It’s a good thing Antti Niemi decided to show up last night against the Kings because the rest of the Sharks surely did not. Outshot 30-14 over two periods, the Sharks were lucky the score was 0-0 at that point and you think that would be a wake-up call for the team to pull their heads out and play for their goaltender.
It was not the case as the Sharks surrendered four 3rd period goals and got embarrassed on home ice. All the credit goes to the Kings coming out ready to play in their second game in as many nights – their forwards hustled, defensemen activated, and Jonathan Quick looked solid stopping all 24 shots faced.
I do have to point out a very sweet goal scored by Dustin Brown (his second of the game) where Anze Kopitar flipped the puck over the Sharks’
pylons defense and Brown found himself on a breakaway where he finished on a now backhand deke. Definitely a candidate for goal of the year.
From the start of the contest, the Sharks were not moving their feet in their own zone, wings were giving the Kings’ point-men too much space, and there were virtually no clean breakouts. Niemi made several key saves on odd-man rushes and, at one point, the Kings were outshooting San Jose 15-1 in the first period.
If it wasn’t for the Sharks’ recently improved play, I would rant about this game being an enormous problem for the team and that the season is slipping away, but I think this was just a case of a holiday hangover. I expect San Jose to rebound on the road against Minnesota on Wednesday , ready to play a tough game in Chicago a night later, and a full-fledged grudge match will ensue when they skate into the Staples Center on Saturday night.
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).