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The Sharks head into the offseason
The Sharks head into the offseasonin Diskussionen Allgemein über die Kryptowelt 13.08.2018 08:59
von linzhihong18 • 115 Beiträge | 230 Punkte
The unprecedented success enjoyed by the Vegas Golden Knights in their inaugural season carried over into the second round of their first playoff run.
Now that the San Jose Sharks have home-ice advantage after a dramatic win [url=http://www.vikingscheapstore.com/mike-hughes-jersey-cheap]Cheap Mike Hughes Jersey[/url] , the question is how will Vegas bounce back from its first taste of postseason adversity?
The best-of-seven series between the Golden Knights and the Sharks shifts to Silicon Valley, starting with Game 3 on Monday night.
Vegas blanked the Los Angeles Kings twice and limited them to three goals in a first-round sweep. The winning ways continued as three-time Stanley Cup winner Marc-Andre Fleury posted his third shutout during this postseason, 7-0 over the Sharks in Game 1 on Thursday.
San Jose evened the series with a 4-3 victory in double overtime on Saturday. Fleury posted 43 saves, but Logan Couture notched the game-winner — his second goal of the night — eight seconds after Vegas defenseman Jon Merrill was sent off for hooking.
Less than 24 hours later, Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland refuses to dwell on the defeat.
“It’s a new day today,” he said Sunday. “We lost. You didn’t expect to go through playoffs not losing a game. We’ve just got to take what we can from last game and get back at it tomorrow night.”
While San Jose rallied from a two-goal deficit with three straight goals in the second period and overcame a tying goal from Nate Schmidt late in regulation, Sharks defenseman Brent Burns reminded everyone that there’s still a lot of hockey to be played.
“It’s just one game,” Burns said. “Obviously we had to win it, but it’s one game.”
Vegas coach Gerard Gallant didn’t rip his team for the effort but said they need to be better prepared.
“We didn’t show up for 45 minutes tonight [url=http://www.raiderscheapstore.com/kolton-miller-jersey-cheap]Kolton Miller Youth Jersey[/url] ,” he said Saturday. “We didn’t play a good game tonight. We played a great game the other night, and competed and battled, and tonight we didn’t show up to play our game tonight, and it cost us big time.”
Vegas went 1-0-1 at the Shark Tank during the regular season.
On Feb. 8, the Golden Knights exploded with three straight goals in the final 10:24 en route to 5-3 win. On March 22, Tomas Tatar scored early, but the Sharks answered with a goal from Burns before Couture scored 39 seconds into overtime to lift San Jose to a 2-1 win.
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer noted that Saturday’s win was a result of keeping true to the same message that has been communicated throughout the season.
“I think we’ve always taken the approach all year that we play our game and at the end of the day, good things happen,” he said.
A key to San Jose knotting the series was Martin Jones having a short memory. After yielding five goals on 13 shots in Game 1 [url=http://www.redskinscheapstore.com/da_ron-payne-jersey-cheap]Da'Ron Payne Jersey[/url] , he didn’t face more than eight shots in any period in Game 2 and finished with 26 saves.
“My confidence isn’t going to get shaken from one bad game. It’s not the first time I’ve had a bad game. You put that behind you. It’s why you have a routine,” said Jones, who stopped 75 of 77 shots at home in Games 3 and 4 of the Sharks’ first-round sweep of the Anaheim Ducks.
One player who has been hard to stop in the postseason is Vegas center William Karlsson. He scored twice in Game 2, giving him seven points (three goals, four assists) in a four-game points streak.
Karlsson enjoyed a breakout season with career highs of 43 goals and 35 assists.
San Jose is expected to have winger Evander Kane back in the lineup after he served a one-game suspension for cross-checking Golden Knights center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in Game 1.
Acquired at the Feb. 26 trade deadline from the Buffalo Sabres, Kane had eight of his 14 points with the Sharks at SAP Center.
That’s also where Game 4 is scheduled Wednesday night.
