The San Jose Sharks put together a solid offensive performance winning convincingly on home ice 5 – 2 in a do or die Game 5.
It was a total team effort in Game 5. The San Jose Sharks put together another solid home stand against the Golden Knights. There was a lot to like about the play from this desperate Sharks club. On the flip side there are a few things they need to address if they want to keep alive in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Is this Playoff Martin Jones? ~ The 29-year-old goaltender ended the game with a 0.938 SV%. Jones’ steady play between the pipes propelled the San Joe Sharks towards a traditionally stout defensive effort. Team Teal allowed 32 SOG and held the potent Golden Knights lineup to only 2 goals.
Jones played extremely well and hopefully he can extend this stellar goalkeeping into Game 6 in Vegas. He took a decent amount of shots but overall Team Teal played a clean game in front of him. It’s amazing how well a goalie can play when they can see shots come at them and don’t face countless odd man rushes.
Sharks Stars Shine ~Tomas Hertl made his presence known in this one with him tallying his 3rd and 4th goals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs . Hertl was a one man wrecking crew all night. He easily streaked through the neutral zone and gashed the Knights defenders in the slot area behind the net. This generated high danger scoring chances for himself and his Sharks teammates. The Czech forward ended the night with a sizzling 0.78 ixG% per naturalstattrick, which led all Sharks in-game 5.
Erik Karlsson continued to be effective offensively. He racked up 2 more assists on Sharks goals giving him a team leading 7 points through 5 games this postseason. He ended the night with a reasonable 22:19, which bodes well considering the concerns surrounding his injury. Vlasic’s return definitely aided Coach Pete DeBoer with ice time management.
Waking Up On Time ~ The San Jose Sharks made it through the entire game without letting in an early goal. In fact the Sharks had a quick start goal of their own, with Tomas Hertl reversing the curse only 1:16 into the first frame. This trend needs to continue if the Sharks are wanting to stay relevant in the playoffs.
Reduced to a Pebble ~ The line consisting of Stone, Stastny, and Pacioretty combined for 0 points with Patches tallying the only shots between the trio (8). Coach Pete DeBoer consistently deployed Marc-Edouard Vlasic on the ice when that line made its way into the offensive zone. His return was huge for Team Teal with his calm presence steadying the Sharks at 5v5.
Having home ice advantage allowed DeBoer to strategically pick apart Vegas with his desired players for crucial zone starts. Game 6 in Vegas will be a tougher task with Gallant getting his choice of match-ups during crucial moments of the contest. Team Teal will have to stay on their toes when that unit gets deployed. Out of their 28 combined points only 10 were scored at the three games in San Jose.
Not So Special Teams ~ The two goals that Vegas was able to score came on the power play. The San Jose Sharks now have the 3rd worst penalty kill in the playoffs at a staggering 66.7%. This is not a recipe for success for the Sharks but the best way of addressing it staying out of the box altogether. Evander Kane maintained his composure but ultimately still ended up in the sin bin for a high sticking penalty. He leads all skaters with 39 penalty minutes during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
When’s it Timo’s Time to Shine? ~ It’s hard to argue that Timo Meier hasn’t been engaged in this series. He’s played with speed and intensity through the first 5 games but the skill he’s known for hasn’t made much on an impact. Timo heads into Game 6 with only 1 goal and 1 assists and 9 shots on goal. The other stars of Team Teal are starting to gain traction so hopefully that means it’s Meier’s turn to put some points on the score sheet.
Timo does lead all San Jose Sharks in hits with 28 hits and recorded 9 in the Sharks 5 – 2 victory in Game 5. This is a side of Meier we all knew was there but did not know how forceful he could be at this young on an age. Expect his strong play on the forecheck to eventually produce some goals for the young Swiss skater.
The San Jose Sharks have another must win game at the T-Mobile Arena on Easter Sunday. It will be a much greater task with the lack of last change and the wild Vegas atmosphere. However this veteran core of players in Teal have shown that they will not go down that easily.