Sharks Have A Wild Night In Minnesota On Marleau’s Shot In The Third Period. San Jose 3-Minnesota 2

Posted: March 30, 2011 in San Jose Sharks

What’s up sports fans? Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, it’s becoming really nice to write about the San Jose Sharks. Any sports writer would love to just be covering them right now. I mean c’mon they’ve won 8 of the last 13 games. With 5 losses and three of those losses were OTL’s or overtime losses. If you don’t know division scoring is based on the point system, when a hockey team loses in overtime they still get a point. So that means San Jose even in those three losses pick up 3 points, which would explain why the Sharks continue to lead in the Pacific Western Division. This is a heated race though, with the Phoenix Coyotes hot on their trail. Sharks know they have to stay competitive to win that division, so their schedule decided they had to take on the Minnesota Wild.

This was a game that San Jose relied solely on the bounce of the puck. The did push the puck aggressively by putting pressure on Niklas Backstrom. They unleashed 50 shots on Backstrom, he saved 47 of those shots. It is fortunate for us Shark fans one of those shots was a game winner, Patrick Marleau’s game winner.  “It’s a good thing we have him, he seems to be the go-to guy right now,” coach Todd McLellan said. “It’s nice to see him get it on the power play. I’d like to see him do it for a long time yet.” Jamal Mayers scored along with Logan Couture. March hasn’t been a good month for the Wild, they’ve lost 10 of their last 12 games in this month alone. “You are always disappointed after a loss and obviously disappointed when you lose four in a row,” coach Todd Richards said.

“We had some guys who really put it on the line tonight. We needed more guys to put it on the line. You never plan on this. We’re playing against some very good teams and some tough buildings.” Minnesota did give the Sharks a tough game in that they made Antii Niemi have to make 28 saves on 30 shots, plus they got scores from Kyle Brodziak, and John Madden, the other John Madden,  but an 0-4 road trip it just isn’t getting any easier for them.  “It’s the way things are going,” Madden said. “I wasn’t back-checking my guy and I think it hit my stick. I couldn’t believe it went in, but that’s the way it goes. You just have to keep playing hockey. They didn’t stop playing when they gave up a short-handed goal. They kept playing. I think one thing we’ve been struggling with is the ups and downs of a hockey game. You play hockey and stuff happens.” Some of us hockey fans can understand what he’s talking about.

The Sharks have been on both ends of the puck. How many times that it appeared that the Sharks were in the driver’s seat in the playoffs, and all of a sudden the puck swings the other way. This game was a clear cut example of that on two different occasions during the game the puck bounced off of Minnesota players and went into the net for Shark scores. Marleau did get his 6th game winner and his 28th goal of the season.  “Sometimes you need those bounces,” defenseman Dan Boyle said. “I thought their short-handed goal was one of those ricochet pucks that was a bounce on their side. We got some fortunate ones ourselves, obviously on the winning goal.” Marleau’s goal came on a bounce during a power-play that gave San Jose the go ahead win. Another key to the Sharks victory was in the second period San Jose out shot the Wild 21-9, in other games out shooting a team can go either way.

You can out shoot your opponent and still lose, it’s happened to the Sharks couple of times this season, this time the puck went in their favor. Sharks did have a scary moment when Dan Boyle was dragged on the ice by Mikko Koivu, it at first had him and his teamates worried once he got helped to the locker room.  “The body is not supposed to bend that way,” Boyle said. “It wasn’t very good. I’m happy with the way things are right now, but ask me tomorrow.” Sharks improve to 44-23-9, stay in front in the Pacific Western Division, and three points ahead of the Phoenix Coyotes. Can they stay in front? Tell me what you think? Remember folks it’s ALLBAYAREASPORTS.COM. Bay Area Sports Magnified!


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