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It’s Not That the Sharks Lost — It’s How They Lost



Credit: AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

COLUMBUS – A good team will learn from this. A bad team won’t.

So what are the San Jose Sharks? We’re about to get a better picture, as the Sharks head home after a 6-4 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

“It’s the most frustrating game of the year for me,” a visibly upset Bob Boughner admitted post-game.

Tied up at three apiece after two periods, and after a dominating opening frame, the stage was set for San Jose to cap off their road trip with a resounding victory. But instead, they turned in their worst period of this swing through the Midwest and East, ending with a good-but-not-great 3-2-0 record.

“We sort of went brain dead,” Boughner said. “I know guys are a little tired, it’s the end of a trip.”

Erik Karlsson couldn’t disagree: “I think we were a little bit mentally tired, and we didn’t execute as much as we would have liked. And we made some bad decisions out there.”

“We just didn’t play our [defensive] structure,” Tomas Hertl said, “that’s why we lost.”

“Tonight, it got away from us. Unacceptable,” Boughner said. “Those guys in the room have to tighten it up. We got to play the right way.”

It’s not that the Sharks lost – it’s how they lost. This is how they kicked off a tied-up final frame:

Between Karlsson (65) and Nick Bonino (13) in the neutral zone, somebody has to keep Jack Roslovic (96) to the outside. This might have been a miscommunication between the two.

It’s a three-on-three going the other way until Jakub Voracek (93) finds the wide-open late man Gabriel Carlsson (53). That’s Karlsson’s assignment — he had joined the initial rush — though Jonathan Dahlen (76) could’ve helped too.

But it’s just one loss. The Sharks, in the thick of a post-season hunt right now, have a chance to set themselves apart in December: They don’t leave the state of California for the rest of the month with nine home games and a single visit to Anaheim.

So will this team continue to play with a defense-first mindset?

“How we played the last four games, even the Rangers loss, we just stayed with our structure and detail. Everything starts for us in the D-zone,” Hertl asserted.

Defense-first, no matter the goaltending? Adin Hill gave up five goals on 30 shots, unable to come up with the timely save. As he did so often last season, Boughner came down hard on both his team’s defensive lapses and his goaltending.

“Every time we got momentum, they came down and got the goal they needed,” Boughner lamented. “We gave them life. It’s the responsibility of a goaltender, he’s got to come up with a save as well.”

Defense-first, or will they fall apart and cheat for offense under the slightest pressure?

“I think this one stung a little because we didn’t have the right approach,” Karlsson said.

So what will the Sharks learn from this sting?

A good team will seize this upcoming slate of softer December contests – a bad team will not.

“As a whole [during] the road trip, guys really battled and dug in,” Karlsson pointed out. “At the end of the day, we had one really bad period, and unfortunately, it cost us the game.”

This is, however, a not-very-deep San Jose Sharks squad that cannot afford too many bad shifts or periods or games. Of course, bad shifts or periods or games are inevitable – it’s more a mindset, knowing who you are and what you must do to succeed.

Boughner offered, hoping, “It’s a good lesson to learn.”

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its against WHO we lost- columbus is a 50/50 team this year , and they had some lapses in that game. not being able to exploit those is very telling . we need to fix the kane gap/issue VERY soon , just looking at goals for per team we should not even be in the wildard- we are lucky to be where we are

[…] San Jose: It’s not that the Sharks lost, it’s how they lost. […]

[…] The San Jose Sharks have performed better than expected this season, but every team loses hockey games. The issue is not that they lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday, but how they lost. A good team will learn from this bad effort, a bad team won’t. So the question becomes, what kind. ofteam. is this? (San Jose Hockey Now) […]

They're All Gonna Laugh at Me!

Hill is just not good. He seems to give up 1 bad goal a game and last night, he really didn’t give SJS a chance. Sure, he gave up a two on one goal and a breakaway, but just like the article says, ‘It’s How They Lost”…but in this specific case, “It’s How Hill Gave Up Those Goals”. His angle was off on the 2-1 (he constantly cheats glove side), and on the breakaway, he was 100% flat footed as his technique is terrible. He started off way too deep, so by time the puck carrier was going to make… Read more »

[…] It’s Not That the Sharks Lost — It’s How They Lost […]

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