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Saturday, April 26

Sharks game 1

so here's Shark's coach Ron Wilson before the series began:

"I don't think the anxiety level for us will be as high in this series," Wilson said after the morning skate. "Calgary's a tough team to play for anybody. It's a survival series."

The Stars, he added, are "a lot more disciplined, a lot more systematic."

Reflection on those words after a 3-2 overtime win by our little Stars reveals what could be a little fatigue by the Sharkies. I had figured that Calgary would beat up on the Stars to the best degree that they could because that's their game. They try to beat you into submission, and they just spent 7 games doing that to the Sharks.

If the Sharks team was in fact fatigued going into overtime on game freaking one then they're going to have a looong series ahead of them, because the Stars looked young, mean, and hungry out there when they wanted to.

Both teams showcased their defensive prowess throughout the game, and from the net out to the defense they still look like very similar teams, even with Zubov still out. But the Stars just have more forward scoring depth, and it's going to be a difficult fact for the Sharks to overcome. Both teams are capable of scoring the gritty, crash-the-net type of goals that you need in the playoffs. San Jose scored both goals that way. But Dallas has Mike Modano just hanging out there on the third line and the power play, and he's still got a full repertoire of pretty goals loaded up and ready to go. Both he and Morrow continue to show killer instinct with the one-timer and it's going to become one of those elements that defines this series.

Two other quick notes:

1)Ribero is playing great. He gets a bad rap in Canada because he played a different style there that was very Turgeon-like. But since coming to the Stars he's exhibited a gritty, determined, playoff-styled edge to his game that is setting up the kinds of goals that are winning games for this team right now. The work he did on the front end of the first Morrow goal was remarkable, and when a player with his level of skill refuses to be denied there are goals to be scored.

2)Morrow is also playing great. He's the true captain of the team: leading them in physicality, emotion, and offensive production. He scored the hard crash-the-net goal, and the pretty one-timer overtime game winner. When you go back to look at that shot, a its clear that he was ready for it, made huge contact, and didn't hesitate, and Nabakov still almost got to it. If Morrow settles the puck for just one bounce they're still playing. He didn't, he hasn't all year, and his one-timer was flat out deadly. I'll bet Hullie was pleased as punch.

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