And This Is Acceptable How?

For whatever reason, the Sharks have this penchant for not playing motivated unless absolutely pushed. Well, they now have their wish.

Tonight's 5-2 loss to the Stars in Game Two of their Western Conference Semi-Finals matchup was dreadful. Constant fumbling with the puck, especially in the defensive zone. An unwillingness to physically engage Dallas on any kind of consistent basis. A string of missed scoring opportunities because while Player A was doing their best to set things for Player B, Player B was already in full retreat mode. Shaky goaltending. At least it was a team effort.

Of course the series isn't over yet. That said, if they lose Tuesday night in Dallas it will be. The Sharks have to look within themselves and answer the question why both individually and collectively they tanked at the Tank tonight. They know exactly how Dallas is going to play, and they should know by now that the referees are going to allow the Stars to continue clutching and grabbing and holding the Sharks to their heart's content every time they're in the Dallas zone. Nothing a few good elbows wouldn't cure, even if it means taking the penalty. The point is that along with the need to start making basic plays, such as not handing the puck to your opponent time and again, they have to start playing angry. They should be very angry right now. At themselves. If not, then there is something seriously wrong with this hockey club requiring major off-season work to eradicate. But until that is proven to be a necessity, San Jose needs to find the answer within as to why they are handing a team with which they are at least an equal if not superior this playoff series without so much as a whimper.