Chad LaRose had a goal and two helpers as the Carolina Hurricanes handed the Sharks their second consecutive loss at home with a score of 5-2.
San Jose was given the opportunity to jump out to an early lead with two powerplay opportunities in a row. On their first powerplay, the Sharks seemed to be fighting the puck – making ill-advised passes as well as fanning on the puck. The Carolina penalty-killers sensed the Sharks’ difficulties and Chad LaRose hopped on a loose puck for a 2 on 1 rush with Eric Staal who received a pass and buried the opportunity.
When asked about the turnovers, Joe Thornton said, “They’re not doing anything spectacular, we’re just giving away pucks right now.”
Though it cannot be denied that the Sharks made it easy for the Hurricanes to obtain scoring opportunites by turning the puck over, they did so to some really good hockey players.
Jeff Skinner created a scoring chance of a Sharks’ turnover that resulted in all 5 Sharks players below the hash-marks and an Eric Cole goal. The tally put the Sharks in a 2-0 hole at the end of the first period.
Another turnover, this one resulting in a goal by Patrick Dwyer, brought out the boo-birds in the Shark Tank as the ‘Canes led 3-0. It wasn’t until Patrick Marleau scored his first two goals of the season to bring his team within one goal, that the Sharks looked like they had some life and momentum to make it a hockey game.
Early in the 3rd period, however, Doug Murray turned the puck over to a forechecking Eric Staal who found Chad LaRose unmarked in front of the net that deflated the team and crowd. A Joni Pitkanen goal late in the frame capped off the scoring for the Hurricanes, who didn’t show too many signs of fatigue after being on the road since the preseason.
Look, its not yet time to push the panic button on this Sharks team, who are now 1-2-1 and sit at the bottom of the Pacific Division, but adjustments have to be made – especially going on the road this week – in order to put together a full 60 minutes of hockey. Breakouts need to be simpler and more fluid, forecheckers need to be smarter, and the defense needs to stop taking chances in the offensive zone that are leading to odd-man rushes going the other way.
The Sharks will face-off against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night and will continue their road swing through Aberta on Saturday and Sunday to take on the Oilers and Flames before returning home.
Note: Antii Niemi was in net for the Sharks again, stopping 26 of 31 shots faced. In his 3 games, Niemi has a GAA of 3.71 and a 0.879 SV%. Expect Antero Niittymaki to see time on this road trip.
About the Author
Written by Alex Wasserstrom
Native Californian, former minor league pro, and current men's league superstar, Alex Wasserstrom is ProSportsBlogging.com's San Jose Sharks correspondent. Wanna talk puck? Shoot him an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or follow him on Twitter (@Awassers).