Momentum can be a fickle dame, and right about the time she seems to be getting comfy in her Bobby Clarke throwback jersey, she can abruptly bail in favor of piggy back rides from Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
Such was last night in Philadelphia.
Anytime after a game that you have the other team scrambling and in full freak out mode, lamenting the “worst lost of their season”, chances are that your team fared pretty well. The Philadelphia Flyers are doing just that this morning, and licking their wounds today after totally blowing it to the San Jose Sharks last night 5-4. Players are being called out, team heart is being questioned, the head coach is absorbing body blows, phrases like “unable to finish games” are being lobbed around indiscriminately.
Man, it feels very nice to be on the happy side of this familiar scenario for once.
The Flyers honestly had the Sharks dead to rights last night…like having a three-goal-lead-well-into-the-third-period kind of dead to rights. At the 6:15 mark of said period, Scott Hartnell seemingly put the nail in the Sharks’ coffin, scoring to put Philadelphia up 4-1 with just over 13 minutes left in the game. Now, down three goals late, what was now supposed to occur was the “usual” for what we had come to expect out of the 2010-2011 San Jose Sharks.
This would be the part where the Sharks looked up at a 4-1 deficit and shrugged their shoulders, half-heartedly played out the game and hit the showers. This would be the part where various Sharks’ players would be slumped at their locker stalls post-game, dejected. A sad collection of beaten men, where each player just prayed that members of the press would pass by their locker, and go pick on somebody else to help explain the latest massacre.
Thing is, something magical happened last night that made this so-called eventuality null and void. They came back. The Sharks really did. They came all the way freakin’ back! With less than 13 minutes remaining on the clock, and from the absolute jaws of defeat, the San Jose Sharks poured it on like hasn’t been seen this year.
First up was Jason Demers, a much missed member of the Sharks defensive squad, back for only his second game after a long injury lay off (really his first game playing full minutes). About a minute after Scott Hartnell’s apparent finishing move, Demers moved in on Flyers’ goalie Sergei Bobrovsky and ripped one past the big Russian to bring San Jose within a pair now.
Then, it was Captain Calder’s turn. Not three minutes after Demers’ tally, Logan Couture was in his familiar position of right place and time. This time, it was cleaning up a Ryane Clowe stuff attempt. Why is it that some guys always seem to be in the perfect place? Hmm. Maybe, it might be as simple as the Captain’s wonderful sense of anticipation, combined with water bug like active legs. Just love his game. Couture is always moving and always cycling around the net with speed. Throw in some puck savvy smarts to that equation, and you get a guy who creates his own luck with perfect preparation.
Couture didn’t know if Clowey wasn’t going to just bang it home, but he was there just in case, and in perfect position to clean up any rebound if needbe. This is exactly what he did. If he’s not running away with the Calder Trophy right now, who is? You find me another rookie that you’d switch out ole’ Captain Calder for?…<<crickets>> …that’s what I thought.
Then Mount Pavelski went all Wisconsin on the big Russian.
Less than a minute after Couture’s heroics, Joe Pavelski found himself with the puck on his stick and in all alone, about two feet in front of Bobrovsky. This was right after a superb powerplay faceoff win/pass by Joe Thornton. You can go on and on all you want about Thornton just getting lucky on that one, but there is no luck in Joe’s game and anyone who has had the pleasure of watching Jumbo do his thing knows it. The puck was dropped and Joe one-timed it to an empty area, and it went right to Joe Pavelski who promptly buried it. Tie ball game!
Wassup playboyyyyyyy? It’s Pavs here…you like that Easton SAKIC CURVE all up in your grill Sergei? Uhhhh, you just got roofed by the REAL people’s champ baby…say it with me…SAAAA-KIC CURRRRRVE <<hits chest>> Lil’ Joe yeeeeah, how you like me now? What up Wiscoooooo?!
Sometimes I just like to think Joe Pavelski actually talks like that. Just something about imagining Pavs rolling up to HP Pavilion in a candy purple, slammed Escalade with 24” rims and a “Bucky Badger” decal on the back, just makes me smile. It’s also a great little trick to get through the tough losses as well.
Onward, and we still had a game to win which would come during the shootout, courtesy of a little Logan Couture and Ryane Clowe action. What a win! Four unanswered goals by the Flyers, then a triumphant return by the Sharks capped off by a OT shootout win! For a team struggling for an identity, last night’s game would make one heck of a foundation for one. They never quit, turned up intensity when they needed it and battled all the way back from the brink of utter destruction to beat one of the best teams in the NHL. So fired up, and hopefully there’s more of this type of intensity to come. Three wins in a row? Ok, easy turbo…might need to take a lap to relax here.
As for the fake Shark gangsta voice thing, try it. Seriously. Next time you’re feeling down on the Sharks, just imagine Doug Murray with an iced out grill, sideways Volvo hat on his head, throwing out crazy Swedish references.
Cure for any bummer game…guaranteed.
“Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”!…WHAT WHAAAT? D-Murrayyyyyyyy…Volvo up in this mutha******!