THEY BLEW IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It was painful to watch the meltdown as the San Jose Sharks once again were knocked out of the post season. What made it worse was the great start to the series against the Los Angeles Kings. SJ came out out in the first two games, pushing LA. In game one the Sharks won by 6-3 and and game two San Jose moved ahead with a punishing 7-2. But you couldn't discount the Kings. Game three, LA picked themselves back up and by the end of the third period had tied the game at 3. Patrick Marleau saved the day with a lucky bounce.
Only a couple of teams in NHL history had managed to bounce back from a three game deficit to win a best-of-seven series. Coach Sutter was positive his team could do so whereas San Jose's coach, McClellan's team was riding a high after winning three in a row.
Unfortunately, we Sharks fans are used to riding the roller-coaster that is the San Jose Sharks franchise - especially in the post-season. Our players run hot & cold so often one would expect Richard Pryor to win in with a ticket for the Silver Streak.
Game four left us frustrated when the Kings earned their first win, 6-3, and Niemi getting pulled. Game five was worst: Niemi pulled again in a 3-0 shut-out loss on home ice. Game six, 4-1 loss with Staylock in goal - LA forcing a game seven in San Jose. This particular game was going okay UNTIL the Sharks had a 5/3 power play. The team spent more time passing the puck then the y did shooting. If the guys had just screened Quick an threw everything at hi they could, they would have scored on the man advantage. Passing doesn't score goals-shooting does. Later in the game, a puck should blown dead but wasn't (and for the rest of that and the next game was), which did result in a goal. Regardless, the King did score two more for the win.
During that game, San Jose spent more time defending in their zone. They pulled their ever faithful 'dump & chase' to the forecheck zone. It didn't work. LA was waiting for the loose puck each time. During the times when the guys TOOK the puck to the net, they were able to get a shot on goal. Still, too many times the option to pass was selected over the option to shoot.
Game 7: winner moves on and loser doesn't. San Jose came out strong. Irwin scored the only San Jose goal. Then the Sharks took a penalty - a stupid one - and LA tied the game. Goal two for LA was a bad bounce. The third goal should have been stopped by Niemi was too far on the other side of the net. His D-men were out of position to back him up. Goals four & five were empty nets.
What will happen to San Jose now?
I see some changes made over the summer. Will Marleau, Thornton, Boyle, or Havlet still be around once their contract expire? I hate to say this, but no. Pavelski, Couture, Vlasic will stay s they are younger players with ability. Hertl didn't get the chance to show his true skills. Torres is a maybe. As the Coach, going in the game 4 up 3-0 and basically getting swept? The Sharks post-season performance may catch up to him. I would be surprised to see Todd McClellan back.
Now we have to look to next season for the Cup chase.
Back to the Game of Thrones
stay safe out there!