San Jose may have lost 3-2 against Edmonton Wednesday night, and fell behind 3-0 in the first, but Team Teal played much better than those numbers would indicate.
“I can't complain about the way we played,” said Ron Wilson. “We had all kinds of scoring chances. You have to give their goalie a lot of credit. Territorially we probably had puck 75 percent of the time, but the calls didn’t go our way and you move on.”
On one difficult play, with the Sharks trailing 1-0, Mark Bell was kept from reaching the point man who scored tally number two.
“It was just one of those things, when the guy is pushing you to the outside you tell yourself to stop and block the shot,” said Bell. “He kept pushing me, I made a mistake and just should have stopped. I just should have stopped and that can’t happen.”
It was thought by the Sharks bench that the faceoff should have occurred outside Edmonton’s offensive zone, but an icing was called.
“I did touch it, but that’s the way it goes,” said Bell.
While San Jose may have played the more aggressive game, the Sharks did offer credit to the Oilers.
“They played an ugly road game and that is what you have to do sometimes,” said Bell. “We had our chances to score and obviously we didn’t capitalize on those.”
MINIMAL POWER PLAYS
The NHL’s number one power play went one-for-four, good for a 25 percent clip, but it was their lack of opportunities that was amazing. San Jose, arguably the League’s fastest skating club, gave up seven Edmonton power play chances before they received their first one.
“It’s hard to believe,” said Wilson. “You spend as much time in the offensive zone and more penalties were not called on them. At one point it was 7-0 (in power plays) and the shots were 20-7. Every time (a shot) was in our end, it was deemed a penalty. Joe (Thornton) probably has ice on both hands. There was lot slashing.”
“If things aren’t being called, you have to get through it,” said Captain Patrick Marleau
Marleau, an annual Lady Byng candidate actually received a four-minute minor for high-sticking. His stick did cut an Edmonton player on the nose, but that was because Marleau was being run and raised his hands to defend himself.
“I didn’t have the puck and just spun around,” said Marleau.
STICK WITH IT
While San Jose was impressive with their chances in the first, they were not quite up to par in the second stanza where they had just two shots almost halfway through the period.
“We just got away from the way we played in the first period,” said Jonathan Cheechoo. “I thought we had a good first, outshooting them and having a lot of chances. We got away from that in the second and you don’t score if you don’t have any shots.”
CLOSE AT THE END
With San Jose trailing 3-2 late in the third, Captain Patrick Marleau
nearly tied it, only to see Dwayne Roloson make an impressive save.
“We had some good opportunities,” said Marleau. “The one I had at the end, I had to get it up a little more. He got a piece of it and it went over the cross bar.”
Evgeni Nabokov allowed three first period tallies, but he was fairly well screened on all three.
“The first one was a good one-timer,” said Nabokov. “I think they had 16 shots and 15 were on the power play. They were quick on the one-times and I have to find a way to block the shots. Whatever it is, bad luck, bad karma, I’m going to fight through it.”
Edmonton Head Coach, Craig MacTavish :
“It was a wild one. We were pretty precise on our passing on the power play and got off to a lead and we defended pretty well.”
“This is as tough a building that there is to play in and they (Sharks) bring a lot to the game when they play here.”
“We played a lot of tough minutes on our end of the ice but it worked out and I was pleased.”
With an assist in the first period, Christian Ehrhoff has now recorded five points (2-3=5) in his last three games. Cheechoo scored a goal in the third period and has now recorded one point in four consecutive games (3-3=6). Josh Gorges picked up an assist in the third period to give him three points(1-2=3) in his last four games.
San Jose left immediately following the game to Los Angeles for their 7:30 p.m. tilt with Los Angeles on Thursday night. The game will be aired on FSN Bay Area in high-definition, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.