It was a tough game and an even tougher road loss for the San Jose Sharks as they fell 3-0 to the Columbus Blue Jackets, seeing an end to two nine-game streaks held by the Sharks; nine road wins and nine games of being outshot by their opponents were halted as the Jackets' Steve Mason did to the Sharks what Evgeni Nabokov has done over that period, stealing a game in which his team was outplayed. Kent Huskins (of all people) was the victim of a particularly savage theft from the home team's netminder as he laid on a hard shot to try and break the shutout wall well into the third period.
I missed nearly all of the first period, so I can't say much other than that Rick Nash put the puck past Sharks backup Thomas Greiss to open the scoring. Jakub Voracek added another tally in the second, on a neat breakaway after the Sharks handed over an absolutely awful giveaway in the attacking zone with the defense tied up trying to jump into the play that was supposed to unfurl. A last-minute tally by Raffi Torres into the Sharks empty net closed the scoring. The Sharks did manage to nearly double the shots on net that the Blue Jackets mustered (40-21 was the end count), but for some reason, they could not sort out the problem facing them from between the pipes.So, what does this all mean? Ultimately, very little, most likely. The Jackets are 3-0 under their new coach after a recent shakeup behind their bench, and the Sharks were definitely the better team overall. Chalk it up to playing their backup, combined with a stunning performance in the other end, and you've got a game that doesn't represent too much of a breakdown in Team Teal's season overall. There was a lot more disciplined play and good puck control and movement from the Sharks than over the last few games; of course, it didn't hit where it really counts, but as a fan I try to remain positive. Accuse me of homerism if you will, but I'm an unprofessional blog reader who pitches in some take on games, not a paid analyst or beat writer to be scrutinized for my open bias. I will grasp at straws for my team, and we'll see if I drew the short one come April.
Now, the Sharks look to tomorrow night, and a sure-to-be-fierce battle in Detroit with a Red Wings team still desperately struggling to gather the standings points to put them properly into the playoff race. Nobody that I know, or that I've read opinion from online, thinks that Detroit will be out of that bracket when it comes time, so the Wings are certain to bring their A-game, as they always do against San Jose, and try to continue their season dominance over the Sharks, who have failed to defeat the Motor City club this year.