Tag:2011-Red Wings-Sharks
Posted on: May 13, 2011 1:02 am
Edited on: May 13, 2011 1:20 am

Marleau scores key goal, silences biggest critic

Patrick Marleau shoved more than just the puck into the net with eight minutes left in regulation of Game 7 on Thursday night.

The San Jose Sharks forward tossed aside --- at least for one night --- the allusion that he is a playoff no-show, something that former NHL player tuned broadcaster Jeremy Roenick hammered home days earlier and a theory carried on as he failed to score in the series. But Marleau made his one goal --- and only point in the second-round series --- count as his tally off the scramble in front of the Detroit Red Wings’ net turned out to be the game-winner in a 3-2 victory.

“The job isn’t finished yet,” Marleau said in interview on Versus. “I like the way (the series) ended, that’s for sure.”

It wasn’t too pretty the last few days for the Sharks and for Marleau in particular. The Sharks lost three games in a row and were in danger of becoming the fourth team in NHL history to blow a 3-0 series lead. Marleau was called “gutless” --- twice --- by Roenick, a former teammate of Marleau’s in San Jose.

But even the outspoken Roenick could do nothing but applaud Marleau’s performance, although he hinted that his play in the second period was a little off. You can’t argue with that assessment, especially as Marleau failed to clear the puck on multiple occasions late in the second frame.

In the playoffs, however, it’s all about how you finish. Marleau not only scored the decisive goal in the decisive game, he also cleared the puck from his knees as time ticked down. He also drew a slashing penalty on a whack by Niklas Kronwall.

“This is the kind of play you need at the end of games and Patrick Malreau was there to make them tonight,” Roenick said. “Listen, I have no problem telling somebody when they did something bad. I have no problem when they come back at me and show something good. The only reason I'm tough on Patrick Marleau is because I know how good he is. I know what’s he capable of doing. He showed me tonight by getting the big goal, making the big plays when it was needed and that's why the San Jose Sharks won.”

Here's a look at the video via Yahoo! Sports' Puck Daddy blog:

It looked like Marleau proved some of critics wrong last year when he scored on overtime of Game 3 and tacked on the game-winner in Game 5 in the second round against the Wings last year. He was also the rare Shark to play well against the Chicago Blackhawks in the next round, compiling five goals and an assist as San Jose was swept.

Let’s see how long Thursday’s performance stays fresh in the minds of pundits.

-- A.J. Perez
Posted on: May 12, 2011 2:18 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2011 2:29 pm

Clowe, Franzen may crack Game 7 lineup

San Jose Sharks forward Ryane Clowe took part of the team’s very optional skate earlier today, although he was not made available to reporters.

Clowe, the Sharks’ top scorer this postseason, missed Game 6 with what is described as an upper-body injury. He skated for about 20 minutes as the rest of the Sharks’ regulars took the morning off in preparation for tonight’s Game 7 against the Detroit Red Wings .

Sharks coach Todd McLellan said after the skate that Clowe remains a game-time decision.

“He's feeling pretty good,” McLelland told reporters (via CSN Bay Area’s Brodie Brazil).

Meanwhile, Red Wings could have their gritty forward back in the lineup as well. Johan Franzen reportedly maneuvered well in the Wings’ pre-game skate. An ankle injury suffered in the first round forced Franzen out of the lineup for Game 6.

Detroit coach Mike Babcock said Franzen will be a game-time decision as well. Brian Rafalski and Pavel Datsyuk weren’t in the ice for the skate, but both will be in the lineup.

-- A.J. Perez
Posted on: May 11, 2011 1:09 am
Edited on: May 11, 2011 3:11 am

Filppula breaks out of slump, keys Wings win

Before Valtteri Filppula broke out his slump, the Detroit Red Wings forward felt a thud. 

"(Logan Couture) shot it at me and it stung a bit in my hand," Filppula told Ansar Khan of mlive.com. "It was good to get it, and then (Pavel) Datsyuk just made a great play. When you are playing with him, you know there’s always a chance (you’ll get the puck back).”

The sequence that started when Filppula picked off the laxideasical dump in by Couture ended with a one-timer past a fellow Finn, Sharks goalie Antii Niemi. The goal gave the Detroit Red Wings the lead en route to a 3-1 victory at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday night. 

