The offense got off to a fast start and carried the momentum throughout the game, when the team wasn't busy killing a penalty or two. Though the offense was never the unit to be concerned with for this team, they are supposed to play well. How about that defense, or perhaps a certain goalie? One Antti Niemi, perhaps?
Niemi played mostly well, and did a lot to dispel any doubts about the Sharks goalie situation in 2010. It's not drawn, quartered and done away with at this point (ironic that I say that, as Versus just made me watch a doe get blasted through the heart and both lungs, apparently. What happened to postgame?) but it's definitely a good sign for the San Jose faithful.
Defensively, the team was mostly solid on all levels, working hard to give Niemi the backup he needed. Niemi, to his credit, got in there during a few scrambles and prevented the Blue Jackets from getting rebounds, one of his weaknesses last season. Just when some things appeared to be going awry in front of the goal, Niemi found a way to get his stick in there and complete some bizarre pass to someone else on the team.
It was a 3-2 win that feels more like it was 3-0, with the first two goals coming early and apparently due to initial over-committing mental lapses by the Sharks as a whole. Logan Couture came up big in the third with the game-winning goal on the power play after Jamie McGinn fell victim to boarding at the hands of Mike Commodore.
- Tripping and diving penalties called at the same time, there's something almost face-palm-ingly poetic about such a thing, no?
- Torrey Mitchell and Joe Thornton provided the other two goals for San Jose, both in the first period.
- Niemi is scary out there if you have anything invested in the game. He's not exactly shaky, but he's ... different. Much different.
- Jason Demers deserves some mention for his defensive play. He appears to be learning fast, and just when he needs to.