Skip to content

NHL Playoffs, Blackhawks vs. Sharks, Game 4: Chicago breaks out the harpoon

May 23, 2010, 11:45 AM EDT

“I’m pleased and happy to repeat the news that we have,
in fact, caught
and killed a large predator that supposedly injured some bathers. But,
as you see, it’s a beautiful day, the beaches are open and people are
having a wonderful time.”

“Back home we got a taxidermy man. He
gonna have a heart attack when he
see what I brung him.”

- “Jaws”

If only
another team had somehow made it through to the Western Conference
finals other than the Chicago Blackhawks. This was finally the year for
the San Jose Sharks, it seemed, as they looked to have slain the playoff
demons that have troubled them the past few years. Even Joe Thornton
had stepped up and was playing a higher level than he ever had before
during his time with the Sharks in the playoffs, giving hope to Sharks
fans that this time….it would be different.

Chicago
Blackhawks vs. San Jose Sharks, Game 4

3:00 p.m. EDT, May 23, 2010
Live on NBC

Blackhawks lead series 3-0

We’ve already seen
this year that coming back from a 0-3 deficit in a playoffs series is
not exactly impossible. Yet it’s happened just three times in the history
of the NHL and it’s doubtful we can expect to see it twice in a year.
That being said, can I doubt the San Jose Sharks are just going to roll
over and give up.

No team in this position, facing
elimintation just four games into a playoffs series, expected this to
happen and certainly not the Sharks. They are a great team, extremely
talented and deep and nearly unstoppable all season long. And despite
almost certainly being eliminated, if not today then in the next four
games, the Sharks can at least look themselves in the mirror and say
they’ve played as near to their best that they can.

The
Sharks, for most of the playoffs, have rolled on offense and put an
incredible amount of shots on net in most of the games. They were able
to eventually overcome inspired goaltending by Craig Anderson in the
first round and then eventually dispatch Jimmy Howard and the Red Wings
in the second round. Perhaps the Wings were as tired as some thought
that might be after such a long and tough season, but the Sharks rolled
easily against Detroit to move on the Conference finals.

Yet here, they face a team that is clearly more talented
than the Sharks are and despite at least putting forth respectable
effort have yet to be able to overcome the edge the Blackhawks have.

That edge, despite the play of Dave Bolland and Dustin
Byfuglien, is the performance of Antti Niemi in net. The Sharks have
played the Blackhawks as hard and as tough as possible in two games and
walked away losers of two one-goal games. Niemi provided the big saves
that the Sharks weren’t getting from Evgeni Nabokov, negating the high
amount of rubber they were flinging at the net.

You
have to respect the heart they finally showed in Game 3, something that
had been missing this series, as they fought back from a disheartening
late goal by the Hawks despite the fact the Sharks had controlled play
in the third period. They buckled down, crashed the net and tied the
game to send it into overtime.

Overtime, in Game 3,
and one shot hammered every nail but one into the coffin that is the
2009-10 season for the San Jose Sharks.

So now,
despite the fact it has already been done once this year, from here on
out it’s more of a matter of pride. One game at a time, win this one and
worry about the next game when it comes. Show that this is not a Sharks
team that goes easily, despite being down three games to none in one
hell of a frustrating series against the Blackhawks.

  1. 2late2matter - May 23, 2010 at 12:05 PM

    Why don’t you diss every team except the one you choose to win Lord Stanley’s cup? A true “Monday morning quarterback” your mental abilities for dissecting games are truly incredible.
    Case in point: Sharks v. Detroit series, game 2, final score Sharks 4, Wings 3.
    Most every other (real) sports columnist made notable comments re. the huge disparity of Shark’s PP and 5-3 situations. And the diving clinic these Shark’s demonstrated that game.
    Now you dispair (your Sharks) that Chicago – an Eastern up-and-coming powerhouse will win their series. Pitiful, Brandon. Sorry for your hurt feelings. Man up and report the facts (like a man) and not provide us your feelings (like….).

  2. Did - May 23, 2010 at 12:46 PM

    So should the referees not call penalties when they see them, just because it’s one team or another? Is it not possible that the Sharks just force the other team to take more penalties? In the end it wasn’t just one game or one series that there was a disparity in the penalties called and I’m sure the NHL would have loved a Detroit – Chicago conference final…

  3. Brandon Worley - May 23, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    I don’t know why you believe the Sharks are “my team” or whatever it is you claim.
    Since the Hawks are winning this series, this means I have to destroy the Sharks at every chance?
    Why don’t you read the next story up, that one is fairly complimentary of the Hawks.
    The Sharks haven’t played badly this series. That is FACT.

  4. Charlie in NSH. - May 23, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    Worley…. a Sharks fan? Bwahahahahahahaha!!!

  5. Gravypan - May 23, 2010 at 1:29 PM

    I grew up rooting for the Blackhawks and Islanders before the North Stars relocated to my hometown. BW’s right.
    Aside from the soft Andrew Ladd goal to open up Game 2, Nabokov hasn’t played that bad. Niemi’s just been better.
    I’m thrilled that the Hawks have a chance to eliminate the Sharks today. But I’m not blind to how probable this series could be 2-1 in favor of San Jose right now.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches