It was a brutal end to an amazingly historic 25th anniversary season for the Sharks and their fans. As we congratulate the Pittsburgh Penguins on winning their fourth Stanley Cup in franchise history, we look back at how the Sharks fell short in their quest for hockey’s Holy Grail.
If there were any positives other than the lone Sharks goal by Logan Couture (which we’ll get to later) and Martin Jones’ absolutely spectacular performance, it was the loudness of the Shark Tank when the organization decided to have five Sharks alumni (Scott Hannan, Mike Rathje, Evgeni Nabokov, Mike Ricci, and Kyle McLaren) open the door. I thought that was the perfect way to introduce the Sharks for their final home game of the season.
Unfortunately, the Sharks gave up the first goal yet again in the first period when Brian Dumoulin faked a shot to make Melker Karlsson, who was looking to block the shot, get out of the shooting lane and scored to make it 1-0 Penguins on the power play. It was also a goal that Jones would want to have back as it went under the blocker side and into the back of the net.
The start of the second period saw a much more concerted effort by San Jose and it eventually lead to Couture’s goal six minutes in as he snapped the puck through the pads of Matt Murray to tie the game at 1.
Unfortunately, the Penguins would eventually retake the momentum a minute later on a goal by Kris Letang and also retake the lead at 2-1. It also seemed as though the goal against just absolutely demoralized the boys in teal.
As hard as the Sharks fought, they fell short and ended up giving up the empty netter to Patrick Hornqvist.
The Sharks were unfortunately outplayed for much of this series, and this game was no exception. Obviously, I’m disappointed in the overall result and losing the Stanley Cup, but a few big disappointments stood out to me. I’ve always been a Joe Pavelski fan, especially after he delivered that huge locker room speech last year against the Arizona Coyotes during the regular season. Of course, you all remember it aired on EPIX’s Road to the Stadium Series. I always felt he was going to be the captain after that and surely enough, he got the “promotion” he deserved, so to speak. He’s always been a hard worker. He’s very accurate with his shots. He’s been deadly with everything he does offensively.
… And then this series against the Penguins came along and he struggled. Massively. I don’t know if he was injured or not. This is what Kevin Kurz tweeted out from last night in regards to that:
Pavelski said he was healthy.
— Kevin Kurz (@KKurzCSN) June 13, 2016
So then, what the hell, Pavs? Assuming he really was healthy, how did he look like he just lost confidence? He’s had lots of opportunities taken away from him, I know. But in the case of last night, the opportunities were there, and they were never taken away from him! Yet, he missed on a blatant open-net opportunity to catch Murray out of position, and then passed the puck to Joe Thornton on another chance he would’ve shot on net 9 out of 10 times. So, I don’t understand. The only thing I can chalk it up to also applies to the rest of the group. I feel the Penguins just frustrated the Sharks’ offense. I really do.
So, honestly, it was a hell of a ride. Personally, I’m proud to be a part of this wonderful Pucknology community, writing for this website as well as my appearance on a select few Pucknology After Dark postgames. I hope you all enjoyed our content, whether it’s Puckguy’s and Ian’s pregame articles, Puckguy’s motivational speeches, or AJ Strong talking about attendance issues and whatnot, or other new writers like Aidan and Thomas Owen. I’ve obviously also had a hand in the content, writing some postgames as well as editorials, whether it be the “Killer Instinct” series or the regular ones. Honestly, I’ve just enjoyed writing about Sharks hockey in general and listening to the guys on PAD night in and night out talk about what they and what we all love talking about, and what the Bay Area sports media sadly refuses to talk at length about. We all love Sharks hockey. We’re all dedicated, and I for one am definitely looking forward to what the next season for the San Jose Sharks has to has offer.
All that said, the content on here at Pucknology is not going away as we still have to deal with a lot of things in the offseason. So as always, be sure to check back here for all things Sharks and hockey-related for offseason trade analysis if the Sharks do end up moving a few pieces in and out of the roster. Look out for maybe some free agent signing updates. Just make sure you check back here for all the latest Sharks offseason updates, and there might still be some Pucknology After Dark shows in the offseason so subscribe if you haven’t already. Also, check out Teal Tinted Glasses, and last but not least tune in to our new show, hosted by Ian Reid, Pucknology Writers Room. We’ll talk some Sharks but mainly just stick to NHL news in general so as to not have the same repeat conversations you’d usually hear on PAD. So, strap on your seat belts, enjoy the offseason and the madness that is the trade rumor mill especially as Draft Day nears, and thank you all for sticking with us at Pucknology. We appreciate it.