When the big play needs to be made you call on no ordinary Joe. Joe Sakic once again rose to the occasion for the second straight game as the Avalanche captain single handedly staved off elimination at the hands of the San Jose Sharks. Sakic brought the Avalanche back to life with a tying goal midway through the third and sent them back to Denver for game six with an overtime winning marker at 1:54.
The Overtime winner was one of those goals of lore, a blind pass from Peter Forsberg landed right on Sakic’s stick, its next destination would be behind the back of Evgani Nabakov. Colorado played with a determination today that they hadn’t shown before, taking the game to the Sharks who seemed unable to react to the Avalanche onslaught. With a chance to close out the series on home ice, the Sharks instead turned over the puck, looked tentative on the ice and allowed the Avs to claw their way back into this series.
Colorado had been written off earlier in the series as a team that had no chemistry, nor a killer instinct. Allowing the sharks to dictate the play in the first three games, most expected San Jose to finish them off in their own home in game five. But Colorado led by Sakic has begun to show the power of the multi million, multi talented squad put together with the intention of challenging for the Stanley Cup.
San Jose which hadn’t lost a playoff game at home in six this season, seemed to suffer bouts of doubt, their confidence giving way to occasional panic as the Avs poured on the offence to pull within one win of the Sharks. Ron Wilson’s team is now faced with the unenviable task of having to return to the Pepsi Centre and the rabid Avalanche fans. They may have fallen off the bandwagon after game four, but with this remarkable come back they’ll be at full throttle on Monday night.
Winning at home would have been nice, but for the Sharks winning anywhere should be the goal. Letting Colorado take this series to a game seven is just flirting with disaster, a high octane offense such as the Avalanche will take any opportunity given to them. Should the Sharks make the mistake of giving them many more this remarkable run they’ve been on will come to an unhappy end. Joe Sakic is standing by, hero of game four, hero of game five, another notch just waiting to be carved for hero of game six!