Last night’s heartbreaking 3-2 loss started with the San Jose Sharks and the Anaheim Ducks really trying to punish each other. Each team really played the body and was not afraid to take hits to make good plays. This was really good to see for the Sharks, but to no avail, as the power-play failed us once again.
The Sharks are now 0-for-12 in the first two games in the playoffs and it’s killing this team.
For some reason, entering the attacking zone seems to be to be a really hard concept to grasp at times. A combination of sloppy passing, unforced offsides, and slowing down the rush makes the Sharks PP no threat at all for the Ducks PK units.
If you compare the two teams in that aspect, the Ducks are doing everything right.
The Ducks enter the zone with a lot of speed, create second and third opportunities, tape to tape passes, and have a lot of bodies in front of the net. They are creating time and space with speed down low, and are really outworking the Sharks PP/PK units.
Something to jump start the Power Play? Patrick Marleau playing a better game! Going into the third with out a registered shot is a joke to me. We had six power-plays but Patty had no shots? Didn’t you get the nickname “Playoff Patty” for a reason? San Jose will not last long if they can’t get this power-play and Patrick Marleau going!
With that said, the Sharks did do a lot of things right. I think they played an overall great game and came close to having the upper hand.
A few bad bounces and Jonas Hiller really were the deal breakers. Joe Pavelski really improved his play and created a lot of good chances with Ryan Clowe and Devin Setoguchi. A great bounce back game by winning faceoffs, playing the body, and some really good chances on net. His line was buzzing all night and was giving the Ducks 'D' a really hard time.
It was really good to see Claude Lemieux have an effective night. Claude was aggressive on the forecheck, drew a penalty, and played the body. Not bad for a guy who hasn’t played a playoff game in six years. Good to see this from him.
Jonathan Cheechoo and Travis Moen both had a really strong game. I really like the fact that Cheechoo was battling with Chris Pronger. Pronger is a big man and it takes a lot of guts to go after a man that size.
On a side note: I really think that Dan Boyle should be wearing an “A” on his jersey. Danny has been a leader who shows he wants to win. He carries the puck in with speed, tries to make chances, and overall, knows what it takes to win.
Overall, the Sharks need to keep doing what they're doing and work harder on the power-play. If we can do those things well, I think that the flood gate will open right up.
Keep on believing people! Take’s four to win and there’s still a lot of hockey to be played!