Big Picture: I love these types of games. The Blues did an excellent job (as they always seem to do against the Sharks) flying in the first period. The Sharks didn't look particularly bad- the Blues just looked particularly better.
Snapshots: Dear Douglas Murray. If you're going to pinch, take the puck not the man. I love the energy you're trying to create at the beginning of the game (and that was one hell of a hit you leveled on Berglund), but that energy is nullified when it leads to a goal.... The first power play was stink. Couldn't find passing lines, and the lack of movement from our forwards meant we couldn't create passing lanes.... The Blues finish their checks. All of them.... After the second to last TV timeout (six minutes left or so?), we saw some energy. Here's the big difference in that span- the Sharks initiated body contact. It's been a common critique of this team, and one that was very applicable in the first period. The Sharks looked a little on their heels, but once they started laying on the body during the forecheck, the Blues had trouble generating anything. If I'm running the Sharks (ha!), Staubitz gets a call up for the playoffs and lines up on the fourth line.... Patrick Marleau is the Sharks best player. Period. What vision and stick control to generate that quasi breakaway....
Big Picture: The troubles generating a sustained attack in the offensive zone continued, and only timely goals from Cheech and Grier put the Sharks ahead at the end of the period.
Snapshots: Cheech is great in the corners. Make no doubt about it, whether or not he's getting on the board, the guy is good at supporting down low in the defensive zone and helping cycle the puck offensively.... Nabokov with some solid saves in the first ten minutes to keep the Sharks alive.... San Jose was back on their heels again, with St. Louis relentless on the forecheck.... Is it 05-06 again? What an area pass by Thornton to find Cheech (who was moving his feet!). A pure goal scorers goal. The Control Room (er, my cell phone) receives a transmission from Corey Mulhair. "He's alive!!!" Why yes he is, good sir. Why yes he is..... The Blues are so aggressive in pressuring the puck (both at even strength and on the penalty kill). The Sharks continued to have difficulty moving the puck up the ice. The Blues did an excellent job at playing zone to zone.... The Sharks may have been up 2-1 with twenty left to go, but watching the game you wouldn't have known it....
Big Picture: The Sharks best period by far saw some excellent scoring opportunities, with none of them managing to find their way to the back of the net.
Snapshots: Evgeni Nabokov may come out to challenge shooters a bit too much (a contention made amongst my friends, as well as some of you here), but that was a solid play by him. The shooter is isolated, he takes away the angle. Unfortunately, Winchester has his number. Big time.... Power play was struggling getting traffic in front of Legace.... The Gooch has been quiet the last few games, and his ice time in the third period really showed it.... Play opened up in the third period and the Sharks proved that when the ice is open, they are going to generate a load of scoring opportunities....
Big Picture: Substitute most of the game here; the Blues had us playing in the wrong zone for almost all of this five minute segment.
Snapshots: Sick move by Weaver (?) to flip the puck up and get himself an excellent opportunity.
Big Picture: That huge fan sitting between the two teams benches. Looks like he had his fair share of Christmas cookies.
Snapshots: Clowe had a sick backhand move.... Legace read Boyle like a book.... Winchester owns Nabokov. Trade deadline pickup for Detroit? Just sayin'....
All in all, a pretty ho hum game from the Sharks. I feel dirty taking that loser point. Dirty.