The San Jose Sharks won Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals in controversial fashion with a hand-pass factoring in on the winning goal.
There were a few moments during this contest where the San Jose Sharks seemed out of gas. After a fast start by Team Teal, the St. Louis Blues came roaring back scoring 3 unanswered goals. But once again some heroics from Logan Couture propelled San Jose to their 5 – 4 OT victory at the Enterprise Center.
Looking back on the events that transpired in Game 3 there were more than a few things that are worth highlighting. However to keep things brief here are just a couple of positive and negative spins from a controversial Western Conference Finals victory for the Sharks
Karlsson Breaks the Ice ~ EK65 scored his first Stanley Cup Playoff goal of 2019 in Game 3. This was his first goal in over 5 and half months, finally snapping a 31 game cold streak.
The Swedish skater was heavily involved in nearly every high event play happening down at ice level. It appeared that the game sped up exponentially (especially to the officials) when EK65 was on the ice . Karlsson’s looked like his typical self on more than a few occasions. Despite what he does with the puck in the offensive zone, this break out by him and Dillon is a thing of beauty.
Erik Karlsson’s impact on this game was noticeable in good ways and bad. But overall if EK65 feels like he’s got the legs, you want a player of his caliber out there in those situations. When it mattered most Karlsson was there to win it in OT for the San Jose Sharks, regardless of how the puck got to his stick.
The pending unrestricted free agent is tied for the lead in points among all blueliners with teammate Brent Burns at 15 a piece. Team Teal will need the firepower EK65 provides if they want to match the St. Louis Blues defenseman in this series.
Conn Sm… I mean Logan Couture ~ The 30-year-old continued to stamp his name all over this years Stanley Cup Playoffs with a game tying goal in the final moments of regulation in Game 3. This was his 14th goal and 20th point of this years Stanley Cup Playoffs.
There really isn’t much more to said regarding the Conn Smythe front-runner. Maybe pointing out Logan Couture now has 48 Stanley Cup Playoff goals this decade, that’s 2nd behind Ovechins 50. Also if Cooch keeps this current pace up he can reach Reggie Leach and Jari Kurri for most ever in a Playoff run with 19.
Jumbo Joe Comes Up Big ~ After only scoring 1 point in his previous 8 Stanley Cup Playoff games, Joe Thornton finally got things going with 2 goals and an assist. His 2 goals were very similar, with Jumbo using his big frame and strength to shield defenders from the puck making it easy to generate dangerous scoring chances.
Jumbo’s physical presence was a major factor when it came to Logan Couture’s game tying goal. His play in the corner that set up the two net front skaters for the Sharks was vintage Joe Thornton. Hopefully a game like this will get things flowing for the 21-year veteran.
Thornton along with the rest of the San Jose Sharks depth has been noticeably absent in this series. However if it wasn’t for the contributions from Jumbo in Game 3, the Sharks would be down 2 – 1 instead of vice versa.
We’re never going to hear the end of this are we…? ~ The San Jose Sharks benefited from yet another missed call by the officials. This time it happened on the game winning OT winner by Erik Karlsson.
Traditional and Social media were abuzz following Game 3 with everyone’s perspective’s on the play and subsequentlial “non-call” that followed. This eventually spiraled into some negative opinions regarding the Sharks and the calls that seemingly go their way during critical moments.
Nevertheless Team Team Teal is rolling with the punches and taking any break they can get on their way to their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. The Sharks won’t dwel on that call or any call for that matter. They are just happy that they are 2 wins away from another shot at playing in the finals.
An APB for Tomas Hertl ~ The 25-year-old forward has been relatively quiet so far during Round 3. While he was able to record 2 shots on goal, with both being considered highly dangerous per natualstattrick. The Czech superstar hasn’t compiled a single point in this series, after averaging 2 points per contest in Rounds 1 and 2.
The Sharks are getting contributions from the rest of their top guns, but they’ll need Tomas Hertl to step up his game to put the Sharks over the top in the Western Conference.
It sounds like an easy task in theory, but St. Louis has done an excellent job shutting him and his line-mates down with the Bouwmeester/Parayko combination. Coach Pete DeBoer will need to find ways to put arguably his best offensive weapon in advantageous situations where he can succeed. It’ll be interesting to see how Hertl or another one of Team Teal’s skaters steps up to fill this void on offense.
There’s no doubt about it the San Jose Sharks have already pivoted their attention to Game 4 at the Enterprise Center. They’ll need their “A-Game” with an angry St. Louis Blues squad looking to tie this series back up at 2 – 2.