Pucknology Game Day Report
Tonight the Sharks will look to even up their series with the St. Louis blues before they return home for games three and four of their Western Conference Finals series. The Sharks lost their last game by a score of 2-1 and even though the result wasn’t the one the team was probably looking for there was plenty they could build off of for the games ahead. Here are my keys to a Sharks game-two victory.
- No more soft goals from Martin Jones. Now I personally give Martin Jones a lot of credit for game one. Yes, the second goal was super soft and ultimately cost the Sharks the game but after that goal, he did everything he could to keep the Sharks in the game and give them the chance to come back and win. Soft goals on the road have however are starting to become a trend and something that must be addressed.
- Brent Burns need to regain his composure. Although the underlying numbers for Burn’s game were actually pretty good the eye test told a totally different story. Personally, I think it was likely nerves but Burns was uncharacteristically sloppy and it had lead to many chances the other way. If Burns can get back to playing a composed game that we have seen earlier in the playoffs the Sharks will be better for it.
- Special Teams need to succeed. Now a lot of people have decided to pin game one solely on Martin Jones and that’s not entirely fair. As stated above despite the goal Jones did everything possible to keep the Sharks in the game but unfortunately the Sharks didn’t execute on any of their power play opportunities. So while a sloppy Jones goal put them down by a goal a weak powerplay didn’t allow them to draw back even.
- The sixty-minute game cliche. The Sharks didn’t come out great in the first period before really finding their legs in the second period. Sharks need to have their legs in the first period and look to strike first. The Sharks have yet to have a lead in this series.
This is an important game for the Sharks as they cannot win this series on home ice alone, they need to take a game in St. Louis at some point in this series and preferably before they are too deep in a hole to get out of. The Sharks are facing a series deficit for the first time this postseason and I think now is another opportunity to show not only us but themselves what this team is really made of.
Matchup by the Numbers
|San Jose Sharks||St. Louis Blues||Advantage|
|8-5||Playoff Record||9-6||Blues lead 1-0|
|(13/45) 28.9%||Power Play||(12/42) 28.6%||Sharks|
|(29/36) 80.5%||Penalty Kill||(34/42) 81%||Blues|
Blues Projected Lineup
Schwartz – Lehtera – Tarasenko
Fabbri – Stastny – Brouwer
Berglund – Steen – Backes
Upshall – Brodziak – Ott
Bouwmeester – Pietrangelo
Edmunson – Shattenkirk
Gunnarsson – Parayko
Sharks Projected Lineup
Hertl – Thornton – Pavelski
Donskoi – Couture – Ward
Karlsson – Marleau – Nieto
Spaling – Tierney – Wingels
Vlasic – Braun
Martin – Burns
Dillon – Polak