The road trip from hell continued tonight, as Sharks have dropped 4th road game in a row (and 5th straight in regulation), this time losing to the Flames in Calgary 3-4. If you have not seen the game - do not let the final score decieve you. The game was never as close as the score may indicate, and the slow sinking continues. Sure, the points matter much more to the Flames at this point of the season, and no one has forgotten the 1-9 loss in San Jose, but with Phoenix right behind the Sharks, we hoped to see anything from that would cheer our grieving souls and not put us in a profound mental anguish for the rest of the weekend.
Here are few notes from the game.
- Frustrated by the lack of success, Nabokov reverted back to his old mask, which he wore for the past couple of years, as the new nippless Neptune might soon find himself on the same shelf as Nabby's Vancouver Olympics goalie mask. The question is, did Nabokov had that old mask with him on the a road trip or did he have it shipped to him? Either way, it did not help, as Nabokov allowed four goals on 24 Calgary shots.
- What used to be no. 1 penalty kill unit in the league just a week ago is now a no. 4 unit within a matter of just three games. The power play unit is not doing that much better either and went scoreless tonight.
- Dan Boyle played perhaps his worst game as a Shark. Despite scoring a goal late in the 3rd period, he still managed to record a -2 rating, and did not look sharp by any stretch of imagination. The worst play of the night came on the second Flames goal when he tried to pass the puck from his own zone, but instead threw it into the dangerous zone between the two confused Sharks where it was picked up by Hagman, who quickly passed it to Langkow who was wide open in front of Nabokov. The 28-30 minutes that Boyle is logging every night for the Sharks must be taking its toll.
- I still wonder what Brad Staubitz is doing on this roster. The only time we notice him is when he's either dropping the gloves with somebody, or, more often, when he's taking another idiotic penalty, like he did tonight in the first period. The Sharks managed to kill that penalty, but were too tired as penalty expired, which could be the reason for the second Flames goal, among other things.
- The second half of the 3rd period is not a good time to start putting the pressure on the opposing team, especially when they're already up by two goals.
- How beautiful was the play of Logan Couture tonight? While he's officially only credited with one assist tonight on a goal by Dan Boyle (but what an assist that was!), he really should have had two, as he created an opportunity for the Malhotra goal as well. His confident play tonight just may guarantee him a roster spot with the big boys for the rest of the season.
- Since Vlasic made the road trip, could we finally see him back in the line up on Sunday? This defense no doubt looks lost without him.