The San Jose Sharks used home ice to their advantage by taking control of the Round 2 with an impressive victory in Game 5.
Coming off a tough shut out loss in Game 4 the San Jose Sharks knew they had to respond with more effort in Game 5. From the early goings of the contest it was obvious that Team Teal was much better prepared and it resulted in a 2 – 1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.
There was tons to cheer for in Game 5 for the San Jose Sharks. However Team Teal left a few aspects of their game to be desired and it would be wise of them to address them heading into a difficult match-up in Denver for Game 6.
Welcome Back EK65 ~ It’s safe to say that Erik Karlsson was on the San Jose Sharks most effective skaters during Game 5 . EK65 exhibited his prowess in all 3 zones but was most noticeable in Team Teal’s transition game.
Karlsson made countless plays where he was able to effortless retrieve the puck from the defensive zone. He then was able to quickly pivot to steer the puck back up the ice. After a sluggish start to the postseason EK65 looks to be regaining his footing. It’s amazing how he’s able to exit and then enter the opponents zone with ease.
This is the EK65 we saw during that incredibly hot stretch during the regular season where he compiled 25 points while recording a point in 15 straight contests. Karlsson is tied for the lead in points during the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 11.
Is Tomas Hertl the Best Player Left in the Playoffs? ~ Yeah that might be a bit of an overreaction but Hertl’s performance in Game 5 exhibited how he’s elevated his game to new heights during this season. His two goals were his 3rd and 4th points of this series however that doesn’t really illustrate his true impact on the ice.
Hertl leads the entirety of Round 2 with 13 high danger scoring chances after 5 games. He’s been kept off the scoreboard but not out of the offensive zone. The Czech skater’s size, speed, and puck handling allows him to bulldoze through opponents sticks and get to the dangerous areas of the ice. It was only a matter of time before he had a breakout game in this series.
This team is going to need Tomas Hertl if they want to tilt the ice in their favor during the rest of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Sharks are short on game-breakers up front but Hertl has solidified his spot as Team Teals number one offensive threat. It took some time but it finally seems that Hertl has taken the reins as the number one center for the Sharks.
Jones Stays Strong ~ Martin Jones continued his stellar play in-between the pipes for the San Jose Sharks. He faced 22 shots on goal making 21 saves in the process. The Avalanche were able to make things difficult for Jones with 9 of those 22 shots being considered highly dangerous, per naturalstattrick.
The 29-year-old netminder’s poise of late has been extremely refreshing to see. He’s posting a 0.936 save percentage in the 8 games since his disastrous start to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. His strong play has dragged Team Team through some tough times and will surly be leaned on again if their Cup run continues.
A Glimpse of the Captain ~ During the third period the captain Joe Pavelski made an appearance in front of the home crowd. The San Jose Sharks captured the heartening moment and shared via their Twitter account.
The Tank was rocking with the sound drawing comparisons to that epic Game 7 comeback over the Vegas Golden Knights. There still isn’t a definitive date for Pavelski’s return to the lineup, but Coach Pete DeBoer signaled that we could be seeing him sooner rather than later.
Power Outage ~ The San Jose Sharks were able to convert on 1 of their 5 power play opportunities. Tomas Hertl was able to deflect a Logan Couture shot past Philipp Grubauer for the first goal of the contest.
That goal makes the Sharks 2/15 on the power play during this series. These are easy opportunities to put up points versus this high scoring Avalanche club. Team Teal has been able to narrowly edge Colorado out during 5v5. That makes these chances on special teams that much more important.
The San Jose Sharks have a chance to wrap up Round 2 on Monday night in Denver. Team Teal can seal this series in 6 games, however the highly skilled players on the Avalanche roster will be tough to finish off on home ice.