Another grind it out, one goal game. And when you can win them as consistently as the Sharks have, they are a thing of beauty.
“It wasn’t pretty, it was a greasy win,” Ryane Clowe
said. “It was nice to get the win. It wasn’t our best game by any means. We’ve been tied a lot going into the third and it was good to see us react. Joe’s line set the tone coming from behind and they deserved a goal.”
“We feel we can skate with any team and be physical with any team,” Joe Thornton
said. “Even though we might be losing, we feel at any point we can break through and grab a game. That has been the case that last four or five weeks. It doesn’t matter if we’re up or down, we just keep plugging away.”
San Jose had almost doubled up Colorado on the shot clock, but the shots were not reflected in the score as regulation wound down. Team Teal simply pressed on with the business at hand and remained in control.
“Just patience,” Thornton said. “We were playing a good game and we had a good third, even though we got scored on. Just keep chipping away and getting pucks to the net and eventually things would go in for us We did that and ultimately we got rewarded for it.”
Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan urged his top players to find a way at the second break and they more than followed suit.
“We challenged our big guys between periods that they had to step up a little bit and lead,” McLellan said. “Jumbo ends up getting the tying goal. We told them the rule maker allows us 60 minutes to find one at least and we used almost the full 60. Nice to see them step up. Nice to see Nemo have another great game.”
It was Thornton who forced the overtime with his late third period tally. As he was going toward the net, he redirected a Jason Demers
pass and beat Brian Elliott.
“Jason made a great play,” Thornton said. “He just shot for my stick and it was a tip. He had great eyes and I just had to lay my stick on it and put it in the empty net.”
POWER PLAY OUT
The Sharks have one of the NHL’s elite power plays, but even the best man-advantage units can’t be on every night and San Jose did not score against Colorado with the advantage. They are also missing Dan Boyle
who is listed as day-to-day.
“He’s our quarterback,” McLellan pointed out. “You lose your quarterback, it affects your team. We have others that have to step up and have some poise in that situation. There is no doubt we can be better there.”
When the game went to the shootout, Sharks netminder Antti Niemi
turned aside all three Avalanche attackers. During the shootout, he seemed to force the issue on each challenger.
“I think I’m always trying to do the same thing, I think it’s working pretty good,” Niemi said.
While it may not represent the 65 minutes of action that precedes it, Niemi enjoys the one-on-one confrontations.
“I think the odds are on the goalies side and I think it’s pretty fun,” Niemi noted.
San Jose scored on one of their three efforts, but it was enough as Ryane Clowe
found the back of the net. He seems to have found an alternate move so people can’t sit on his successful backhander on the breakaway.
“That was more of a shot. I was thinking of going backhand and I looked up and saw he might have been leaning a little to the glove side,” Clowe said. “Just get it off the ice low blocker and it’s tough to get down and get it.”