Sharks-Ducks Game One: Lessons Learned?

John MoralesContributor IApril 17, 2009

SAN JOSE, CA - APRIL 16:  Scott Niedermayer #27 of the Anaheim Ducks celebrates with teammates Bobby Ryan #9 and Corey Perry #10 after scoring as Milan Michalek #9 and Evgeni Nabokov #20 of the San Jose Sharks look on during Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion at San Jose April 16, 2009 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Last night's shutout loss was a frustrating and anger-filled loss for all Sharks fans. With such high expectations and hope, the last thing we all expected was a shutout loss.


I’m going to go over the good, the bad, and the flat-out ugly parts of last night's game.



The Bad


The play of the San Jose Sharks' top line was not only disappointing, but kind of a surprise.


Joe Thornton was really taken out of the play, and there were a number of times the Ducks played the body on Big Joe. This turned out to not only be a very effective move, but really gave Anaheim more confidence.


The fact that there was little to no zone play and barely any shots from the top line is unacceptable. They need to play a whole hell of a lot better if they want to even entertain the thought of raising the cup.


The Sharks' power play was a joke last night as well. They need to move a lot faster when entering the zone and make cleaner passes.


The defense also needs to do a better job at getting shots to the net and the forwards have to go to the net to create second and third opportunities. Only then will they make the Ducks pay for their ways.



The Ugly


The play of Joe Pavelski was completely inexcusable. Little Joe ended the game going 5-for-13 on faceoffs, losing battle after battle along the walls and corners, and had no shots.


To top it off, his defensive play was flat-out awful. I pray to god he was just nervous and having an off night, but the simple fact that he allowed himself to have such an off night is scary to think about.


Little Joe needs to have a completely different game on Sunday. If he repeats this performance, I say bench him and put in someone who might bring more to the table.


This is the time of the year that makes champions, and if you’re not willing to be at your best, then get out of the way. Someone else will answer the call.


But not all is lost fellow Sharks fans. Last night was only one game in a best-of-seven series, and there was a lot of good to along with the bad.



The Good


For starters, the play of Douglas Murray was just awesome to watch. He was constantly playing the body and winning battles. He also seemed to elevate his game and showed a lot of heart.


I was very happy to see this.


Also, the third line was the best line we had all night. Marcel Goc, Travis Moen, and Jonathan Cheechoo were winning battles, winning faceoffs, playing the body, screening Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller, and weren’t afraid to take hits to make the right plays.


I really feel this line has an identity and gave the Duck all kinds of hell last night. The Sharks' top two lines need to pay attention and feed off the energy and example the third line provided.


If we can have all four lines near this level, San Jose will have a lot of success.


Let’s hope we see a better effort from everyone on Sunday and come out of the tank with a win. Going to the Honda Center down two games would be a killer.


I know team teal can do it.


I believe! We all need to believe!   




Also, for everyone out there who wants to talk Sharks Playoff hockey (or just playoff hockey period), please tune into to ChompTalk on Sunday nights from 9-10 p.m. The ChompTalk crew will take all your phone calls (1-800-516-1220) about your San Jose Sharks and everything playoff hockey! ChompTalk can be streamed live, or tune in to AM 1220. Join in the conversation!