On Saturday any Bay Area hockey fan wanted to be inside the SAP Center. Two NHL legends were in the building, playing for the adversary of course. Martin Brodeur, Jaromir Jagr, and the New Jersey Devils came to town, and both the Sharks, and their opponent were on fire as of late. No pun intended regarding the Devils, and Sharks can’t be on fire…so…nevermind.
The Sharks came into this tilt with a 3.46 goals per game average, which was second in the league, compared to a 2.18 average for the Devils, good for 25th in the league. Goals, though, would be a rarity in this game. 4:25 into the game, San Jose lit the lamp first. Scott Hannan grabbed his third goal of the year, firing a shot from the blue line assisted by the NHL leading assist man, Joe Thornton. 10:22 later, Tyler Kennedy also grabbed his third tally of the year, squeezing a shot by Martin Brodeur, assisted by Martin Havlat, who has been slumping this season. The first period came to a close, and the Sharks improved to a +20 goal differential against opponents in the first period (32-12).
Those two goals ruined Brodeur’s bid for a shutout. He has never shutout two teams; the Sharks, and the, you guessed it, Edmonton Oilers.
The second period went by quickly, and the third commenced.
The Devils definitely started playing better hockey. After only three shots in the first period, the Devils created more chances for themselves, and finally managed to get a shot past Antti Niemi. Jason Demers took a hooking penalty, and with one second left on the power play, Patrik Elias buried one past the Sharks goaltender on a Steve Bernier screen. Now with 11:50 left in the game, we had a game! Niemi’s best stop of the game came with about 2:30 left in regulation. He slid across the crease, and made a right pad save on Travis Zajac from the slot.
A scary moment occurred when Martin Brodeur appeared to take a shot off the back of the neck and stay still on the ice for several moments. “I wasn’t out. It was more kind of an electric shock through my body. Whatever it’s called, kind of numbness everywhere,” Brodeur said. “It went really quick through my legs, feet and fingers. I wasn’t sure. I never felt that before so that’s why I didn’t move.” Brodeur stayed in the game, and skated off seconds later for the extra attacker.
The Sharks went on to win the game, spoiling New Jersey’s three game win streak, and their chance for the California sweep. The Sharks improved to 5-1-1 in their last seven.
The Sharks aren’t back at it until Wednesday with a game against the Los Angeles Kings. Then a rare day game on Friday will have a Blues, Sharks showdown, followed by a Saturday night on ice against the Anaheim Ducks.
Oh and by the way, Jaromir Jagr promised a hit against Tomas Hertl, but that never happened.