I’m guessing if you asked anyone if they thought the San Jose Sharks could sweep the Vancouver Canucks they would have told you, no way. Even if you dislike the Canucks, which I am sure a lot of you do (unless they are playing the Bruins), you would have at least given them one or two games, or have even picked them to move on to the next round. The Sharks obviously had other ideas for the Canucks, sending them to the links far sooner than they expected, or to the World Championships.
If you missed this series because it ended before you expected, or you didn’t want to stay up into the wee hours of the night, here is a quick recap. You can also read my previous posts on this series here (Game One Recap) and here (Game Two Recap and Game Three Preview).
In game four, the Sharks and Brent Burns sent a message early, two minutes and forty-one seconds into the game to be exact. Scott Hannan, trade deadline pick up from Nashville, put a shot towards the net and Burns deflected it from mid-way out to put the Sharks up by one early in the game. The Sharks had established a great offensive presence from the get go and got the fans in the Shark Tank on their feet quickly.
Shortly after the Sharks got on the scoreboard, Vancouver responded, as Mason Raymond put a wrister past Antti Niemi from the blue line. There was quite a bit of traffic in front of Niemi, and the puck may have even ricocheted off a Shark defenseman. Nevertheless, Raymond put the Canucks right back into the game with about 12 minutes left in the first period.
The scoring wasn’t over in the first period, as the Sharks went on the power play with just over five minutes left in the period and Joe Pavelski made the Canucks pay. Cory Schneider made the initial save but put out a costly rebound that found its way onto Pavelski’s stick and he made no mistake and netted the Sharks second goal of the night, and that is the way that exciting first period ended.
As the second period went on the Sharks fans could only hope to keep or add on to the lead that they established late in the first period. They did just that in the second period, with no goals, the game remained two to one. The third period brought more excitement though, mid-way through the third period as the Canucks found themselves on a power play, they worked the puck around the ice like they were putting on a clinic. Henrik Sedin to Daniel Sedin, quick pass over to Burrows and he buries it to tie the game up at two. Not shortly after the power play goal by Alexandre Burrows, Vancouver found themselves up by one goal with just under ten minutes to go after Alexander Edler put a laser past Niemi. The Canucks inflicted just the right amount of pressure in the corner and moved the puck back out towards the blue line and Edler capitalized with a huge slap shot.
The third period was far from over, but the Canucks could feel the momentum swing their way after taking the lead. Until the Sharks found themselves on the power play once again with about five minutes left in the third. Joe Pavelski again was in the right place at the right time to record his second goal of the night and tie the game up at three. The Sharks took a page out of the Canucks book and worked the power play to perfection, with some help from Schneider who again coughed up a deadly rebound. The third period ended a tie and the game moved into overtime for the second time in the series.
I am not going to go into great detail on how the Sharks came about the power play that lead to their overtime winning goal, one, because I am sure you have heard about it already, and two, because I don’t really want to get in the middle of the controversy, it is what it is. Daniel Sedin was the Canuck that took the questionable penalty, and San Jose saw themselves with a huge opportunity. I am going to look at it in a different way and blame Cory Schneider, why you may ask, well he choked again and let out an enormous rebound, I can’t even count how many times I mentioned that (only two but both resulted in goals). Patrick Marleau ate up that rebound like he was a starving shark. SHARKS WIN! SHARKS WIN! The Shark Tank went nuts.
What a series by the San Jose Sharks, their veteran leaders really stepped up and scored huge goals. That was the key component for the Sharks success within this series. Antti Niemi also played extremely well, perhaps like a Vezina winner?
What can I say about the Canucks, they simply got out played. Vancouver management is going to have a tough summer, what is the issue in Vancouver? Can they recover from this to have a successful season next year? Will the team be broken up? Will the Sedin twins want a trade? Anything can happen, we will have to wait and see.
Congrats to the Sharks.