The San Jose Sharks snuck out of Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals with a double OT thiller in St. Louis, winning 3-2 on a Havlat slapshot Thursday night.
While the Sharks came away the the W, they were outplayed for the most part, and especially in the first period as well as the first OT frame.
Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock is no stranger to the Sharks, and was quite clear that his team had to work harder in Game 2. The Sharks had difficulty handling the Blues forecheck and got outshot 42-34, as well as actually LOSING the faceoff battle.
Martin Havlat had a wonderful game, and it’s clear he’s the hot hand right now. With our season long finishing issues and woeful shooting percentage, he needs to stay healthy and in the lineup for the Sharks to enjoy a deep run.
Antti Niemi had a strong game, turning in 40 saves for the Game 1 win. The Sharks must get things turned around quickly, because relying on Nemo to save the day as he did in Game 1 is not a favorable position.
Still though, as they did a year ago they got the job done, however ugly it was. And got it done against a team that had lost at home only six times in regulation this year.
It’s still going to be one hell of a series against a great opponent, but so long as the defense and goaltending holds up, the Sharks have the experience and scoring ability to get the job done in the Quarterfinals.
In honor of the 2000 playoff team, I am kicking it old school today at work a day after the Sharkies huge win in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals.
My Al Iafrate Practice Jersey
Can’t wait for Game 2.