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Sharks vs Kings

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Sharks vs Kings - 2014 SCP First Round

Sharks GM says coaches should stay after collapse

Friday, 05.02.2014 / 5:15 PM / Sharks vs Kings - 2014 SCP First Round

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson angrily vowed Friday that changes are coming in the wake of a historic collapse in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but he said he'll recommend to owner Hasso Plattner that coach Todd McLellan and his assistants be retained.

The Sharks became the fourth NHL team to lose a best-of-7 series after being up 3-0, falling to the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference First Round.

"To our organization and to our fans, this is not a nick or a scratch," Wilson said. "This is an open wound. When the emotions are raw, the emotions should run deep and resonate and live for a long time. We have already started the process of what decisions we're going to make. … There are options. Status quo is not one of them.

"The process has started. It's not too complicated, fairly easy to figure out. Our coaching staff is part of that and … my recommendation is that our coaching staff be part of this going forward."

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Five reasons why the Kings advanced

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 7:35 PM / Sharks vs Kings - 2014 SCP First Round

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Saying that a feat is the least improbable of the group when it has happened four times in NHL history might seem strange, but what the Los Angeles Kings accomplished in the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs might not be as crazy as it seems.

The Kings were able to shrug off a 3-0 deficit in their best-of-7 Western Conference First Round series against the San Jose Sharks and complete an improbable four-game winning streak to advance to the second round. That San Jose won the first three games by a combined margin of 17-8 might seem to make it even more unlikely.

The truth is, the series had already turned for Los Angeles by the time Patrick Marleau scored in overtime for the Sharks in Game 3. The players in the Kings dressing room already believed they had fixed much of what ailed them early in the series, and they were confident they could rally.


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Five reasons why the Sharks were eliminated

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 7:10 PM / Sharks vs Kings - 2014 SCP First Round

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Quite possibly the most interesting offseason in the history of the San Jose Sharks has begun.

That it started in the first week of May instead of sometime in June is part of the reason the Sharks will be an intriguing team to monitor in the coming days and weeks. The other is obviously the way their 2013-14 season ended.

The Sharks were a dominant team in the regular season, with 111 points, and by most advanced metrics were one of the top three or four teams in the NHL. They also took a 3-0 lead in their best-of-7 Western Conference First Round series.

Unfortunately for San Jose, the opponent was another one of the top teams in the League, and the Los Angeles Kings came all the way back to win the series in seven games. The final blow came Wednesday at SAP Center, when the Kings scored the final five goals in a 5-1 victory.

What went wrong for the Sharks? How did San Jose look so dominant then so meager? While fans and media might be calling for changes within the organization, deciding which parts actually need fixing is going to be a challenge.

The Sharks have to figure that out this offseason. Here are five reasons that process is starting now and not in June.

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Failures on power play contribute to Sharks' demise

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 3:23 AM / Sharks vs Kings - 2014 SCP First Round

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks thought they had solved their season-long power problems after they bolted to a 3-0 lead in their Western Conference First Round series against the Los Angeles Kings.

They scored a power play in each of those victories and again in a 6-3 loss in Game 4. But over the final three games of what proved to be an epic collapse against the Kings, the Sharks went 0-for-15 on the power play.

The Sharks saved the worst for last. They went 0-for 6 on the power play Wednesday night in a 5-1 loss to the Kings in Game 7 at SAP Center. Four of those power plays came in the second period when the game and series was still up for grabs.

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Sharks devastated after blowing 3-0 series lead

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 2:44 AM / Sharks vs Kings - 2014 SCP First Round

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks' history has been marked by huge disappointments, bitter losses and failed quests to reach the Stanley Cup Final.

The Sharks added another chapter, maybe the worst in franchise history, to that ongoing saga Wednesday night at SAP Center, completing one of the biggest collapses in NHL history.

San Jose suffered a 5-1 to the Los Angeles Kings in Game 7 of their Western Conference First Round series and became the fourth team in League history to take a 3-0 lead and fail to advance.

"Every year you lose is pretty low, but this one is a type of series that will rip your heart out," Sharks forward Logan Couture said. "It hurts. It's going to be a long summer thinking about this one and what we let slip away. Personally, myself, I didn't play the way I wanted to. I'm one of the guys that's counted on big-time to be successful, and I didn't get the job done when we needed to."

Sharks coach Todd McLellan said the series loss clearly marked the low point in his six seasons with San Jose, and he took responsibility for the collapse.

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Analysis: Sharks weigh Niemi or Stalock in Game 7

Tuesday, 04.29.2014 / 8:18 PM / Sharks vs Kings - 2014 SCP First Round

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

SAN JOSE -- Alex Stalock and Antti Niemi were two of the last players in the San Jose Sharks dressing room after practice Tuesday, the day before one of the biggest games in the history of the franchise.

Stalock and Niemi were discussing the skating ability of some goalies, and at one point Stalock told Niemi a story about participating in a goalie race a few years back in Michigan with other top American players at the position.

