...and the Canucks may hope to actually see more of him. Eager took four penalties, at least two were horrendously stupid, and caused the Canucks to tilt the rink in their favour for the balance of the evening.
Eager's antics began with an emotional display on the Sharks bench after Kevin Bieksa beat up Patrick Marleau. His next shift on the ice, he ploughed Daniel Sedin into the boards from behind and took a penalty. He then slew-footed Mason Raymond to earn another penalty, and after the Canucks converted on the power play to make it 4-2, the flood gates opened and Eager didn't stop. He took two more minor penalties and a 10-minute misconduct, and also managed to score a goal and trash talk Roberto Luongo on play, which made the score 7-3.
While his antics distracted the Sharks and had many suggesting he lost them the game, there will not be a suspension for his hit on Daniel Sedin and he should be in the lineup for Game 3 in San Jose. The Canucks may appreciate that move, since Eager's Hockey IQ appears to be about the same as Roberto Luongo's save percentage - shy of 100.
Eager has a history of suspensions, and circus sideshows, (Eager on Rypien, Eager on Armstrong, Eager on Chara / Ward, Eager on Reddox, Before the Canucks and Blackhawks even met in the playoffs, Eager was at the center of some bad blood that was forming over the season series in 2008-09, culminating in a fight between Kevin Bieksa and Ben Eager.
Is it any wonder then that Eager had some choice words for Bieksa after the game?
"We have seen that before with Kevin," Eager said. "It's sad someone is going to sign him to big money when he's a phoney. He goes after our top player. He's been asked (to fight) many times before, by lots of players throughout the league. He's declined."
Eager should watch the replay, as it was Marleau who initiated, and take some accountability to running Daniel Sedin. If that's not picking your spot, I don't know what is.
Ryane Clowe also had some choice words for Bieksa during an intermission interview "Bieksa is, supposedly by the way he plays and the way he thinks he can't get touched is a pretty tough guy and obviously Patty doesn't do that for us....Bieksa really picked his spot there."
After the game, Clowe called Maxim Lapierre a 'coward', based on his experiences with playing alongside Lapierre in Junior.
This comes after a string of quotes after Game 1 where the Sharks were complaining about the officiating and the Canucks embellishing plays to draw penalties.
So after two games we've seen the Sharks complain about a multitude of things. If they want to get back in this series, they should turn their attention to their own play on the ice. The circus moves to San Jose for games three and four. The series is far from over, but the Sharks appear to have lost their focus. They cannot blame it on being tired, or the referees, or picking a fight with the wrong player. The Sharks can only blame themselves. There are simply too many passengers on the bus.
Joe Pavelski has been ineffective, Devin Setoguchi has a poster on telephone pole, Dan Heatley in on a milk carton and Kyle Wellwood has a search team scouring the country side.
All joking aside, the Canucks have been labeled as complainers due to GM Mike Gillis' speech to the media after a Game 6 loss to the Blackhawks, but the Sharks are taking it to another level so far this series. Worst of all, Gillis created a distraction so his team could focus on Game 7, the Sharks just sound like they're looking for excuses for another post-season collapse.
They have a chance to redeem themselves Friday night in San Jose, and Sharks fans sure hope they do.