Is Game 3 a must win for the Sharks? The answer is obviously YES………..kind of. If you want to get technical about things, San Jose could lose tonight and then reel off four straight wins against one of the best teams in the NHL………but I feel like the odds of that happening are slim. So, yes tonight is a must win for the Sharks and here is what NEEDS to happen for them to win. No IFS ANDS OR BUTS about it.
1. Evgeni Nabokov must stand on his head. Do I need to elaborate? I thought Nabokov played well enough in game one to get the win, but the offense was obviously stoned by Niemi. Game two was a different story as Nabokov played quite poorly in my opinion. Sure Chicago had some good deflections and flat out good clean goals, but for the Sharks to win, Nabby might just have to pitch his second shutout of the postseason.
2. Passing needs improvement. In game one, it seemed like the Sharks had Vaseline on their sticks instead of tape. What was the result? A lot of turnovers and puck possession for the Blackhawks. Game two? Almost the same result. Too many turnovers in our own zone. Use the boards, dump the puck deep if you don’t have a play, but please don’t just give it to Marian Hossa in our own zone! (COUGH Nick Wallin)
3. Heatley, Thornton and Marleau need to play like the best line in hockey. They are arguably the best line in hockey. I mean Mike Babcock sure thought so in the Olympics this past winter. If Jumbo can heat up the Heater, then Patty will follow and all will be good and we will actually have a line that can counter the Toews, Kane line of Chicago.
Niclas Wallin needs to be benched in favor of Jason Demers. He is too slow and obviously not ready for playoff hockey.
Demers adds much needed offense and speed to our blue line.
The Sharks need to stay out of the penalty box all night. Yes, that means no stupid slashing penalties Joe.
I have a feeling Devin Setoguchi will score a big goal tonight…………knock on wood.