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Breaking down the pick play that helped the Sharks beat the Blues

Apr 13, 2012, 1:51 PM EDT

It wasn’t as blatant as Danny Briere’s missed offside or the blown too-many-men call last night in Phoenix, but unlike the first two officiating lapses, this one undeniably cost the St. Louis Blues last night’s series opener against the Sharks.

We’re of course referring to San Jose’s overtime winner that was predicated by a pick play, intentional or not, that would have made Karl Malone and John Stockton proud.

A description of the goal from

Controlling the puck along the boards, Logan Couture dumped it down low to Ryane Clowe. Couture immediately charged towards the corner, when he collided with the Blues’ Vladimir Sobotka, who was trying to defend Clowe. That gave Clowe plenty of time to set up [Martin] Havlat between the circles for a one-timer that gave the Sharks an exciting victory in the playoff opener.

In the spirit of Abraham Zapruder, here’s the goal in four frames:





Not surprisingly, Couture isn’t admitting any wrongdoing.

“Clowie was yelling for it, I went towards the puck, and Sobotka ran into me so it created a little hole for Marty,” Couture said.

“I’m going towards the puck into the corner, trying to get it if Clowie reverses it. He’s standing there, he runs into me, I run into him, so…”

So the Sharks are up 1-0 in the series.

  1. barkar942 - Apr 13, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    There are so many of the non-call interference pick plays around the league. When the NHL came out of the lockout, they were calling that play right and left. Now, the refs just let this go and about 50% of the clutching and grabbing that goes on constantly. Three or four obvious non-calls both ways in the Ranger- Ottawa game last night for picks and interference plays. It goes on all over the league and should be called more.

  2. sjshark714 - Apr 13, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    If that call HAD been made, it probably would’ve been one of the weaker calls of the playoffs so far. Cooch didn’t have a lot of room to get by, into the corner, so yeah if he HAS to run into Sobotka he’s definitely going to. And they kinda just bumped and then rolled away. If the ref calls that interference, he probably throws the game in the other direction. Don’t blame a missed call. Blame Shattenkirk for not clearing the puck, and blame Halak for not making the stop. If it had been flipped and the Blues had done that, and it got called, and we won on the PP, I would feel bad about it. It was a good non-call, bad play by a defenseman, and a goalie caught off-guard. That said… GO SHARKS!

  3. fruitsareedible - Apr 13, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    I had to watch 80+ minutes of a ‘tight checking’ hockey team (read: rubbing out players 40 feet from the puck after it was dumped in), so if the Blues want to complain about that play, they can start launching boulders from their glasshouse.

  4. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 13, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    I said it last night, you just can’t call minor stuff like this in overtime.

  5. somekat - Apr 13, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    Amazing how talking about missed calls, Brierre off sides is of course brought up, but the blown icing call on the Pens 3rd isn’t. Not only was it just as obvious, but at least the ref close to the Briere play made the bad all. The linesman who SHOULD of made the call for icing had his hand up, the one on the other end of the ice (and at least twice as far away), decided it wasn’t AFTER the puck passed the goal line

    • miketoasty - Apr 13, 2012 at 2:39 PM

      Holy crap, it wasn’t an icing please learn the damn rules or shut the hell up. Three days of reading about it and it’s getting old!

      • somekat - Apr 13, 2012 at 2:58 PM

        Other side of the red line, no flyer had a chance to touch it, no penguin touched it, Bryz did not leave the crease

        The exact definition of an icing

      • miketoasty - Apr 13, 2012 at 3:13 PM

        You obviously didn’t actually see the play. A Pens player went to touch it, got slammed into the boards and was not given a chance to get the puck, right there negates the icing.

        Please go to that link and read the rules for icing.

  6. sippindasyzurp - Apr 13, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    whether it was intentional or not, you can’t just skate into someone who is trying to defend someone when he was at that spot first… Obviously the player is going to say he was trying to get to the corner but we know what was going on… Hand it to Couture he did a good enough job to sell the ref that it shouldn’t be a penalty… Anyway the breaks in the series will even out anyway and this series is long from being over..

  7. mickeyb21 - Apr 13, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    Biggest missed penalty of the night was actually the Sharks’ first goal where Havlat tripped Pietrangelo. Havlet was able to tip the shot and score before Pietrangelo got back in position. This interference/pick is just par for the course for this season. I didn’t expect it to be called in Double OT. I always expect a trip to be called, especially when one team is on the PP.

  8. rebel21das - Apr 13, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    I love the crying about missed calls…….I saw Berglund knock over Marc-Edward Vlasic behind the net, knocking Vlasic right in front of the Sharks net for the before the puck was passed to Berglund for the Blues first goal of the night….whats your point?????

  9. bluesrawesome - Apr 13, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    Ya as a Blues I say it was a good no call. On the other hand its dissapointing that we lost because of Shattys mistake we lost it because we out played SJS in the over times. And what are your gis thoughts on how Thornton bailed on the fight with Backed?

    • sjshark714 - Apr 13, 2012 at 7:17 PM

      he was trying to draw backes into a penalty and then back out. Same thing happened to Clowe earlier this year. It sucks that that trick works, but sometimes it does, he’s just trying to help his team and took a shot at getting a free power play. Also, I know Backes is a lot tougher than Drew Doughty, but I think Jumbo woulda handled him too. He’s too friggin’ big.

  10. rebel21das - Apr 13, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    I just think Thornton didn’t want to leave the game when he was needed the most at that moment…..he has no problems fighting just not a good time to sit in the box for 5 minutes especially when your the captain.

  11. joelwrobinson - Apr 13, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    this discussion is so stupid

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