David Quinn’s message to the San Jose Sharks after a devastating 4-3 OT loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday?
“One of our problems as a group is we don’t stare victory in the face. When we get in a situation, whether it be 3-1 or 3-2, we don’t embrace the challenge,” Quinn diagnosed. “You got to enjoy the process of putting the [other] team away.”
This inability to put their knee on their opponent’s throat has plagued them all year. Case in point, the power play that the Sharks got with about five minutes to go, when Joel Farabee boarded Kevin Labanc.
Sure, it was initially ruled a major, but you’ll take a two-minute power play up one with five minutes to go any day of the week.
The Sharks, however, squandered the opportunity to at least control momentum. Tomas Hertl had a chance in the slot to start it, but then, a Hertl turnover along the wall eventually led to an open Noah Cates chance, and that was all she wrote for that potential momentum swing.
“They made it 3-2 and I thought you could feel it. We weren’t as aggressive. We were a little bit hesitant,” Quinn shared. “Situations creep in, you hesitate, just a fraction of a second in all areas, and then all of a sudden the complexion of the game changes. It’s just continue with that mindset of we’re in charge here.”
I criticized Timo Meier for taking an unlikely shot at the empty net, which led to a San Jose DZ faceoff. Travis Konecny tied it off the draw. But hey, maybe that’s the type of bravura that the Sharks need.
Even on that power play, the second unit was comprised of Mario Ferraro, Scott Harrington, and three forwards, instead of the usual four forwards-one defenseman setup. That’s obviously and sensibly a protect-the-lead PP – but maybe it sends the wrong message when you’re trying to keep an aggressive mindset.
San Jose Sharks (11-19-7)
Per Quinn: Reimer starts tonight, Labanc and Benning will play, Harrington sits
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) December 31, 2022
Will Sharks lines look like this?
Dallas Stars (22-9-6)
Stars' expected lineup for Saturday vs. Sharks:
— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) December 31, 2022
Where to Watch
The San Jose Sharks will take on the Dallas Stars at 5 PM PST at American Airlines Center. Watch it live on NBC Sports California. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.
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