Support this community by becoming a Sponsor
  HOSER of the WEEK
  Contact Us
  Meet the Staff
  Join the Team
  Our Sponsors

Blues even series by smashing Sharks
Everything goes wrong for SJ in Game 4
5/21/16 - By Mike Lee -

When the Sharks beat the St Louis Blues in Game 2 at Scottrade Center, they stole home ice advantage as the series shifted back to San Jose. The Sharks imploded in Game 4 on Saturday afternoon, to hand that advantage right back to the Blues. Holding a 2-1 series lead, the Sharks played like a team that expected the Blues to roll over and hand them the series. Not so fast. The Blues landed a throat shot to the lethargic Sharks to even the series with a resounding 6-3 win at SAP Center.

This one wasn't even close. The Sharks could never match the Blues intensity, which is hard to fathom, given the dominance they exuded in Games 2 & 3. It was the perfect example of why it's so hard to win the Stanley Cup. You actually have to work for it.

And the Sharks didn't do a single thing to try and earn a victory in this game. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong, because the Sharks didn't put in the effort required to win a regular season game, much less Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals.

The Blues on the other hand were in jeopardy of falling behind 3-1 in the series had they lost. Now the Blues hold the advantage, because this has become a best of three series, in which two of those three games will be played in St Louis.

San Jose was either unprepared or incapable of stepping up their game against a tougher team when it mattered the most. In either case, it's not a good sign for the Sharks. An unprepared team at this stage of the playoffs is destined for an exit. If it was a matter of complacency, then San Jose has 48 hours to get their house in order.

Things started badly for San Jose, then snowballed throughout the period. Tomas Hertl is still wondering what day of the week it is after getting leveled by Troy Brouwer with an elbow as he tried pursuing a puck. Brouwer made no attempt to play the puck and impeded the Sharks forward with a shot that should have been called interference. But like so many instances in the playoffs, the on-ice officials don't want to influence the outcome of the game, so the Blues skated on, while Hertl left the ice to try and gather his senses.

Referee Gord Dwyer didn't miss a Brent Burns tripping infraction three minutes later that put the Blues on the first of their two power plays in the period. Brouwer made it a 1-0 game on the ensuing power play by pumping a one-time chance from between the slot and the bottom of the right circle after Robby Fabbri fed him the puck from the right corner.

Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer challenged that the Blues were offside as they entered the Sharks zone before the Brouwer goal, but replays confirmed that all five St Louis players followed the puck across the blueline.

The Blues made it a 2-0 game 4 minutes later off a catastrophic gaff by defenseman Paul Martin. The Sharks defenseman tried carrying the puck out of his own end, but turned it over as the Blues forecheck swarmed the front of the Sharks net. Sharks goaltender Martin Jones made a nice stop on a chance by Fabbri from in tight, but Martin had tried swiping the puck clear with hi stick and lost his balance in the slot. Martin just sat watching the play develop as the puck finally made its way to Jori Lehtera's stick a mere 6 feet away.

Had Martin got up and rejoined the action, he would have had a chance to defend against Lehtera, but instead the puck ended up in the Sharks net.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic was sent off for slashing with 25 seconds left in the period, but the Sharks managed to make it to the intermission only down by a pair of goals. Logan Couture setup a Blues 5-on-3 48 seconds into the 2nd period by swatting a puck over the glass.

San Jose continued their rag tag play even after going on the power play themselves. Kevin Shattenkirk was sent off for interference 5:10 into the period, but then the Sharks somehow allowed the Blues to generate a 2-on-1 break that resulted in a Kyle Brodziak short-handed goal. Joe Thornton made a peculiar pass to an invisible Sharks player on the right side, but invisible plays aren't very useful in hockey games. That pass ended up on Jaden Schwartz stick and the Blues were off to the races.

That 4th goal would end Jones night, as DeBoer elected to pull hi goaltender and subject James Reimer to the thrill of defending an opponent with little to no defensive support up front. It was Reimer's first appearance in the playoffs, but it would not be perfect debut.

The Sharks finally solved Blues goaltender Jake Allen, who made his first start of the series after Blues head coach pulled Brian Elliott, early in the 3rd period. Joe Pavelski scored his 10th goal of the playoffs on a tap in after Thornton sent a saucer pass from the left side. Thornton had to thread a needle, putting his pass between three Blues defenders.

Anything positive that might have come from that goal was quickly erased after Joel Ward committed another boneheaded delay of game penalty. That of course, resulted in another goal, as Brouwer deflected an Alex Steen shot past James Reimer for the 5-1 lead.

Chris Tierney made it a 5-2 game at the 6:57 mark by bouncing a shot off Allen's back after the Sharks finally figured out to push the puck to the front of the Blues net.

San Jose elected to pull Reimer with 5 minutes to play, figuring that their goaltenders weren't stopping anything anyway, so why not throw an extra attacker out there. That backfired when Alex Pietrangelo lifted the puck out of his own zone, then watched as the puck turned on edge and took a sharp left turn right into the Sharks goal.

It was the perfect example of everything going wrong for San Jose.

The Sharks tacked on one more meaningless goal with 3:32 to play, but it wasn't even a Shark who scored the goal. Joel Edmundson slapped at a puck that slipped between Allen's pads, but the goal was credited to Melker Karlsson, the last Shark to touch the puck before Edmundson's handy work.


What did you think of this article? Post your comments on the Feeder Forums

What did you think of this story? Post your comments on the
Feeder Forums
1 2 3 T
STL 2 2 2 6
SJ 0 0 3 3
1st period - 1, STL, Brouwer 6 (Fabbri, Stastny), 6:14, (pp). 2, STL, Lehtera 3 (unassisted), 10:11.
2nd period - 3, STL, Brodziak 1 (Schwartz), 6:09, (sh). 4, STL, Brodziak 2 (Jaskin, Paajarvi), 10:11.
3rd period - 5, SJ, Pavelski 10 (Thornton, Martin), 1:05. 6, STL, BRouwer 7 (Steen, Stastny), 3:55, (pp). 7, SJ, Tierney 4 (unassisted), 6:57. 8, STL, Pietrangelo 2 (unassisted), 15:39, (en). 9, SJ, Karlsson 3 (unassisted), 16:28.
1st period - Burns, SJ (tripping), 5:00; Stastny, STL (interference), 10:28; Vlasic, SJ (slashing), 19:35.
2nd period - Couture, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 0:48; Shattenkirk, STL (interference), 5:10; Brouwer, STL (roughing), 11:38; Thornton, SJ (roughing), 11:38.
3rd period - Ward, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 3:48; Schwartz, STL (tripping), 7:07; Stastny, STL (tripping), 10:51; Gunnarsson, STL (fighting major), 17:49; Steen, STL (10 min misconduct), 17:49; Dillon, SJ (fighting major), 17:49; Wingels, SJ (10 min misconduct), 17:49; Lehtera, STL (slashing), 19:20.
Shots Saves
STL - Allen 34 31
SJ - Jones 19 15
SJ - Reimer 7 6
SJ - empy net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
STL 13 9 5 27
SJ 10 8 16 34
Power Play Conversion
STL 2 of 4
SJ 0 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Kyle Brodziak
Troy Brouwer
Chris Tierney
Referees: Dwyer, O'Halloran. Linesmen: Cormier, Miller.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

Privacy Statement   |   Contact Us   |   Advertise
Copyright 1997-2018 All rights reserved.
This website is an unofficial and independently operated source of news
and information not affiliated with the San Jose Sharks, any team, or league.