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If I coached the god damn Sharks

Going down 3-1 is not the worst thing in the world. Plenty of teams have come back from that deficit before. Still, those teams haven't looked like the shrinking violets that the Sharks have during parts of this series. Let's not forget, though, that there were large portions where they did carry the play, and if they play like they did during March, it is feasible to win three in a row. Lots of ifs in there, though, and here's what I would do/preach tonight:

-Start Patrick Marleau on the wing with Joe Thornton. Doesn't mean you have to keep him there all game, but Patty seems to be the only Shark that is forcing the Calgary D to back off. Put him on the wing to use his speed and create some space for Joe -- and to show Milan Michalek how it's done.

-If the game even turns slightly, slightly physical, have Jody Shelley beat the living crap out of someone in red. I don't normally advocate goon hockey, but there comes a point when you have to send a message that you're not going to be a pushover. If you can instill the fear of Shelley's fists (rather than his dirty looks like last game) so that something like Cory Sarich's hit on Marleau doesn't happen again, mission accomplished.

-Remind the D to skate foreward, not back. I know, I know; big bad Calgary's forecheckers are so fast and scary. Come on, guys, you're not THIS bad. Forwards, that means you've gotta support your D on the breakout.

-Screen the goalie, whoever it is.

Ultimately, the Sharks as individuals need to play better, but within a team concept. You can't have Brian Campbell trying to skate through everyone over and over; it's just not going to work. If they play their best, if they stick together as a team, if they show some measure of toughness, then they can take it back to San Jose as a best-of-three with a little bit of confidence.

No lead is guaranteed. Safe is death. And just to inspire you a little bit more, here's a song from the awesome Stan Bush.



One of my favorite quotes from that movie is when the Autobots are under attack and Springer's loading up a big rocket launcher. During that, he says, "I've got better things to do tonight than die." Going down 3-1 isn't death, but it might as well be, and it's not just losing the series -- it'd be bye-bye to the team as we know it (hey, maybe that's a good a thing). The Sharks have better things to do tonight than die, right? Right?