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WCQF Game 4 Notes
Stats, notes and other happenings from SoCal
4/21/11 - By Mike Lee -

» Scott Nichol's performance shouldn't be undersold. His ability to get Drew Doughty off the ice was the turning point in the game. Open ice allowed the Sharks to go to work on offense.

» Kings head coach Terry Murray paid Nichol a compliment in the coach's post-game comments. "You can't lose Doughty to Nichol. But give him credit. He's the reason they won tonight. They scored two goals on it. Then they scored on the double minor with Greene in the box."

» Murray then followed that up with a backhanded compliment on Nichol and his ability to get Doughty off the ice. "You just don't want to lose your top defenseman to a player of that stature."

» Key stat of the evening: Joe Thornton won 16 of 24 faceoffs.

» Michal Handzus improved from his Game 3 meltdown in the faceoff circle by only losing 14 of 26 faceoffs. He was 1 for 16 in Game 3.

» Speaking of Thornton, yes that was him blowing kisses after his 3rd period goal. The question is, who was he blowing them to? CSN California seems to think it was to reported Brodie Brazil. Ray Ferraro from TSN seemed to think it was to a Sharks fan wearing a San Jose jersey in the corner. Hopefully Thornton clears up the big mystery on Friday.

» So much for Todd McLellan's big decision on which goaltender to start in Game 4. There was never any doubt that Niemi would start, and even Antero Niittymaki said as much prior to Game 4. Niemi played big in the 1st period to weather a series of scoring chances thrown his way.

» Ben Eager may spend more time riding pine. His turnover in the 1st period almost bit the Sharks. Dan Boyle may have saved a goal with his hooking penalty on the play. Eager was limited to 3:18 of ice time on 4 shifts.

» Kevin Westgarth's charging penalty at the end of the game wasn't surprising, given the score, but it won't change much. It's unlikely that San Jose will retaliate given the possibility of closing out the series on Saturday night. Hockey players do have long memories though, so it will be fun to see how this all plays out next season.

» Speaking of douche-baggery, Dany Heatley's slew foot on Alec Martinez late in the 3rd period is just another indication that Heatley just doesn't get it. The playoffs are about a team goal, and behavior like that is a demonstration that Heatley doesn't understand that. Aside from the fact that it was a lame move, it also put the Sharks in a precarious position, providing one of the infractions that put the Sharks down two men.

» Martinez and fellow defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic both got in on the scoring action in Game 4. Problem is they both scored for the opposing team.

» For those who Twitter, Ryane Clowe is now tweeting, courtesy of peer pressure rained down upon him by Devin Setoguchi. He posted his first tweet after Game 4. Follow him @ryaneclowe29 Jamal Mayers has also joined the 21st century. He's now tweeting @jamalmayers10

» Quote of the night (from Kings defenseman Jack Johnson, courtesy of the Kings Media Folks): "Try to keep them from scoring six goals a game. They've scored 12 goals in two games. That's embarrassing. We have to pack up, get to San Jose and go there to win a hockey game. Our backs are against a wall. They're a tough team to play and right now they're playing with a lot of confidence. But we should be a tough team to play against because there's no tomorrow for us. If we lose it's the season so we have to go there to win a hockey game and expect nothing else."

» Nice to see soccer superstar David Beckham and wife Victoria at Staples Center to cheer on the Sharks. They were in attendance with of their children.

Game Recap



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