Game Five Recap: Boston Bruins 2, San Jose Sharks 1
First off, I don't know what if anything came across to those who were watching or listening to the game, but inside the Tank it went like this. About a third of the way through the pre-game warmup, the power went out. Completely. It wasn't until a minute to a minute and a half afterwards, with the arena in total darkness, that the emergency lights came on. And no sound, not even an emergency system. Either some nimrod decided it wasn't necessary to say anything, or the emergency sound system didn't work, or there isn't one. Oh, so very comforting in case there is ever an actual emergency during an event at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. Which given how this is earthquake country and the arena is directly underneath the landing pattern for the San Jose airport... yeah, I'll breathe easy every time I walk into the place from now on. But I digress.
Given how the Sharks opening night ceremonies and pre-game show are usually, shall we say, on the weak side very few actually minded the game starting a half-hour late with the lights mostly back on but no sound. Actually, it was rather fun seeing a game the old-fashioned way. Rather reminiscent of when some years ago the baseball Giants had a game where everyone from the players on down dressed in 1920s styled uniforms, the sound and scoreboards were turned off, and the announcements were made by people on the field with original megaphones. Eventually, this went away as the sound was restored about halfway through the period, thus indicating power was fully restored.
Unfortunately, this information wasn't passed along to the Sharks.
If I hear one more sentence with "Sharks" and "elite team" in the same sentence I will not be responsible for my actions. Doesn't being an elite team imply said team plays like one, instead of consistently playing down to the level of their opponent? Yes, Boston has some talent; Zdeno Chara and Tim Thomas, who was spectacular in goal, come to mind. But they're not a great team. At best they're average. And yet the Sharks made them look like Cup contenders by consistently being outworked, outhustled, and if such a word exists out-gritted. Boston wanted this game far more than the Sharks apparently did, and it showed. Even during the second period when the Bruins were held without a shot on goal they weren't being outworked. And then to finally notch your first goal of the night in the last minute of play only to give it back with eleven seconds left in regulation because of the inability to execute a simple clearing shot (thanks, Pickles)... yeah, tell me again how elite this team is.
The Sharks have got to -- got to -- stop reading their press clippings and start playing hockey at the level their talent states they should be playing. Mailing it in under the belief they can turn it on and win whenever they feel like it isn't working, now is it. While it's way too early in the season to panic, it's not too early to be frustrated at San Jose thus far failing to play up to its potential.