Where to start after such an amazing game Tuesday and a dominant performance by the Sharks in their first round series against the Canucks? Yes, two of the games went to overtime but there’s no question that the best team won. Four straight , no matter how you get there, is a statement. And the 2013 San Jose Sharks made a statement that they are a force to be reckoned with in these Stanley Cup Playoffs.
I must admit when Alex Burrows and Alex Edler scored twice in under 2 minutes in the third period to make the score 3-2 Vancouver, it looked like we might be heading back to British Columbia for game 5. In fact, during the next commercial break after that I asked Drew Remenda if he was packed, just in case we had to take another flight to Vancouver. My eloquent broadcast partner scoffed at the suggestion. He wasn’t prepared to consider that possibility. And he was right! Tommy Wingels absorbed an ill advised cross check from “Canadian” defenseman Kevin Bieksa to put the Sharks on the power play. And when Joe Pavelski tied the game on the power play it set the stage for Patrick Marleau’s series winner in overtime.
What a game and what a series. Game one featured the beginning of Logan Couture’s stunning run as he scored the first of what would be a series high tying 8 points. Raffi Torres had only one point in the 4 games but it was the OT winning goal in Game 2. “The Big” Pavelski, Couture and the power play fueled Game Three and Game Four was a combination of everything and everyone.
The ongoing backdrop all series long was the stellar play of team MVP Antti Niemi in goal, the penalty killing (90%), the domination in the faceoff circle, and the team’s solid overall defensive play.
What a great start! And now the Sharks get the benefit of rest as the rest of the West playoff teams keep on grinding. But it’s just a start. No matter who the Sharks play next it will be harder to win. But at least for a day or two they can enjoy this accomplishment and the rest of us hope they can do it again in round two.