San Jose started Wednesday night strong by taking a 1-0 first period lead, and then rallied to tie the contest in the third, but it was a lack of focus in the middle portions that allowed two Los Angeles Kings regulation goals.
“We had a great start in the first 10 minutes,” said Joe Thornton
. “We should play like that for 60 minutes.”
Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson knows his club can, and has to do better.
“One or two guys make silly mistakes and it affects his whole team,” said Wilson. “If something is not going our way, not everyone stays committed to the plan.
“Right after we scored, Matt Carle tried a blind pass in the neutral zone. We have to keep it simple and make passes to people you’re looking at. If the score is 1-0, you don’t change what gave you the lead. You stay patient.”
“We’ve got to make improvements,” said Thornton. “As a team, we’ve got to push until we get better.”
Just like the previous Kings contest, little mistakes were costly.
“Today was a game of small mistakes and they seemed to come back and bite us in the butt,” said Craig Rivet. “We need to clear up some of these things.”
HOME ICE NOT HELPFUL
The Sharks traditionally are one of the most difficult teams to face on home ice, but San Jose is now just 3-6-1 at HP Pavilion this season and they know it’s not good enough.
“Everyone should be disappointed,” said Mike Grier. “It’s one point in two games against those guys. There’s not much to be happy about right now. We’re not coming out against teams we should beat.”
San Jose has been an extremely difficult opponent on the road where they have played with much more frequency this year. Hopefully as December roles around, Team Teal will again gain some momentum with more regularly scheduled contests.
“Sometimes you can be better when you’re tired than when you’re rested,” said Rivet. “We’re looking forward to getting on a little bit of a roll.”
“We obviously play better (when playing more regularly) and can find a rhythm,” said Wilson.
It has not been an easy last two games for San Jose, but the Sharks will fight through it.
“When we get on the road, we seem to be a different team,” said Rivet. “It’s a great bunch of guys and we’re going through a little adversity. We’ll get through this.”
Both Sharks goals were the result of bodies in front of the crease.
“We had traffic from some big bodies,” said Thornton. “When we get sticks in front, we can score a lot of goals.”
Rivet scored his first goal of the season when three Sharks forwards out front distracted the Kings netminder.
“Goals are being scored from the front of the net,” said Rivet. “Goalies will stop what they see. Speaking as a defenseman, when you have guys out front, it is hard to move them.”
The Sharks once again fell during a shootout, a portion of the modern NHL that has not treated them well. The Sharks now have an all-time 4-13 mark during the shootout, which ranks 30th out of 30 NHL clubs. On Wednesday night, Jeremy Roenick and Joe Pavelski
scored for San Jose, but all three Kings shooters scored to seal the loss.
The Sharks snapped their record of 36 consecutive sellouts on home ice, missing the mark of obtaining another sellout crowd by 425.
The Sharks will host Colorado on Friday night in a 7:30 p.m. contest at HP Pavilion and limited tickets are still available at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com. The game will be aired on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.