If the Blackhawks or other teams have the Sharks' number, there will
be no parade
|11/19/13 - By Paul Krill -
The table was set for the Sharks on Sunday. While
the team had another Saturday night with no game to play, the Blackhawks were
getting pummeled in Nashville that evening, 7-2. The rested Sharks were set up
to have an easy time with their tired, dreaded nemesis from the Windy City,
Well, not quite. Chicago came in and battered the Sharks, 5-1,
finishing up the scoring with a penalty shot goal. Blackhawks Patrick Sharp,
who scored that goal, seemingly knew a simple recipe to get the puck past
Sharks goaltender (and former Blackhawk ) Antti Niemi: Just go high on him.
Sunday's loss was a big disappointment, since the Sharks had recently
recovered from two weeks' worth of losses by beating Calgary, Vancouver and
Edmonton (although two of those games required overtime). OK, so maybe the
Sharks were a bit road-weary, with this being the last game on a five-game road
Now, they'll come home and face Tampa Bay minus its best player
(injured Steven Stamkos), followed by the struggling New Jersey Devils (who
also lost their best player, Ilya Kovalchuk, permanently) and then the Los
Angeles Kings, who already have beaten the Sharks this year.
such as the Blackhawks and Kings have the Sharks' number, so to speak, similar
to how the Sharks' have had Vancouver's lately, then it is academic that the
Sharks are not going to go far in this year's playoffs. The team cannot count
on other teams to knock off the teams the Sharks have trouble beating; the
Sharks are going to have to figure out a way to beat these teams themselves.
The upcoming five-game home stand gives the team a
chance to pile up some points and hopefully re-establish the lead in the
division - a lead lost to the Ducks recently. The Sharks have played 13 road
games so far as opposed to just eight home games. It's a long season and there
will be bumps along the way.
The Sharks, though, can't let teams be
able to phone it against them if they wish to contend for a Stanley Cup.
Somebody will have to come up with a game plan for these tough-to-beat teams.
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