Wednesday, May 18, 2011

NHL Playoffs: San Jose Sharks Dismantled in Game 2 As the Western Conference Final Heads to the Shark Tank

The Vancouver Canucks dismantled the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night, 7-3, in an ugly loss for the Sharks at Rogers Arena.

Unsportsmanlike penalties and overall bad play for the majority of the game has the Sharks heading to San Jose dazed and confused, as they look to overcome a 2-0 series deficit.

Not sure how a team can come back from a game like that, though. It was an utter and complete meltdown from the Sharks, in which some players on their team showed zero class while attempting to stand up for an embarrassing display of playoff hockey.

The game was not completely in the Canucks' hands for the entirety, though.

A fast-paced 1st period led to scoring chances aplenty for the both teams. The Sharks would finish the period with 14 shots on net, and the Canucks would finish with 13.

The scoring got started with surging speed out of the neutral zone by Dany Heatley, which led to a Logan Couture power play goal, as the Sharks broke down the Canucks' superb penalty kill, which had been 92% successful in the last nine games.

But Vancouver responded rather quickly with a power play goal of their own by Daniel Sedin, followed by an even-strength goal just 39 seconds later by Raffi Torres.

Daniel Sedin would give his goal right back after a tripping call sent him to the penalty box, setting up another power play goal, this time by Patrick Marleau with help from Joe Thornton and Dan Boyle, after video review.

For those wanting just as much action in the 2nd period, didn't get it.

Turnovers were the name of the game for the Sharks, several leading to close calls that were withstood by goalie Antti Niemi, who was superb in net and kept the Sharks in the game for most of the 2nd period.

But, yet, it was a stalemate for most of the 2nd period until Vancouver's Chris Higgins fed a stretch pass to Kevin Bieksa while the Sharks were caught watching and could not stop Bieksa from scoring on a breakaway, making it 3-2 Canucks.

Things continued to get ugly for the Sharks at the end of the 2nd period.

At an attempt to give the Sharks the momentum, Marleau fought with Bieksa, only to be badly beaten and add to the Canucks' momentum in their own building. It was Marleau's first fight since 2007.

An attempt to retaliate the Marleau beating by Ben Eager led to a roughing penalty that should have been so much more, and the Sharks were back-stepping into the 3rd period.

After the Sharks killed the Eager penalty, Eager committed another penalty seven minutes later, leading to a Higgins' power play goal and a 4-2 lead for the Canucks.

The game was over from there.

The Sharks looked drained, not to mention having to deal with the Canucks' relentless offensive pressure for the rest of the 3rd period. The Canucks would tally whopping ...... shots for the game.

Daniel Sedin, Aaron Rome and Mayson Raymond tacked on three more goals in the 3rd period and the Sharks ultimately lost 7-3 .

An ugly and disappointing game from the Sharks, for sure, most notably from Eager, who tallied four terrible penalties.

After a Game 1 in which the name of the game was to hang on and hope for something good to happen, Game 2 was out of reach after that 2nd period.

Ultimately, a poor fight by Marleau and two penalties by Eager when the Sharks needed to grab momentum led to Vancouver seizing control of Game 2 and this series, as it heads to San Jose for games three and four.

Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers.

Either it seemed like the Canucks' sticks were in every lane possible, or the Sharks were being careless with the puck. Either way, the Canucks benefited from it in the scoring column, as Niemi could only hold on for so long.

Also, the lack of legitimate scoring chances past that 1st period didn't help either.

Canucks' goalie Roberto Luongo didn't look like he had it in that 1st period, giving up two fairly easy goals to Couture and Marleau. But the Sharks could not get the puck past the Canucks' stellar defense on Wednesday night, and the Sharks find themselves in a 2-0 series hole.

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