May 18, 2011
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Patrick Marleau showed some courage.
The Sharks' 31-year-old forward is a lot of things, to a lot of people.
One thing he is not, is a fighter. His last fight was nearly four years ago against Nick Boynton. Hes had just six in his career.
So when Marleau dropped the gloves with Vancouver tough guy Kevin Bieksa to try and pump some energy into the lifeless Sharks during a dominant second period by the Canucks, he was sacrificing himself.
Just a heat of the moment kind of thing that happens in hockey, Marleau said of his fight during a humiliating 7-3 loss in Game 2.
No reason. We just exchanged shots and I decided to drop the gloves. At that point, we were still trying to get our game going. No real big reason.
Marleau didnt feel the fight was a mismatch (it was), but added, I havent fought too many times. Im the one who dropped my gloves. Its my decision, too.
The fight angered Ben Eager, who promptly slammed Daniel Sedin into the boards for a boarding penalty that carried over into the final period. It turned a close game into a wreck.
I don't know what started it, Bieksa said. Just two guys battling. Turned out to be a good battle. He did a good job. After that, he skated to the box. It was fine.
Eager called Bieksa a phony, after the game.
Obviously, I'm not going to say too much about that, Bieksa said. Right now my focus is on winning a series. If they want to worry about that kind of stuff, that's fine, that's to our advantage.
Our power-play did a great job tonight of making them pay for some of their penalties. Our focus is on winning a series. That's the important thing.
As for Eagers hit on Sedin, the big Swede more or less shook it off.
I turned my back, Sedin said. I didn't realize he was coming that hard. But it's going to happen in a game. I'm fine. So that's all that matters.
Only a minor penalty was assessed. Sedin didnt think Eager deserved a five-minute major.
Still, Eager could be facing a fine or suspension for Game 3 on Friday in San Jose. Why?
Because Colin Campbell, the leagues Lord of Discipline, and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman were in attendance.
"Im sure I will get a phone call, Eager said. I always do.
Coming back: Logan Couture says the Sharks arent dead in the water at 0-2.
"I dont feel panic, he said. Even when Detroit came back and tied it at three, there was never any panic. Ive said it all along, were a confident team. Our confidence took a little hit tonight.
But, weve got a day tomorrow to look over what went wrong. Im sure theres a lot to look over. We got to be ready for the next game. Game 3 is always pivotal. Were going to have to step up and outplay those guys. Theyre a great team.
Loose pucks: Eager had a strong opening period, as Sharks coach Todd McLellan moved him around. By the second period, McLellan had replaced Kyle Wellwood on the third line with Torrey Mitchell and Joe Pavelski. Pavelski's line came in to the game without a point in its previous two games. ... Bruising defenseman Douglas Murray had five hits in the first period. ... The Sharks were outshot 14-9 in the second period.
Tim Panaccio is the NHL Insider for CSNPhilly.com E-mail him at email@example.com