If ever anyone wanted to get an overview on the schizophrenic nature of Los Tiburones de San José circa 2007-2008, these two games were the perfect opportunity.
We'll start with the good first. Games like this one can easily lead most anyone to believe the Sharks can impose their will on an opponent any time they choose to do so. The Oilers were smothered and covered from the opening faceoff. It wasn't that they weren't trying. Rather, San Jose had them shut down in every category save faceoff percentage, and that made no difference in the outcome. The Sharks dominated the game from start to finish.
And then there was the next night...
Don't let the score fool you. It wasn't that close. Not even close to being that close.
The first period was a spirited affair, the Sharks notching the only goal when Patrick Marleau actually managed to notch one. And then the Sharks took the next thirty minutes off.
Well, not exactly. There would have been fewer mistakes had the team not even bothered to go out on the ice during that period of time. In case the memo hasn't reached California yet, Calgary is a pretty darn good hockey team; certainly one against which you can't be making silly mistakes and expect to escape unscathed. Well, guess what? There was a two-for one sale at the pharmacy on silly mistakes. When a player in the twilight of his career such as Owen Nolan records a hat trick, you know you're not only mailing it in, the letter arrived postage due. Hoo boy.
The Sharks recorded a couple of goals after the Flames had gone into can-we-go-home-now mode, but so what? Was it a case of San Jose not giving up, or Calgary having already started packing their gear? Difficult to say. In either case it didn't make a difference.
And thus ends this examination of the San Jose Schizophrenics... uh, Sharks. Dominant one night, dum-dum lollipops getting licked the next. And you never know which team it will be until the game starts. Sometimes not even then. Isn't there an easier way to keep the audience riveted?