Down by four goals in the second period, in a postseason game nonetheless, the San Jose Sharks stunned the hockey world by completing the greatest comeback in franchise history.
It was a game for the ages, one that transcends any sort of analysis that can be provided. No words can convey the inexplicable insanity that just occurred. In some gaudy and overblown way, it serves as a metaphor for life-- the randomness of seemingly unrelated events all coming together in harmony, where an inch there or an inch here defines the victor.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic had a phenomenal night tonight, especially down the stretch where Todd McLellan leaned on him heavily in a tight defensive game that populated the third period. After Niittymaki entered the game, San Jose had their wake up call-- the scoring chances dissipated, defensive breakdowns dissapeared (outside of LA's fifth goal of course), and the team decided then and there that things needed to change.
It was like watching the entire 2010-2011 San Jose Sharks regular season unfold before your eyes-- inconsistency plagued the team, bounces wouldn't go there way, and all efforts seemed for naught. But at the 3:07 mark of the second, the six game losing streak ended. And at 3:08, Patrick Marleau kicked off the Sharks rise to redemption.
Despite the theatrics of tonight, the Sharks still only hold a 2-1 series lead. One game separates the Kings from the Sharks right now, a pertinent reminder of the intensity of playoff hockey. As Los Angeles' 4-0 victory on Saturday (as well as their 4-0 lead tonight) taught us, momentum only goes as far as you can take it. It will be up to San Jose to learn from their mistakes and build off their victories to ensure a series victory.
Podcast dropping later tonight.
God save us all.