Friday, March 4, 2011

Sharks Win Again, Dominate At Home

The San Jose Sharks faced the star-studded Detroit Red Wings team at home, emerging on top, with the final score of 3-1 Sharks. Whether it could have been an energetic locker room speech or a desirable incentive, whatever it was, the solution worked. From the very onset of the game, the Sharks played with dynamic intensity, and the fans in the Shark Tank felt the team’s energetic presence. Despite the large number of jeering and heckling Red Wings fans attempting to infest the Tank with their mediocre “shout over the Sharks’ cheers” support, the true hearts of teal quashed any hope those wearing Red Wings jerseys had with booming cheers and standing ovations during the course of the Sharks’ domination.

With their win, the Sharks extend their win streak to eight games in a row.

San Jose Sharks forward Dany Heatley, a name notably missing from our recent post-game entries, made a triumphant return, not only notching two goals (after scoring only one in the last twelve games), but executing an array of fantastic plays: throwing his body around (one time knocking Detroit forward Pavel Datsyuk’s helmet off), winning the corner battles, and turning hard backchecks into successful takeaways. Heatley walked away as the game’s first star, and well deservedly so. This was the Heatley fans had been waiting for.

During the course of the game, each period’s hard fought battles was rightly won by the Sharks. Although the Sharks only capitalized on one of three power plays (as did the Red Wings), the Sharks’ true domination with puck control and passing came during even strength hockey. In fact, the Sharks almost made their puck control look too easy, making even strength hockey look as if they were on a power play. (Perhaps Sharks coach Todd McLellan should trick his players into thinking they’re playing even strength hockey when a power play opportunity comes? Just kidding.)

Nevertheless, each action-packed period carried a goal by the Sharks, and in between each goal, the Sharks demonstrated their Cup-contending skills with competent offensive zone play. Sharks fans at the Tank loudly showed their support every time the Sharks set up goals, put terrific shots on net, and continually recovered the puck when the Red Wings would attempt to break out of their zone.

The Red Wings’ fate was sealed late in the third period when a forechecking Patrick Marleau caught the Red Wings’ netminder by surprise and sent an awkwardly deflected tip into the back of the net. With the Red Wings’ net empty soon thereafter, Dany Heatley managed to get close to scoring a hat trick, although with a tough front put up by the Red Wings’ defense and given he was skating down the right side of the ice as a left-handed shot, Heatley’s shot careened over the net.

Watching the Sharks play so well, even without the extremely visible presence of veteran defenseman Dan Boyle, is evidence of how well the team has really come together. Just look at what we (as Sharks fans) have been witness to in recent times: our puck control and defense has significantly improved, and each of our recent acquisitions have been big wins. To elaborate on our recent acquisitions, look at who we have acquired:

- Ben Eager, a gritty, hard-working forward, who ironically proved to be a real pain for the Sharks during last year’s playoffs as a member of the Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks team. After his match penalty in Atlanta, the team could not wait to get rid of him (at least the local sports writers were vocal about it, as seen here – link), and subsequently dealt him to the Sharks. Upon his arrival in San Jose, Eager has scored, backed up teammates, contributed with of his signature big hits, and revealed his amazing hidden skill: a fast and powerful wrist shot. (Just ask the Anaheim Ducks.)

- Kyle Wellwood, a forward with playing ability highly reminiscent of Sharks fan favorite Scott Nichol (who is currently on injured reserve). Wellwood has not only scored multiple times, his intensity and talented stickhandling ability make him a terrifically effective forward.

- Defenseman Ian White, recently acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes. YouTube has made him particularly famous from clips of him laying bone-crunching hits, then proceeding to beat his target in a fight if the target of his hit decided to retaliate. Much like the great majority of the Sharks’ defensive lineup, he plays a very offensive game. Although many critics tend to criticize non-stay-at-home defenders, White plays his game with surprising efficacy. Watch him pinch in at the right time to keep the puck in the zone and carry the puck out of the zone by him self and pass it to a teammate already going at full speed to stymie the opposing team’s defense.

The Sharks play the Dallas Stars this Saturday at the Shark Tank at 7:30pm. Hope to see many of you supportive fans there!


  1. Wow, that's an amazing streak.

    I'll post a video tomorrow to celebrate =)

  2. What kind of video? I can take some footage of you if you want to add some commentary. Soon I will (hopefully) post some relevant video updates.