“We talked about just being a team that needs to be more composed, that handles the adversity you get through the game.”
That’s what Bob Boughner said on Monday. That doesn’t appear to be what happened last night in the San Jose Sharks’ 5-2 loss to Arizona.
Down 2-1 in the final frame, San Jose surrendered three goals against in 2:11. This has been a theme this season, giving up goals in bunches.
This was the 20th time this season that San Jose has allowed two unanswered goals in under five minutes or three-or-more straight goals in under 10 minutes.
• 2 goals against in 3:26 @ Arizona on Jan. 14
• 2 goals against in 2:10, 2 goals against in 3:43 @ Arizona on Jan. 16
• 2 goals against in 1:33, 2 goals against in 4:43 @ St. Louis on Jan. 18
• 5 goals against in 9:33, 2 goals against in 1:31 @ Colorado on Jan. 26
• 3 goals against in 8:59 @ Colorado on Jan. 28
• 3 goals against in 8:19 @ Anaheim on Feb. 5
• 3 goals against in 9:55, 3 goals against in 2:05 @ Los Angeles on Feb. 11
• 2 goals against in 4:20 @ St. Louis on Feb. 18
• 2 goals against in 3:11 @ St. Louis on Feb. 20
• 2 goals against in 0:11 vs. Minnesota on Feb. 22
• 2 goals against in 3:02 vs. St. Louis on Feb. 27
• 3 goals against in 9:05 vs. Colorado on Mar. 3
• 2 goals against in 3:04 vs. Vegas on Mar. 5
• 4 goals against in 8:03 @ Vegas on Mar. 17
• 2 goals against in 3:13 vs. St. Louis on Mar. 20
• 3 goals against in 2:11 @ Arizona on Mar. 26
This is 20 times against nine times that the Sharks have returned the favor to their opponent.
• 2 goals for in 4:08 @ Arizona on Jan. 14
• 2 goals for in 2:40 @ St. Louis on Jan. 18
• 3 goals for in 9:24 @ Minnesota on Jan. 24
• 3 goals for in 7:25 @ Anaheim on Feb. 5
• 2 goals for in 2:46 @ St. Louis on Feb. 20
• 3 goals for in 5:54 vs. Colorado on Mar. 1
• 4 goals for in 9:05 @ Anaheim on Mar. 12
• 3 goals for in 8:46 @ Vegas on Mar. 17
• 2 goals for in 1:22 vs. Los Angeles on Mar. 24
That’s not a winning ratio.
All that said, Boughner did not blame last night’s collapse on composure.
“I don’t know if it necessarily was composure,” Boughner said. “We just didn’t have it as a team tonight.”
So if not composure, what?
Boughner also said this on Monday: “Especially with the schedule, when you are fatigued, and you’re one of the guys that plays a lot of minutes, you got to manage your game better. Whether that’s shorter shifts, whether that’s making better puck decisions, just simplifying your game a little bit in those situations.”
Erik Karlsson offered an alternate take: “We kind of fall in the trap of getting a little bit too safe, maybe, when we let one in because we don’t want to let that other one in. But we end up doing it anyway.”
Regardless, no frills or full of flash, the San Jose Sharks needed somebody to step up.
Boughner also said on Monday: “We felt really good about our game, up until the point where things went bad on us. At those point in times is where you need someone to step up and you need your leadership group to settle things down and be composed.”
And like so many times this season, no stars emerged for the San Jose Sharks. This, instead, is what we got, the first of three goals against in 2:11:
— TEAL TOWN USA – A San Jose Sharks Podcast (@TEALTOWNUSA) March 27, 2021
“Sometimes, when you stand back there and you can tell that the legs aren’t great and you’re losing battles, sometimes, you got to simplify your game. We didn’t do that. We didn’t adjust,” Boughner said. “You could see, we turned pucks over, we were trying to make the hard plays, we were trying to put pucks through people.”
It’s not to lay everything on Brent Burns. Logan Couture, for one, admitted, “I didn’t play well. Felt a little sluggish and slow. But those are the nights where you’ve got to dig deep and really, really compete, win your one-on-one battles, even if your legs aren’t with you. Tonight, they won more of those battles and we got what we deserved.”
Boughner summed it up: “There wasn’t one line that I could say was good or a set of D.”
So once again, the San Jose Sharks got what they deserved. This star-studded roster is 13-15-4 – spoiler alert – for a reason. They’re not that good and their stars may not be stars anymore.
“A lot of games, we’ve even been leading and we give up easy goals,” Tomas Hertl admitted, “It’s especially frustrating when you’re looking for every point.”
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