Season over -- Sharks lose Game 5 in double OT


Season over -- Sharks lose Game 5 in double OT

May 24, 2011


VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- A shot to the glass. A deflection off a stanchion. And a stunning goal that ended the San Jose Sharks' dream.


You look at this team and the talent we have and to not win it, its tough, Logan Couture said after the Canucks' 3-2 double-overtime victory Tuesday at Rogers Arena that gave them the Western Conference title in five games.

Alexander Edlers attempted dump-in went off the stanchion along the side glass out to the blue line where Kevin Bieksa shot a puck everyone else thought had gone behind the net.

I think I was the only one in the arena who knew where the puck was, Bieksa said.

Bieksas shot squeezed inside the post at 10:18, ending what was an emotionally-draining performance by the Sharks, who played well enough to win.

Patty Marleau tried to hit it Bieksas shot out of the air and clear it and unfortunately, no one saw it, Couture said.

Sharks goalie Antti Niemi never saw the shot.

RATTO: Sharks play their best game too late

Maybe when it was coming, two meters, I saw the puck, Niemi said. One of those weird goals. I saw the puck bounce, then I didnt see it. I looked back and looked in front and then it came.

Fittingly, the game marked the 1994 anniversary of the last time the Canucks made the Stanley Cup Final with a 4-3 double overtime victory against Toronto.

History does repeat itself.

The Sharks, who have been eliminated in the conference finals now two years running, left nothing on the ice.

The best teams get breaks, said Sharks defenseman Ian White, who was on the ice waiting for Edlers dump that never came. They got a few tonight.

The Sharks pressed start to finish with 56 shots on Roberto Luongo, dominating much of the game.

Their best chance might have been in the first overtime when they had a flurry of three shots in the crease. Alas, Luongo saved his best performance in the series for when his team needed it most.

Tough series, said Sharks captain Joe Thornton, who admitted he had a separated right shoulder. We go home and do whatever we do now. Its just disappointing. I felt this team was special this year ... Yeah we played well but were out of the playoffs.

Unlike Game 4, this was a fairly clean, well-officiated game decided by 5-on 5-play and not special teams even though the Sharks did get a power play goal.

Devin Setoguchis first goal of the series just 24 seconds into the third period broke a 1-1 tie as San Jose got a rare 2-0 rush against the Sedin line. Joe Pavelski made a lunging pass across to elude Luongos reach to get the puck to Setoguchi who shot it into an open net.

Incredibly, though the Sharks dominated the game and looked to have it salted away, Dan Boyle shot it around for an icing with 29 seconds left in regulation. Most of the players and coach Todd McLellan felt it hit one of the Sedins shoulders, which would have denied the icing.

It happens real fast, McLellan said. May be hard to catch with the naked eye. Obviously an error. But there's nothing we're doing about it now.

After that icing, Thornton playing with one shoulder, and Ryan Kesler, playing on one leg, after injuring his left one in the second period, took the crucial draw. Kesler won it, then went to the net to redirect Henrik Sedins shot, sending it into overtime at 19:46.

McLellan said he didnt address his team. He wanted to wait till they got back to San Jose.

What will I tell them? McLellan asked. Off the top of my head, I'll tell them I'm proud of them. I thought they competed extremely hard. I'll tell them I thought we were a better team than we were in the series. We started to show it in the end of the series.

I'll tell them we have a tough task ahead of us. First of all, we're going to get healthy, we're going to rest over the summer, we're going to get our butts back to training camp where we're going to work ourselves right back to this spot again, and we'll make good on it next time.

McLellan loaded up in this one, using Marleau, Thornton and Couture as his top line.

Despite a strong start from the Sharks with Marleau and Thornton getting back-to-back scoring chances on Luongo in the opening minutes, the Canucks struck first at 8:02.

Surehanded Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray had the puck swiped from him by Daniel Sedin behind the net. Sedin passed it between his legs to his twin, Henrik, who threw it into the crease where Alex Burrows buried it on Niemi for a 1-0 lead at 8:02.

Burrows has scored some big goals during key moments in the Canucks' playoff run.

The Sharks' nightmare in Game 4 was a trio of 5-on-3 power plays that Vancouver converted. Well, shortly after Setoguchi tipped a shot off the post during the games first power play, Kesler went off for slashing, giving the Sharks a two-man advantage for 1:24.

