In the history of San Jose Shark disappointments, the end to this season may very well the franchise’s most bitter loss to date.
After all the growth and accomplishments this team underwent overcoming every obstacle, in the end a game-tying goal following a blown icing call in the final seconds of Game 5 doomed them. Kevin Bieksa’s fluky goal to put an end to the double-overtime slugfest that was Game 5 was just salt in the proverbial wound.
What went wrong? In a season filled with so much hope and promise that had fans believing that this was finally the year, there’s plenty of blame to go around.
Lack of execution, sloppy defensive focus, fourth-line defensive lapses and inconsistent effort are the true culprits. The Detroit Red Wings exploited these issues, forcing a Game 7 and exacting a pound of flesh that the Sharks could not recover from in the conference finals.
Fatigue and lack of composure led directly to the 0-2 hole in the Western Conference finals against the best team in the NHL during the regular season. Not exactly a formula for success against a deep team like Vancouver, leading to the Sharks’ second finals ousting in as many years.
While this certainly isn’t the outcome many fans wanted or expected, there's also no reason for the Sharks to hang their heads.
However, there are a few select individuals that played big roles in San Jose’s downfall. Let’s take a look at who they are.