It was a frustrating game to watch last night. The Ducks’ main puck-stopper, Jonas Hiller, played a great game and shut the Sharks out in a 1-0 win. By all accounts the Sharks didn’t look as sharp as they did last week in their home opener against the Coyotes. The Sharks’ passes and shots seemed to lack the lethal finish that this club is known for. All it took to beat the Sharks was a first-period goal by Maxime Macenauer, the first of his career.
Despite being unable to finish on their chances, the Sharks did throw a lot of rubber at the Ducks’ net last night. The Sharks had 11 shots in the first period, and ended up out shooting the Ducks 31-23. But as we have seen time and time again, a hot goalie can steal a game, and that’s what Hiller did last night.
Playing just as well as Hiller was the Sharks’ goalie Thomas Greiss. He only let in 1 goal, and held the Sharks in the game during the second period. The Ducks came alive in the second period, out shooting the Sharks 13-9 and playing in the attacking zone for extended periods of time.
Overall it was an early season disappointment for the Sharks, who were looking to keep the momentum going after a strong opening night victory last week. Don’t hit the panic button yet Sharks fans, as Sharks’ radio analyst Jamie Baker thinks the cure to this lackluster performance is simply to get more game experience. Baker went on to say that practice is important, but the speed of an actual game is always much faster. I tend to agree with Baker.
The Sharks play again tonight at home against St. Louis and then at home on Monday in a rematch with the Ducks.
* Also of note: Ducks forward Jason Blake had a tendon in his left wrist cut by accident during last night’s game action. He is expected to be sidelined approximately 3 months. You can read more about Blake’s situation here.
** Hiller’s shutout last night was the 12th shutout of his career
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