It looked like a repeat of last season.
For 38 minutes, the San Jose Sharks played the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights pretty evenly and look poised to enter the final frame tied at one apiece.
But then, the Sharks were deflated by two quick Golden Knights strikes, a long shot from Nicolas Hague and a pinpoint shot from Nicolas Roy, and they found themselves, in a matter of 53 seconds, down 3-1 to start the final frame.
They never recovered, losing 4-1 to Vegas.
Tomas Hertl talked about the message from the San Jose Sharks coaching staff between the second and third periods, and praised goal-scorer Filip Zadina.
“Just play the same way. Don’t turn over the pucks,” Hertl said of how the Sharks didn’t play. “We were, I think, too cute too.”
Zadina talked about what went wrong for the Sharks.
San Jose Sharks head coach David Quinn spoke on the performances of Kaapo Kahkonen, William Eklund, Thomas Bordeleau, and Henry Thrun.
Hertl, on what the coaches tried to impress on the team after a tough end to the second period:
Just play the same way. Don’t turn over the pucks. We were, I think, too cute too. We have to put more shots on the net. We kind of wait for the great play and that’s not how it works.
Hockey, a lot of times, you need bounces, but if you don’t shoot and get the rebounds and crash the net, the rebounds will not come your way.
Hertl, on the opportunity for Zadina to break out:
He’s very motivated. He’s somebody who had a pretty good deal and just [left] it because he knows he could be better and he needs a new, fresh start.
He wants to prove everybody that’s why he was drafted high. He expects from himself a lot and I’m here to help him.
Zadina, on how the San Jose Sharks responded to adversity:
We didn’t hold the structure that we were supposed to. We didn’t listen to the coach, what he wanted. We played a different way. That’s what cost us the game.
Zadina, on how the structure broke down:
We’re not supposed to turn the puck over around the high blue line. [We did that] a couple of times.
In the D-zone, we kind of mixed it up a little bit and wasn’t in the right spots where we’re supposed to be. Just cost us the goal, the second goal.
Quinn, on how the end of the second period deflated the Sharks:
I thought that really deflated us. I thought we played a good period for 18 minutes. They had two scoring chances in the second period up to that point. Boy, it really deflated us.
Quinn, on Kahkonen’s performance:
He was good. I’m sure he likes to have that second goal back. But he looked confident.
Quinn, on how his youngsters, Eklund, Bordeleau, and Thrun fared:
They had their good moments and then they had the youthful moments, which is going to happen, you just gotta live with it.
The one thing I like about it is all three of them were competing. That’s all we’re asking, they compete and they’ll be able to play through some of their growing pains.
Quinn, on how to ensure that the Sharks don’t fall into a similar spiral like last year of not being able to manage adversity:
We’re going to work on it. We’re going to address it a little bit differently than we did last year.
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