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If anyone is Chicken Littling right now you don't even know how to tie your shoes. Get a grip. It's called a seven game series for a reason.
Frankly, I don't think the Sharks played too poorly. We get a crossbar to play ball and help us out? We're sitting pretty. Momentum changes.
I didn't like our power play's entrance into the attacking zone however. No speed in the neutral ice- that forced San Jose into either chipping the puck deep (where the Ducks defensemen did a great job of shutting down our low cycle) or getting caught at the blueline (where the Ducks forwards would get into passing lanes and pounce on the puck carrier). We made life easy on the Ducks in that department.
As for matchups, I hate to play coach. There's a reason Todd McLellan guided the Sharks to a Presidents' Trophy and I'm a writer with an obscene amount of body odor. However, I think that our top line needs to see easier minutes, especially when we have the last change at home. Roll out a shutdown line against Getzlaf & Co. I've been an advocate of Moen-Plihal-Grier, but Goc in the center would work for me as well. It will help to get the top line easier minutes, because they were completely nullified tonight. Outplayed, frankly.
[Update 11:44 AM]: Forgot to include it last night- we touched on this match up here.
Getzlaf's bald noggin is scary, but it's his line that really frightens me. In terms of shutting them down, I liked the promise of Moen-Goc-Grier in that it did two things. For starters, it put defensively oriented players together who play heavy PK minutes. With the last change in San Jose, McLellan would have ample opportunity to match this line up against them more the majority of shifts. On a second note, it gave us a good man from the dot to win faceoffs and keep the puck out of our zone.
However, David Pollak is now reporting that Cheechoo will be replacing Mike Grier on that line. Cheech's skating ability makes me a little wary to include him in a shutdown line- the speed of Ryan and Perry on the wings could cause some issues in our defensive zone. From what I can garner from this print edition piece, it seems we may see top line against top line (Getzlaf v. Thornton). I'm comfortable with that, while at the same time a bit disappointed- having Moen, Goc, and Grier eat minutes against Getzlaf has the potential to give our top tandem better looks in the offensive zone, especially when you factor in the last change that will be alloted in San Jose.
If Calgary taught us anything last year, it's that dropping the first game at home is brutal for the fanbase. But it's not the end of the road.
This isn't drinking the kool-aid. It's reality.