On the Sharks and stupid penalties

Last post I wrote about how Dany Heatley needs to stop taking stupid penalties, especially near the end of games.

Well, it turns out that he’s not the only Shark who can take stupid penalties and needs to stop.

On Thursday evening the Sharks played the Los Angeles Kings in what would ultimately be a losing effort after again blowing a lead.

The Sharks scored first, but not much later Ian White took a penalty which the Sharks were unable to kill. White’s penalty wasn’t necessarily stupid, but it was ill-timed.

Ryan Clowe then took two consecutive penalties, but luckily the Sharks were able to kill them. That didn’t stop the Kings from scoring during five on five play though and taking a 2-1 lead into the third.

In the third, with time running down, Patrick Marleau scored to tie the game with less than five minutes remaining in the game. Not long after, Joe Thornton took a very stupid penalty. Some might claim that the call was questionable, that Thornton just knocked a King to the ice, but did not trip him. That’s not what it looked like to me. In fact it looked like the Sharks captain and leading point scorer did in fact sweep the leg and deserved the penalty.

The Kings scored with about one minute forty second remaining and it looked all but over for the Sharks. However, Patrick Marleau would have something to say about that as he scored AGAIN to tie the game twice in the span of less than five minutes and with 3.4 seconds remaining in the third to send the game to overtime and eventually to the shootout where they would lose.

Kudos to Marleau for once again being a hero and giving the Sharks and opportunity to win. It’s a shame they didn’t. And big jeers to Clowe and Thornton (especially Thornton) for taking bad penalties and giving whatever momentum the Sharks had earned right back to the Kings. Mistakes happen (I mentioned that while blasting Heatley for his boneheaded penalties) but at this point in the season and beyond they need to not happen. Sure, Marelau did his best “Goonies never say die” impression and ultimately negated the effects of Thornton’s penalty, but if Thornton hadn’t taken that penalty Marleau still may have scored and the Sharks may have won the game in regulation rather than losing in a shootout. That’s a big maybe to be sure, but still a possibility, but regardless of whether or not Marleau still would have scored if Thornton hadn’t made that idiotic trip to the box, Joe and the Sharks in general have to play smarter.

I’m all for the dirty little play here and there (especially when you don’t get caught) but there is a time and place for that during the game. In the offensive zone with less than five minutes to go in the game and right after the team has tied the game is not that time nor that place. I hope the boys in teal can remember that come playoff time.

Go Sharks!


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