Quick Bite: Sharks badly outplayed by Blues in loss

As it turns out, winning against play-off bound teams is kinda hard.

An embarrassing showing by the Sharks ended with a 4-1 loss to the Blues.

The Sharks came off a day of rest after winning against Buffalo on Tuesday, while the Blues suffered a 2-1 loss to Anaheim on the first night of back-to-back games. Both teams gave their rested backup goaltenders the start.

Things started fairly optimistically. It seemed as though they were more evenly matched than the last time these teams met, when the Blues shut out the Sharks on January 14th.  A bad turnover from Brent Burns led to a Blues’ goal from Scott Upshall with only three minutes left in the period.

The Sharks managed to tie it just over a minute later, with a goal that was later properly credited to Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Shots were 11-6 in favor of the Blues in the first period, which wasn't ideal, but not a massively dominant period, either.

The Blues regained the lead into the second with some help from Zach Sanford, scoring his third goal of the season and first goal since being traded to St. Louis at the deadline. Four minutes later, the Sharks went on the power play, thanks to Micheal Haley drawing an interference penalty, but two minutes came and passed with hardly any scoring chances.

With three minutes left in the period, the Sharks went from trailing to Blues in shots to being blown out of the water by them in shots. It didn't get better in the third.

The third period started with just under a minute of power play time for San Jose, who failed to convert (unsurprising, as split-period power plays rarely result in goals). From there, the Sharks played the rest of the period in their own end. The Blues got their first power play opportunity about halfway into the period and Vladimir Tarasenko scored thirteen seconds into the power play.

The Sharks never regained their footing and the Blues sealed the deal with an empty net goal from Tarasenko.

Micheal Haley had a busy night, and not in the way you would hope after his performance against the Sabres. He exchanged some blows with Ryan Reaves in the second, which either says something about his bravery or his hubris, given that Reaves has a good thirty pounds on him. They were both given five minute majors and returned in the third. Haley saw some pushing and shoving near the end of the third that felt beyond fruitless and exhausting to watch.

This game wasn't pretty and it was hard to tell why. The Sharks’ offense didn’t appear to show up, but it’s not as though the defense was really there, either. By all means, this is a team we should be capable of matching, if not beating. It just didn't come together tonight.

To continue to kick ‘em while they’re down, Minnesota lost 3-1 to Carolina tonight, and a win from the Sharks would've allowed San Jose to move up in the conference. Instead, they maintain their one-point lead and the Sharks stay four points from Chicago's top spot in the Western Conference.

This home stand is now 3-2. The final game with be against Anaheim on Saturday night before the Sharks hit the road to take on Dallas next week.