A loss like the San Jose Sharks endured last night definitely dents my confidence. I felt that the Sharks would come in and control the style of play, which they did, for all of 3:36 of the game. Then it was a slow and steady decline into am abyss of red clad fans chanting cultishly Go Fllames Go! By the time the score was tied I was hoping for overtime and a full intermission.
When you start hoping your team can make it to OT, you know what that means?
Game Over. Ding Ding Ding. TKO.
How will San Jose respond, what can they do?
Obviously, the Sharks need to play more physically and follow the lead of Patrick Marleau and compete every play of every shift. Brian Campbell has to start playing better, though so do most of the defence men. Ron Wilson needs to find a line to help Big Joe, though I liked how he put Jeremy Roenick too add another play maker out there with Big Joe and Milan Michalek. I think the more you hear Ryan Clowe's name the better off the Sharks are going to be in this series. I think San Jose is more than capable of winning the next two games in the Saddledome, ending the series there and crushing the hearts of Albertans far and wide.
The hard part for the Sharks is going to be playing up to their potential and not down to the Flames despite the pressure and expectations they are playing with. When the Sharks dictate the style of play, the Flames simply can't match up line in and line out personnel wise.
It's a simple plan. Or is it?
Much like Hanibal from the A-Team, I love it when a plan comes together, as was the case in game two. But, as former heavyweight champion and known head case Mike Tyson once claimed, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. We all saw how that happened in game two.
I sure hope the Sharks have good chins, like their captain, because Calgary is going to punch them in the mouth again.
In the end though, I'm calling the series Sharks in 6.
They can go the distance, as long as they get off the mat for game four.