Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Tip of the hat to Mike Grier

Through the playoffs this season, I've probably watched as much of the Sharks as any other team. It seems to me that they're in what I think will be the "best series" of the round each round. Though they did away with the Preds quickly, it was an entertaining series. Hopefully their series with the Wings picks up where it left off last night and gets better and better.

But, while watching these games, it seems that Mike Grier has steadily taken on a bigger and bigger role with the Sharks, and he's doing it well. In round one, he just seemed to be out for every big penalty kill the Sharks had. (Not many since the Preds were in the box the whole series.) Now against the Wings, he's out for big PKs, big even strength shifts, and even some power play.

Grier isn't your big scorer, he isn't the big set-up man, he's not even the shut-down winger...but he is steady and accountable on each and every shift. In the regular season, the Sharks had plenty of flash on offense, so Grier just did his job without big numbers or big acclaim. But now that they're grinding away in the playoffs, a guy like Grier comes to the forefront more often. Toss in Patrick Marleau getting the "Loch Ness Monster" award on TSN pretty regularly, having Grier step up is a good thing for the Sharks. (If you haven't caught the LNMA on the Vs. simulcast of some playoff games, you're missing some sheer genius of sports broadcasting.)

So, while the New NHL talks up all the offensive stars, and we're seeing 6-5 playoff games that involve Martin Brodeur, I think I guy like Grier deserves a little nod.

The fact that I went to school with a guy named Mike Greer has no bearing on this post what so ever... :)

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