San Jose must get up off the mat and respond following their devastating Game 4 loss in Nashville.
It was just five days ago that the San Jose Sharks were sitting pretty and cruising along in these playoffs. They held a 2-0 series lead over the Nashville Predators and appeared to many pundits as Stanley Cup favorites.
Boy how things can change in such a short period of time.
Following their triple overtime heartbreaker last night, team teal finds themselves in the thick of a series once more as they head back to the Bay Area with things all square at two.
San Jose missed a big opportunity in Game 4 to take a stranglehold of this series, especially with the marathon it eventually morphed in to.
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The Sharks had already come back twice in a hostile environment and had a lead with less than five minutes remaining. They couldn’t hold on after a failed clearing attempt and a rebound found the tape of James Neal.
Then, San Jose thought they won the game when Joe Pavelski banged home a loose puck after being knocked down in front. Unfortunately, the NHL didn’t see it that way, ruling goalie interference as Pavelski was laying on top of Pekka Rinne.
Depending on what tint of glasses you’re wearing, teal or gold, it was either a no-brainer goalie interference or clearly he was pushed and tripped on his way to the net and the goal should’ve counted. The debate is probably still raging on, but we’ve got to move on just like team teal has to.
Throughout the course of the overtime sessions, the Sharks had the better chances and there was more than one occasion where you were left scratching your head as to how the puck stayed out of the net.
When Mike Fisher finally settled things, it was a big gut-punch to Sharks fans everywhere who felt they had this game already won.
So where do we go from here?
Martin Jones has been solid between the pipes all year for San Jose, but it was tough to watch him give up the game-winner on a stop he has to make. His rebound control was off all night, so how will he respond in his first bout of playoff adversity he’s faced in his career?
Now, there are still plenty of positives to take away from that game for team teal. Their special teams, especially their penalty kill, were very good, although they’re probably lamenting their effort on their two power plays throughout overtime.
Also, San Jose got their forecheck and offensive attack going for sustained periods of time for the first time since the third period of Game 1. If the Sharks can carry that over, they’ll be in a good place for Game 5.
It’s gut check time for the Sharks as they find themselves in a best-of-three series now. All season long this San Jose group has said they’re a different team, and for the first time in these playoffs, they find their backs against the wall.
Let’s see if they come out swinging in Game 5 or if there’s a hangover from that crushing Game 4 loss because they can ill-afford to head back to Nashville trailing in this series.