Now it's time for the post that will have me owning CSNCA and finding Brodie Brazil before the end of the week for stealing my shtick. Its the officially unofficial, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Sharks win at home and your pal Ian is finally back to sort it all out for you my awesome readers.
The Good: Lets be honest, going into this game the Sharks had everything going for them, the Leafs had been shut out in their last 2 games they started James Reimer who before the game started was 6-7-0 with a 3.50 GAA and .902 SV% or in English has been abjectly terrible this year. The Sharks of course starting what might be their biggest home stand of the year when it comes to how much these points matter have had a bad habit of letting these games get away from them. Not tonight while they may not have started their best they played a pretty damn good game tonight. Despite Reimer probably playing his best game of the year they took the lead and never really looked back. Marleau and Nieto both got goals which was a much needed boost for both of them I can only hope that this is the beginning of a long points streak for Marleau and not just a flash in the pan. Marleau has always been streaky but I don't think anyone would mind a streak in the other direction at this point. Niemi faced significantly fewer shots than his opponent this game but was sharp, I don't like the goal he allowed but he deserves a ton of credit for this win. It was nice to see Justin Braun have a much needed rebound game as well, he has had a tough go of late but I still believe in this guy. Sharks dominated in most of your standard statistical categories all around it was a solid effort. I don't have to listen to leaf fans talk shit at me... well more than normal anyway.
The Bad: You guys know I don't like to shit on a win and I'm not going to lie in order to finish this piece I need to be a little nit picky... you have been warned. One area the Sharks dominated on the box score in the wrong way was turnovers. The sharks need to tighten this up because although Nemo was on tonight he is off more nights than not this year. Yeah maybe he is finding his groove now and I hope he is but on another night maybe he does not bail out his team like he did on a few occasions tonight. I'd argue that although he faced less shots he probably faced more difficult shots. This is not a cup winning defence in my opinion... but enough beating the dead horse.
The Ugly: The Power play went 0/3 and the last one was terrible. The Sharks have always had a problem putting a foot down on another teams throat and it's something I'd like to see change. The last power play is the perfect example of this fact as it sustained little pressure and was lucky to get the 3 ok shots it did.
Final Thoughts: This is exactly how the Sharks needed to start this home stand and I hope they can use it to string together some points. While the Sharks are sitting pretty 2 points again of Vancouver for 2nd it won't take much for the Sharks to be back in a wild card spot after next weekend. I think what we see from this home stand should let us know what kind of team we are really are and what we can truly expect once this team is in the playoffs because despite some of my negativity about the Sharks I still believe this to be a playoff team, its after they make it that I'm Grimm.
Also a reminder you can read past blogs at ianblogssharks.blogspot.ca and if you have a question you would like answered in a Breaking It Down column please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, it can be about anything hockey related so don't be afraid to ask a question that's not specifically about the sharks.