San Jose played one of their most intense games of the season Thursday night at HP Pavilion, but unfortunately a strange bounce late in the third led to a 3-2 loss against Calgary and the club’s first regulation loss at home this season.
“To be honest, that was a great hockey game, a playoff type of atmosphere,” said Joe Thornton
, who potted the second Sharks goal and saw another shot clang off both posts. “A couple of bounces and we would have won. Another inch one way and it’s in the net and another inch the other way and it misses the net.”
“Two good teams went at it and it was exciting,” said Ryane Clowe
, who scored the opening goal one minute in. “You push, they push back and you push again.”
“I thought it was a very competitive hard fought game tonight,” said Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan. “Obviously we did not have enough at the end to win it, but we had our share of chances and it didn’t go our way. This had playoff intensity you could feel on the bench and in the building. Both teams were ready and competed hard.”
The Sharks were not about to dwell on their first home regulation loss after going more than half the season without one.
“It was bound to happen,” said Thornton. “We’re fine. We have the best record (in the Western Conference).”
“We weren’t going to go 40-0-2,” said Marc-Edouard Vlasic
The Sharks simply plan to get right back on their horse.
“We’ll forget this and come back with a better effort,” said Dan Boyle
The final goal came on a shot that pinged off Vlasic’s blade and past Evgeni Nabokov.
“It just went off my stick and it was a lucky break,” said Vlasic.
“That’s hockey,” said McLellan. “We’re not going to be critical of ‘Pickles’ for that.”
Despite the loss, the Sharks played the type of game they wanted, especially considering they lost defenseman Rob Blake for most of the contest near the end of the first period after he took a puck to the face. Blake was taken to a medical facility for further evaluation and an update is expected on Friday morning.
In a physical game, it can be tough to be down a man, especially a player like Blake with an attacking team looking to create turnovers.
“Others have to step up,” said McLellan. “Some did and some didn’t. Some youth on the blueline will have to get old quickly if Blake is out a little bit.”
“The turnovers were a combination of both (defensive lapses and Calgary doing a good job),” said Boyle.
McLellan was not upset at what he saw on the night, but noted a couple of areas where a break or two would have been the difference.
“I thought the penalty kill was good, but we gave up a goal,” said McLellan.
The Sharks also failed to convert on five-on-three power play where they used a timeout to try and secure a goal. However, Blake was already out and Thornton was stuck in the penalty box.
“Without Blake and Thornton, two of our better offensive players were not involved,” said McLellan. “Joe is a big part of our five-on-three and Blake has the big shot. Other players had to get it done.”
Jody Shelly returned to the lineup and Alexei Semenov was the odd man out up front with the change.
With his two assists tonight, Dan Boyle
continues to lead all NHL defensemen with 36 points.
extended his point streak to four games (3+4=7).
CLOWE STILL HOT
After recording only one point in his first five games of the season, Ryane Clowe
now has 33 points in his last 38 games (19+14=33).
ROUSE IN BC HOCKEY HOF
Former Sharks defenseman Bob Rouse was recently named to the British Columbia Hockey Hall of Fame.
FLAMES HEAD COACH MIKE KEENAN
“We stayed tenacious, and I thought we checked fairly well. The special teams were very important. They had a five-on-three with a very offensively skilled team, and we were able to kill that penalty off which in the end made a big difference.”
“We tried to stay in lanes and block shots. We had more structure in our power play which helped us.”
“We are paying attention to the details that are involved in winning, and winning consistently. Nobody has been able to beat this team in this arena, until now. So that’s a good opportunity for us to run from the things we have done well, and try to improve as a team.”
The Sharks will host Detroit on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and the game will be on CSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com. Tickets can be found at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and www.ticketmaster.com.