Friday, April 1, 2011

Sharks Clinch Playoffs With Home Blowout Victory

That’s right – the San Jose Sharks beat their rivals, the Dallas Stars, to the tune of 6-0.

In preparation for the game, each team had something to fight for: the Stars to lift themselves back into the playoff race (as they are currently placed ninth in the West), and the Sharks to guarantee placement in the post-season top eight. During this 2010-2011 season, the Stars have had much success against the Sharks, but perhaps last night was not their night. Either way, a game that emerged as a hard-hitting playoff-style game resulted in an absolute blowout by the Sharks.

(Even though I tend to give an update once every two to three games, this game rightfully deserves its own accolades on The San Jose Blog.)

No scoring occurred until the last five minutes of the first period, when a carry in/spin-o-rama setup by the very effective Joe Pavelski allowed a pinching Dan Boyle to score his seventh of the year.

Near the beginning of the second period, the Sharks were given a power play, allowing Logan Couture to tie the rookie goal lead with his 31st of the year. Most impressively, however, was during the middle of the second period when the Sharks were shorthanded on three different occasions (with minor penalties), and the Sharks proceeded to kill each penalty. The second period ended with a nifty goal by Marc- Edouard “Pickles” Vlasic to put the Sharks up to a 3-0 lead.

Naturally, as a D-man myself, it is always great to see the defensemen score.

During the third period, the Sharks extended their lead by yet another three goals. Patrick Marleau, currently on a miraculous scoring streak, contributed two of them. Additionally, Marleau released an unbelievable twelve shots on net during the game, a new Sharks franchise record for shots on net in one game by one player.

Both fans and players alike, however, were most likely to be awed by Ben Eager’s goal with just under six minutes left in the period. A pass by Jamal Meyers that went slightly behind Eager was picked up by him, put between his legs, sent over to his backhand, and shot right into the net past a stunned Dallas defenseman and goaltender.

Rather than explain this further, here is a video as proof of its "amazing factor":

As far as the performance of the other players, it is very hard to single out names and honorable mentions, because, quite frankly EVERYONE played well. Over 75% of the team had at least one point. Although not tallying goals, forwards Dany Heatley, Jamal Mayers, and Joe Thornton each had two assists.

If the Sharks were lacking on point totals, this game definitely evened out the playing field, so to speak.

With five games left on the horizon, it is now important for the team to prepare for the playoffs.


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