Game 1 Wrap Up: What to say...
Plank also shared his thoughts on tonight's game... his wrap can be found here.
What do you say after a game like this?
Honestly, I'm having a hard time putting my fingers to the keys.
Was it it was Hiller who stole the game?
Was it was the power play, which went 0-6?
Maybe it was the first line, which managed a whopping 7 shots (five by Setoguchi) all night.
Well, it was a combination of things. In the end though, the Sharks simply gave the game away. It's tough to watch a team play so well all year long, only to watch them mail it in in the first game of the playoffs. Heart breaking.
As Plank mentioned before, there's still an elephant (a rather full figured one) in the room. The Sharks haven't scored even strength in 282 minutes now, and thats a span of almost five games. Eek.
What was really scary about this game (aside from the lack of scoring) was this: the things that the Sharks succeeded in all season failed against the Ducks. Pavelski wasn't winning face-offs. Vlasic wasn't his usual smart self. The first line wasn't dominant. The power play ran as well as my first car.
If the Sharks want to win game two, they've got to come back and play Anaheim like they have all season. They have to be physical. They have to shoot the puck. They have to skate. They have to make crisp plays. And for gods sakes, they have to score.
I wasn't impressed with what I saw from the first or second lines tonight. No one seemed ready to take a pass, and therefore, there weren't many great scoring chances. Hiller had a good game, yes, but the Sharks' shot selection was extremely predictable. The third line was o.k., but we can't count on Goc and Co. to carry us into the second round. That lies on Patty's and Joe's shoulders. Two shots from them won't cut it.
The power play (in going zip for six) was unimpressive as well. There was hardly any traffic in front of the net, as San Jose had trouble getting the puck past the blue line. It seemed as if they only had one opportunity per rush before they were pushed out of the zone.
There are some plusses to tonight's game, though. If you watched without the disgust that I had after the first Ducks goal, you could tell that the Sharks are a better team. They outshot Anaheim 35-17, for Christ's sake. Not included in those 35 shots were the two hit posts, one each from Ehrhoff and Boyle. On any other night, outshooting a team by 18 would be good enough to win. Not tonight.
I'm angry, but not disheartened. The Sharks will score, and they'll convert on the power play. McLellan may have his work cut out for him now, but this team can't be happy with their play. It's now time for all that veteran leadership to step up.
Let's go Sharks. I'm still saying this will end in five.
(BTW... corn is retired until further notice)