Toffoli’s NSFW nickname with his previous team was “Top Titty Toff.” He definitely displayed that tonight. With Stoll out and Kopitar injured for part of the game, Toffoli stepped in handily and showed us all why Sutter’s got so much faith in the kid. For the game winning goal he made an excellent drive to the net and got the game winning assist. Staples got very quiet after the game was down 3-2 but the crowd went nuts with the two goals in 21 seconds, as you can imagine. I love Toffoli on just about any line… he fits in well with Kopitar as a setup man or with Penner who can dig pucks out then set a screen for him. I see big things for this kid next season as we’ll probably have to keep him around when we trim down the salary total.
The game ended with 38 hits per team which should tell you how truly physical this game was. Emotions were running high throughout the game, especially on the San Jose side of the bench. I’ve never seen a team attempt to argue so much with the officials or cry so much about every call or result. After his unnecessary acting job as he limped off the ice, I feel that karma bit Vlasic a bit with his game losing penalty. The call against Carter earlier in the game was appropriate (charging) if you look at the distance he traveled to hit Vlasic square in the back. Vlasic came back on the ice for the third period with no issues and was healthy enough to score on a lucky bounce.
Jim Fox has stated that he believes Doughty to be the best player currently in the playoffs and I’m inclined to agree with him. He played a team high 28 minutes tonight and ended with a goal, 5 shots, 2 hits. He was a huge part of the goals that were produced tonight and continues to flourish knowing he’s got Regehr staying at home.
Usually, when Brown bounces pucks off of Kopitar they enter into the net. Tonight he threw one directly into Kopitar’s cheek and took him out of the game for a few minutes. Thank Skadi Kopi wears a visor! If that went just a few inches higher it would have been in eye territory.
San Jose fans tend to run around with these silly “this is Sharks’ territory” signs. At this point, I think they can safely put them away. LA’s home winning streak is extended another 2 games as Thornton and the punks he calls teammates continue to flounder.
A friend of mine recently stated, “With all the talk of hits and fighting in hockey, they don’t talk enough about the hugging.” Here’s a great pile of man hugs. I love you guys.
0-1 Carter unassisted
On his first shot of the game, Carter scores his 4th goal of the playoffs. Dwight King hooks Irwin’s stick and holds it down allowing Carter to snipe one past Niemi. Great break for LA.
0-2 Doughty, with assists by Richardson and Penner
Everyone was on the opposite side of Doughty’s point. Richardson gets it out and flips it to Doughty who slows it down and fires off a rocket from the point. There is light traffic, but San Jose does not have good positioning. Absolutely beautiful shot, a pure snipe with some heat on it.
1-2 Marleau, with assists by Thornton and Couture
On a powerplay, some excellent passing. Dan Boyle sets up the play, gets it to Couture who passes to Thornton. Thornton quickly passes it to Marleau in front of the crease. Marleau has body leverage on Voynov and quickly taps it in. Defense didn’t stop the tic-tac-toe pass, and someone finally puts one in on Quick. This breaks Quick’s 125 minutes and 8 seconds of shut out time.
2-2 Stuart with assists by Gomez and Hannan
After the pass by Gomez, Stuart has so much time to tee it up and slap it I almost confused it with a golf swing. Tons of traffic in front of Quick, and he’s screened completely. Simple shot, lot of power, lot of traffic.
3-2 Vlasic with assists by Stuart and Gomez
Pretty simply, this is just a scramble. There are so many bodies in the net that Quick doesn’t have much room to maneuver. Vlasic manages to get inside Regehr’s stick and gets some piece of his body on it. Of course, Vlasic wasn’t injured by the hit Carter delivered earlier, and the reputation for acting continues. Think San Jose picked up some lessons while in BC?
3-3 Brown with assists by Carter and Richards
2 man advantage. Vlasic, in what can only be called karma for his fake limp off earlier, throws a puck directly out of play and gets a penalty. Doughty does an excellent job keeping the puck in play as a Shark attempts to clear it. Gets his body in the way, gets a bounce. After a couple of passes, Richards passes to Carter in front of the net. Carter takes a shot, Brown scoops up the rebound and dumps it in. Tie game. Hannan stands in front of the net and just stares at it for a while.
3-4 Lewis with assists by Toffoli and Muzzin
Powerplay goal. Muzzin goes for a cross ice pass to Toffoli. He does a great job on his drive, keeping possession and getting outside the SJ defender. He takes a shot and Lewis dumps it in on the redirect.
Quick ended the game with a .903%, stopping 28 of 31 shots. He looked good and was making big saves. One shot went in due to screening as well as defense giving the shooter too much time. Another went in due to a very quick passing job on a powerplay for the Sharks. The third went in on a mad scramble and was just a bad luck bounce. He came up with some very big saves yet again and looks to continue his Conn Smythe worthy play.
Niemi ended the game with a .871%, stopping 27 of 31 shots. His rebound control is really what burned him tonight as he gave off two big juicy redirects. Carter and Doughty’s shots were snipes. Not Niemi’s best game to date.
Stoll is out for an unannounced period of time. Sutter stated it is “day to day” and when asked when he’d be back responded with “How long is the series?”
Clifford is still out on injury. He’s been practicing in a no contact jersey which means he’s probably still got at least a game or two to go. Looking towards Chicago in the next series, Sutter is not going to bring him back early when he’s got depth players to put in against San Jose AND a 2 game lead.
Keaton Ellerby continues to sit as backup d.
Matt Greene continues to sit either with injury or lack of faith due to rustiness, who knows at this point.
Everyone else listed on the scratch list is a prospect pulled up from the minor leagues to get a taste of the pro life.
Boxscore, Stats for the Game
Shots: SJS 31, LAK 31