Times are tough for the San Jose Sharks. It appears that one of the biggest candidates for Stanley Cup, might finish this season with a huge disappointment.
Last night, Peter DeBoer’s guys lost in Vancouver against the Canucks with 4-2. That was their ninth defeat in the previous 10 matches. Pretty disturbing.
At the moment, Sharks are probably the worst team in the league when looking at the overall form, and it appears that they don’t have a solution for that situation.
But for veteran star Joe Thornton, the hope is still there.
“We’ve got two kind of practice shots at this again and then the real season starts, so hopefully we can put it together and then get ready for Vegas,” Thornton said. “But I think we can get out of this, no problem.”
The Canucks stunned guests from San Jose last night, as they scored after just 88 seconds of the match. Tanner Pearson netted the first of his two goals, opening this game in the worst possible way for the Sharks.
Still, the visitors pulled themselves together and tied the match. Kevin Labanc changed the direction of Brenden Dillon’s shot, and the puck finished behind Demko’s back.
San Jose took the lead until the end of the opening period, when Joe Pavelski scored a power-play goal at 10:47 into the match. Thomas Hertl and Thornton set it up, and since this was the second assist of the night for the latter one, it marked a nice milestone in his career.
Thornton reached Steve Yzerman at the eighth place of the NHL all-time assists list, with 1,063. The 39-year old stated that he is glad because of it, and that Yzerman was the reason he chose to wear No.19.
“I heard that,” he said after the game. “Yzerman’s the reason I wear number 19. It’s pretty cool.”
Thornton also tied with Nicklas Lidstrom on the 12th place in the NHL’s all-time games played list.
MILESTONE ALERT: With his appearance in tonight's game, Joe Thornton tied Nicklas Lidstrom (1,564) for 12th on the NHL's all-time games played list. #SJSharks
— San Jose Sharks PR (@SanJoseSharksPR) April 3, 2019
But this was just a temporary thing. In the last 10 minutes of the contest, the home team scored three times and turned the tables in this one.
The reason for that was Vancouver’s excellent goalie Thatcher Demko who had 33 saves, and several of them were during the second and the beginning of the third period when he prevented the Sharks from extending the lead.
Coach DeBoer acknowledged that at the postmatch media session, saying that his team missed the chance to seal the game much earlier.
“I thought we were in control of the game,” DeBoer said. “Our failure was not extending the lead. We had four or five really good chances to extend the lead to 3-1 at different points and didn’t do that.”
Pearson and Markus Granlund have beat Jones until the end. On the other hand, Troy Stecher scored while the net was empty and with his team shorthanded, 30 seconds before the end.
Counting today’s four goals, the Sharks allowed 43 of them in the past 10 events, not being able to restrain the opponent’s attack under three goals in any of those games.
The only success during that span came after overtimes versus the Golden Knights, 4-3 (3-3) on 30th of March.
“I’m trying to figure out how you lose that game, but that’s the way it’s going right now.” told captain Joe Pavelski.
One of the Sharks key defensemen, Erik Karlsson, is expected to be back any time soon. He already missed 16 games, but his presence in the playoff is almost certain. With him onboard there is no doubt that the defensive line is going to be much better and stronger.
San Jose already gripped the second spot in the Pacific Division, and they will meet with the above-mentioned Vegas Golden Knights in the first round of the playoffs.
These two sides already played four times this season, and the record is split, two wins each. Though when Vegas won the games, it was very convincing, 6-0 in Nevada and 3-7 in California, while San Jose posted narrow triumphs 2-3 in the road and the one after overtimes.
All in all, time is essential for the Sharks, and they can’t afford to waste any. They need to figure out how to improve the performances; otherwise, they won’t stand a chance against the Golden Knights.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.