Everyone knew the San Jose Sharks had a deep line-up coming into this series, but we also expected a low-scoring affair as they were dealing with the best defensive team in the League in the Los Angeles Kings. That said, no one expected the Sharks to manufacture a team-high total of 13 goals against the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Certainly, no one thought L.A. would allow that many goals in the first place.
So, how are the Sharks exposing Kings’ net minder Jonathan Quick?
Their offense has been coming in waves. Everyone from the fourth line to the top line has been in on the scoring, but it doesn’t start with the scoring. In both Games 1 and 2, the fourth line was creating the momentum for the Sharks with hit after hit and causing problems for the Kings. If you noticed a trend, every time just before San Jose put their first goal on the board Sharks forward Mike Brown delivered a hit at the same area, right in front of Quick to mess with his head. From there, they won the physical battles. They out played and out skated L.A. and, as a result, they loosened up the defensive screws that made the Kings so tight defensively and started to frustrate them. From there, there was no way Jonathan Quick was going to stop all those pucks on his own.
Will Kings’ head coach Darryl Sutter decide to start back-up goalie Martin Jones in Game 3? It’s the only solution that makes sense after opting to leave Quick in net for all 40 minutes of those seven unanswered goals in Game 2 at the SAP Center. The players in L.A. know what they’ll have to do to win the next game and come back in this series. The Sharks know what they’ll have to expect moving forward, but will it happen? Only time will tell. For now, the minds reset as San Jose will look to keep the same style of play against the Kings in Game 3 as the series shifts to Los Angeles.