The San Jose Sharks entered Friday night's game desperate. They had just lost back-to-back games against average teams and had given up nine goals in the losses.
The Chicago Blackhawks were even more desperate. Halfway through a nine-game road trip, the Hawks needed to pick up a win to avoid their seventh straight loss.
The Sharks came out with more desperation and energy and took a 2-0 lead in the first period. Chicago responded by controlling the second period, and tied the game at 2-2. They again tied it at 3-3 early in the third, but San Jose took over the game down the stretch and rolled to a 5-3 victory.
This was, in a sense, the Sharks' last game before the real push begins. They embark on a nine-game road trip tomorrow, and it's all uphill from there. As it turned out, this highly emotional, violent, and spirited game between two desperate rivals ended up telling us a ton about where the Sharks are, where they're going, and where they want to go.
Specifically, each goal and each stretch leading up to the goals in this game tell stories. Let's delve into them.