San Jose now finds themselves in a hole following Game 5’s 6-3 loss to Edmonton in the 2006 Playoffs presented by Intersil. The score was tied at three in the third, just like Game 4, when the Oilers rattled off the final three goals. The difficult part for the Sharks to swallow was that it was their own mistakes that seemed to turn the tied of the contest.
“We definitely hurt ourselves and they capitalized at the right times,” said Joe Thornton
. “When we made a mistake, it was in the back of the net. We killed ourselves.”
Capitalizing at the right times was key as Edmonton scored of five of their first 12 shots, and very little could be hung on the head of Vesa Toskala.
“It is frustrating at times,” said Kyle McLaren. “For some reason we can’t get the momentum going after a big goal or kill.”
Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson was obviously not happy with the mental lapses.
“They were mental mistakes,” said Wilson. “You can’t blame Toskala. In the playoffs you can’t make mental blunders like we did tonight.”
With the scored tied at three, Scott Hannan was caught fighting for a loose puck in the Edmonton zone and when the puck squirted in the wrong direction, the Oilers had a two-on-one rush.
“I tried to prevent an easy out and probably should have read it differently,” said Hannan.
The Sharks have now hurt themselves in two straight losses and they will not simply brush it off.
“We’re going to think about it a lot over the next 48 hours,” said Toskala. “We have an off day tomorrow and we’ll practice Tuesday and fly to Edmonton.”
The Sharks found a simple way to score their first goal when Ville Nieminen parked himself in front of Dwayne Roloson and didn’t allow the Edmonton netminder to see Scott Thornton’s shot.
“Ville did a great job on his simple assignment and he tied it,” said Wilson. “I imagine Ville will be playing the Tomas Holmstrom role again.”
After winning just 34 percent of their faceoffs in Game 4, the Sharks responded in Game 5, closing the gap and winning 49 percent of the time.
“Tonight we were great on faceoffs,” said Wilson. “We scored off a faceoff. Tonight’s (loss) had nothing to do with faceoffs.”
San Jose had seven power plays to Edmonton’s two in the first two periods, but it was Edmonton who has the only specialty teams goal after 40 minutes. And then 12 seconds into the third Edmonton scored a shorthanded goal.
“We’re not shooting and were holding onto the puck too much,” said Joe Thornton
. “We just have to shoot and pound away at them.”
“We’ve got to work harder,” said Wilson. “They’re pressuring us and we’re coasting back to the puck. We can’t view it as a right to be on the power play.
The Sharks now face a true must win situation for the first time this postseason as a Wednesday victory by Edmonton in Alberta will close out the Sharks Stanley Cup dreams.
“Obviously it’s very simple,” said Joe Thornton
. “If we lose, we’re done. We have to pull up our sox and be the best team.”
“Right now everyone is down a little and we had a lot of expectations for tonight,” said Ehrhoff.
The good news for Sharks fans is that this team has been written off more than once this season and they have always bounced back.
“It is a tough building to play in, but we still have a great chance if we play our game,” said Toskala.
San Jose held a 2-1 lead late in the third in Game 3 and a 3-1 lead in the second period of Game 4.
“We have to show the same confidence and aggressiveness and we’ll get the bounces,” said Ehrhoff.
“It’s not like the wheels have completely fallen off,” said McLaren. “They’ve out hustled us a few shifts and they’ve capitalized. We’ve not out of this yet. We have to stay positive and support each other.”
For the first time in the series, the Oilers will likely be the favorite as they return to home ice with a chance to close out the series.
“The pressure is on them going back home,” said Scott Thornton. “They won one here and now we have to go win one there.”
There was noticeable booing of the Canadian national anthem prior to Game 5, but much of that had to do with the perception of booing of the American national anthem prior to Game 4 in Edmonton. To those that watched Game 4 on FSN Bay Area, it seemed as if there were Edmonton fans booing the American national anthem.
What happened was there were a few boos to start the American anthem in Game 4, but then the vast majority of Oilers fans began cheering for during the American anthem. This did not come across on the airwaves though.
THIS AND THAT
Scott Thornton and Ehrhoff scored their second goals of the playoffs. Patrick Marleau
has now recorded at least one point in nine consecutive games (9-5-14).
The National Hockey League announced today that Game 6 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals at Rexall Place in Edmonton will start at 5:00 p.m. PST. The contest will be carried on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.
Game 7, if necessary, will take place at 6:00 p.m. PST on Friday, May 19 at HP Pavilion in San Jose and will also be aired on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.