As Barry Melrose always says, "A two goal lead is the worst lead in hockey." In their past few games the Sharks are doing their best to prove the wisdom of that greasy-mulleted old sage, and also making a strong argument to add "Disallowed goals make you want to stab your fingers into your own eyes" to Barry's list of hockey truisms.
And now it falls to our humble Sharks to defend the honor of California from the scourge of the Blue Jackets. Don't send a King or a Duck to do a Shark's job, I guess.
What the hell happened to the California teams? A week ago all three teams were winning and moving up in the Western conference, and now it seems like the Hockey Gods have decided to punish California and none of the teams can manage to hold on to a lead or get a win.
At least the Sharks have gotten points out of this last pair of painful losses, but that's a small consolation after the way things played out, TWICE. The Sharks have shown stretches of strong play in both games, but also an infuriating tendency for their best players to act like total boneheads (Dan Boyle, I'm glaring in your direction). Mike Moore has been an impact player in both good ways and bad since coming up to cover for Douglas Murray, but it's clear that the team is frighteningly thin on defense.
Coming into the season we were relying on Marc-Edouard Vlasic to be much better than he has been thus far, and with his soft play combined with the injuries to Murray and Niclas Wallin the Sharks look just as bad at protecting a lead as we all feared they might be.
Tonight the key for the Sharks is to eliminate turnovers and to hustle to loose pucks. These are boring, stupid cliches but they're also major problems for the Sharks right now.
Barry Melrose, in your infinite wisdom, please see fit to grant the Sharks a win tonight. Amen
Prediction: Sharks play solid defense and win 3-1, with goals from Thornton, Setoguchi, and Pavelski with an awesome scar on his face after last game.