Ole! Ole! Ole! San Jose!
1st time poster. Anyway....
Obviously Vancouver prefers to play at a very uptempo pace, and we shouldn't. Unfortunately, our Sharks seem to get caught up in the speed of the game. I give props to Jumbo. At one point during the 3rd he just skated around with the puck in the neutral zone attempting to refocus the group. It worked, briefly.
A close friend was telling me that he felt Vancouver didn't play like the better team until the penalties halfway through the third, which led to the tying and game winning goals.
The first period was totally ours, until the last few minutes. We had parts of the second and third where we controlled the game. But I thought Vancouver looked like the better team overall. They were quicker to most of the loose pucks and they had the better sticks. Still we need to play in their zone, not in all 3 zones, on every shift.
This series is all about the pace. Whoever controls it wins. We don't have the legs or the apparent defensive schemes in place to hang with the 'nucknucks when they start flying up and down the ice. We need to get the advantage on the forecheck in the their zone and keep it there. We have the size and the strength, they play a speed/finesse game. We have to neutralize that with our strengths.
This is unfortunately a bad match up for us. So hopefully we can find a way to break them down and force them to play at our tempo. It starts with Clowe and Heatley making their physical presence felt. I think that would be easier if they weren't on the same line. That's why I propose switching Seto with Heater.
We know that the Jumbo/Heated/Patty line is boss. It worked for us last year and it worked for team Canada. Heatley really seems to pick up his play overall when he plays with those two. It also takes some pressure off of Patty to be so physical and allows him to focus on scoring. He scored in game 1, hopefully he's getting hot. Plus that line plays the slow, forechecking, puck posession hockey we need. Those guys love to play together, let them.
As for Seto he is playing the best hockey of his whole career. He's playing defense, he's passing, and he's hitting. So I think we can take the Jumbbo/Patty safety blanket off now. He seems to be buddies with Logan, they both have earned a chance to play together, plus he played with Clowe all last year. To me that line needs a sniper, give 'em Seto.
I think the absence of Heatley's body will force Clowey to be more of the physical playmaker that we saw from him last year and we NEED that. Even though Seto and Couture seem to like to play fast, I think Clowe getting his game back on track will cause them to put the pressure on with the forecheck and hold it in their zone.
I keep the 4th line from last game, they were awesome. Did everything possible to earn an A grade. They played the kind of hockey we need.
Which of course means the 3rd line stays the same. Which also means that they'll probably be most prone to pushing the pace of the game when they're on the ice. I don't mind 1 line doing that to mix up the game. Plus they are the best 3rd line in hockey. No need to change that.
So that's my assessment of how to correct what went wrong in game 1. Vancouver will score 3+ goals everytime if their allowed to impliment their pace and own the puck. Time to stop that.
Let's Go Shaaa-arrks!!!! We need game 2.
Also, where's the best bar to watch the game at in the South Bay? I'm taking my dad out for his b-day, thanks. SAN!!! JOSE!!!