Sunday, April 11, 2004

Hats Off to Marleau.

San Jose clothing stores are going to be putting in a major re order Monday morning, hats, hats and more hats. There is a shortage of hats in the Bay area, after Patrick Marleau filled the St. Louis Blue net three times Saturday afternoon. Marleau paced his Sharks team mates to a fast start scoring in all three periods to put away the Blues 3-1, giving the Sharks a 2-0 lead in the Western Quarterfinal.

St. Louis created their own misery on Saturday taking penalty after penalty throughout the first two periods. The two period total of eleven minor penalties portrayed a terrible job of discipline for a team that needed a goal, let alone a win in the worst possible way. Blues captain, Chris Pronger who really should have been more of a leader today, spent 8 of the first 14 minutes of the first period in the penalty box, setting the tone for the rest of his team mates. Chris Osgood did not have a particularly good night, giving up the three goals on 16 shots before giving way to back up Rheinhard Divis, who faced 8 more shots and managed to close the door but far too late. There are concerns about Osgood in the St. Louis dressing room as he appeared to twist his knee early in the game and never looked right from that point on.

St. Louis became completely unglued as the second period continued; trying to goad the Sharks into fights in a final half of the game that featured an awful lot of chippy play. The constant attention to cheap shots and taking penalties made life rather easy for the Sharks goaltender Evgeni Naboakov, he faced 26 shots, surrendering his first goal in 127 minutes with only 2 minutes to go in the third period. Doug Weight converted a short handed opportunity into a goal ruining Nabakov’s second straight shut out bid.

The Blues have a night to recover their composure, check out the injuries and revisit the game plan. San Jose heads into St. Louis on Monday with a chance to take a strangle hold on the series, if St. Louis use the same strategy as Saturday’s game, it won’t take much for San Jose to win game number three.

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