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Stupid, Stupid Sharks

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Ok, here's how to fix things, boys. First, stop being mesmerized by your own pretty passes and nifty stickhandling. That crap doesn't work in the playoffs. Next, read my primer on beating the god damn neutral zone trap. Then skate and hit instead of chase the puck.

Remember way, way, way back when Darryl Sutter broke up the Jeff Friesen/Vincent Damphousse/Owen Nolan line by putting grinder Dave Lowry there? I know Meg wants to keep the checking unit together, but I'd consider retooling things this way:

Scott Nichol/Joe Thornton/Dany Heatley
Patrick Marleau/Joe Pavelski/Manny Malhotra
Ryane Clowe/Torrey Mitchell/Devin Setoguchi
Jed Ortmayer/Logan Couture/Jamie McGinn

I'm not a fan of putting the Big Three together except for the power play. This gives each line a little bit of everything, and -- most importantly -- adds a grinder element to the Thornton/Heatley combination.

Why is that a good thing? See my primer on beating the god damn neutral zone trap, then put Nichol in the role of first guy in. Ideally, he bashes the defenseman with the puck, Thornton digs it out, and Heatley is primed to shoot. Same thing with the second line, except Malhotra goes in first, Pavelski sets it up, and Marleau goes for the shot. Or you guys just cycle the freakin' puck to wear out the defense. That's not Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger circa last year out there, it's aging Adam Foote and Scott "Bad Holding Penalty" Hannan. If you move your feet and hustle, you can win the puck, then control the game.

Easy, right? Now get your heads out of your asses and start hustling like you did in the first 10 minutes of the game and the first 10 minutes of the third, and forget the other 40 minutes existed.