretty. It was a nice Tic-Tac-Toe-TOE goal. Williams faked the shot, dropped it to Filppula, who then draws the defense towards the middle of the ice before passing down to Bertuzzi near the goal line. Bertuzzi made the smart play and tried to get it to (my boy) Cleary. Luckily, for all of us, and especially Bert, Meech was wandering around along the side boards aimlessly and stumbled across the puck. He decided he liked the puck, and he was gonna put it in the net so he’d know where to find it later. Despite Nabokov’s best efforts at breakdancing, it went in, and we actually had a lead. Exactly 15 people felt comfortable with that lead.
How Eaves hasn’t been offered a contract extension at this point is beyond me. He’s one of our best PKers, and he’s got a knack for getting the big, timely goal. He was at it again last night, perhaps with a bit of luck and stupidity from the Sharks. I can’t find a good replay online right now, but Joe Pavelski falls down, taking Eaves down with him as Eaves tries to skate around. Eaves slid farther than Pavelski did, creating the space that led to Eaves’ wide open goal.
I’d also like to add that Rafalski’s pass on that goal was harder than Brad May’s best slapshot.
And last, Helm went for a leisurely stroll with about 15 seconds left in the game and just happened to beat every Sharks player on the ice to negate an icing with 9 seconds left. Not that an icing there would have changed the outcome of the game. Even if San Jose scored on the subsequent offensive zone faceoff, they would have needed to score another goal in what would have probably been 5 seconds against relatively rested Wings. But it was still that grit and determination that we’ve all become so enamored with from him.
Tonight is a game against Anaheim, newly equipped with Vesa Toskala and Jason Blake from the weekend’s trade with Toronto. Another late start, so if you’re not like me and actually have somewhere to go or something to do tomorrow morning, I’d recommend taking a nap now. Well, maybe take it after you finish reading this.
The questions, of course, are going to be the same they usually are: Do the Wings have enough in the tank after the game last night in the Tank? Can Yimmy control rebounds enough tonight to steal a game, or are we going to have a team playing with him tonight? Can the Wings’ defensemen score a goal from above the faceoff circles? And the last question is can you stay up and watch the whole thing?

That was from February 3rd. It also came with this lovely little photoshop I did:

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