Mental Errors Cost Sharks
San Jose Sees Their 8-Game Winning Streak End
The Sharks scored two late goals to close their deficit to four, but the 6-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings definitely was one of the worst this season for the team leading the NHL in points.
“It is a prime example of needing two aspects to your game,” said Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan. “You better be there physically and mentally. Physically, we were fine but the mental mistakes were unacceptable. We were taught a pretty good lesson. We were all about offense and we got what we deserved.”
Contrary to what the score indicated, the Sharks started strongly, but couldn’t find the goal to start ball rolling downhill. The Sharks hadn’t allowed a first period goal in nine games, but due to those “mental” errors, San Jose allowed three tallies in the first stanza and never recovered.
“There power play at the end of the first got two quick goals,” said Rob Blake. “We played well before that.”
“I thought we played well in the first period overall, but the penalty killing was off a little bit,” said Dan Boyle. “The penalty kill has been good all year, but not tonight. They played a simple road game with a big lead.”
Things got uglier in the second as the 3-0 lead was expanded when the Sharks began pushing their luck.
“We cheated offensively,” said Blake. “We should have stayed with the game plan and cheated in the third.”
“A lot of chances we went on weren’t 50/50, but 30/70,” said Boyle.
Whether it’s close or a blowout, the game was two missed points.
“A loss is a loss,” said Blake.
San Jose outshot the Kings by an amazing 47-20 margin, but everyone acknowledged the numbers were deceiving.
“The way the game was unfolding, they were protecting the lead,” said Blake. “I don’t think they were an indication of the way the game was played.”
The Kings were able to find a second consecutive power play in the first off an unusual penalty. Boyle had to drop is stick after it broke blocking a shot. Patrick Marleau then attempted to help out his blueliner, which is the standard practice. However, Marleau tossed his stick, with is illegal.
“I blocked a second shot and broke my stick,” said Boyle. “Patty threw his and that’s a penalty. Neither of us was really aware of that.”
“I was trying to give it to Boyle and I pitched it a little,” said Marleau. “A good one (rule) to know. Hindsight is 20/20, I would do things a little different on that play.”
It’s not often NHL players are caught off guard on a rule, but it is there in black and white.
“These guys have been playing for decades now and they were not really familiar with the rule, but it’s there,” said McLellan.
With 8:37 to go Rob Blake’s stick was stripped from him. Then after Nabokov made a point blank save, Blake slid feet first into the crease and kicked the rebound away from an open portion of the net.
KEEP THE MOJO GOING
Douglas Murray potted his third goal of the season. Murray now has goals in two straight games (2-1=3) and has tied his career high single season point total (10). Prior to the game, Murray was named as the club’s player of the month.
Coming out of the second intermission, Todd McLellan used the opportunity to put Thomas Greiss in for Evgeni Nabokov.
“It was time to get Greiss in,” said McLellan.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE NUMBERS
Marleau scored his 27th goal of the season tying Marian Gaborik for the league lead.
Joe Thornton recorded his 900th career point with an assist in the third period. Thornton is now tied with Andy Bathgate for 67th on the all-time NHL assists list (624).
Jody Shelley suited up for his 500th NHL game.
Scott Nichol recorded an assist, giving him his first two-game point streak of the season.
KINGS HEAD COACH TERRY MURRAY
“This is real big in here. Especially the power play. The San Jose Sharks penalty killing is outstanding. To be able to get three power play goals, I give our guys a lot of credit.”
“There was great composure with the puck. Making plays and shooting the puck. Great job on the penalty killing at the start and a great job on the power play.”
“They had some great opportunities on their first power play, I mean take a look at the video. It must have been outstanding. The penalty killers were good but (Jonathan) Quick was really good in that situation. And that gave us a little bit of, ‘OK it’s time to get going’. But scoring the first goal is always important.”
The Sharks will play St. Louis on Wednesday and tickets can be found at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com. The contest will be on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.