"Bad play by (Couture),” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. “He’d like to have that one back. You know it's a bad play when the player is actually standing still and doesn’t have to move to pick him off.”

It was Filppula first goal of the series --- he netted his first point on Henrik Zetterberg’s equalizer a couple minutes earlier --- and it couldn’t have come at a more crucial time for the Red Wings, who are now even with the Sharks after dropping the first three games of the series. 

“I thought he really stepped it up tonight,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. “He made some good plays. That was a great play by him individually. He’s an important guy for us. He probably feels great about himself, which is important and that will help us be better in Game 7.”

Babcock was looking for a forward to step up in place of the injured Johan Franzen, who was a scratch after it became clear in Game 5 he could barely skate due to the ankle injury suffered in the first round. Veteran Mike Modano got into the lineup in place of Franzen, but Filppula was among the forwards who saw more ice time. He skated 18 minutes, two seconds, nearly three minutes more than Game 5. 

The Red Wings outshot the Sharks, 45-25, although Detroit was unable to solve Niemi until Filppula rushed through center ice and into San Jose’s zone. He found an open Niklas Kronwall, who fired a slap shot that Zetterberg deflected over Niemi’s glove. 
-- A.J. Perez 
Posted on: May 11, 2011 12:39 am
Edited on: May 11, 2011 11:00 am

Sharks need to halt their generous ways

In close proximity to the Big Three, this Detroit Red Wings comeback doesn’t come close to Ford, GM and Chrysler all returning to profitability at the same time. 

That’s because the San Jose Sharks have been more generous than any stimulus package the latter two car companies received from the governments of the U.S. and Canada. The Red Wings almost couldn’t help themselves but force a decisive Game 7. 

Facing a soft defense that retreated toward its own net in a misplaced attempt to hold onto the lead, Henrik Zetterberg deflected in a blast from a wide-open Niklas Kronwall to tie the game. Two minutes later Sharks rookie forward Logan Couture passed the puck directly to Valtteri Filppula, who finished the play be burying a cross-ice pass from Pavel Datsyuk for the game-winner. Add in an empty-net goal by Darren Helm and the Red Wings seized a 3-1 victory at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday night. 

Now, the Red Wings stand to become the fourth team in NHL history to advance despite dropping the first three games with a Game 7 victory in San Jose on Thursday. The Wings are already the eighth team to even a series after starting 0-3 -- and the third over the last two postseasons as they join the Philadelphia Flyers (won Game 7 to advance over Boston) and this season’s Chicago Blackhawks (lost Game 7 to Vancouver). 

“We shouldn’t have been down 0-3,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We were playing pretty well. We had a chance to win them all. That’s how tight a series this has been. . . . You would have thought that it’d a long series that would go six games. It’s going to seven games. It’s good for hockey.”

Maybe outside the Bay Area. The Sharks, tagged as perennial chokers, didn’t help their cause and the term “sanjoseitis” could find its way to into the next Scrabble dictionary. (Props to former NHLer Aarron Ward for coming up with that.) 

Silicon Valley survived the dotcom bubble of a decade ago, but will the Sharks and their fanbase get over a loss at HP Pavilion on Thursday? Sharks coach Todd McLellan said he’ll do his best not to let them down. 

“I think anyone who has been in our building understands the noise level and the rabid fans we have,” he said. “The support we get in San Jose is remarkable. We have a Game 7 and we need to make sure they leave the rink happy. That’s our job."

The Sharks really had no business even being in the hunt until the closing moments of Game 6. Antii Niemi played his best game of the series -- maybe the best playoff game since he helped the Blackhawks to the title a year ago -- as he turned away the 32 shots through the first two periods. He finished with 42 saves.

“We were awfully lucky to even be in the game in the third period,” McLellan said. “I’m not too concerned about (blowing the lead).”

McLellan expects his players to be ready for Game 7, even if they sleepwalked through two periods on Tuesday.

Sharks in Game 7s
  • April 30, 1994 - def. Detroit, 3-2
  • May 14, 1994 - lost to Toronto, 4-2
  • May 19, 1995 - def. Calgary, 5-4
  • April 25, 2000 - def. St. Louis, 3-1
  • May 15, 2002 - lost to Colorado, 1-0
  • April 22, 2008- def. Calgary, 5-3 *

    * - home game for San Jose

“As far as confidence goes, each player has a toolkit, a skillset (and) a commitment level he has to bring to the rink,” San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. 

