While covering a Christian high school football game the quarterback of the team whose sideline I was standing on made an errant pass to what was a wide-open receiver. The athletic director of the school, who was standing beside me, clapped his hand three times before shouting "That's why Jesus had to die on the cross — we're not perfect."
Sports Jesus died on the cross for the San Jose Sharks powerplay.
The Sharks' 3-0 win over the Winnipeg Jets was reminiscent of a 20-piece chicken McNugget from McDonalds. The result is just fine, but damn wouldn't it be better if we didn't know how we got here? A cursory look at the stats, 26 shots on goal to Winnipeg's 30 (but 26-16 while the score was close), a goal from a defender (Marc Edouard-Vlasic) and a 30 save shutout from Alex Stalock would tell you that this was a damn fine win for the Sharks.
Oh, but we do know how it was made. It was made with 23 giveaways and 16 vital blocked shots. It was made with an 0/8 night on the powerplay — including a 19-second 5-on-3 opportunity so dismal it elicited boos from the capacity crowd in the Sharks home opener. A season ago, the Sharks powerplay ranked 19th in the NHL, but that was more due to poor luck than poor play. Not tonight.
The Sharks earned that 0-fer fair and square. Their zone entries were atrocious, their movement away from the puck was about as fleet as those sailing stones in Death Valley that move a few hundred feet every three or four years. They were very bad and they should feel bad.
The good news is that there are still 80 games that mean a little something between now and the games that really mean a lot. If sports Jesus really loves us, he'll find a way to get our little apostles powerplay back on track before they have to face the Devil's horde in the playoffs.
- That all being said, how sick was that Hertl goal? It was pretty sweet.
- Marc Edouard-Vlasic gets credit for that goal, but only because Ondrej Pavelec can't be credited for an own goal. He's not very good at his job.
- The Sharks are going to play a lot of road games in the near future, so it'd be good for them to take advantage of home ice when they have it.
- Apparently the ice was pretty bad tonight, which was attributed to the warm temperatures in San Jose today. Just a friendly reminder that California's weather is better than your weather.
- The Jets had 28 penalty minutes tonight. The game is only played for 60 minutes. HOW DO YOU DO THAT?
- Dustin Byfuglien took three penalties tonight after getting a Gordie Howe hat trick against Arizona in the Jets' first game. He'll have better nights.
- Evander Kane didn't play. I don't think the Jets would have won this game if he had played, but those are the facts.
- Alex Stalock just sat around for the first period — but that wasn't indicative of how his night would go. He made 30 saves, and many of them were anything but easy. At some point the Sharks are going to give up a goal, but this goalie competition could be a lot of fun before it becomes soul-crushingly irritating. In the mean time, buy this t-shirt because Ann Frazier is great and so is this shirt.
FTF Three Stars
1st Star: Alex Stalock
2nd Star: Patrick Marleau
3rd Star: Tomas Hertl