San Jose beat the woeful Colorado Avalanche in overtime on Saturday night despite being outshot 33-30 and losing the overall possession battle to one of the worst teams in the NHL. The top line gave up both of Colorado’s goals, both of which came at even strength, and put up some of the worst possession numbers of the night.
The Sharks have played great games against bad teams and lost, so we’ll call Saturday’s game repayment for nights where luck hasn’t been in their favor. But if San Jose wants to win on Monday it might be prudent to actually show up to play. The Sharks twice jumped out to one-goal leads and twice ceded them on plays that made the top line look foolish.
Number of Sharks going to the All-Star Game embarrassed on this play: 2.
First is Brent Burns, who thinks poking at a puck controlled by Nathan MacKinnon is going to get the job done. Next is Joe Pavelski, who stands around in the crease watching MacKinnon dish a pass under his legs that leaves the last all-star, Martin Jones, hung out to dry.
The next goal didn’t make Jones look quite so good, but it happens after he’s all but lulled to sleep by the play of his teammates. San Jose stands around for long enough in the defensive zone that Francois Beauchemin bangs home the game-tying goal from the point.
Nearly the entire top line stands around the crease waiting for Beauchemin to shoot this puck but it doesn’t appear to be screened, either. Jones wants this one back, but that doesn’t excuse the subpar defensive play. No goal needs to be pegged on one player, so let’s say neither of these goals are going to be looked at fondly tomorrow.
None of this speaks to a wider problem for the Sharks, but this wasn’t the emphatic performance head coach Pete DeBoer was looking for from his team. Yes, San Jose is still without Tomas Hertl and yes Timo Meier missed another game; but against a team as bad as the Avalanche the top line should perform much better than it did on Saturday.
The good news is the Sharks have a day to recuperate before they get a chance to redeem themselves while also chasing that elusive fifth win in a row. San Jose heads to Denver to face the Avalanche on Monday before closing out its pre-All-Star Game schedule against Winnipeg on Tuesday. Hopefully the whole team shows up for the trip.