Team Teal faced one of the craziest nights in franchise history Saturday night, but it unfortunately ended up in an opening night 2-1 loss. First, the night started with an internal power outage inside HP Pavilion that delayed the contest 20 minutes. San Jose then tied a franchise record by holding Boston to zero shots in the second period. Next, with 38 seconds left in regulation, the Sharks appeared to forced overtime with a dramatic Milan Michalek goal.
Finally, the pivotal play of a zany night happened. As Marc-Edouard Vlasic
sent the puck around the glass to clear off the final few seconds of regulation, the puck bounced of the metal supports for the glass, hit a striped shirt, and was there for Boston to set up Aaron Ward on a dramatic game-winner.
“It was a weird game,” said Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson.
“It’s very unfortunate what happened out there,” said Mike Grier. “We’re very unhappy with the outcome.”
The odd bounce was not necessarily anyone’s fault.
“I threw it off the boards, got hit and when I turned around, the puck was there,” said Vlasic. “It hit someone and came back. I make that play a lot during games. Things like that happen.”
“You can’t over analyze it and not just (the bounce) decided how they scored,” said Craig Rivet.
And there was no faulting the official for the puck coming off the glass at an inopportune time.
“We create our own bounces and you can’t blame the ref,” said Nabokov.
In the end, the home fans didn’t get to see an opening night victory.
“It’s disappointing,” said Mike Grier. “It’s another slow start. It’s not the start we wanted.”
The Sharks posted 13 shots in the second period, but the stat of the night was that Boston was held without a shot, tying a San Jose mark they have accomplished twice before.
The Sharks also accomplished the stat at home on Feb. 24, 1999 in the third period against Vancouver and on the road on November 23, 2002 in the third period at Pittsburgh. Ironically, the Sharks have not been victorious in any of the three contests (0-2-1).
While it did not result in a victory, it was still an impressive feat.
“We had our d-men following up the play and the forwards helping out,” said Vlasic. “When five guys are helping out, you don’t allow a lot defensively.”
It’s not as if the Sharks were without their chances, it was just that Vlasic’s clearing attempt wasn’t their only bad bounce of the night.
“We hit four or five posts,” said Nabokov. “The score could have been 5-1 (for us). We played really hard for two periods. We did everything we should have, but we didn’t win.”
Despite a night where they played well offensively with nothing seeming to go right, the Sharks stuck with the plan and Michalek finally drilled home their first tally, sending the crowd into a euphoric state until Boston responded.
“We fought hard to come back and we needed to make sure we got that point,” said Rivet.
The delay to the evening’s start may have taken some of the buzz out of the always well-planned opening night festivities, but it was no excuse for Team Teal.
“We tried to stay warmed up,” said Evgeni Nabokov. “They had to deal with it too.”
BODIES OUT FRONT
Boston’s first goal came courtesy of some traffic in front of Nabokov.
“I thought there was some interference,” said Nabokov. “Sturm was in front and something hit my pad.
The Sharks had planned to honor Mike Ricci with an honorary faceoff before the game, but the delay ruined that opportunity. The game also began without the national anthems in an effort to make up for lost time.
The home opener marked the 28th consecutive sellout on home ice, continuing the streak from the 2006-07 season.
Bruins Coach - Claude Julien
“I thought our guys played hard tonight. We got some breaks and we got a few pokes. We had a bit of luck, but you know sometime some teams find a way to win and we did.”
“We played a very solid game. The First period was very good, but second was a challenge for us. This is another point we can chalk up and it’s very good for our hockey club.”
“Tim played very good and made some outstanding saves. When he keeps it under two goals, it gives us a very good chance to win some hockey games.”
The Sharks will travel to Vancouver for a 7 p.m. start of Monday. The contest will be carried on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.