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The best of games, the worst of games
Sharks overcome early-game doldrums
3/10/14 - By Paul Krill -

The Sharks and Penguins game this past week offered a multitude of situations for Sharks fans. Let's go through them. First, the Sharks were getting stomped upon, quickly falling behind 2.-0. It looked like the type of game we haven't seen much of in San Jose in recent years: The home team was getting beaten so badly that leaving the game early definitely looked like something for Sharks fans in the stands to consider. At least in the first period.

Then, the Sharks held on, staying behind by only the two goals until the puck fell into the Penguins' net for the Sharks' first goal late in the second period. Afterward, the Sharks tied the game on Patrick Marleau's shorthanded goal, fell behind again, tied the game again and then took over. And it was the Penguins, who had started out the game so well, who ended up having to pull their goalie late in the game. But to no avail. The Sharks not only won, they won in regulation time. Not bad, considering how the game had started out so poorly for the Sharks.

As if the 5-3 victory against the high-powered Penguins wasn't enough to make this game worth at least the price of admission, Sharks fans were treated to a special moment: Possibly the worst night of Sidney Crosby's career. When I looked at the schedule last summer, I penciled this in as a "must attend," to see Crosby and find out what the fuss was all about (since we hardly get to see him play in San Jose). But Crosby was a -5 on the night. In reviewing a replay of the game afterward, he just looked kind of lethargic out there at times. Maybe he was playing with the flu or something.

So the Sharks ended up with two regulation points when it had looked like the Sharks would get none. Two nights later, the Sharks played one of their best games in a long time, dominating the Montreal Canadiens from start to finish and winning easily, 4-0. No comeback was needed in that game.

There's only a handful of games left until the playoffs start. If the team can play the way it did in the third period of the Penguins game and throughout the Canadiens game, the Sharks should be in pretty good shape.

…Penalty shots…

Although it can be annoying to see so many people wearing the other team's jersey at Sharks games, all the Penguins and Canadiens fans visible at the Tank showed how dumb it was for the league to have had the schedule format it had for the past bunch of years. I'm talking about being subjected to eight, 10 or however many games a year against divisional teams while the Eastern Conference teams were almost never seen in San Jose.

We can be sure that some of these transplanted Canadiens and Penguins fans now living in California just come to San Jose to see their hometown teams. Some of them probably drive great distances. Having all the teams in at least once a year gives the Sharks the chance to sell tickets to a broader variety of fans (and send them home disappointed when the Sharks beat their favorite teams). At long last, the NHL has gotten the schedule right again.



Contact Paul at at paulkrill@letsgosharks.com




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