Now it's time for the post that has been created using a highly sophisticated lab to extract DNA from fossilized mosquitoes. It's your unofficially official, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly! Sharks beat the Blackhawks in what can only be described as a hard fought battle of attrition and your pal Ian is going to tell you how he saw it all go down.
The Good: So the Sharks have this goalie... Niemi I think his name is. Once upon a time this goalie killed the Sharks in the playoffs only to join the Sharks and get nominated for a Vesina, and tonight is the first time I feel like I saw that goalie in a very long time. Niemi really stole this game for the Sharks making 31 saves many of which were very difficult while the Sharks held on to a never safe one goal lead. Niemi has many critics, of those I am definitely one but tonight we all get to shut the hell up and show the man some props. It's sad though because if he'd played like that all year he'd be extended and we wouldn't be stuck in this will he stay limbo that could make next year very interesting. Melker Karlsson continues to be effective and even though he does not project where a lot of people think he might I think this is a hell of a find by Doug Wilson regardless of if he pans out in our top 6 or bottom 6. Now I have to do something painful because normally these next two guys make bad and ugly an easy write. Matt Irwin while having issues on the defensive side of the puck has a great offensive minded IQ for a blue liner, a lot of people ask why won't DW just waive Irwin and be done with him... this is why. The last two games Irwin has made key plays that have led to Sharks goals, if only they could figure out his defensive game which is frankly atrocious. John Scott had a good game he didn't log a ton of minutes (7:30 on the night) but you noticed he was on the ice for each second of them and mostly for good reasons. Other things that stood out include the Sharks winning the majority of the draws, hitting everything that moved and helping Niemi with some timely blocked shots as well all in all a good effort. Tennyson was trusted with the 3rd most minutes on the blue line.
The Bad: The Sharks got outworked in the second period but this isn't as bad as it would normally be. The Sharks effort was there but Chicago is a good team and against them sometimes your best isn't going to be enough and they are going to carry they play to you. So while it wasn't for a lack of effort and this game was a war you would prefer to still see the Sharks playing an even game.
The Ugly: I appreciate that the Chicago penalty kill is really good, but the Sharks looked like they were short handed on their power play and continue to turn over the puck at really bad times which lead to Niemi having to make a difficult series of saves that could have blown the game wide open. Don't get me wrong, I don't expect the PP to score every time but I expect it to push the play and tonight it was rubbish.
Final Thoughts: The Sharks continue in their quest to become legitimate contenders and definitely made great strides in that regard but the Sharks beating good teams not named St. Louis is nothing new, the real measuring stick for me is how do you play against a shit team? Next up is the Oilers and if the Sharks are truly legit now than a loss to the Oilers on Monday cannot happen. It was great to see the Sharks stick with it though, the score may not make it appear so but this is up in the top 5 games the Sharks have played this year. It was a war and while the Sharks have been known to bend in these situations previously they stuck to their game and got the result they deserved.
What are your thoughts on tonight's game?
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