I have to apologize for the lack of content in this entry, but I was traveling for the holidays and only caught the 1st period and last ten minutes of the 3rd.
From what I saw, I was impressed with how the Sharks came out with a very aggressive forecheck that set the tone early. I also enjoyed the way McLellan continuously shuffled his forward lines to get away from any match-ups from Chicago.
“What I was happy about,” McLellan said in the post-game media scrum, “is the players accepted it and they were responding to it. A lot of times, they like to play in their comfort zone they like to play with their normal line-mates and all of a sudden it changes right before the game, they didn’t know it was coming and they responded really well.”
Credit McLellan if this game-plan caused enough confusion amongst the Blackhawks’ defenders to keep turning the puck over, which was the case in the Sharks’ first three goals.
Up 3-2 in the third period, it looked like the Sharks sat a bit on their heels as the Blackhawks pressured. The fortunate delay-of-game penalty taken by the Blackhawks’ Jake Dowell gave Patrick Marleau the opportunity to put the game away when he sniped Marty Turco’s short-side giving the Sharks a two-goal cushion.
Anttii Niemi played his best game as a Shark stopping 30 of the 32 shots faced and maybe beating his former team will give him the boost to turn his season around.
Up next, the Sharks have road games against the Canucks and Oilers in back-to-back nights on Friday and Saturday night, respectively.
About the Author
Written by Alex Wasserstrom
Native Californian, former minor league pro, and current men's league superstar, Alex Wasserstrom is ProSportsBlogging.com's San Jose Sharks correspondent. Wanna talk puck? Shoot him an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or follow him on Twitter (@Awassers).