The scene was all too familiar for the San Jose Sharks: a postgame handshake line on their home ice with the other team celebrating a series win while the Sharks wonder what might have been.
A team that seemed to have the ingredients necessary for a long playoff run went out instead in the second round with a 3-0 loss Sunday in Game 6 against the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.
”For periods of this series I thought we were a better team, I thought we played the game that we know we’re capable of, we showed we could beat them,” forward Logan Couture said. ”We just didn’t do it long enough.”
That’s what perhaps makes this the most bitter playoff loss in coach Peter DeBoer’s three seasons in San Jose [url=http://www.steelersfootballauthentics.com/james-washington-jersey-authentic]James Washington Steelers Jersey[/url] , all of which ended with home playoff losses.
In 2016, the Sharks got over a major hump and made it to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history before losing in six games to a more talented Pittsburgh team.
Last year, San Jose sputtered toward the finish of the season and lost in six games to Edmonton in the first round in large part due to injuries that hampered top two centers Couture and Joe Thornton.
But the Sharks were healthier this year despite Thornton’s absence because of a knee injury. Midseason acquisitions Evander Kane and Eric Fehr had San Jose surging following a first-round sweep against Anaheim.
They came out flat in the opener against Vegas and lost 7-0 and then dropped a key overtime contest at home in Game 3, playing much of the series from behind. The biggest difference was the performance of the top lines with Vegas’ trio of William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith combining for eight goals and 17 assists, while Kane, Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi had just three goals and two assists for the Sharks.
”We definitely would’ve liked to have been a little bit more productive,” Pavelski said. ”It’s hard to say. We’ll have to take a look at it, figure it out. We had some looks [url=http://www.patriotscheapstore.com/isaiah-wynn-jersey-cheap]Isaiah Wynn Patriots Jersey[/url] , we had some chances, we didn’t capitalize when we did. I wish I had an answer. We sure should’ve been a little better.”
Here are some other takeaways from the season and things to watch this summer:
Thornton injured his right knee on Jan. 23 and never was able to make it back into the lineup. He practiced all postseason and even took part in all the pregame skates but never felt quite healthy enough to get back into the lineup. The 38-year-old Thornton is now eligible to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, leaving his future in San Jose in doubt. He still can be productive as evidenced by his 13 goals and 23 assists in 47 games. But after significant knee injuries the past two seasons, there are questions about whether he will be able to keep up in the faster paced game.
The move to acquire Kane from Buffalo at the trade deadline provided a major spark. He had nine goals and five assists in 17 games, providing needed speed and physicality on San Jose’s top line. That carried over to the first round when he had three goals and an assists in a sweep against Anaheim but Kane wasn’t nearly as effective against Vegas as he played through injuries. Now the Sharks have a decision to make whether to keep Kane or let him leave as a free agent. If he signs, they owe Buffalo a first-round pick in 2019. If he leaves, that pick becomes a second-rounder.
”Obviously I enjoy winning and coming here was a great opportunity for me to do that,” Kane said. ”I really, really [url=http://www.cincinnatibengalsteamonline.com/vontaze-burfict-jersey]Vontaze Burfict Jersey[/url] , really enjoyed my time with this group of guys, and loved going to battle with these guys.”
The best development for the Sharks this season was the development of some younger players. Tomas Hertl looks like he could be a dominant power forward, Chris Tierney and Kevin Labanc are able playmakers, Timo Meier scored 21 goals at age 21, and Joakim Ryan is an ideal defensive partner for Brent Burns. Those players will be counted on to do even more in the future as the Sharks transition from players like Thornton, Pavelski and the departed Patrick Marleau to a new generation.
The Sharks head into the offseason with projected salary cap room of more than $15 million. While some of that could be used up by keeping Thornton or Kane, GM Doug Wilson also could use that money to target a top free agent like John Tavares of the New York Islanders. Wilson has been planning for that flexibility for years and now the question becomes how he will use it.
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