Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Two can have a comeback

You can’t score if you don’t shoot!

In a game that featured a new low number in shots for the Calgary Flames, the hosts squandered a chance to take a commanding lead in their best of seven series with San Jose.
Despite the Flames anemic shot total of 10, Calgary still looked as though they were about to send the Sharks home down three games to one and take a commanding if somewhat hard to fathom lead in their series.

Calgary had the Sharks in the shallow water for a while on Tuesday night, providing a glimpse of a killer instinct of their own, which threatened to once again push San Jose to the brink of playoff elimination.

But with a pressing San Jose attack in the third, you could almost sense a feeling that the Sharks were not going to be denied a series tying victory on Tuesday. With a quick wave of goals late in the third, the Sharks battled their way back into their Western Conference playoff and could very well have saved themselves from having to provide yet another nerve wracking bout of self analysis.

While Calgary shocked the Sharks with their comeback of two nights ago, they surely could not have been surprised by the speed and ferocity of the Shark attack with their backs to the wall.

Defensive miscues and the anemic offensive push proved to be the costliest of the Flame approach on Tuesday, far too many players were left alone in front of the net of Miikka Kiprusoff, a breakdown which saw the Sharks cycle the puck endlessly at times in the Calgary end, taking the puck from flames in their own end and providing enough traffic in front of the Calgary goal tender that even desperation shots at the net found their way into the net.

Coming off that amazing turn around of Sunday night, the Flames had the hammer in game four; the frequently fragile Sharks were there for the taking. Now that they’ve recovered their game and evened up the series, the momentum has shifted back to their side of the rink.

With but 7 seconds to go in regulation time, the Sharks Joe Thornton made his most important contribution to team scoring this year as he put away the winning goal stunning the Flames and sending their fans home in despair at a game given away.

The Sharks showed some of their teeth on Tuesday, while Calgary missed a golden opportunity to pull those teeth. Now it’s the Flames that need to play with that same passion and intensity.

One thing will be certain shooting drills are on the horizon for Calgary as they prepare for game five, you can’t win if you don’t score. And you can’t score, if you don’t shoot.

Tuesday night proved that theory correct on all counts.

San Jose Mercury News-- Sharks find magic potion
San Jose Mercury News-- Sharks win a thriller 3-2
Calgary Herald-- Pop gun output
Calgary Herald-- Sharks shock Flames
Calgary Sun-- Under Pressure
Calgary Sun-- Sudden impact
. Stats Pack

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