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Game Sixty-Six Wrapup: San Jose Sharks 6, Montreal Canadiens 4

There's been more than a few times over the years when Mrs. Dude and I have been dragging ourselves home from the Tank after yet another weeknight game that was anything but something designated as time capsule preservation worthy where the "why do we do this" thought has come to mind.  Hey, I've got the credentials to back my claim of being a hockey nut; for starters, Sharks season ticket holder since Day One.  But as noted, there are times when I've wondered if the money shelled out for aforementioned tickets year after year wouldn't be better spent elsewhere.

Then a game like last night's comes along, and it all becomes oh so worth it.

When you have two top-tier teams, each equally determined to show the other who's the king daddy around here, you usually get good things out of it.  Once in a while, great things.  Last night was three levels beyond great.

Montreal's strength is its offense which can make you dizzy just watching it with its rapid fluid precision.  One can only imagine what it's like to play against.  Upon first glance at the scoresheet, the thought might be Evgeni Nabokov was off his game.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  He was excellent; the defense usually the same (when you hang an 0 for 7 on the Canadiens' power play, you're doing a lot of things right), although there were a couple of moments when an opportunity to clear the puck wasn't seized with the end result being the puck finally being cleared... by Nabokov as he swept it out of the net in which it had just been deposited.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the rink Los Tiburones were on fire, shooting early, often, and with purpose.  Carey Price may be the Habs future in net, but against the Sharks he was very much overmatched.  That said, he wasn't exactly overburdened with help from his defense, whose operational philosophy was apparently "oh, don't worry -- these guys haven't been able to score all year."  Not a good approach.

The highlight goal was Brian Campbell's spin to win maneuver which resulted in the Sharks' final goal.  Watching him wearing teal in person for the first time makes it all the more apparent what a fantastic addition he is to the Sharks.  Mobile, strong on his defensive assignments, sharp passer, more than excellent at setting up the play... three words to Greg Jamison and Doug Wilson will do: Sigh.  Him.  Now.

This was a great, great game, stuffed to the bursting point with action and played at both tempo and intensity barely below playoff hockey.  Whether it'll shake out this way or not remains to be seen, but if this was a precursor to this year's Stanley Cup finals, what a finals it will be!