Thornton had two quality chances while Joe Pavelski and Dan Boyle each had one, but Luongo, who had some rough starts in this series, was sharp on recovery for the saves.

Three times during that 5 on 3, the Sharks were so tightly bunched in a triangle around the crease that rebounds were actually behind them. A little more gap distance with someone in the high slot and they would have scored on Luongo.

The Canucks had 13 blocked shots in the first period, several during those two Sharks power plays.

To that point, Vancouver had killed off 14 of 15 penalties over previous games, but the Canucks failed to keep it going when Marleau tipped a Dan Boyle point shot on the power play midway into the second period to tie the game during the same shift when Kesler limped off the ice with left leg or hip injury.

The goal was Marleaus fifth of the series. No one can accuse him of being a no-show in this series.

It's hard to find passengers today, McLellan said. We felt as good as the game wore on. We were playing our fourth line. They were playing three. We felt we had some control of the game.

Dany Heatley had one assist in the series. He was more passenger than performer and admitted he himself didnt produce in the series.

We played well enough to win tonight, but not in the series, Heatley said.

McLellan thought the seven game series against Detroit left his team tired for Game 1.

We ran out of gas in Game 1, he said. We lose our composure in Game 2. We get to Game 4 and it's a matter of about four minutes' worth of penalties. Tonight was bounces, in my opinion. We got better as the series went on.

Couture seemed beside himself, facing another wave of reporters as Heatley spoke to a small group along the side.

Last year, was a tough summer thinking about the team we had and it ended short, Couture said. It sucks to lose. I want to win. Growing up, I hated to lose. I was so competitive. Every player in this room is so competitive. We wanted to win so badly.
Tim Panaccio is the NHL Insider forCSNPhilly.comE-mail him at

Cousins buys chocolate from kids for charity, donates bars to flight staff

Cousins buys chocolate from kids for charity, donates bars to flight staff

DeMarcus Cousins leads the NBA in technical fouls. He also leads the league in scowls and he’s even kicked over a few garbage cans following the Kings' loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night. But that’s just a small portion of who he is.

According to a source that travels with the team, Cousins went out of his way Sunday morning to make an impact in the lives of a couple of local youth in Chicago.

Kids were selling chocolate bars outside the team’s hotel trying to earn money for charity. Plenty of people walked by, avoiding the youth, but Cousins stopped, reached into his pocket and purchased all of the boxes they had to sell.

Later on in the day, Cousins donated the candy to the flight service staff for use on the flight to Detroit.

Cousins gets plenty of negative press for his antics on the floor, but off the court, he is extremely generous. He plays Santa-Cuz during the holidays, buying gifts for underprivileged children in Sacramento and his hometown of Mobile, Alabama. He has also purchased a new scoreboard for a local high school and even paid for the funeral of a local high school football player who lost his life in a drive-by shooting.

No one is perfect, Cousins included, but he also has a genuinely good side that he often doesn’t seek or receive press for.


Kirk Cousins watches Kyle Shanahan's offense carve up Packers

Kirk Cousins watches Kyle Shanahan's offense carve up Packers

Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. His uncertain status has led to speculation presumptive 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan will be interested in acquiring him in the offseason.

On Sunday, Cousins got a first-hand look at his former coach’s offense.

Cousins posted a photo on Instagram from the stands at the Georgia Dome, where the Atlanta Falcons and their high-octane offense blasted the Green Bay Packers, 44-21, in the NFC Championship game.

Cousins wrote the caption, “Watching two of the best in the world do what they do & taking notes to make it to this game next year -score a lot of points!”

Washington finished third in the NFC East and out of the playoffs with an 8-7-1 record.

Shanahan, the Falcons’ offensive coordinator, coached Cousins for the first two seasons of his NFL career with Washington on the staff of his father, Mike Shanahan. Cousins appeared in just eight games with four starts in 2012 and ’13.

Cousins' career has taken off in the past two seasons while starting all 32 regular-season games. He completed 67 percent of his passes this season with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and a passer rating of 97.2.

Washington placed the franchise tag on Cousins this season at nearly $20 million. He franchise tag is expected to be approximately $24 million in 2017.

If Washington places the non-exclusive franchise tag on Cousins, a team could sign him to an offer sheet at the cost of two first-round draft picks or negotiate a trade with Washington for a lesser amount.