San Jose saw its losing streak climb to a season-long five games on Friday in absolutely humiliating fashion. The Dallas Stars topped the Sharks 6-1 thanks to a second and period that saw San Jose not so much beaten as dismembered. If the coaching staff had a nice, long discussion with the team in the first intermission: it didn’t work. Then the third period rolled around and things got worse.
San Jose gave up three goals in the second period and followed it up by giving up another two in the third. But hey, at least they scored two a goal!
The only silver lining after one of the most pitiful regular season efforts I’ve seen out of this hockey club in quite some time is that they get a chance to put it in the rear view mirror tomorrow. San Jose travels to Nashville tonight and will take on a much better team than the Dallas Stars. For the Sharks’ sake, I hope they’re ready.
Let it be said that there is not one person to shoulder the blame today. From Joe Thornton to Chris Tierney, the effort must be better than it was against Dallas tonight. Score effects will make the possession numbers prettier at a glance; hell, it’ll make the score look prettier than it could have been, too.
But the listlessness that San Jose showed to start the game is unacceptable and that didn’t change after the first intermission. Throughout the backend of this losing streak I’ve been mostly pleased with how the Sharks have played. Not so tonight. If the team is out of gas now, don’t expect a major refuel to come before the playoffs begin. The road doesn’t get easier from here: it gets harder.
A trend of sluggish first periods continued as San Jose put only four shots on goal as Dallas got into shooting lanes and generally slowed the game down. That’s the same strategy that got Kari Lehtonen a shutout against the Sharks on Monday.
An own goal was the difference on the scoreboard as Adam Cracknell put the puck off the skate of Micheal Haley and into the back of the net 8:30 into the opening stanza. Haley was in the wrong place at the wrong time but the goal came after Dallas’ fourth line established a solid cycle low in San Jose’s defensive zone.
The wheels came off in the second period. The Sharks allowed three goals, none of which can be hung on backup netminder Aaron Dell, in a span of 5 minutes and 10 seconds. Head coach Pete DeBoer called a timeout, absolutely furious with the play of his team, but don’t let him off the hook so easily either. He’s responsible for the team that shows up: and the team hasn’t.
For five nights running the Sharks have played poorly in the first period and there’s a shared responsibility in the room for that. That goes for everything that happens on the ice. Yes, the players need to play better, but DeBoer is both (in my opinion) not dressing ideal lineups and now it seems players aren’t playing to the best of their ability. This is not a great time of year for that to happen.
San Jose takes on Nashville at 5 p.m. tomorrow. Godspeed.
Fear the Fin Three Stars
- You for watching this game
- Randy and Jamie for watching this game
- Anyone else who watched this game