I honestly don’t know how Nabby made the save in that final shootout try. I really don’t.
It happened right in front of us, of course, since our seats are in the zone Nabby defends twice. Ross McKeon speculates it may be his knee:
Evgeni Nabokov appeared to sustain a left knee injury on the final play of Thursday night’s shootout, a 5-4 win over the very game St. Louis Blues. After remaining face down on the ice as teammates started to celebrate around him, the goalie eventually got to his feet with assistance and hobbled off the ice, finally walking alone down the narrow hallway to the locker room with a noticeable limp.
but from my view and a look at the replay it seems he pushed off and his right skate may have caught a rut or something, because it kicked out and he more or less somehow still flung himself at the net and twisted while falling to the ice (hard). From my view, it looks like the hip hyperextended (or at least bent in a direction it’s not supposed to bend), sort of like doing the splits with the help of a couple of angry horses running in opposite directions.
So it could be the hip, it could be the flexor (aka “groin”. And because it was so bloody awkward and the landing so ugly, for all I know he could have tweaked his back. it seemed to me when he was being helped off he was holding the hip, not the knee.
We’ll see. With some luck, he’s stiff and sort and wrapped in ice. With some bad luck…
Oh, hey, Boucher has two shutouts this season. I won’t worry yet. But I’m hoping Nabby just tweaked things.
A few notes on the game last night. It was one of those games I had on my list as a worry game. The blues are an intriguing and hard working team, but they’re also the kind of team that the Sharks “ought to beat” handily. They’re also a team that plays a really slow, grinding, dink it in and chase it, dink it out and forecheck kinda game, and I was wondering how the Sharks would handle that.
Handle it they did, although to be honest, the final score is representative of the game and the Blues effort. The Blues did a good job of dictating game tempo, something the Sharks need to look at, because grinding isn’t their forte — but no big surprise Clowe and his linemates had the big game, because that’s really their game.
The Blake goal was a thing of beau — oh, hell. no it wasn’t.
Blake wound up and unleashed a slapshot. Bishop put up his glove and caught it, and the puck kept going and came close to taking the glove with it into the net. Rob Blake got that “WTF, that went in?” look on his face, a big smile, and went back to the bench smiling and trying his damnedest not to show up Bishop. Bishop did that “huh?” look at his glove, and went off into the corner to focus. I turned to Laurie and said “NHL slapshot. AHL glove hand”. Bishop GOT the shot, and the strength of Blake’s shot just overpowered the goalie.
Overall, though, Bishop impressed me. So did the Blues, not the most talented team, but their work ethic is solid, and they were motivated and fought the Sharks all game. Early on the Sharks spotted them two goals by getting into penalty problems (good calls; Blake isn’t as spry as he used to be, and he WILL take hooking and holding penalties when pressured enough — and he did); the second goal was even strength, but came at the end of the penalty with tired players and good play by the Blues. Once the Sharks stopped taking penalties, it got a lot harder for the Blues, but they did a good job of minimizing the sharks good chances.
And then late, both teams for reasons I don’t understand — maybe just damn tired and frustrated — started taking that long string of penalties. Some of the calls were iffy, but overall the reffing was decent. Give them a B-, maybe. The last few minutes of the game I kinda felt like the refs decided rather than swallow the whistle (an act I hate) that they weren’t going to let a marginal play decide the game, where early in the game they were more or less letting the boys play. I think they made a couple of calls that were somewhat marginal, and once that started, they felt obligated to stick to that standard into overtime. I can live with that, actually kinda like it, but it confused the players a bit after 50 minutes of the refs mostly staying out of the way.
And so the Sharks are unbeaten at home — still. Barely. But it’s two points. And they proved to me they aren’t last year’s team — they didn’t take a “lesser” team lightly, they rose to the occasion and played the gritty game when the other team forced them to, they hung in, ground out the game and came away with two points. All good signs that this team is willing to do what it needs to do to win and can play pretty much any style of hockey if it needs to. and even going down 2-0 early, all that did was wake them up and cause them to push back harder.
So in some ways, this was more of a litmus test than the Detroit game — and the Sharks passed. Maybe not pretty, but pretty doesn’t earn more than 2 points. I’m happy to see the Sharks can and will play ugly, too, and win.
And here’s hoping Nabby’s not seriously hurt.