Sharks live to play another game.

And now we go to game 6.

Well, if it happens, losing in six is a lot less embarassing than losing in four; I’m sure there’s a contingent that’ll focus on the problems, because that’s what they do, and ignor ethe positives, because it’s a lot more fun to whine (for them).

We had a pair of those behind us for game 5, and oh, man. It ogt painful after a while, made me miss old Rat-basher’s falsetto. They actually were there to celebrate the Sharks loss, as far as we could tell: not pro-Dallas, but anti-San jose. As the Sharks gave up 2 in the 2nd and went down 2-0, boy, did the invective (and fracks) fly. and more amusingly, as the Sharks rallied and came back, they got even more pissed. They reminded me mostly of those weird Nascar nuts that go to the races hoping for nasty crashes.

Even funkier, as soon as Pavelski scored the OT winner, we got one last round of cussing, and they stood up and literally ran for the exits. The entire arena exploded in noise and cheering, and they were pissed, and leaving like they were afraid someone might hit them. Well, a good chunk of the section around them was probably considering it, actually.

Their primary whipping boy, Christian “Errorhoff”, who, from their comments, played such a rotten game that on at least ten shifts they declared that it was his last shift of the game and Wilson was going to bench him. (hint: Errhoff played 18 minutes and was on the ice for the last minute of the 3rd period…)

God, if I ever start sounding like that, someone shoot me.

Speaking of whining, there’s always Daryl Reaugh:

To me this is known as kinetic motion – not kicking motion.

I mean my god, I guess according to the league’s definition we all make one kicking motion after another as mere pedestrians.

Maybe its time for the NHL to add intent to the definition — as in, “He intended to kick the puck.” And then rely on their intelligent arbiters and video reviewers to differentiate. I agree, that’s a stretch.

But truth be told, that call didn’t sink the Stars in Game 5. Egregious defensive zone errors coupled with sniper -accurate capitalization cost the Stars Game 5. Errors that better be cleaned up prior to Game 6 or else we’ll be prepping for a Game 7.

who is an announcer I really like listening to, but man…

fortunately, on the other side, there’s Jamie Baker. Maybe Daryl ought to read Jamie’s blog, so he can figure out what’s going on here…

San Jose Sharks -> Morrow’s Disallowed Goals:

Brendan Morrow and everyone affiliated with or cheering for the Dallas Stars is going to say they got robbed of a goal tonight on Morrow’s first disallowed goal. I am going to give a technical analysis of why the goal was disallowed and why it was the correct call. But first lets clear up a few other things.

I love hearing all of the whining out of Dallas. Morrow’s quotes show a level of anger and frustration that only benefits the sharks. If he’s pissed at the reffing, he’s not focussing on winning the game. I’ll take that, Brendan.

So, what did I see in game 5?

It’s my belief that the big difference between the Sharks and the Stars in this series is the Calgary Flames. The Stars got a few days rest; the Sharks played their butt off to beat the Flames and immediately turned around and started a series with the Stars.

Sunday will be the Sharks 13th game in the playoffs, in only 25 days. The Stars got one extra day off between series. Physiology kicks in here: it takes time to flush the lactic acid from the legs and restock the glyocgen. When you’re pushing your body as hard as these teams are, an extra day of rest is huge.

And that’s what I saw in the first couple of games: Sharks fading in the third, a sign of exhaustion and dead legs. the Stars simply had a little more in the tank, enough to turn the tide. And in game 4 and 5? You start seeing the tired legs evening out. In game 5, in fact, the Stars showed that third period fade; any advantage they had in the start of the series is gone — and without that advantage, now things have turned back towards the Sharks a bit.

the Sharks in game 5 played a canny, possession-centric game. the Stars made a big push in the 2nd, but even so, the sharks hit a post and came close a number of times. Two goals got called back (I appreciate Jamie’s analysis of the callback; I tend to agree with Reaugh about the rule — but I go in the opposite direction, and I’d make any puck that hits the skate or boot a non-goal and take the intent or motion analysis out of the game. That game could well have been 4-0 stars, but it could also have been 2-1 sharks after 2 just as easily.

And in the third, you saw the Stars fade, their legs show that tired look. Tongues hanging a bit, shifts get shorter. they’re hitting that glycogen wall, too, and the Sharks seemed able to dig deeper late and rally back.

The series is THAT close. Every game turns on two or three key plays. In the first three, those plays went to the Stars. In the last two, the Sharks. Now, the Stars have gone from “we just need to close out this series” to “if we don’t win game 6, it’s back to San Jose for a crapshoot”. and suddenly, they’ve lost two in a row, and have “bad reffing” in their heads. These are not good things for a team trying to close out a series.

Having said that — odds still favor the Stars, and will for the rest of the series. San Jose is definitely back in it; but you can’t consider them a favorite. Or even money, even.

But heck, at this point, I think they answered the critics. Not that the critics will listen…. they’re too busy looking for reasons to criticize. It’s what they do.

The folks looking to rip the Sharks or fire wilson or blame Errorhoff and Marleau won’t want to admit it, but this is a coin-flip series. Every game has basically been a coin-flip. and it doesn’t matter if the Sharks went out in game 4 or game 7, it was still a bunch of coin flips. And yes, you can lose 4 straight coinflips and not have it your fault…

Onward to Dallas, where I expect Dallas to have some ghosts hanging around. It’s going to come down to how well they handle the ghosts. I think we know what San Jose is going to bring, nad it’s going to be whether Dallas can rise above that or not. One could say that’s all about character and a coin flip…