This game was billed as a huge one. A big test for the Sharks. Could Antti Niemi once again show up his old team, proving once more that letting him walk was questionable at best? Could the Sharks continue their win streak? Would Chicago skate circles around the Sharks D? Would both coaches exploded into a pile of angry gelatinous rage at some point? Would Quenneville quit mid game in utter frustration?
Well, they might have, but if they did no one knew because the were all lulled to sleep by one of the slowest and sloppiest games every to be played on Sharks ice. The Sharks, for the life of them, could not complete a pass at all. I heard, and have since read, many comparisons of the game last night to a rec league game played by people who can barely skate, let alone stick handle. That went for both sides, and the Hawks, while better able to pass and do things like hold the zone, couldn't seem to coordinate much more than a few pushes which inevitably resulted in Nemo making a crazy save against them to keep the puck out of his net. In fact, Nemo was by far the best player on the ice last night. For both teams. I was figuring he'd be all three stars because, honestly, there weren't many other players to chose from. He really gets motivated for games versus his old team, and plays out of his mind. He didn't just stand on his head last night, he was break dance spinning on it.
Mina and have never left a game early. Oh, we have debated it. We've seen some pretty wretched ones, but we always stay. For one thing, the possibility that the game will get good and you'll miss it keeps our butts in the seats, but we also already paid for the game and it seems a shame to waste the money and leave. I did, however, suggest that we do just that and go watch the rest of the game in a bar, with beers, sometime before Demers' wacky goal in the second. The ONLY goal of the second. Or third. Or first. No seriously, there was one goal. ONE. The Sharks barely got more than 5 shots in the first and second, and yet, they were the team that got the one, singular, solitary goal in the entire game. We of course stayed till the end following this explosion of offensive prowess from the boys in Teal.
The goal was an odd one. Right off the face off. There we all are, bored, awash in mediocrity and BOOM, Demers scores. Demers. WHAT? And to think I was questioning his inclusion over Braun's just a few short hours prior. Apparently the puck bounced in off Kane's stick, but at the time we couldn't tell. It looked like it was a pass form Couture to Demers that somehow rocketed in past Crawford. The tank exploded. We all figured this was going to be the start to some amazing on ice action, but things settled right back down into slow trap mode and remained that way for the rest of the game
Dan Boyle had a lousy night, poor guy. He got called for 3 penalties. The Sharks only took 4 the whole night and Dan Boyle served time for 75% of them. (Chicago also only had 4 penalties, a marked difference from the 100 plus in the game v Dallas a few nights earlier.) The boarding call he took was questionable at best, but he looked terrible all night. On the plus side, he was in good company. On second thought, I'm not sure that's actually a good thing.
The Sharks can redeem themselves on Saturday against the Canucks. That's the great this about sports. Have a crappy game? Well , there's probably another one to make good on in a few days.