The San Jose Sharks continued their slide and suffered a massive scare in the injury department falling in their 3 rd straight game in a 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings. I’ll tell you how I see it in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
The Good: This is going to be short but let’s keep in mind that no team has the depth to cover the loss of 5 regulars and there is 75 games remaining in a very long season. While losing to the kings always sucks this was not a make or break game for the Sharks by any stretch of the imagination and while everyone is doing it, it’s a little early to really take the standings too serious. The Sharks put up some good numbers in the face off dot winning 41 draws with Tomas Hertl and Joe Pavelski both winning 69% of their draws.
The Sharks also had a solid start to the game out shooting the Kings 18-8, even though they left that period down by two goals. Another bright spot for this game was the play of Chris Tierney who continues to play well in any roll he is given, he still needs time to grow but the Sharks have something really special there. The work Pavelski did on the Joel Ward goal was also impressive.
The Bad: Since the injury to Logan Couture the sharks have gone 1/16 on the power play including failing to capitalize on 5 opportunities. To make matters worse their once solid penalty kill was also 2/4 continuing the trend of giving up goals while shorthanded. The Sharks got another injury scare as Joe Thornton took a pretty rough hit from Kings defensemen, Jake Muzzin that saw him get up and have a hard time staying on his feet. He would miss the remainder of the first period before returning early in the second period.
No I’m no doctor, but I have to wonder if that is Mike Brown and not Joe Thornton do we see him back in the game? Again, I was happy to see Thornton return in a losing effort but my fear is that it will be another story where guy comes back finishes a game and then is out for a month with concussion symptoms. I hope I am wrong and all turns out well but you just want to make sure the team is taking all precautions and for now all we can do is take the team at face value that they did. Didn’t think Martin Jones was terrible, but he wasn’t good. The fourth Kings goal was a perfect summary of the night, Sharks got no bounces early on while the Kings had more than luck on their side.
The Ugly: The sharks looked largely disinterested in the game by the time the score was 3-0 yes there was good play by Pavelski that led to the Ward goal that made it 3-1 but overall the team didn’t seem to be moving his feet. Time and time again the Sharks looked frozen in place in the defencive zone where the Kings seemed to move the puck at will with little to know resistance from the Sharks who were boo’d off the ice at the end of the game and rightfully so. I appreciate that there are injuries that hurt our depth but I also have to question the line deployments and call up’s from the farm system. Bryan Lerg, Michael Haley and Mike Brown just might be the worst fourth line in hockey and while I can understand Nieto’s play earning him an opportunity at the first line I’d have still rather seen Nikolay Goldobin playing on the wing and Lerg not in the line up at all.
This is nothing against Lerg really, Haley is the better center and calling up 2 AHL journeymen was overkill. I know people are going to say we needed all the face punchers for this Kings game but it does not matter how tough you appear when it’s 4-1. The defense continues to be a mess because of the Sharks refusal to break up Marc Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun. I know people might throw stuff at me but I’ll end with this. If Brent Burns is so bad at defence without the injured Paul Martin why not move him up to forward and let people that actually are trying to play defence in their place. Burns paired with Brendan Dillon is bad, Burns paired with Mirco Mueller is so bad it should be a sign of the apocalypse. Speaking of Mueller he had an OK game at best.