The San Jose Sharks definitely felt the affects of not having played in a week in their 2-1 loss to Los Angeles Saturday night.
“I don’t think that should have played in,” said Christian Ehrhoff. “We’ve got to be ready to play.”
“You can’t deny it was a factor, but it shouldn’t be an excuse,” said Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson.
The Sharks were simply limited offensively on the night. Team Teal definitely took more shots, 27-17 on the night, but they weren’t of the quality the home club wanted.
“We have to get more shots on net and more scoring chances,” said Ehrhoff.
“The whole game, we were passing instead of shooting,” said Milan Michalek.
Once the Kings had the lead, they did what smart teams do.
“L.A. played a 1-4, staying back after they were up two,” said Ehrhoff. “That made it tough on us.”
The Sharks have now lost twice to the Kings at HP Pavilion and know the pattern can’t continue Wednesday night against the same opponent.
“You hate to look back on the points you feel like you should have won,” said Mike Grier. “One to two points could be the difference in the division. We should be winning the games we’re supposed to win.”
“Our next game with L.A. and we have to play the whole game like we did the second part of the third,” said Bernier.
The Sharks play with the man-advantage came up short, finishing 0-3 on the night. The difference on the evening proved to be the Kings second goal of the night, which came on the power play.
“We’ve got to get our power play going,” said Ehrhoff. “We have to win more battles for the puck.”
“We have to convince some people to play hard on the power play,” said Wilson. “You have to work hard for loose pucks.”
The Kings goal came when San Jose’s penalty killers didn’t get the puck out when the opportunity presented itself.
“We had two soft plays and we didn’t clear the puck,” said Wilson. “When you don’t clear the puck, bad things can happen and they obviously did. The two turnovers ended up being the difference in the hockey game.”
“We made a few mistakes and it cost us,” said Ehrhoff.
Ehrhoff was whistled for a penalty shot on a play involving the Kings Ladislav Nagy. On the play, Nagy slipped behind Ehrhoff and when Ehrhoff reached in, the whistle was blown and the referee pointed to center ice.
“I put my stuck up and it ended up in his hands,” said Ehrhoff. “He got a shot off, but they are calling more penalty shots in the league.”
Nabokov made the save, but Ehrhoff noted it never should have happened, due to actions on his end.
“I’ve got to keep my stick on the ice,” said Ehrhoff. “He got away from me and I hooked him.”
Wilson is not only looking for strong play from his team, but also for more leadership from the group.
“We need more leadership from people who are supposed to lead,” said Wilson.
The Sharks lone goal on the night came on a designed faceoff play. Joe Pavelski
took the draw and pulled it directly to Michalek who drove home his one-timer.
“It was a great play by Pavs,” said Michalek.
The tally sparked the Sharks offense, but not enough to find the tying marker.
Steve Bernier came ever-so-close to finishing a pass from Patrick Rissmiller that would have provided an early offensive spark, but Kings netminder Jason LaBarbera slid over just in time for the stop.
“It’s frustrating because that would have been an important goal,” said Bernier. “Sometimes the puck doesn’t want to go in. I’ll just keep trying.”
Sharks radio color commentator Jamie Baker filled in for Drew Remenda as the regular television analyst took the opportunity with the Sharks playing just once in 10 days for extended family visit in Saskatoon.
The pink goalie mask worn by Sharks netminding prospect Thomas Greiss
is up for auction and is currently up to $1,300. Fans can bid and raise money to fight breast cancer by clicking here.
“I looked it up today,” said Greiss, who was Nabokov’s backup on the night. “I hope they get more.”
KINGS HEAD COACH, MARC CRAWFORD
“I thought as much as we got a great performance from Jason (LaBarbera), I thought our team played really well. We didn’t give them many quality chances tonight. We got the better of the chances tonight. I thought our Grade A chances were better than their Grade A chances. They threw a lot of pucks at the net and this was a game I thought our guys played really well. They executed very well.”
“Defensively, it’s probably the best defensive performance we have had this year. Our defense group as a whole was very good. What can you say about Michal Handzus
? He was terrific tonight and played well against Joe Thornton
. This is a team that has been off for a week and we knew they would have a lot of energy throughout the game. It ends up being a real good win for us and a good defensive team performance.”