This recap is a bit flawed because I had to battle a bit with ESPNPlayer. After their upgrade from ESPN360 to ESPNPlayer and inclusion of fancy stuff they have had problems, but the last two nights they have been much worse and at times today it was kinda laggy. Very frustrating considering I set the player to a medium quality and I was able to watch MLB.tv at the highest quality earlier tonight without a single lag or hiccup.
I am not worried at all. The Wings were the better team here, but a sloppy first because of the quick turnaround and some terrible refereeing cost them. A lot of things to work on and I believe they will do that and get rest in the days before game 2 on Sunday.
The first started with the Wings in control, but few chances. Then Homer and some Shark got penalized for roughing. Pasha and Z dominated the 4-on-4, but then a couple of bad passes lead to Flip having to slash a stick. When the 4-on-3 turned into a regular PK, Pavelski got a pass and scored. Then, just later, a wrong icing call lead to a bad crew on the ice for the Wings. Lilja got stuck in Thornton's stick (the refs said he held it, IMO it was as much a hook by Thornton as a hold) and got a bit too late to cover Heatley who scored. And then the Wings were to soft on a defensive wall-matchup, lost it and Z stumbled a bit, gave his man a second alone and Setoguchi scored off Z's stick. None of the goals were Jimmah's fault. Just shit goals caused by a period where Detroit stumbled alot, had some bad passes and generally seemed very affected by the quick turnaround. Shortly after Detroit got one back though. Ericsson had a FANTASTIC pass to Cleary who tipped it in. The Wings got two PP chances after that, but the PP was terrible. They had the most pressure the rest of the period and had some chances, but no more goal.
The second started with the Sharks laying back and keeping the Wings to the outside. It worked for nearly five minutes, but then the Mule's hard work by the board ended in him getting a return pass, taking it in and shooting it past Nabokov (who couldn't see shit behind Cleary) and in. The Wings got a PP shortly after, but it got negated on a weird call. It was one of those where the ref can do no wrong. He can let it go and it's okay and he can call it and it's okay. But they still got it wrong! They let it go, then called it after 5 seconds of booing, and whining. But when the Sharks got on the PP at the end of the 4-on-4 Heatley took another penalty. Later the Sharks got another PP, but got nothing. They had some monentum the next two minutes, but Detroit took it back. The Sharks had some chances, but the Wings had more and better ones. But with a little more than a minute left, Franzén and Setoguchi crashed slightly. Franzén got cut badly on 'guchi' shield, while Setoguchi got slightly trip and took a huuuuge dive. PP Sharks. Then on the PP, a "high" stick by Flip hit Setoguchi's wrist. Even Versus called that a dive. The refs are JOKES, fucking jokes. 5-on-3. The 6 remaining seconds of the 2nd was killed of.
The 3rd started with the rest of the Sharks 5-on-3. They scored off course. Maybe Jimmah should have had it, but it was a nice 2 man advantage play. The Wings came right back and Rafa scored off a tic-tac-toe play. The Wings dominated for a while, until the Sharks had a couple of minutes, a PP and then another minute of pressure. The Wings pressured for the rest of the game, including a PP and later with an empty net, but got nothing. Loss.
- Icings, Stuart, defensemen taking some time. Is there something the Sharks fans don't boo?
- The referees had another terrible game. I think the new NHL is just too fast for the referees.
- Scary moment when Cleary and Abbie collided knee on knee and then Cleary got Blake's knee in his face.
- The Shark's mouth opening and closing movement that the Sharks fans do with their arms before PPs might be the most ridiculously bad, bandwagonish, rehearsed thing I have ever seen.
3 things that worked
- Good answer in the second.
- Were the best team for most of the game.
- Good at keeping the Sharks away from the rebounds.
3 things that didn't work
- Came out sloppy and without focus. Lost too many early faceoffs.
- Bad special teams.
- Got kept to the outside too much
Play of the game
The Cleary goal. WHAT A PASS by Ericsson!
Player of the game
Brad Stuart. He was excellent
10 months ago