It was a joke, a con that Stalock kept up for the entire conversation before letting Niemi in on it near the end. For people who don't get to witness interactions like that, the idea of two goaltenders who are competing for the same spot and each of whom told the media they did not know who would start Game 7 of this Western Conference First Round series against the Los Angeles Kings remaining friendly might seem far-fetched.

"Obviously it is good to have competition, but we get along great and we're good friends," Stalock said. "I think [not talking] would only hurt the play. I think it is great that we get along and help each other and push each other."

For Sharks coach Todd McLellan, it could be one of the most important decisions of his tenure. San Jose is trying to avoid becoming the fourth team in NHL history to lose a series after taking a 3-0 lead, and he has to choose between the goalie he has pulled from his past two starts and someone who has one career start in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

McLellan spoke to both goaltenders on the ice at practice Tuesday.

"Told them both to be ready to go," McLellan said to the media after the workout leading into Game 7 on Wednesday at SAP Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS2, PRIME, CSN-CA).

Which way will McLellan turn? Here's the argument for each goaltender:

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Kings rally behind top forwards to force Game 7

Tuesday, 04.29.2014 / 7:44 PM / Sharks vs Kings - 2014 SCP First Round

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

SAN JOSE -- Although the San Jose Sharks' fourth line generated plenty of attention for its play in the first couple games, the reason the Los Angeles Kings were facing a 3-0 deficit in the Western Conference First Round series was the lopsided disparity between the performances by the top forwards on each team.

The same can be said about why there will be a Game 7 in this series Wednesday at SAP Center (10 p.m. ET; CBC, RDS2, NBCSN, PRIME, CSN-CA). In the past three games, the top forwards wearing black and silver jerseys have outproduced the ones wearing black and teal.

"When I look at this series, our core, our high-end players if you will, got the better of theirs in the first two to three games, and it certainly has swung in their favor now," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "The series as a whole is created that way so we get an opportunity to settle it all here in Game 7. For us, we believe in that group, and if we want to have success, it has to go through our core. They have to find ways to elevate their play and carry the team, and everybody else has to follow them. Some of those players have had good looks, some open nets, in fact, that they haven't scored on.

"That's all in the past now. We have to get a winning performance out of a lot of players who maybe have not had that over the last little bit, but we're counting on it [Wednesday]."


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Sharks must regroup after third straight loss to Kings

Tuesday, 04.29.2014 / 2:51 AM / Sharks vs Kings - 2014 SCP First Round

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- The talking point in the San Jose Sharks' dressing room was the game-winning goal, but forward Logan Couture and coach Todd McLellan eventually broke it down further by talking about the breakdown.

San Jose imploded after Los Angeles Kings right wing Justin Williams scored at 11:56 of the third period, a controversial goal in which Williams whacked at a loose puck and pushed it through the pads of Sharks goalie Alex Stalock. It held up as the game-winner in a 4-1 Kings victory Monday night in Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round series at Staples Center.

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Pearn: Game 5 could be wakeup call Sharks needed

Monday, 04.28.2014 / 12:23 AM / Sharks vs Kings - 2014 SCP First Round

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

For additional insight into the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings, NHL.com has enlisted the help of former NHL coach Perry Pearn to break down the action. Pearn will be checking in throughout the series.

Pearn has spent the past 18 seasons as an assistant coach in the NHL with the Winnipeg Jets, Ottawa Senators, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens and a second tenure with the Jets in 2012-13 and 2013-14.

SAN JOSE -- After playing well and establishing a commanding lead in this Western Conference First Round series, the San Jose Sharks have finally been presented with some adversity against the Los Angeles Kings.

The Kings have won two straight to make it a 3-2 series lead for the Sharks, and will play Game 6 on Monday at Staples Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS, CSN-CA, PRIME).

"It felt like it was a complete role reversal from the first three games of the series in the first period," Pearn said. "L.A. looked quicker. L.A.'s transition game seemed much better. San Jose was chasing the game right from the drop of the puck. I think the last two periods probably didn't matter because the game was decided in that first period.

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Sharks face big decision in goal for Game 6

Sunday, 04.27.2014 / 5:43 PM / Sharks vs Kings - 2014 SCP First Round

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- After he waited until the morning of Game 1 of his team's Western Conference First Round series against the Los Angeles Kings to publicly name Antti Niemi his starting goaltender, San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan said it was an easy decision and one he had actually made days before.

McLellan has another goaltender decision to make before Game 6 Monday night at Staples Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS, CSN-CA, PRIME) after pulling Niemi in Games 4 and 5. This time, it might not be so easy.

Niemi gave up eight goals on 45 shots in Games 4 and 5, and the Sharks lost back-to-back games and saw their lead in this best-of-7 series shrink to 3-2.

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Quote of the Day

When I first became captain here, Monsieur Beliveau came to me and said, 'You're going to be fine. You don't have to change, you got selected because of who you are.'

— Saku Koivu on Thursday, recalling what he was told by the late Jean Beliveau when he was named Canadiens captain in 1999
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