At this point, there is nothing even left to say.
Stevie Wonder tuned in tonight from the comfort of his own home and could vividly describe each and every opportunity the Sharks put on net. Shot after shot rang off the armor of Craig Anderson, a man who has reached the peak of human performance.
Forces beyond San Jose's control have descended, coyly manipulating the direction of pucks, pushing bounces one way or the other. The official box scores, written by mortal men and women across the United States, will tell you Chris Stewart and Ryan O'Reilly have had a pair game-winning goals between them.
A demon from the depths of darkness will cackle maniacally and know that this is not the case.
The Sharks outshot the Avalanche 43-8 in the final three periods of play. They dominated the offensive zone, tirelessly worked the cycle. Pucks were directed at the net from the half wall, the slot, the blueline, the crease.
Everything a hockey team needs to do in order to win a game was done tonight. Impeccable execution up until the final minute.
It is gruesome to even attempt to understand what Dan Boyle is going through right now. This is a player who has logged heroic minutes for the Sharks throughout the course of this year, poured his heart out every single night, provided stability and results for a defensive unit that would not have survived the rigors of an 82-game year without his services.
And as the crows and buzzards descend upon him, picking at the carcass for their measly portion of the pie, Boyle collects his thoughts and readies his blade.
- Colorado has taken more of a physical pounding than a guy who tries to take a hockey stick from Mike Vallely at Honda Center, and with the way things went tonight, you have to figure those bumps and bruises are going to play a factor down the line. The willingness to finish checks that the Sharks have displayed over the last three games should help to neutralize some of Colorado's speed from their already depleted forward group.
- More rubber was tossed around than Sigma Chi's annual year end bash-- Anderson was out of this world tonight. A career performance. The workload he has seen in the last two games, as well as the amount of blocked shots Colorado has had to deal with, should theoretically make for a physically tired group of players wearing the home jerseys on Tuesday.
- How that stacks up against the mental fatigue San Jose is feeling? I have no idea. Storyline for game four to be certain.
- Every line looked wonderful tonight, but the Sharks are still waiting for Patrick Marleau to get on his horse and put a puck in the back of the net. This team needs a sixty minute performance from it's former Captain, and they just aren't getting it right now.
- Not having Dany Heatley out there hurts.
- The defensive end of the ice was about as flawless as they come tonight, but one thing the Avalanche do well is carry and drive the net hard from the end line beside Nabokov. The Sharks defenseman need to do a better job sealing the puck carrier along the boards, because if the bounces are going to continue to go Colorado's way, those are the plays where it is going to happen.
- The Sharks did a great job of trying to generate opportunities for every angle-- when the point shot wasn't working they worked it down low. When passes from behind the net weren't connecting they threw pucks from the sideboards and looked for a scoring chance off a rebound. Taking a page out of the Avalanche playbook might be prudent here however-- drive to the net hard from the end line and create some mayhem in front of Anderson.
- San Jose could also have been stronger with their sticks in front of the net. The Avalanche defenseman did a good job of blocking out the Sharks forwards and limiting second chance opportunities. That, and more traffic, will be the key to success if the Avalanche goaltender turns in another performance such as this one.
- In all seriousness however, Anderson could have stopped a bullet tonight. Nine times out of ten these minor adjustments aren't needed throughout the course of a game. It just turns out that tonight was one where they could have used them.
- Rob Blake received the Pronger treatment from the Pepsi Center just as we ruminated about earlier. Unverified sources report that a conglomerate of Avalanche fans held a practice session for the festivities by booing players at a local Bingo Hall Saturday night.
Milan Hejduk was injured after colliding with Colorado centerman Paul Stastny in the first period. Calls for suspension of Stastny's shoulder pads will be promptly filed with the league office Monday morning.
- Devin Setoguchi will be nominated for an Oscar following his marvelous performance after being run from behind by T.J. Galiardi on an icing call that resulted in a San Jose power play at the end of the third period. He was selling it John.
- Sharks fans across the nation hop on Youtube to upload videos entitled "Leave Danny Alone!"
- Hardest loss to take in a long, long, long, long, long, long...you get the point.
Biggest game of the your life Tuesday night.
God save us all.