The Sharks returned home with a two games to none lead over the Los Angeles Kings looking for a stranglehold on the series but it was not to be as the Sharks would drop a 2-1 decision in overtime and now it’s time for The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly!
Overall the Sharks played an alright game, it wasn’t pretty and it probably wasn’t their best but it was good and frankly better than the Kings played. The Sharks outshot the Kings 30-24 even though the Kings were killing the Sharks in the faceoff circle which is something that goes somewhat underrated by fans. The Sharks had some quality chances in the game and for the most part continued to play their game while the Kings let themselves become a little unglued. If the Sharks can continue to play well at even strength while avoiding the sin bin they will come out of this series as the victors. Finally, It’s about time the Sharks have gone back to wearing Teal in the playoffs. Never have I seen a team so afraid of its own identity. I didn’t like the Kings game winning goal but Jones was good and should get the game four start.
The Sharks got completely worked over in the faceoff circle which is especially frustrating on the power play because the Sharks then have to spend a significant time trying to regain possession of the puck. While the Sharks have done a good job recovering from their faceoff losses this can’t be a trend that continues while Los Angeles continues to adjust to the Sharks game. The Sharks also let their game plan slip as the game went on and although it’s hard to blame them since they are human after all, it definitely cost them the game. As cathartic as it was to see Hertl take Brown to the ice, it was the first real crack in the Sharks armor. This would be the Sharks undoing in overtime as Brendon Dillon who had a night to forget went for a big hit on Brown instead of making the hockey play.
The Power play had a serious case of Jekyll and Hyde tonight. I thought the first power play was good, as did the second last one but overall three shots just aren’t going to cut it. Now you do have to give the Kings some credit here as well the Sharks did get a decent number of shot attempts that got blocked or deflected by the Kings defenders. I already commented on Dillon so it’s time to turn my attention to Nick Spaling. I like Spaling he can be a decent bottom six forward can take a draw (100% on the night) and kill penalties. That being said he can’t do any of those things in the penalty box. Spaling’s penalties are as painful as they come this series so far and it’s to the point that if Zubrus isn’t brought into next game than he clearly is injured or Peter DeBoer has lost his mind.
The Sharks are still in good shape they have in my opinion outplayed the Kings in all three games but let this game get away from them at the end. If the Sharks can refocus and stay out of the penalty box than I like their chances in game four and beyond. The narrative is now going to be that the series has turned and momentum is now in the Kings favour and I couldn’t disagree more. The Sharks are still very much in the driver seat here and while three games to none lead would have been nice no one should worry about this team unless they falter in game four. If and only if that happens then everyone should get their paper bags and breathe into them until they are able to calm down.