Sharks For Dinner Again ? I Hate Leftovers .

 Coming into this game , we knew that if we lost this game , we would be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs . We played like we did not want to be counted out just yet . You have no idea of how proud that makes me – even when deep down , I do not think we will make it into the playoffs .

 Marty Turco started in net for us . Mike Modano (due to the appendix issue) and Jeff Woywitka were scratched . I was pleased about two of the three . Marty in net against the Sharks means he plays well and we win . Woywitka being scratched was (in my mind) a great thing (if you do not understand this read the blog before this one) . Modano being out was the only negative of the three . No matter what others think , I still think Marty is a great goaltender .

 The scoring started after a mere minute and fourty-five seconds , Steve Ott produced his first goal of the night short-handed . That pretty well set the tone of the game . Boyle may have bounced one past Marty , but it only got past him because it went off Couture and Skrastins .  It did not matter since that would be the total amount of scoring that the Sharks could manage . Loui Eriksson scored off his ‘well directed’ skate on a pass from Brad Richards . Brian Sutherby scored off a nasty scrum in front of Nabokov . Ott went on to score a ‘tap-in’ from a great pass that Sutherby made – and really paid for with an egregious hit . Ott , late in the second , completed his “all-around” hat trick when he scored off a beautiful pass from James Neal . That would be all the scoring for the game .

 We have covered the scoring now I will cover the things I did not enjoy about this game .

 First , and most annoying , penalties . We took too many again . And they were foolish ones .  Mouthing at the referee for throwing you off the dot was a poor choice . There are better things to argue . Granted , some of the calls made against us looked like phantom calls or were questionable at best , but we have to play clean . We have not been great on the penalty kill (not including this game) and we need to stay off of it .

 Second , Ott may have been ‘on’ from the word go , but the remainder of the team played a little sloppy in the beginning . We have to start strong as a team . Thankfully we managed to get things rolling after Ott showed that he came to play hard .

 Third , ….well…I think I liked almost everything else – almost (see ‘In The (Penalty) Box’).

 The things that I liked about this game came in droves .

 We played very determined . We looked like we really wanted to win shortly after Ott decided to ‘open up a can’ on the Sharks . The second and third periods showed more determination that many other periods of hockey I have seen from us in more than a few games . Under the ‘determination’ headline falls puck pursuit . We also did this very well . Anytime there was a puck battle , we came out with it more often than not .

 Special teams played a big part of this game . Our penalty kill did very well . Our powerplay lagged on the scoreboard but it did build momentum for us and tire out the Sharks defenders . If you cannot score on the powerplay , at least wear out the defenders and use it to build momentum . We did both .

 Net drive and net presence also played an enormous part of this game . It seemed to me that every time a shot went towards Nabokov or poor Greiss , there were always two or three black jerseys , besides the shooter , standing right next to them hungry for the rebound . The ‘tap-in’ goals that were made were also because of net presence . If you have guys in deep , it can be easy to score like that (unless you happen to be Brian Sutherby and get laid out for your hard work).

 Our defensive play was also fabulous . We blocked lanes , forced turn overs and made more easy exits from our own zone than we have in past games . We may have been out-shot but the shots that were taken were not first class scoring opportunities . We allowed Marty to see most of the shots that he faced and cleaned up after him if it was needed .

 Marty Turco was also a huge factor in this game . While he was not over-taxed , he made some fairly spectacular saves . He kept us in early and allowed us to pile on the points as the game went along .

This was a great game . It was an excellent example of a team win even though Ott did most of the scoring . Almost every Dallas Star on the ice had a scoring chance . That only happens when everybody is playing as a team .

 MY STARS of the game ;
 For the first time ever , I think Mike Heika got it right when he picked the three stars .
 1. Steve Ott – His determination early made everybody else on our team raise their gameplay to his level . Scoring a goal even-strength , on the powerplay and short-handed made him a shoe-in . Just in case you did not know , it was his first hat trick ever .
 2. Brian Sutherby – He scored a goal and made an assist that many other players might not have been willing to make . The hit he took to make that pass was almost enough to earn him this spot . (I was surprised that he was not still shaking it off this morning .) 
 3. Marty Turco – He could have easily had a shutout if not for Dan Boyle’s lucky shot and consequent multiple deflections . Marty was stellar . Too bad nobody seems to think he will be with us next year .

 In The (Penalty) Box ;
 Matt Niskanen almost put himself here thanks to his multiple mistakes , but I think that Douglas ‘Crankshaft’ Murray should go here for that horrid hit on Jere Lehtinen . If the hit had not made Lehtinen hit his head on the top of the bench wall , the hit would not have been anywhere near as bad . Nobody should put a hit on a player that causes them to hit any part of the bench wall with their head . That is way too dangerous . 

 Side note ; I have heard rumours of a fist fight in our locker room between our players . While this rumor may be true , I can find no concrete evidence to support it . Until I hear from someone who was actually , physically , there , nothing happened . And good luck getting any player to tell you there was a fight . Players tend to be pretty tight-lipped about what goes on in their locker rooms even years after they retire . Don’t believe me ? Ask Craig Ludwig to tell you about what went on in the locker room when Eddie Belfour caused us trouble . He may say a little but we will never have the whole story either way . I believe that there are problems in our lockerroom , but so far nothing has come out to the public that can be substantiated .

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~ by Adam on April 1, 2010.

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