San Jose lost just their second game in regulation at HP Pavilion this year via a 4-2 loss to Chicago and the Sharks simply were not at their best on a night where the Blackhawks brought their A game.
“There is nothing nice about losing at home,” said Christian Ehrhoff. “We wanted to go into the break feeling good.”
“They were faster than we were. I thought we were second to a lot of pucks,” said Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan. “We spent any type of energy that we had in our end defending, so when we were on offense we were tired and looking for a change.”
The Sharks will not lace up their skates for a game again until Thursday.
CRAZY NON GOAL
On this evening, Chicago jumped out to a quick advantage, scoring just 48 seconds in, ending Evgeni Nabokov’s franchise record shutout streak at 170:58. Then it looked like the Blackhawks were gaining complete control when a second goal was scored. Then it didn’t count.
Things started when Jonathan Cheechoo was cut in the face by a high stick that was not called by a referee. As play continued up and down the ice – without a stoppage in play – the Blackhawks scored a goal. That is when a linesman stepped and reported what he saw to the referees. Following that, the men with the orange stripes on their sleeves asked for Cheechoo to come out of the training room so they could see that he was indeed cut.
After consulting as a group, the ruling was no goal for Chicago and four minutes of power play time awarded to the Sharks. The reading of Rule 33.4 from the NHL Rule Book is below.
RULE 33.4 REPORTING TO REFEREE
“The Linesman shall give to the Referees his interpretation of any incident that may have taken place during the game.
The Linesman must report upon completion of play, any circumstances pertaining to:
(viii) Double-minor penalty when it is apparent that an injury has resulted from a high-stick that has gone undetected by the Referees
Should a Linesman witness a foul (above) committed by an attacking player or goalkeeper (undetected by the Referees) prior to the attacking team scoring a goal, the Linesman shall report what he witnessed to the Referees, the goal shall be disallowed and the appropriate penalty assessed.”
As for the time on the clock, the minutes lost during the continuation of play remained off the clock as they would during any delayed penalty.
“I’ve never seen that,” said Milan Michalek. “It was pretty weird. We knew what was going on, but we didn’t know why they didn’t put the time back on the clock.”
McLellan asked about the time situation, but was told, “it can’t be done.”
San Jose scored once on the power play, but surrendered two goals while down a man, and worse, one goal while up a man.
“In the second, it was obviously a special teams battle and they came out on top,” said McLellan. “Not only that, but we had an opportunity on the power play and gave up a shorthanded one. Then seven minutes later we take a very irresponsible penalty and they go on the power play again and get one. The tempo of the game was in their favor and so was the special teams.”
McLellan will give his team Sunday off to watch the Super Bowl and then return to work on Monday.
“We’ll skate a lot,” said McLellan. “There will be a lot of starting and stopping and sprints.”
For the Sharks players, they enjoy Super Bowl Sunday as much as the average person living in the United States, whether they follow the game or not.
For the players, predictions were fairly split among who they were rooting for. Many Sharks are very well informed and follow religiously on Sundays. Others didn’t grow up with the game and don’t have a preference.
“I don’t care,” said Devin Setoguchi. “I’ll go with Pittsburgh.”
“I have no idea,” said Marc-Edouard Vlasic
, who was more interested in the Australian Open tennis tournament.
“I’ll take the blue team,” joked Marcel Goc, obviously a bit more knowledgeable than he let on.
The Steelers had a slight edge as is the case with most fans who will be watching.
“Gotta go with the Steelers,” said Joe Thornton
, who had Dan Boyle
and Rob Blake in agreement with him.Patrick Marleau
is rooting for Pittsburgh do to a hockey tie.
“I was a big Penguins fan growing up because of Mario Lemieux and because of that I liked the Pittsburgh teams,” said Marleau. “But Arizona winning would be nice because they haven’t before.”
“I think the Steelers, but I’m rooting for Arizona just because they haven’t won,” said Nabokov, maybe hoping for a sign of things to come in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Cheechoo was picking the Cardinals primarily out of revenge.
“I like the Ravens (and Pittsburgh beat them),” said Cheechoo. “So Arizona.”
“I just think Arizona is playing so good,” said Roenick, who happens to have a permanent home in the valley of the sun.
As for the head coach?
“I think I’ll go with Pittsburgh,” said McLellan.
San Jose had won 13 straight against Chicago before falling on Saturday night.
Ehrhoff continued his point streak with his fifth goal of the season. He has five points (3-2=5) in the last five games. With his fourteenth goal of the season, Michalek has nine points (5-4=9) in the last seven games.
BLACKHAWKS HEAD COACH JOEL QUENNEVILLE
“It was a huge game and I like the way we played tonight. We had a lot of enthusiasm, we had a lot of puck support and we won a lot of puck battles. We did some good things and this is not an easy place to come play.”
“It’s a long trip and we want to just focus on our next goal and our next game. But you come in here and you’ve got to feel good about yourself, but at the same time we should never feel satisfied with our game.”
The Sharks will host Carolina at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday at HP Pavilion and tickets can be found at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office or at www.ticketmaster.com. The contest will be aired on CSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.