Sharks tie series with OT win, doubts still linger

1 Comment

seto.jpgIt’s just one game and one goal, but it may have made all the
difference in the world.

As the clock was winding down on the San
Jose Sharks in the third period against the Colorado Avalanche, facing a
one-goal deficit and the wall named Craig Anderson, instantly thoughts
across the hockey-verse turned to what would be next for the Sharks. If
they dropped both games at home to start their first round series
against the Avalanche, there’s no telling what might have at happened in
the Shark Tank. The fans might have pulled it to pieces.

As it
was, we were already discussing the offseason moves that might be ahead
for the Sharks.

With 32 seconds remaining, Joe Pavelski scored
perhaps the biggest goal of his career and the biggest one for the
Sharks in a very, very long time to tie the game 5-5. The Sharks had
been building momentum throughout the third period, and used that last
minute goal to propel themselves into overtime. Devin Setouguchi put the
finishing touches on one heck of a comeback by the Sharks, as his power
play goal 5:22 into overtime won the game and tied the series 1-1.

Despite
the big win for the Sharks, in which they tied the score five times
before ultimately winning, there’s going to be some questions moving
forward and it’s all going to start in net. Evgeny Nabokov has not
played well in the first two games, and if it weren’t some incredibly
weak defensive play by the Avalanche in the third period and overtime
there’s almost no question that he shouldn’t start next game.

As
it is, he allowed five goals on just 22 shots (the Sharks had 52 shots
on Craig Anderson), and as Steve Lepore said
perfectly on Twitter
: “Craig Anderson is goaltending. Nabokov is
standing in front of a net.”

I’m also certain there will be some
hell raised by the Avalanche on a number of missed or blown calls by the
officials, especially on questionable hits, and I’m certain they won’t
be happy with the ticky-tack penalty called in overtime that led to the
Sharks goal. We’ll have more on that in the morning, for certain.

For
now, the Sharks enjoy a big win. They shouldn’t rest easy, however, as
they are still playing like a team that is serious trouble of being
upset, once more.

Ducks take control of second in Pacific after edging Oilers

Getty
1 Comment

Connor McDavid was fantastic on Wednesday, but the Anaheim Ducks overcame his strong showing for a significant win in the Pacific.

McDavid scored a goal and two assists, yet Ryan Getzlaf was right there with him with three assists, helping the Ducks win 4-3.

With that, Anaheim is clearly ahead of Edmonton for second in the Pacific. The Ducks would hold home-ice over the Oilers if the playoffs began today, and better yet for them, a division title isn’t out of the question:

1. Sharks – 91 points in 73 games played
2. Ducks – 89 points in 73 GP
3. Oilers – 87 points in 73 GP
4. Flames – 86 points in 73 GP

As you can see, the Oilers aren’t exactly far ahead of the Flames for third, either.

Going forward, the Oilers have an interesting schedule: a mix of games against cellar dwellers (two apiece against the Canucks and Avalanche) plus two games apiece versus the Kings and Sharks.

The Ducks’ schedule includes two matches against the Flames, one against the Kings and one more match at Edmonton on April 1.

Long story short, the jockeying for position is far from over, but this was a pretty significant win for the Ducks.

Video: Connor McDavid shows off speed and skill (again)

1 Comment

Connor McDavid‘s 26th goal of 2016-17 was a lot like many others: an impressive display of skill and speed. He didn’t blaze past the Anaheim Ducks like has against opponents on other occasions, but his rare wheels still came in handy.

Maybe more than sheer speed, this tally is a reminder that McDavid could do impressive things while losing little or no momentum. It’s one thing to have straight-line speed, but he has the hands and hockey IQ to take advantage of his swift skating.

McDavid already has two points in this one, pushing him to 84 points. He also extended his point streak to five games (three goals, six assists if he stays at one of each on Wednesday).

Islanders grab precious points by beating Rangers

3 Comments

The goal posts might move from time to time – now they’re chasing the Boston Bruins more than the Toronto Maple Leafs – but the bottom line is that the New York Islanders need to get it done to make the playoffs.

They still have some climbing to do, but Wednesday represented a step in the right direction with a tough 3-2 win against the New York Rangers.

The Rangers built 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the second period as John Tavares struggled with a “hat trick” of penalties, but Tavares & Co. wouldn’t give up. They managed two power-play goals in the third (one by Nikolay Kulemin, the winner by Andrew Ladd) to turn things around for a significant win.

Anders Lee was also a big part of the win, grabbing a goal and an assist. The biggest difference-maker may very well have been Thomas Greiss, who stopped 34 of 36 shots (including all 11 in the third) as the Rangers created a lot of offense.

The Islanders now have 80 standings points, placing them two behind the Bruins for the East’s final wild card spot.

The Rangers’ hold over the first wild card seems quite secure, but they do have to worry ever so slightly about their play at home. With this defeat, they’ve now lost seven straight (0-5-2) at Madison Square Garden.

Video: Rick Nash scores 20th goal in sprawling style

1 Comment

Rick Nash has his critics stemming from his playoff struggles in the past, but for those who support him, moments like these are satisfying.

Why? Because you’d be absurd to discredit how hard he tries when Nash scores goals like he did for the New York Rangers against the New York Islanders on Wednesday.

Nash went all-out for his 20th goal of the season, sprawling after scoring against Thomas Greiss. It’s quite a sight, and Getty Images really was on top of that one.

via Getty Images

The Rangers may need more from him tonight, however, as the Islanders just went up 3-2. Watch the remainder of the contest on NBCSN.