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.
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.)