While it’s was just one game early in the season, the Sharks lockerroom clearly was not a joyous place after dropping the first true home game this season. San Jose let a two-goal lead evaporate and allowed Atlanta to post four unanswered tallies in the 4-2 loss.
“We’re pretty frustrated,” Torrey Mitchell
said. “It’s the home opener and you want to win. Everyone was pretty excited about tonight, but we’ve got to move forward. We’ve got to sharpen up our play.”
The tough part was not the loss so much as the fact San Jose was dominating play for much of the evening.
“It was a role reversal, I didn’t think we’d come out as well as we did and I thought we’d get better as the night went on. The exact opposite happened,” Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan said. “We weren’t prepared to buckle down and work hard enough to win that game.”
“We can’t be giving away points this early in the season like that,” Joe Thornton
With more than a week since their last game action, it was not surprising the Sharks weren’t at their best.
“We had a little bit of energy early, but we kind of faded,” Thornton said. “Maybe that week off hurt us. We had a lot of rust there the second part of that game. I don’t think we executed the way we normally do. We didn’t look quick tonight, but we’ve got to be better on Tuesday.”
A difficult part of the night was the Atlanta goals that came off turnovers.
“Usually whoever wins the takeaway/giveaway (category) usually wins the game,” Thornton said. “The giveaways cost us a couple of goals. You make a bad play and usually it’s in the back of the net.”
There were some positives to take away and other areas that can be improved.
“There are some areas of the game we have to be happy with, though we are still concerned about five-on-five production, (we didn’t have) a five-on-five goal again,” McLellan said. “Special teams looked good early and also good late, so I think there are some positives there. The biggest thing we have to take from the game is to look where we are at and how much more tempo we need in practice so we can be a faster team.”
made his first regular season start at HP Pavilion, and while there were four goals against, there wasn’t a lot of blame going his way.
“The first goal, he made a heck of a save and the rebound went in,” McLellan said. “Number two was not a bad goal, number three was a power play (where he was screened). The fourth was a three-on-one, so I don’t think we’re point fingers at him by any means.”
The Sharks were bitten for the game-winner by Dustin Byfuglien, their nemesis from last spring’s playoffs.
Dany Heatley’s power play goal in the first period was his first of the season and 300th of his career.
The Sharks have scored a PP goal in each of their first three games and are now 5-for-18 (27.8%) this season.
THREE IN A ROWRyane Clowe
extended his scoring streak to three games with a first period goal (1+3=4) and Joe Thornton
extended his scoring streak to three games with his first assist of the season (2+1=3).
ATLANTA THRASHERS COACH CRAIG RAMSAY
“It was quite a game. I thought for the first ten minutes we were really happy with the way we were playing.”
“We were getting the puck deep and we ran some cycles. We at least pushed their defense and we didn’t give them much zone time.”
“Once again our goaltender Mr. Mason gave us an opportunity to win. He battled.”
San Jose will host Carolina Tuesday night at HP Pavilion at 7:30 p.m. and the game will be on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com. Tickets can be found at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com.