Character time for the Sharks. There's nothing else that can be said. Every remaining game, starting Saturday night in San Jose, will be an elimination game. San Jose also has the unenviable task of having to win three straight. Yup, the "H" in hockey stands for HARD. Who's going to be the one to make a difference starting Saturday? Really, someone, anyone, has to be the one to make a difference.
Final thought: like the win on Tuesday, you have to forget about tonight's game quickly. Postseason memories must be short. Keep your fingers crossed. Do something.
3:00 LEFT IN THIRD
There are some bright spots for the Sharks...Milan Michalek has four blocked shots...We've already talked about Goc and his faceoff wins...Travis Moen has five hits.
5:51 LEFT IN THIRD
Oh boy...oh boy...See what happens when you put the puck on the net. Ryan Getzlaf's shot benefits Corey Perry, who has picked up his game as the night has progressed. Anaheim's No. 1 line has lived up to its status tonight.
9:14 LEFT IN THIRD
One interesting Sharks performance of note: Marcel Goc, who has won six of his seven faceoffs.
11:17 LEFT IN THIRD
Apologies for the long delay. We had some technical difficulties.
A few quick points:
Bobby Ryan definitely earned his Calder Memorial Trophy nomination. His second goal was the perfect example of being in the right place at the right time.
Jonas Hiller has been good tonight. And to think this guy hadn't played in a Stanley Cup Playoff game until this year.
Sharks are off to a good start this period with a 9-2 shot differential. They need to play desperate.
10:16 LEFT IN SECOND...AGAIN
Who's going to benefit or lose from this delay? Anaheim with the momentum? San Jose who needs to get some? We shall find out soon...
10:16 IN SECOND
Corey Perry is MIA, but Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan are shining. Getzlaf has three shots and won nearly 80 percent of his faceoffs. Ryan has three shots and a goal. Shots are even at 12. JR and Milan Michalek each have two shots to pace The Lads. Got to do something here...
13:27 IN SECOND
Bobby Ryan earned his Calder nomination...no doubt. The Lads aren't creating enough traffic in front of Hiller.
14:52 IN SECOND
Do you get the feeling it's going to be either a low-scoring game...or a long night?
START OF SECOND
A few questions:how will the intensity level be for both sides in the next 20 minutes? Will San Jose get more traffic in front of the net? We shall soon see.
END OF THE FIRST
One word to describe the first 20 minutes: close. Shots were close to even (10-8, SJ), faceoffs (60-40, SJ) and hits (12-11, Quackers). Sharks did have seven blocked shots. Take a deep breath. We'll be back.
4:54 IN FIRST
Two bullets dodged...Phew! One noticeable thing: the intensity level on both sides isn't at energy drink pitch right now. Not a surprise, actually. After all, these guys are human beings. How much do you want to make a bet that the juices will get going when someone scores the first goal?
7:12 IN FIRST
Dodged a bullet with Pavelski's penalty...now Setoguchi is in the box...hmmm...
9:05 IN FIRST
Pretty even so far...Sharks have an edge in faceoffs. Again...kudos to Griersie for his stickless play...
10:19 IN FIRST
Grier playing without a stick during the PK...hmm...shades of what happened a few years ago, if you Sharks fans remember...
13:04 IN THE FIRST
The effort seems good early...But Pavs getting hit for the trip doesn't help. We'll see what happens. We won't comment on the call, by the way...
7:25 P.M. -- UPDATE
Now are you getting nervous? We didn't mention the waiting aspect in our initial blog today. But now that we've got about 15 minutes before the puck drops, NOW THE NERVES START GOING. If you're were watching the pregame on CSN Bay Area, look who's in the middle? Mark Smith! Smitty!
7:00 P.M. -- UPDATE
What makes this victory sweeter is that the Sharkies grabbed this one at the Wolf Pack den. All of Worcester's goals came in the first period -- two by Patrick Traverse. We're happy for Roy Sommer and his crew. Roy is one of the hardest working coaches around.