No NHL workforce wants the bye week greater than the San Jose Sharks.
No workforce wants the psychological break extra. No workforce must neglect about hockey, or skating, or arenas, or ice, or third durations, overtimes, and shootouts greater than the Sharks.
The Sharks have yet another recreation to go earlier than their bye-week begins, although, they usually actually hope to have a top quality effort Saturday in Pittsburgh in opposition to Sidney Crosby and the Penguins.
However the Sharks know that received’t assure them something, identical to it didn’t Friday night time in a dispiriting 5-4 additional time loss to the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Area.
“We’re in each recreation,” Sharks ahead Nick Bonino stated, “and we discover methods to lose.”
For 2 durations, the Sharks performed the type of recreation they wished to in opposition to the Hurricanes, leaders of the Metropolitan Division. They received battles, received races to pucks, and (largely) prevented turnovers. Early within the third interval, additionally they overcame some adversity, scoring three unanswered objectives after Sebastian Aho put Carolina up 2-1 simply 17 seconds into the ultimate body.
However virtually no lead is protected with regards to San Jose Sharks hockey this season.
Simply 15 seconds after Mario Ferraro scored an empty-net objective for a 4-2 San Jose lead, the Sharks suffered a large mind cramp, plain and easy.
After a faceoff at middle ice following the Ferraro objective, the puck was despatched deep into the Hurricanes’ zone, and each Nico Sturm and Oskar Lindblom went charging into the Carolina finish to strain the puck provider.
A reminder: The Sharks (14-25-11) didn’t want a fifth objective at that time.
Nick Bonino and Jaycob Megna hung again close to the Hurricanes’ blue line – though Megna was out of place alongside the boards – with Erik Karlsson taking part in middle subject behind them. None of it mattered. Carolina defenseman Jalen Chatfield simply eluded Sturm’s forecheck, getting the puck to Seth Jarvis, who rapidly fed Teuvo Teravainen contained in the Sharks’ zone.
By that time, 4 Sharks skaters have been fully left within the mud, with solely Karlsson again to defend a Teravainen-Aho 2-on-1. As might be predicted, Teravainen slid the puck over to Aho, who went in alone on James Reimer and beat him five-hole with 1:37 left in regulation time.
“Not defending the center of the rink,” Sharks coach David Quinn stated. “We must always have gone and simply established our forecheck – they nonetheless had their goalie in – and simply go play the best way we had accomplished and we didn’t.
“We backed off as a substitute of going and taking part in hockey. We’re exterior the dots, each (defensemen) need to be contained in the dots, they usually weren’t. To surrender a breakaway like that’s actually irritating.”
The physique language after that objective stated all of it.
There was little celebration from Aho, who as a substitute confirmed a glance of resolve as he glanced on the clock to see how a lot time was left.
The Sharks, effectively, they knew from a number of earlier scarring losses that the sport was removed from over.
“Sadly, we’ve had a whole lot of apply at dropping video games on this trend,” Quinn stated, “so it’s simply very disappointing for our gamers.”
From there, the Hurricanes received three straight faceoffs, together with a disputed one received by Jordan Staal with 19 seconds to go.
The Sharks believed Staal drew the puck again earlier than it hit the ice. Regardless of. The puck discovered its approach again to Brent Burns, whose shot from contained in the blue line wound up within the nook to the suitable of Reimer.
Andrei Svechnikov then flung the puck towards the web. Reimer obtained a bit of it, nevertheless it went to straight to an open Martin Necas, who beat Reimer with a wrist shot excessive above the suitable shoulder tying the sport 4-4.
If the demons the Sharks have confronted all season lengthy in shut video games hadn’t returned after the Aho objective, they actually have been entrance and middle when Necas discovered the web.
The Sharks, together with overtimes and shootouts, have now misplaced 11 video games this season wherein held a lead within the third interval, the best whole within the NHL.
The Sharks are additionally a dismal 5-6-11 in one-goal video games.
In some unspecified time in the future, taking one intestine punch after one other has to have a unfavourable impact on one’s psyche.
“We obtained a few objectives and you can really feel it was coming for us,” Necas stated.
The Sharks obtained one shot on objective in additional time, by Logan Couture, however the finish consequence appeared like a fait d’accompli. On a Hurricanes 2-on-1, Svechnikov fed Necas, who buried a shot previous Reimer.
The Sharks are actually 1-4-3 of their final video games.
It was solely the second time in workforce historical past the Sharks have blown a two-goal lead throughout the ultimate two minutes of regulation time, with the final approaching Jan. 5 in opposition to the Washington Capitals (a 5-4 additional time loss).
The Sharks haven’t received a one-goal recreation since they beat the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 – on Dec. 13. Since then they’re 0-1-6 in such video games.
That’s why the Sharks want the break greater than anybody. After Saturday, they don’t play (or apply) once more till Feb, 7 once they begin a three-game highway journey in opposition to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
That ought to be sufficient time to heal the injuries the Sharks have – each bodily and psychological – for no matter may come their approach within the ultimate two months of the season. If it’s any comfort, losses don’t come any extra devastating than this.
Autor Curtis Pashelka