To err is human. To err and not try to fix the
error is today's NHL. The whole notion of replay being used to ensure the right
calls are being applied is simply a way for the league to deflect the fact that
their officiating ranks make lots of mistakes. They made a grand one on Sunday
night, but replay was not an option, because certain calls are not reviewable.
In the case of the Sharks and Ducks, a missed to many men call cost San Jose a
What's worse, is the Ducks utilized a set play, which exploits
the hole in order to win the game. After 60 minutes of deadlocked hockey, the
Ducks converted 14 seconds into overtime by using deception. With the NHL's
3-on-3 overtime format, the Ducks had Adam Henrique lurk in front of the Sharks
bench, then step toward his own bench. With Sharks captain Logan Couture
covering Henrique, Rickard Rakell stepped on, 20 feet down ice in the direction
of the Sharks net.
Troy Terry sent a 60 foot pass up ice to Rakell,
who was well past Couture. Rakell skated up ice uncontested and slipped the
game winner past Zach Sawchenko, who was making his first NHL start.
The Sharks immediately contested the goal, but after a brief conference in
front of the scorer's table, the game was ruled to be final. Sharks Head Coach
Bob Boughner, beckoned referees Kelly Sutherland and Furman South over for an
explanation, but the pair exited the ice as quickly as possible.
Boughner didn't mince words in his post game press conference.
overtime, first shift in, it's just a complete disastrous blown call" said
Boughner. "The thing that pisses me off the most, they don't even cover to the
bench. They race off the ice. Just the respect to come and explain it.
Everybody missed it, no review, if you watched the replay, it's too many men
all day long."
Boughner wasn't wrong. Sutherland, South and linesmen
David Brisebois and Libor Suchanek missed it. They whiffed in grand fashion.
And the Sharks got the short end of the stick.
Sawchenko had a chance
to win in his first chance to start an NHL game, and his 33 saves should have
been enough. The Sharks held leads twice, but couldn't lock it down.
They appeared to pull ahead a third time in the 3rd period, but a Jake
Middleton's goal was negated when a review ruled that he was offside.
The Sharks held a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes on a Couture goal 7:47 into the
game. Couture snapped a shot through Anthony Stolarz five-hole after Timo Meier
fed him the puck on the left side.
Henrique tied the game 1:41 into
the 2nd period on a fluke play. Max Comtois put a shot on goal from the right
side, but it hit Sawchenko in the right arm. The puck deflected over to the
left side where it hit Henrique and bounced into the goal.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic put the Sharks back on top 76 seconds later, continuing
with the fluke bounce theme. Vlasic threw the puck in the vicinity of the net,
hitting Kevin Shattenkirk in the thigh. The shot would have sailed 15 feet wide
of the net, but after hitting Shattenkirk, it altered direction perfectly for
The Sharks were out-shot by the Ducks 36-22,
including by a 13-6 margin in the middle period. The last shot of that period
found its way to the Sharks net. With Brent Burns trying to clear out the front
of the net with a cross check to Henrique, a Terry shot bounced off Sawchenko
and kicked out to the left side where Sonny Milano picked up the rebound and
easily stuffed it home.
The Ducks out-shot San Jose 13-6 again in the
3rd period, but couldn't get anything past Sawchenko. Middleton's would be goal
should have been enough to get the Sharks over the hump, but as has been the
case too many times the last three years, the stars didn't align.
* Jeffrey Viel and Sam Carrick dropped the gloves 3
seconds into the game.
* Goaltender Zach Sawchenko's path to the NHL
has been non-traditional. The undrafted goaltender made the most of his first
start, stopping 33 of 36 shots, and was appreciative of his teammates after the
* Nicolas Meloche had a big game for San Jose. The defenseman
recorded an assist on Marc-Edouard Vlasic's goal, and added 4 hits and 7
blocked shots. San Jose blocked 28 shots in total.
* Tomas Hertl
continued to struggle. The soon to be unrestricted free agent hasn't scored in
12 consecutive games and was a -2 on Sunday night.
* The Sharks will
play three of the next four games against the Los Angeles Kings.