Postgame: Bad Omens

(Sorry for not posting this earlier; much like the Sharks, I took some sleep-aid around the start of the second intermission, and I just wasn't feelin' it when the game ended.

When Joe Thornton notched his second of two first-period tallies to open the scoring at a 2-0 Sharks lead, I was feeling pretty good. San Jose had been bringing a lot of good pressure to Jimmy Howard during that opening bit of play, and the Sharks' lagging defense had been doing pretty good at cleaning up in their own end. Before the end of that period, though, my heart started to sink as Dan Cleary got the Detroit wheel rolling and Henrik Zetterberg smashed in a Power Play goal before the first break to even the score after Rob Blake gave up a ridiculous Delay of Game penalty while already on the Penalty Kill for Patrick Marleau's tripping call.

A scoreless second period didn't do much for me; I felt that the Red Wings controlled the puck through most of that frame, and the Sharks were lucky to have another stellar performance by Evgeni Nabokov to save their skins and keep them in the game through an otherwise very poorly-executed bit of play. The Sharks were outworked in every single way during the second, much as they'd done to the Wings through much of the first, and they hardly deserved to be as "in the game" as they were at that point, having watched their shot differential evaporate and their puck possession drop to near-nothing, not registering a shot on goal in the first eight minutes of the period.

The pace set in the second period, unfortunately, did prevail; although it took a Power Play goal from Derek Meech (his second of the season) to get Detroit really moving again, they, again, dominated play for the majority of the period. That's not to say there weren't a few "plus notes" to pick up on -- the Sharks did manage some excellent chances, and there were some fantastic breakaway opportunities that were lost to exemplary back-checking and Howard's slick performance in net for the Wings. Patrick Eaves buried the last of Detroit's 4 goals on the night, but still, there was hope as a late penalty to Nicklas Lindstrom, and a gutsy move by Todd McLellan to pull Nabokov early, gave the Sharks a 6-on-4 chance that could have saved them, had a (totally fscking badly called) penalty to Joe Thornton come just 23 seconds in.

This was the first game where I could really, truly see the impact of the absence of Dan Boyle and Marc-Edouard Vlasic; it was most apparent to me when a tired Joslin, surely not used to putting up those kinds of minutes, let a puck slip past him cleanly to give the Red Wings a 2-on-Nabby rush up the attacking zone; only a supreme back-check by Jay Leach, and the aforementioned head-standing of Nabokov, managed to hold off the assault to keep that from breaking the then-tied game.

Then, of course, there were the technical difficulties which plagued a good part of the third; I'm not sure what happened, but the video cut and eventually went to just commentary from Randy and Drew to a blank screen, soon replaced by -- for some reason -- a shot of the old Sharks logo and the Senators insignia. Weird. Even stranger, though, was the echo-tastic audio once the video feed came back, with Randy's voice coming both before and after each play as it occurred -- really gave me some insight into how much the video is probably delayed in the process of feeding it to us. It was nigh-unbearable; for those who don't know, I've got double vision, and this was like hearing with my eyes. That's the best I can describe it.

For those of you keeping track, here's the record so far of my goal to bolster the Sharks by eating foods tied to their opponents:

vs Buffalo: Buffalo wings; 5lbs eaten during the game, 5 goals scored by the Sharks (W)

vs Chicago: Deep dish pizza; 3 slices eaten during the game, 3 goals scored by the Sharks (L)

vs Minnesota: Beer-cooked venison. No numerical correlation. (W)

vs Detroit: "Feauxney dogs" (fake Coney Dogs, made with what I had onhand); two (and one even faker) eaten during play; two Sharks goals. (L)

For Thursday, I'm debating between a BBQ pork dish or toasted ravioli -- I will probably settle with the ravioli, since I don't have the equipment to properly slow-cook the meat, and if the Detroit incident shows me anything, it's that a mock version of a local favorite will only make the enemy stronger.

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