As a very avid San Jose Sharks fan, my mind couldn’t help but wonder about the Sharks’ recent struggle with playing with the lead (disregarding the latest 6 game winning streak). I tried to brush these thoughts aside because who am I to complain about these topics. The Sharks are doing just fine at 19-5-5 and are one of the top teams in the league. I kept telling myself that other fans of teams that have been significantly less successful than the
2013-14 Sharks should be worrying about these things. Nevertheless, the topic wouldn’t escape my mind.
The Sharks have accumulated only 10 total losses this year, 5 of those have been in regulation, which is good for a league low in that department (tied with the St. Louis Blues). I couldn’t help but sift through every one of those losses and list the ones that the Sharks blew leads in to satisfy my curious mind. Here are some of the most blaring ones:
Sharks at Dallas Stars (10/17). This game was a heartbreaker for Sharks fans around the world. Not only was it the Sharks’ first loss of the season but it also came at the expense of losing 3 leads throughout regulation. The Sharks led 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 before ultimately conceding the game tying goal scored by Cody Eakin late in the third period. After a scoreless overtime, the Stars would go on to win in the shootout with all 3 Sharks attempts denied. The most worrisome part of this game was that the Sharks gave up the game tying goal on the shift after they scored the go-ahead one.
Sharks at Los Angeles Kings (10/30). Just like the Dallas game above, the Sharks led 3 times throughout this contest (1-0, 2-1, 3-2) and then ultimately lost in the overtime period. This game was really frustrating because I’m sure, as Sharks fans, we all highly dislike the Los Angeles Kings but to see the Sharks have the two points in their hands for the taking but then losing them to the Kings of all teams just sucks.
Sharks at Winnipeg Jets (11/10). Rather than the 1-goal leads that were blown in the games above, this contest showed the Sharks lose after leading 2-0, 3-1, and 4-3. The boys in teal would let the equalizer by them with a little over 2:00 minutes left in regulation. They would come up goal-less in the shootout and lose to the lowly ranked Jets team.
Sharks at Carolina Hurricanes (12/6). Still at the top of Sharks fan’s minds is this regulation loss against the Hurricanes who are sitting at 9th place in the Eastern Conference. 1st periods for the Sharks continued to be their strong point in this contest as they took a 2-0 lead into the locker room during the 1st intermission. They better have enjoyed it while it lasted because the Canes would come back to score 3 un-answered goals to go up 3-2. The Sharks, however, showed some life when they tied the game at 3, but that quick lift of confidence was crushed when the Canes delivered their insurance goals (1 empty netter) to win 5-3 in front of their home crowd.
Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not saying that the Sharks are never allowed to lose leads, especially 1-goal leads as they pretty much mean nothing. However, there is certainly a trend here. I count 5 games in which the Sharks were playing with the lead at some point in time but then went on to lose the game. There are definitely other situations that see the Sharks lose a lead but then win.
We have to put these losses into perspective though. The Sharks are the top-team in the Pacific Division and the second best team in the Western Conference. So what if they blow leads to lose games every once and a while. The way this season is going for San Jose so far, those situations will be very few and far between. Ultimately, if the Sharks can keep winning like they have been, I don’t think these types of games will matter at all and they shouldn’t concern us whatsoever.
Don’t take it from me. We would love to hear what fellow Sharks fans have to say about this matter. Vote in the poll, sound off in the comments, and feel free to contact us via Facebook and Twitter. We would love to hear from you! Thanks for reading and go Sharks!
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