SHARKS 5, PENGUINS 0
The Trib’s Terrific Trio:
1 – D DAN BOYLE, SHARKS
Key stats: 1 goal, 2 points, plus-3 rating, 8 attempted shots, 3 blocked shots
Rossi: I’ve been contending for years that he’s one of the most impressive players in the NHL that seemingly fails to impress casual fans.
1 – G EVGENI NABOKOV, SHARKS
Key stats: 27 saves
Rossi: I asked PENGUINS D SERGEI GONCHAR before this game which player should be Russia’s goalie at the Olympics. “I think whoever is playing the best will be the guy,” he said. “But Nabokov has a history in these things, and when he’s at his best he’s one of the best in the world.” Nabokov is a guy PENGUINS C SIDNEY CROSBY – possibly Canada’s captain – probably would least like to see in the net for Russia.
1 – LW DANY HEATLEY, SHARKS
Key stats: 1 goal, 8 attempted shots
Rossi: I’m sorry, but for all his baggage from those final months in Ottawa, the Heatley I spoke with before the game appeared relaxed and quite comfortable in San Jose – looser than I can ever remember during my trips to Ottawa while he was a Senator. He said this lack of pressure theory is nonsense, though. “I mean, there isn’t any place where there is more pressure to win the Cup than here,” he said. This is true. A local Sharks writer described the regular-season as “a six-month exhibition to the only games that matter for this organization.” It’s too early to tell, and I’d dare not base anything off what they did against that injury-sacked Pens lineup, but these Sharks should be the favorite this year in the West. (Weren’t they last year and the year before, though?)
SAY IT, SIR
“Play harder. Play smarter.”
–Penguins LW MATT COOKE, on how his club can avoid falling into a funk amid all these injuries
NOTE TO READERS
The Penguins are traveling today, and I’m back in San Jose trying to monitor for updates on D KRIS LETANG, who did not return for the final 50 minutes on Saturday night after falling hard on his right shoulder near the Sharks’ goal. Letang was to be re-evaluated by doctors today, and there may be work when the club arrives at Boston this afternoon.
Please check the Trib site for details, as I will post them here: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/
–BY ROB ROSSI (11/7/2009, in San Jose, Calif.)
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