3/3/08 SHARKS 6, montreal 4
Best. Game. Ever. This year.
Joe Thornton had 4 points (2G, 2A) against his old nemesis in the East, leading the way for the Sharks. Jonathan Cheechoo, Patrick Marleau, and Jody Shelley also had markers, but it was Brian Campbell's spin-o-rama that stole and sealed the show. With just a couple minutes remaining, Campbell recieved a pass as he entered the offensive zone. Faking to his left and spinning to his right, Mike Komisarek provided a nice look at what it would be like if he was a 6 foot tall traffic cone. Aided by the Sharks highest offensive output of the year (they scored 6 in November @ Phoenix), Evgeni Nabokov earned his league leading 36th win by stopping 27 shots.
Ok, so the officiating was the worst ever seen, each team's defense was porous, and the goaltending was pretty less-than-standard, but the game was by far the most entertaining game I've been to all year. Almost every goal was of the highlight reel variety, and it really kept the crowd in it. Neither team gave up nor did their fans, creating an awesome playoff like atmosphere at one of the louder buildings in the NHL.
The win is the Sharks 6th consecutive, bringing Brian Campbell's record as a Shark to 4-0, and also marking the 4th consecutive game with a PP goal. Usually, the first game back from a long roadtrip, regardless of the team, is a tough game to win. After getting back in the swing of home things, getting to sleep comfortably in your own bed and be with your family in a much better atmosphere, going out and playing a hockey game isn't always the most exciting prospect. But, apparently it was exciting enough, as the Sharks came out, striking early and often, scoring 56 seconds in and pressuring all the way to just under 100 seconds left. The effort and the passion shown by the Teal last night was just plain impressive, but now they gotta keep that up.
The brief homestand concludes tonight, when the defending Eastern Conference Champion Ottawa Senators come to town (7:30). Ottawa has lost 4 of 5, including dropping the Stanley Cup Finals rematch to the Ducks in Anaheim on Monday. They sit just one point back of the Canadiens for 1st in the Northeast Division. Like the Canadiens, the last meeting between these teams was the 2005-2006 season, when the Sharks beat the hometown Senators 2-0.
GO SHARKS (Lost my voice on Monday, wouldn't mind losing it again tonight)