(Cross-posted at my blog)
Random observations from the Shark Tank last night:
On the ice:
-Chicken or the egg question: Is Patrick Marleau playing better because he didn't get traded or did he not get traded because Doug Wilson saw his game trending up? I'm guessing the former, though Marleau's looked like he's been shot out of a cannon for the past few games. If he keeps this up, things might actually be ok.
-While the power play looked much better since the arrival of Brian Campbell, the 5-on-3 was still frustratingly static. Guys, if the passing and shooting lanes are clogged up, that's why you have to rotate rather than stand still.
-I don't care how inconsistent Matt Carle's been lately, I'd rather have him out there than Kyle McLaren pretending to be a pylon. Someone give McLaren a bionic knee before he gets back on the ice, please.
-I didn't see an official stat on this, but when did Christian Ehrhoff become Lord of the Blocked Shot?
-While this game had its sloppy moments, I think the one thing that Sharks fans really have to recognize is that 1) they recovered from their sloppy moments 2) they stayed physical the whole game 3) they got contributions from every line. Lots of positives today, but I hope the team doesn't start to believe their own press clippings -- bad stuff happens when they do that.
Off the ice:
-Kudos to the many Habs fans in attendance who were, for the most part, cheering without being terribly obnoxious (no fist fights on the concourse). It created a rowdy atmosphere that, at least from where I sat, made it a lot more fun without getting nasty. I don't know if the players fed off of this, but it was a pretty chippy game for two teams that never see each other.
-The lone exception to this that I saw was one female fan in the section next to me was sitting by herself, though she was drinking for two. Think Girls Gone Wild-meets-puck bunny in a red t-shirt -- there's nothing like running up the section's stairway with a shot in either hand. Plenty of bad post-goal white girl dance moves, too. For the entire third period, she was waving her arms and screaming nonsense at the ice, both before and after the usher asked her to calm down. She did, however, STFU after the Brian Campbell goal.
-The insane woman who sits behind me was on fire last night as she was egged on by the enthusiastic kid next to her (at least she kept edited her swearing for him). She was so bad that the guy next to me leaned over and said, "I really want to punch her in the face."
-The really, really, really long ovation for Campbell after his ridiculous spin-o-rama goal was 17,000 people saying, "Please, for the love of Jebus, sign here! We'll give you whatever you want!" On the jumbotron, Campbell looked pretty embarressed from the love-in and offered a few sheepish waves, but you could tell that he appreciated it. I hope Doug Wilson met him in the tunnel with a contract and a pen.