If you only watched 15 minutes of the first period of last night's game against the Canucks, you may have had that sinking feeling in your belly that the Sharks weren't going to be the team that saw success in the playoffs last year.
The game started off fairly ugly, with Vancouver going after the Sharks on the forecheck, but after a Canucks goal halfway through the period by Jason Garrison, San Jose seemed to settle in. They ended up outscoring the Canucks 16-7 after the first period and continued their dominance on the ice throughout the rest of the game.
Did anyone else see the story floating around the interwebs that Bigfoot exists? Well, he does, and his name is Brent Burns. The second period was all Sharks when bigfoot – er, Burns – scored off a sweet Tomas Hertl assist five minutes into the period. Sharks coaches have been riding Burnzie to be more aggressive with shooting:
"I've been taking a lot of heat from the coaches about shooting,î Burns chuckled to the media in the locker room, I didn't know anybody else was out there. I was just shooting."
The Sharks broke the tie game late in the 2nd when defensemen Justin Braun dropped the puck behind goalkeeper Roberto Luongo late in the 2nd period.
Hertl the Kid
The 19-year old Czech did not disappoint in his debut as a Shark, playing sixteen minutes, and getting two shots on net and another three that were blocked by Luongo, who seemed to have eight arms all night as he grabbed goals away from San Jose. Hertl was also credited for two big hits, most noteably the hit on Vancouver defenseman Chris Tanev.
Hertl's talent evidently impressed captain Joe Thornton, who told the media after the game:
"They said he was big, they said he was fast, that he had a good shot. But until you see it yourself, you don't know."
0-7 On the Power Play, but Strong on Even-Strength
Last season, the Sharks were most successful in taking advantage of the power play, and their weakest aspect was even-strength goals. Last night, they practically had an open goal opportunity after the Canucks had two players sent to the pentalty box for goalie interference and tripping, but the top power play unit couldn't convert. Ironically, last night the Sharks were beasts on even-strength play, with all 4 goals scored five-on-five.
Nemo, Couture Nearly Perfect
What is there to say about Antti Niemi that hasn't already been said? He saved almost every Vancouver shot last night, blocking 21 of Vancouver's 22 shot attempts. As always, he remained composed even when the defense lacked, and was able to save San Jose from being on the wrong end of the score line. Same goes for Logan Couture, who was the evening's first star of night with two points on two assists.
See if the Sharks can continue the momentum as they take on the Phoenix Coyotes Saturday at the SAP Center in San Jose.
You need to satisfy your competitive drive, so why not beat our experts in fantasy football. At FightClub, our official Fantasy Football partner, you can change you team weekly and win cash. Get a free $5 credit when you sign up and try them out. And each week, Sports Media 101 will sweeten the pot and award the player with top points an extra $25. Match-up and show them how good you are. Can you handle FightClub?
Your man cave is your home field advantage for every game. When the game is on the line, you should be able to look around and be reminded of the great moments you've watched unfold in that very room! MJR Sports Integrity offers a wide range or team and player-specific memorabilia that can do just that and take your game day room to the next level. Find your inspiration at MJR Sports Integrity and will your team to victory!
- San Jose Sharks Edge Vancouver Canucks in Preseason Opener
- Sharks Open Season Tonight Against the Canucks
- San Jose Sharks Prospects Take on Canucks
- Havlat Progressing from Injury, Won’t Be Ready for Opener
- Three Rookies Make San Jose Sharks’ Opening Night Roster
Short URL: http://sport-ne.ws/121h