Game 1 Recap: Edmonton Oilers 3, San Jose Sharks 2 (SO)
Well, that was disappointing.
Sharks plus shootout usually equals loss. Such was the case again tonight. That duly noted, the Sharks were lucky to get that far.
After a high energy first period and a sludge match in the second, neither seeing a goal scored, the Marleau-Thornton-Cheechoo line notched one almost immediately into the third. Once this had taken place, San Jose apparently thought the game was in the bag as it took the next few shifts off. Unfortunately for them, Edmonton didn't get the memo about game over and quickly scored twice.
Once this happened the Sharks decided to start playing again, but only to a point as much energy was spent on throwing long distance shots at Dwayne Roloson and heading back to the bench. It wasn't until the last minute -- literally -- that the Sharks decided to crash the net, Joe Thornton scoring the tying goal on a typically sweet fake 'em out and yes I really am going to shoot maneuver. Overtime was relatively uneventful, and then came the shootout.
Exactly why Ron Wilson sent Patrick Marleau out for both the second shot and after the regulation three ended in a 1-1 tie the fourth, is a bit of a puzzlement. Especially the fourth one. Apparently the Sharks captain is unfamiliar with the expression "he who hesitates is lost."
The brightest spot by far for the Sharks tonight was Torrey Mitchell. Playing in his first NHL game, the kid was making good things happen with both speed and puck handling plus footwork all night long.
Next game is tomorrow night in Vancouver against the Canucks. Maybe seeing the team with which there was much crankiness in the pre-season will fire up the Sharks to play at their own level, not the other team's as was the case tonight.