May 192011
 

Before game 2, the San Jose Sharks vowed to play a more physical game.

They did.

In all the wrong places and at all the wrong times.

The Sharks took a lot of undisciplined penalties and it cost them. The Canucks scored 3 powerplay goals, including the eventual game-winner, and won game 2 by a convincing 7-3 score.

Perhaps the Sharks said – and did – what they did to try and get into the Canucks heads. But if the game and the postgame was any indication, it’s the Canucks in the Sharks’ heads.

Joe Thornton looked defeated. Of all people, Patrick Marleau dropped his gloves against Kevin Bieksa. Ryan Clowe tried to get Maxim Lapierre to drop his. He called out Bieksa during one of the intermissions and called Lapierre a coward during his post-game interview. Ben Eager thought he played well, and maybe more significantly, San Jose coach Todd McLellan agreed with him.

On the home side, the Canucks displayed a sort of restraint that good and mature teams usually have that finally have us believing that, maybe, just maybe, this team has indeed learned lessons from their failures of the last couple of years.

Don’t get me wrong. This series is far from over but with a 2-0 series lead, and the Sharks looking unravelled, the Canucks have a prime opportunity to go for the kill this weekend.

The Hero

Kevin Bieksa. The man Don Cherry called “Beeska” had a Gordie Howe Hat Trick.

The Goat

Ben Eager. You want your fourth-liners to have an impact in their limited minutes. With 6 penalties in 19 shifts, I don’t think Eager’s impact on this game was what Todd McLellan wanted.

The Numbers

  • 4. The Canucks have 4 powerplay goals in the first 2 games of this series. That’s how many they had in 6 games against Nashville and 7 games against Chicago.
  • 14. Remember Henrik Sedin who had a measly 5 points in the first 10 games of the playoffs? Neither do we. After scoring 9 points in the last 5 games – 5 points in the first 2 games of this series alone – Henrik now has 14 points and is tied with Joe Thornton for 5th in playoff scoring.
  • 3. Trade deadline acquisition, Chris Higgins, has 4 goals in these playoffs. 3 of them are game-winners, including last night’s.

The Next Time

I can’t see the Sharks putting in the kind of performance as they did last night on their home ice in front of their fans. Can they?

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