This was obviously not the ideal position the San Jose Sharks wanted to find themselves in, but it happened. Looking to even the series at 2 games apiece, the Sharks instead found themselves trailing 3-1 in the series against the Pittsburgh Penguins facing a do-or-die Game 5. Here’s how it happened.
The Sharks looked like they had some pretty good jump to start the first period in the first five or so minutes, but then Pittsburgh started to take over again. You could feel a goal coming for the Penguins, and surely enough, Ian Cole capitalized on a rebound and blown defensive coverage by San Jose to make it 1-0 Pittsburgh.
Things didn’t look any better for the team in teal in the second period as it was all Pittsburgh yet again. Just 2 minutes into the middle frame, Evgeni Malkin scored on a power play to make it 2-0 Penguins.
The Sharks would show up for the third with everything they had, and it eventually paid off as Melker Karlsson scored the lone Sharks goal to make it 2-1. But that would not be enough as Pittsburgh would throw in the dagger with the insurance goal by Eric Fehr.
It was a real disappointing game, no doubt about it. The Penguins, like they have been all series, have just outplayed the Sharks in every facet except hits. The Sharks still lacked in puck possession, and they’re being heavily outmatched. Again, it’s disappointing, but let’s not throw in the towel yet. There’s still an elimination Game 5, and if they do somehow manage to win that game, there’s still a Game 6 and a Game 7 if they manage to win Game 6. It’s going to be an uphill battle, but that’s not saying it’s impossible. Pete DeBoer just needs to realize what his actual options are and not just throw out the same lineups every game. Hell, not just that. He needs to shorten the bench. I don’t know why he didn’t do that, but he has to learn to swallow his pride in rolling four lines and just get the big boys out there.
That said, Joe Pavelski needs to show up, Joe Thornton, Logan Couture, Brent Burns— I mean, these are the guys you’re supposed to count on night in and night out to get it done, not just your depth. I know that Pittsburgh has obviously eliminated really any shooting or passing lane for them to set up their plays, but something’s gotta be open. I mean, it’s not like Matt Murray has a defensive force field around him and his net. Something still has to work, and it has to work for the next elimination game or games, again depending on how things go in Game 5.
As always, Pucknology has you covered for pregame coverage as well as anything and everything Sharks and hockey related. We’ll pull it out for one more game and again, see what happens from there. No matter what happens, we’ll always bleed teal.