So, I'll admit that I didn't pay much attention to a lot of this game. We held a tasting for my first batch of home-brewed beer, so there were a lot of people (not to mention a crazy amount of fondue). We did, however, make sure to have some beer-cooked venison on the menu to continue the tradition of eating something to represent the Sharks' opponent for the evening, the Minnesota Wild.
When Owen Nolan opened the scoring early in the first, I'll admit, I had my moment of panic; I was afraid that this was going to set the pace for a San Jose team that was facing an even deeper struggle on their blueline than they have all season, with Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Dan Boyle sitting out with their respective injuries; it was that struggling blueline, though, that saw Jason Demers not only slam in a power play goal against the Wilds' Josh Harding to tie it up, but he repeated the trick with another PP ticker early in the second to match Cal Clutterbuck's late first-period go-ahead.
Patrick Marleau's two third-period tallies closed the door on the Minnesota Wild's hopes of staging a surge-back; though they, like Chicago before them, took advantage of some early mishandling of the puck from the Sharks, San Jose managed to find themselves a bit quicker and stemmed the tide by answering each goal individually rather than allowing them to pile up (thanks, again, in no small part to Jason Demers) -- and eventually the game was not an issue of the Shark's defensive gaps, but of their dominating offensive crew that, from what I saw, really had a handle on some great puck movement and management in the last two frames.
We look forward, now, to the incoming Detroit Red Wings, in town Tuesday looking to build on the success they've had against San Jose this season, with two games down between the league-leading Sharks and the struggling Wings both having been claimed by the motor city boys thus far. Sitting just outside a playoff berth at the moment, too, the Red Wings are sure to be seeking every point they can scratch together; hopefully, the Sharks will have some defensive stars back on the ice for the tilt, and we'll see if Osgood and Howard can continue to be the thorn in the side of the Burger Line (or the HTML, if you prefer...).
Unfortunately, with the party last night, my funds are pretty well tapped -- anyone have a suggestion for a cheap, easy Detroit-themed food? I may be able to whip something together, and I don't want to end up scapegoat if I'm not able to at least get a good attempt in.