Sharks Playoff Gameday: Pressure Cooker
Anaheim leads 1-0
| || |
| || |
Game one was disheartening, but there were some positives. The Sharks outshot the Ducks nearly two to one, both at even strength and overall. Boyle looked like the player we've seen all season- strong puck carrier, a guy who's going to put the team on his back when they need him. While Nabokov may have let in a soft goal five hole, he made some good stops throughout the course of the tilt. San Jose drew more penalties, and at one point you have to figure the power play is going to click.
Game one was demoralizing, but there are some intangibles. How about the six Cup rings in the room right now, that veteran presence San Jose has lacked in past playoff runs? Two posts Ehrhoff and Boyle hit respectively? A couple inches and we may be looking at a different outcome.
Game one was frustrating, but there are some things to be learned. Big Joe's line didn't match up well against Getzlaf's- will McLellan consider throwing out a checking line against them, giving the Sharks top scorers some better looks? Jody Shelley was a non-factor, only taking 3 shifts and seeing 2:02 of ice time- will the coaching staff take another glance at either McGinn, Plihal, or Lemieux and give them an opportunity to contribute?
Game one may have been a moral victory in some sense. Slight tweaks need to be made, nothing drastic. But let's not make a mistake here- tonight is as close as they come to a must-win. The scoreboard is the defining line at this point in the season, and looking at positive trends in a loss only take you so far. The shelf life for these things expire once 7:00 rolls around tonight.
We've got a squatter on our hands, boys. Kick down the door and raise some hell.
Prediction: Massive alcohol intake nestled snuggly between a Jody Shelley hat-trick. How's that for efficiency.