Losing to the Buffalo Sabres is nothing new for long-time, short-time or medium-time Sharks fans. Losing to the Sabres while playing bad hockey for the vast majority of the game? Well, that's a little concerning. While San Jose had a game stolen from them last year against Buffalo, the Sharks had no such excuse in their loss to the McDavids on Saturday afternoon.
All three goals fit inside of a 2:27 window in the third period, with Buffalo notching the first two tallies. A defensive miscue by Tierney caused the first goal while a bobble from Alex Stalock put the Sharks behind 2-0. Brent Burns scored his second goal of the season just 13 seconds later, and from then on San Jose dominated most of the play, outshooting Buffalo 16-6 in the final period.
The stats make this game look much more PDO-influenced than it actually was — while San Jose outshot Buffalo 30-15, it would be a boldfaced lie to say the Sharks outplayed the Sabres. Mistake after mistake cost the Sharks valuable zone time and offensive opportunities while the two Buffalo goals came largely from San Jose screw ups. It's hard to win a sports game when you're playing against yourselves as much as you're playing against the opposition — even when playing against a clearly-tanking-Buffalo-team.
Even more frustrating is watching Burns toil away as a defenseman while John Scott, Andrew Desjardins and Adam Burish get regular ice-time as forwards. Whether the decision to move Burns back to defense was a Todd McLellan decision or a Doug Wilson decision, it's time to re-evaluate a move that smelled from the moment it was announced.
In what could very well be the final year of Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau's prime, Wilson has decided to back-off the idea of a nuclear rebuild while at the same time refusing to reload the team for another cup run. The result is a DiGiorno pizza — you were too cheap to buy a real pizza and too lazy to make food, so now you're stuck with this rapidly heating piece of cardboard. Enjoy the indigestion.
3rd Star: Joe Pavelski