Thursday, May 5th, 2016

The Sharks: Game Four


The consensus among the post game pundits is that it was a “bizarre” or “strange” afternoon. I suppose. I knew what kind of game we were going to have after 30 seconds, the amount of time it took for Tanner Glass to be penalized. The parade had begun. I honestly don’t understand why the league wants to present that product as NHL hockey at its best.

Anyway, again this was a battle of the special teams, but this time the battle was decisively won by the Canucks. The penalty kill was outstanding and – when they finally had a chance – the power play was overwhelming.

The fact that Vancouver only had 13 shots had the pundits buzzing, even though it is pretty easily explained. They didn’t get much offense in the first half of the game because they were shorthanded so much. When the penalty worm turned, they scored three goals on four shots and immediately shifted the priority to limiting Shark scoring chances. While the Sharks did get a couple of late goals they really didn’t threaten. Luongo made a lot of easy saves and hardly any tough ones.

The better team was outshot by a wide margin. It happens. The better team was not outscored however, and as a result, the Canucks are a single win from the Stanley Cup Final. The province is about this far (hold up thumb and forefinger about a quarter inch apart) from going completely crazy.

Go Canucks.

Postscript: Alain Vigneault decided to play Chris Tanev instead of Andrew Alberts. This raised a few eyebrows, but made perfect sense. Erhoff plays the right side – Tanev’s side. Both Ballard and Alberts play the left side and neither can switch to the right. By dressing Tanev and Ballard, Vigneault could keep his top four together – if he dressed Ballard and Alberts, he’d have to shift Edler to the right side. Better he dress Tanev and keep Edler with Salo.

It sure signals a level of confidence in Tanev. Not misplaced in my opinion. He may not come out of the lineup again for about ten years.

Postscript II: I trust that questions about whether the Sedins “can elevate their game” are going to go away for a while. I do understand why they are doubted by so many, but any doubters left have surely been proven wrong. How can they score so much when they can’t skate or shoot? (Nobody can explain it. Its magic. Sedinery.) Are they tough? (As nails.) Can they really simply manage that many pucks into the net? (Yes.)

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5 Responses to “The Sharks: Game Four”
  1. Boxcar says:

    Canucks absolutely great,playing like they are Cup bound. Would love to see Gillis reaction though if they had that many five on threes called against them.

    • Brian Wawryshyn says:

      The five on threes were legit, I’m not sure that should be an issue. The Canucks killed off 5 straight penalties on the road, and then capitalized on their chances. A couple of the first five on Vancouver were pretty questionable calls.

      I wasn’t a big fan of the officiating in both San Jose games. As Tom points out there isn’t much clarity on how this series is going to be called, and that’s a shame for the fans and the players.

      • peanutflower says:

        well, it was pretty sneaky of Henrik (or Daniel?) to make a pass to Clowe to make him the 6th man. I think Healy said that was pretty intelligent. It was just plain funny. haha.

  2. Tom says:

    I don’t think questionable describes any of the calls. If you squint and try to see it as a referee, you can imagine a penalty on every one of the calls. I would have penalized Torres but would have called none of the others. I’d guess that about two of the marginal calls – you pick ’em – might have been made in a more normal game.

    I honestly don’t understand the thinking. A marginal call on a nothing play 30 seconds in? What is the referee thinking to call that? All that does is immediately take both teams out of the real game for two minutes or less. It also sets the standard for a night of marginal calling. I don’t care when the first penalty is called, but it should never be a marginal call.

    When we get penalty parades, the style of the game usually favours one team or the other even if the penalties are called evenly badly. The Sharks are much more likely to win a special teams filled game than one with lots of play five on five.

    • Cornuck says:

      I was explaining this to a non-hockey fan watching the game with me. I said it’s like football – if a ref wanted, he could call a penalty on almost every play. There’s always some degree of holding, interference, etc. If you go by the book, these ‘were’ penalties. If you go by what most people expect the standards to be most of them weren’t.

      The refs need to keep the fans in mind when calling a game. A good ref will let the teams play and see some intensity build. When players start to cross the line from intense play to blatent penalties, the whistle comes out. We haven’t seen any of that in this series, and it’s the fans’ loss.

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