Blog Entry

The other side of Miracle on Manchester

Posted on: April 20, 2011 3:27 am
Edited on: April 20, 2011 5:55 am
LOS ANGELES ---Miracle on Manchester meet Failure on Figueroa.

Twenty-nine years after Marcel Dionne and the Los Angeles Kings in those purple and gold jerseys overcame a five-goal deficit against the Edmonton Oilers, the Kings returned the favor --- or at least very close to it. Long gone from their Forum digs on Manchester Avenue in nearby Inglewood, the Staples Center here on Figueroa Street was the site of a four-goal collapse, or comeback depending on your viewpoint. 

Devin Setoguchi shoveled the puck into the net three minutes into overtime to seal a 6-5 victory for the San Jose Sharks Tuesday, a game the rival Bay Area team trailed 4-0 at one point. It was the fourth time in NHL history a team has overcome a deficit of four or more goals in the playoffs and the first time in 26 years. 

“It was crazy,” Setoguchi said. “Before the game, I was looking at the TV and it was a ‘History will be made” commercial. It was the 5-0 (Kings) comeback. So, that it was kind of ironic we came back from 4-0 tonight. I give these guys a lot of credit. We worked hard.”

There was certainly a commercial in there somewhere. It’ll just be a little grating for the Kings, who looked like they were 40 minutes away from easing to a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 first-round series.  Up 3-0 after the first period, Kings forward Bard Richardson chased Sharks goalie Antti Niemi with a marker 44 seconds into the second period. (Niemi allowed four goals on 10 shots.) 

In came Antero Niittymaki, who hadn’t seen a playoff game in five years, and Sharks forward Joe Pavelski said afterward there was still plenty of time left.

“We were talking and the feeling was that we were going to (come back),” Pavelksi said. “We just wanted to keep it simple and stay together. We talked about how much we needed to rely one another out there.”

Patrick Marleau, Ryane Clowe and Logan Couture scored 10 minutes apart and suddenly it was a 4-3 Kings lead. And the momentum didn’t sway after Ryan Smyth made it 5-3 as the Sharks answered with another Clowe tally followed by Pavelksi’s equalizer with 31 seconds left in the period. 

“That’s as bad as it gets in the second period for sure,” Kings coach Terry Murray said. 

Five goals in one period and the Sharks had the momentum and another promising season may have been salvaged from another postseason disappointment. 

“You could feel it on the bench,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. “The more we did it, the more we believed it could happen. It ended up on our favor.”

-- A.J. Perez
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 5:30 pm
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Since: Feb 24, 2011
Posted on: April 20, 2011 5:11 pm
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Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: April 20, 2011 4:19 pm

The other side of Miracle on Manchester

Seeing as my Hawks in all likelihood won't win this series (0-15 all time when down 3-0) I have to root for somebody and I'm still a big Niemi fan. He is not playing as well this series as I would like, I believe he can be better. He does have an occassional bad game but not many, he's pretty sound. Last night he did hurt his team but the 4-0 score was the whole team's responsibility. Niemi didn't play well and neither did the Sharks. McLellan's timeout, while not stopping the onslaught did settle his team down but Niemi didn't have it so he got the hook. Good coaching move. I believe the Kings felt the game was over at 4-0 and took the foot off the gas, huge mistake. Considering how the third was played all the Kings had t do was get to the third with a lead. Being a Badger fan, I know how well guys like Heatley and Pavelski can be (yeah I suppose Thornton, Marleau, Couture, Clowe and a few more too). That's a lot of firepower and the Kings lost whatever they had going for them. The third period was more of what I was expecting last night than the first two but it just seemed the Sharks were going to win that. I thought the Kings had a great chance to start the overtime but that was it. I'm seeing way too many guys not named the Red Wings in all the series watching the puck instead of picking up their assignments leading to back breaking goals. Just like the Kings did in overtime. Don't kow why but I see a Sharks/Dead Wings conference final, just one man's opinion.

Since: Sep 30, 2009
Posted on: April 20, 2011 3:45 pm

The other side of Miracle on Manchester

Antti Niemi has been so solid in the 2nd half of the season...and of course was a huge factor in the Sharks going out last year...that it's very disappointing to see his decline in this year's playoffs.  8 goals allowed in the last 4 periods...hope he turns it back on!

Since: May 12, 2008
Posted on: April 20, 2011 11:56 am

The other side of Miracle on Manchester

Well put papajon.  McClellan used his timeout at the right time.  The Sharks were horrific in the first.  As a Sharks fan, it was almost impossible to look at.  Sharks defenders were out of position, not moving their feet, and staring at the puck when it got near the net.  Then, it almost seemed like a reset button was pushed.  I re-watched portions with my DVR and still could not believe my eyes.  I had to ask myself are the Kings this bad or are the Sharks this good?  Looking back now, I think it was mostly the latter.  Where the Kings  collapsed, the Sharks just woke up and overpowered them.  They played within their system and as a team.
The only thing better would have been a series win or the hoisting of a trophy...  game 3 was incredible.  Playoff hockey is playoff hockey.  Game 4 will be a brand new game.  I am sure the Kings will be prepared and eager to make up.  They have been a strong team all year vs. the Sharks and there is a lot of hockey to be played.

Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: April 20, 2011 5:23 am

The other side of Miracle on Manchester

I'm not sure I've ever seen as big a momentum swing in a hockey game as I saw last night. McLean took his time out when the Sharks got down by 2 and made the goalie switch at 4. Surely a way to convey his message; "you're never out of it in the playoffs." I can't help but wonder if Murray didn't make a mistake by not calling his time out when the Sharks pulled to 5-4. If he tells his team to settle down, play good defense and we'll get out of the second up 5-4 if this game might have been different but once the Sharks evened it up at 5 with less than a minute left in the second it was all but over, you just knew the Sharks weren't going to lose this game and I don't see Niemi having two bad games in a row. History will be made? Indeed!

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