Sharks lose final game of season to Kings for third year in a row
At least this one didn't matter.
For the third straight year, the San Jose Sharks lost the final game of their season to the Los Angeles Kings.
Thankfully the circumstances surrounding their latest defeat weren't remotely as devastating as the prior two, both of which came in Game 7s of playoff series between these teams. This loss, in comparison, was just an inconsequential punctuation mark at the end of a disappointing season for both clubs.
Despite carrying play for much of the first period and taking a 1-0 lead on the power play courtesy Brent Burns' 17th goal of the season, San Jose wilted after allowing a tying goal to Tyler Toffoli, getting outshot 20-11 and outscored 3-0 over the remainder of the game.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this game from a Sharks perspective was that a Justin Braun illness prior to puck drop forced the team to dress John Scott as a defenseman, which led to some hilarious visuals like the 6'7" behemoth engaging in a game-long, rather one-sided rivalry with Kings forward Jordan Nolan.
Still, even Scott on the blueline wasn't enough to help the Sharks capitalize on an opportunity to end their season on a high note after ten straight years of losing their final game of the season in playoff action. Fortunately for them, there are no further implications of this game; just another reminder that this was a frustrating campaign that we're all happy is finally over.
[Fancy Stats] - [Kings Reaction]
[Event Summary] - [PBP Log] - [TOI Log] - [Faceoff Report]
- Root for the Panthers against the Devils and the Avs against Chicago. At least one point by Florida combined with a win in any fashion by Colorado would guarantee the Sharks a top-ten draft pick and 5% odds at winning the Connor McDavid lottery. It's still an extremely slim chance but, hey, it's better than nothing.
- In his brief stint with the big club, Taylor Fedun has honestly looked better than half the defensemen who have suited up with the Sharks this season. He's an Ian White-esque undersized puck mover who's also sneaky effective defensively. Would love to see the Sharks bring him back next year, if only as minor league depth.
- Scott acquitted himself reasonably well on defense, clearing the low bar most of us would associate with "John Scott is going to be a defenseman in this game." Decent stick positioning in the defensive zone legitimately thwarted a couple of Kings chances. If this was Scott's last game as a Shark, well, it's hard to say he wasn't as bad at hockey as advertised but at least he was entertaining and likable.
- Nice of NBC to include this graphic next the scorebug throughout this game:
FTF Three Stars
1st Star: Larry Robinson
2nd Star: Antti Niemi
3rd Star: Matt Irwin