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Winning Play: Sharks Fail Fast

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Credit: NBCS Bay Area

GLENDALE, Ariz. — It’s one thing to play fast — and it’s another thing to try to play fast.

The San Jose Sharks still appear to be doing more of the latter, and this led directly to their 5-3 loss to Arizona yesterday.

We’ll jump into that shortly.

We’ll also get a scout’s opinion on the Sharks’ young defensive trio, Nikolai Knyzhov, Jake Middleton, and Nicolas Meloche.

Then, we’ll wrap up with one exciting — yes, I said exciting — San Jose trick play. Also, we’ll add the SPORTLOGiQ Stat of the Game.

Failing Fast

So the San Jose Sharks want to play fast. That’s great. But what’s speed without execution?

The idea here is sound: Jake Middleton (21) shovels it to Evander Kane (9) along the wall. Kane quickly no-look passes the puck to Tomas Hertl (48) in stride. This will freeze the Arizona forechecker (Christian Dvorak, 18), and give a hurtling Hertl a two-on-two up the ice with John Leonard (43).

That’s obviously not what happened: Kane gave it up to Dvorak, unforced. It’s as Dvorak called for it and Kane thought it was Hertl. Or perhaps Kane didn’t expect Dvorak to be there. Or maybe he just missed his pass?

The same mistake would finish off San Jose in the final frame:

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