Although it’s easy to join Jeremy Roenick, maybe Patrick Marleau misplaced his hammer, level and crescent wrench at some point between the first and second rounds. He again went without a point in Game 6 and remains scoreless in series, but it was Couture --- not Marleau --- who coughed up the turnover that led to Tuesday’s game-winner. In Couture’s defense, he did score the game’s first goal early in the third period. 

“I don’t see (Marleau) getting nervous or anything like that,” McLellan said. “Do we need him to get involved? We need him to play effectively, shift in and shift out. I think there is more there. I know he believes there is more there. We have to find a way to get it out of him.”

The Sharks may not have momentum, but they do have some favorable history on their side. The Sharks have won four of the six Game 7s they’ve been involved in, including 1994 when the Sharks stunned the Red Wings with a goal by Jamie Baker after a failed clear by Detroit goalie Chris Osgood. 

Seventeen years later, Osgood is still with Red Wings -- although out of the lineup after hernia surgery -- but he can tell you just one wrong move can cost you a series at this point. One team’s goat is the other team’s hero, and McLellan said his roster is full of competitors who can be the next Baker. 

“A lot of our players will have the stage in Game 7,” McLellan said. “We’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way and been taught a lot of lessons along the way. The stage will be thiers.”

-- A.J. Perez

Posted on: May 10, 2011 1:07 pm
Edited on: May 10, 2011 2:41 pm

Franzen, Clowe ruled out for tonight's Game 6

Both the San Jose Sharks and Detroit Red Wings will be without their top grinders for tonight’s Game 6. 

San Jose’s Ryane Clowe and Detroit’s Johan Franzen have both been ruled out. Clowe didn’t make the trip to Detroit due an upper-body injury (or flu-like symptoms, according to one report). Franzen, who has been hobbled by an ankle injury for weeks, will sit in place of Mike Modano

Franzen missed a good portion of the second period and all of the third in Game 5, so his departure wasn’t unexpected. But Clowe, the Sharks’ top scorer this postseason with 13 points (four goals and nine assists), was an unforeseen blow for San Jose, who held a 3-0 series lead before Detroit’s consecutive victories extended the series. 

“It puts a little more pressure on other players,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. “We’re taking the approach that the players who are dressed and involved in the game are more important than the ones that aren’t. You make sure you show up and you compete. You fill the hole. He’s obviously an important guy to our hockey club.”

CSN Bay Area and CBSSports.com contributor Ray Ratto reports that Clowe is suffering from flu-like symptoms. McLellan described it as an upper-body injury, which could fit such a diagnosis.

McLellan said Clowe’s injury wasn’t the result of this crushing hit he absorbed in the second period of Game 5:

“It had nothing to do with the hit (Niklas) Kronwall laid on him,” McLellan said. “He finished the game. With this injury, I think he’ll be able to play as we move forward.”

Modano isn’t the annoying presence that Franzen is in front of the net, but he does have experience. This is his 20th season in the NHL and he’s been eager to re-enter the lineup after playing in Game 2 of the first-round series against the Phoenix Coyotes

“The game in Phoenix went pretty well, so you just kind of wait and see,” Modano said (via the team’s website). “You do your part to kind of be prepared the best you can, but until you get out there tonight and get those first couple shifts in, hopefully you can relax after that.”

Modano is expected to play on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Holmstrom. Since Modano is a center, expect him to take the majority (if not all the draws) for Datsyuk, whose injured hand kept him out of the faceoff circle entirely in Game 5. 

-- A.J. Perez
Posted on: May 9, 2011 3:20 pm
Edited on: May 9, 2011 4:04 pm

Preds or Wings? Who has best shot at a Game 7?

The Nashville Predators get the first crack tonight. The Detroit Red Wings follow on Tuesday.

But which team is more likely to extend their second-round series to seven games?

My vote would be for the Predators, although I believe it’s possible both could go the distance. The Vancouver Canucks have already allowed the Chicago Blackhawks back from a 0-3 deficit to force a Game 7 in the first round and the Preds are the a little healthier than the Red Wings, who face the San Jose Sharks in their Game 6 on Tuesday. 

