20 May 19
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Itʼs over. The Sharks are done, finished. The St. Louis Blues are going to the Stanley Cup final for the first time since 1970 and they — not the Sharks — could win the first Cup in their history.
I do like reading and hearing the opinions of fans and pundits. Hey, everybody is entitled to their opinions. After the 5-0 Game 5 beatdown Sunday, those opinions are understandably negative towards the Sharks.
[related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-section”]We donʼt need to go over the game. We all saw the Blues dominate the Sharks.
Even though I think social media is poison and is the sledgehammer that destroyed any chance of civil discourse in the world I came across a tweet from Owen Nolan. The former Sharks captain and a guy who knows a little something about beating the St. Louis Blues was on Twitter after Sunday’s game.
“Bad loss forget it move on,” he wrote. “No time to dwell on it. Focus on what needs to be done to win the next one. Go@SanJoseSharks.”
Itʼs the playoffs, the time of year when a loss — no matter how discouraging — is just a loss. Donʼt get too high, donʼt get too low, though cliched is entirely appropriate. Especially because the Sharks are still in it. They got knocked down Sunday, but not knocked out.
As Rocky Balboa told his son: “But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
I love that speech.
In order to get “some winning done”, The Sharks have to make some adjustments.They have scored one goal in the last periods. Itʼs easy to say and a lot harder to do but they have to find a way to get some pucks past Jordan Binnington.
I know, Thank you, Captain Obvious.
The Sharks need to be more willing to score ugly goals. The last two games have not been difficult for the Blues rookiesensation.
It is not an easy task. The Blues defensemen are a big, hard- nosed, shot-blocking bunch. The Sharks are going to have to pay a heavy price in order to own the important ice. But you canʼt win if you donʼt score. Get people and pucks to the net. Stay in the fight to create second and third chances.
The Sharks had a very good first period Sunday. They had more than their share of offensive zone time. They established a strong forecheck and put the puck on net 11 times. Find a way to stick with that. The Sharks are a verydifficult team to play against when they get their forecheck and possession game going.
Manage the puck. The Blues are a very good forechecking team; they pressure relentlessly. However the Sharks havecoughed up the puck too often in their own zone. Close quick support will aid in proper puck management and exiting theD-zone.
In these playoffs, the Sharks are 10-3 when tied or trailing in a series. They have have won four elimination games. They have played and succeeded through nearly 15 periods of elimination hockey. They have taken the hits and kept moving forward.
They took the hits in Game 5. It didnʼt go well. But they are still in the fight.