Seventy-nine seconds into the game, San Jose had a one goal lead on the St. Louis Blues. However, it was a one-goal lead that slipped away in final seven seconds of regulation. To make matters worse, the Sharks fell in the shootout to come up with just one point when the additional one was so close to being obtained.
Following the game, everyone was disappointed in the final outcome and Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan was unhappy with more than just the final 10 seconds.
“Not the final 10 seconds, the final minute thirty,” said McLellan of the multiple scoring chances by St. Louis. “First of all, it is way too long of a shift. It’s not acceptable. Your top five players are on the ice and you give up several scoring chances and on the power-play. I am very disappointed. We are on the power-play with five of the best players in the world and I had a ton of confidence in them.”
“We were too casual on the last shift and it cost us a goal,” said Marc-Edouard Vlasic
. “Five guys were out there and five guys were too casual.”
Evgeni Nabokov did not get a look at the puck that tied the affair.
“We have to take pride to win games with seconds left on the clock,” said Nabokov. “When we talk about the playoffs, that is going to be the situation. Sometimes you have to block a shot. I think Pickles (Vlasic) should have blocked the shot.”
Vlasic did not shy away from anything when it was his turn to speak.
“I could have blocked it,” said Vlasic. “We could have done a lot of things.”
McLellan concurred, but put the blame with everybody.
“Pickles should have blocked the shot. Nabby could have gotten in the way a little,” said McLellan. “We shouldn’t have forwards standing in the corner on a minute and a half shift. The power play let us down.”
The most difficult part was Nabokov had just made a save in the final minute that could be among the NHL’s best of the season when he slid over to stop an odd man rush.
In the end, there is a reason the game lasts until the clock hits zero.
“It takes 60 minutes,” said Vlasic. “They played to the end. We gave them the win, that is for sure.”
The Blues initiated a couple of bouts. The first game early in the game when St. Louis forward B.J. Crombeen went after Ryane Clowe
, but it was Clowe who managed to land a few more punches.
With 12:47 left in the third, David Backes was attempting to antagonize Dany Heatley and doing so to the point where the puck was completely up the ice, yet Backes was halting Heatley in his tracks nears the goal line. The ref on the spot finally made the call, but then Frazer McLaren came to the aid of his star. At that point Backes didn’t put of much of a defense and, with the striped shirt was between them, McLaren was denied the opportunity to make the case to quit being cheap with the Sharks sniper.
Heatley tied a Sharks record with seven first period shots. He had six in the first period the previous game.
With a goal in the second period, Joe Pavelski
now has 11 points (4-7=11) in his last 12 games.
Thornton’s ten-game point streak continues (3-13=16). His current nine-game assist streak is one shy of tying his career high.
BLUES HEAD COACH ANDY MURRAY
“We have great games with the Sharks. They are physical battles. We have so much respect for them. If you don’t bring a solid game, you are going to get embarrassed. We played hard.”
Regarding the fact that Heatley got off 7 shots in the first but none the rest of the game.
“What we did was we let him wear out his arms in the first period and then he did not have the energy to shoot anymore. He is just a great player with Joe Thornton
and Patrick Marleau
. Team Canada would be really fortunate to have those three guys on their team.”
“I thought Ty Conklin made some great saves just like Nabokov. I think the shots were 34-30 so there were lots of shots, lots of scoring chances both ways and certainly they’ve got a very potent power play and ours isn’t very good. They did a good job of generating offense with their power play.”
“Our penalty killers did a great job stepping up. Our penalty killing has been solid all year. Our Achilles Heel has been our failure to generate on the power play and create offense. So we need to be better at that.”
The Sharks will host Calgary Saturday night at 7 p.m. and tickets can be found at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com. The contest will be available on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.