Connect with us

San Jose Sharks

Sharks Locker Room: Bad Things Happen to Bad Teams



Credit: Dean Tait/Hockey Shots

Bad things happen to bad teams.

There was no reason for William Eklund to be in the position where he had to block a Wyatt Johnston shot in overtime. It was a shot that would hobble him until Roope Hintz put the San Jose Sharks out of their misery for comeback 7-6 Dallas Stars victory.

Post-game, head coach David Quinn had no update on Eklund, who had to be helped off the ice.

This was a game where the Sharks had a 6-3 lead with just 7:02 to go, off Fabian Zetterlund, Ryan Carpenter, Filip Zadina, Mikael Granlund, and a pair of Anthony Duclair goals. But then?

An unforced Givani Smith turnover led to a Logan Stankoven strike.

“You could feel it on the bench,” head coach David Quinn said about the visible sag on the San Jose Sharks bench after that goal. “It was too easy. It wasn’t like a hard-fought goal. We just gave them the puck in the neutral zone, and they go down and scored.”

But bad things happen to bad teams. That’s not just on Smith, by the way. Wyatt Johnston quickly followed that up with back-to-back goals to send a game that should’ve never reached OT, into OT.

And of course, to Eklund’s injury, and the reminder of how one bad play leads to another if you’re a bad team, and how one good play leads to another if you’re a good team.

I know the reverse happens: Good things happen to bad teams (Macklin Celebrini, anybody?) and bad things happen to good teams (San Jose Sharks, when they make the playoffs).

But like the loss, Eklund’s injury felt entirely avoidable, gratuitous. It just took a series of unlikely events, well unlikely if you’re a better team.

The San Jose Sharks are second in the NHL in Man Games Lost. Not so coincidentally, they also lead the league with 18.75 Blocks Per 60.

That, of course, is a double-edged stat. The Stanley Cup-contending Vegas Golden Knights are second to the Sharks in blocked shots rate.

You want players who will put their body on the line to get that win, whether that’s Eklund or the defending champs.

On the other hand, blocking that many shots is often a sign of being constant duress defensively i.e. you’re always defending i.e. you’re a bad team.

At 15-39-7, the Sharks are certainly that.

“This one stings. It’s probably worse than the 10-1, 10-2 losses beginning of the year. You just have to win this game,” a disconsolate Duclair said. “I don’t understand.”

Well, Anthony — bad things happen to bad teams.

Anthony Duclair

Duclair, on if he’s getting more comfortable with the San Jose Sharks and the Tank:

I’d feel more comfortable if we start winning games.

Duclair, on if this is the toughest San Jose Sharks’ loss of the season:

This is the toughest loss of the season that you’ve experienced 100%. This one stings. It’s probably worse than the 10-1, 10-2 losses beginning of the year. You just have to win this game. I don’t understand.

Kaapo Kahkonen

Kahkonen, on how frustrating a loss this was:

It sucks. It’s brutal. I don’t know. There’s no words for it, really. It’s a game we should win and build some positive momentum off of that. Obviously, we came up short.

Kahkonen, on if this is the toughest loss that he’s experienced with the San Jose Sharks:

There’s quite a many tough losses, obviously in those two years. I don’t know. Certainly one of the toughest ones.

Fabian Zetterlund

Zetterlund, on what the San Jose Sharks have to learn from this game:

Play with a lead.

David Quinn

Quinn, on if this is the hardest loss of this season:

Yeah, this is…under the circumstances, it’s hard. Because we played a pretty good game until the last seven minutes.

Quinn, on Duclair’s name in trade rumors:

We don’t know what’s gonna happen. Obviously, there’s a lot of speculation, and I certainly don’t want to see him go, but I understand the circumstances, and so does he.

Quinn, on if there was a visible sag on the bench after the Stars’ fourth goal:

Yes. It was too easy. It wasn’t like a hard-fought goal. We just gave them the puck in the neutral zone, and they go down and scored. You could feel it on the bench.

Welcome to your new home for San Jose Sharks breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to SJHN+ for all of our members-only content from Sheng Peng and the National Hockey Now network plus an ad-free browsing experience.

Sheng’s Travel Fund

Help fund Sheng's travel! Every dollar goes to the cost of getting to and from Sharks road games.

Click here to contribute to Sheng's travel pool!

Get SJHN in your inbox!

Enter your email address to get all of our articles delivered directly to your inbox.

Hockey Shots

Extra Hour Hockey Training

Cathy’s Power Skating

Sharks Team & Cap Info

SJHN on Facebook