"We want to make them think as much as we can," ,” Predators defenseman Shane O’Brien, who spent two seasons with the Canucks, told The Vancouver Sun. "They obviously have had a little bit of trouble closing series out for whatever reason.

"We are kind of taking the attitude we have nothing to lose. No one probably thinks we're going to come back other than the guys in this room. We believe. We have come back all year. You hear Trotzie use the word resilient, we have been resilient all year. There are a lot of good guys in here and we want to keep playing. We have nothing to lose and will have our fans behind us tonight. We'll give it our best shot and hopefully we can force a Game 7."

The Preds and Wings are each on home ice, although that hasn’t always been advantage for Nashville. The Predators enter tonight’s contest 2-3 at home in the playoffs, including losses in Games 3-4 in this series. Nashville has allowed an average of 3.6 goals per game at Bridgestone Arena. 

“We haven’t played great hockey at home so far this series,” Preds forward Jerred Smithson said. “Tonight would be a good night to get things started.” 

The Canucks will have the services of forward Chris Higgins, who took a shot off his foot in the first period of Game 5. He left Monday’s skate early, but told reporters afterward he expected to play. 

That’s good news for the Canucks since Higgins has one more goal (two) than both the Sedin twins in this series. Daniel Sedin is looking for his first marker and Henrik has scored just once through the first five games. Each has two assists. 

Meanwhile, the Red Wings have bigger injury issues to deal with as they look to become the fourth team in NHL history to battle back from an 0-3 deficit. Johan Franzen (ankle) appears to be question mark. But, as it often does this time of year, will Detroit's goalending backstop another victory? Jimmy Howard made 39 saves in Game 5, including several key stops late as the Wings rallied to win 4-3. 

It could take another effort like that if the Wings want to force the series back to the Shark Tank. 

-- A.J. Perez
Posted on: May 9, 2011 3:20 pm
Edited on: May 9, 2011 3:21 pm
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Posted on: May 9, 2011 2:14 am
Edited on: May 9, 2011 4:52 pm

Ailing Datsyuk leads Wings; Franzen forced out

Pavel Datsyuk’s sore wrist prevented him from taking faceoffs in Game 5, but the Red Wings center still had the passing touch. 

Datsyuk had three assist as the Red Wings extended the second-round series again, this time with a 4-3 comeback victory over San Jose Sharks on Sunday night. 

His final assist came after he swiped the puck from Sharks forward Patrick Marleau, danced around the ice for a bit then hit an open Nicklas Lidstrom, whose blast was deflected in by Tomas Holmstrom for the game-winner. 

“Pav was really good,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said after the game. “I don’t think he was great early, but he was outstanding in the third period. He really dug in and competed.

"It’s interesting. As you watch the playoffs, there are lots of nice players in the regular season and they have good skill level and all that. But if you don’t have a drive train and if you don’t compete at the highest level, you aren’t going to compete this time of year.”

One of the Babcock’s usual playoff stalwarts, Johan Franzen, wasn’t able to grind it out the entire game. 

An ankle injury suffered in Game 2 of the first-round series against the Phoenix Coyotes again made Franzen, known as  “the Mule,” all but immobile on the ice, although he did move pretty quickly when he thought Sharks captain Joe Thornton targeted his injury in the first period. Franzen got two minutes for slashing, while Thornton went off for unsportsmanlike conduct after he embellished the swipe. 

Here's a look at the incident:

And here's a more humorous look at Thornton's dive you "Star Wars" fans will appreciate. 

“It’s been hard for the Mule,” Babcock said. “The Mule is a star at playoff time. Playing on one leg has been hard for him. “

Franzen’s last shift came midway through the second period and Babcock was forced to shuffle his lines even more. He had already scratched Jiri Hudler in favor of the quicker Drew Miller before the game. 

Babcock said it’s up to Franzen whether he'll play in Tuesday’s Game 6.

“I don’t know what will happen there,” Babcock said. “He’ll just tell me if he’s going or not. If he can go, we’re going with him.”

If he can’t, we might see veteran Mike Modano. Modano has played in only one game in these playoffs, Game 4 in the first round, and missed half of the regular season after wrist surgery. 

-- A.J. Perez


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com