Nothing To See Here- In the first game of a four game road trip the San Jose Sharks have seemingly made it very clear that their second seven game winning is as much a thing of the past as their first one was. In no way resembling a team who’s win streak had just ended two days ago, the Sharks were taken behind the woodshed for the second time this season in Columbus, Ohio. Matt Calvert, James Wisniewski, Ryan Johansen, Marian Gaborik all scored for the home standing Blue Jackets in a 4-0 win over the Sharks. Sergei Bobrovsky, who was going into Tuesday night’s game with a save percentage of .881 in his last two games saved 30 practically effortless Sharks shots on goal. Team teal’s only noteworthy accomplishment on the evening was to prove again how irrelevant the “Shots On Goal” statistic actually can be, and maybe that nobody sustained any injuries. Beyond that, the Sharks were a virtual no show despite what some of the statistics may suggest.
Turning Points- This game had two turning points, with the first one apparently being after the national anthem had ended. The second turning point took place early in the second period when the Sharks were getting decidedly outplayed from the start of the frame. It soon became very apparent that this game would soon cease being a contest. Wisniewski and Johanson drilled pucks past Sharks goalie Antti Niemi just under two minutes apart as the Sharks were mere spectators who just happened to be wearing ice skates. Meanwhile for the Sharks players such as Joe Thornton and Brent Burns saw limited ice time at just over ten minutes each. Other members of team teal put in their seasonal average of ice time however had very little impact on the game one way or the other. The Sharks on their only power play of the game in the second period managed one shot on goal from Patrick Marleau.
In the third period Marian Gaborik, acquired from the New York Rangers in a blockbuster trade last week scored an easy goal beating a diving Niemi to his right on what is basically hockey’s mass equivalent of a lay up drill. With the Sharks hopelessly down four, Head Coach Todd McLellan pulled Niemi to allow Thomas Griess to see some ice time. The Blue Jackets called off the dogs at this point and just humanly ran down the remainder of the game. Matt Calvert scored the Blue Jackets first goal hammering a slap shot past Niemi 8:39 into the first period. Cam Atkinson and Mark Letestu assisted on this goal. Other Blue Jackets assists Tuesday evening went to Gaborik, Adrian Aucoin, Derek Mackenzie, Vinny Prospal, Artem Anisimov, and Jack Johnson.
For the Sharks, Marleau lead the team with four shots on goal while Logan Couture, Dan Boyle, and Raffi Torres had three each. The closest the Sharks came to scoring came late in the third period when Adam Burish had thought he had scored. The goal was disallowed by the officials who ruled Burish had interfered with Bobrovsky. The Blue Jackets never really allowed team teal to get on track at any point of the contest. Despite the shot total as the Sharks had realistically very few quality scoring chances to speak of.
Shark Bytes- The games three stars were all Blue Jackets…3) James Wisniewski; 2) Marian Gaborik; and 1) Sergei Bobrovsky. The Sharks in their two games at Columbus this season were outscored 10-2 and beaten very decisively in both games. The first game in Columbus on February 11th was the springboard to a huge slide for the Sharks who only would win six of the next 23 games. Head Coach Todd McLellan after the game, “We skated in sand and, even worse, we had our heads in the sand, too. That’s a bad combination. We had the intensity of an exhibition game — and it’s April. That’s sad.”** … The good news from tonight? Columbus moves to the Eastern Conference next season. The Sharks will only be required to visit the Blue Jackets once a year, which may be one too many times in upon itself…again, nothing else to see here…
Next Sharks Game- The Sharks will attempt to put this debacle behind them Thursday Night as they visit the Detroit Red Wings. The Sharks baring a playoff match-up are making their only trip to the motor city in this lockout shortened season. Puck drop from Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena is 4:30pm PT/7:30pm ET…
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**Source: TSN.ca http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=420335