Sharks vs. Kings, Game 3
Game 1 was a playoff game. High intensity, the hits came flying and both teams were playing some great hockey. It wasn't a great game for the Sharks, since we needed overtime to get the win, but it was still a win and I can still see that great Joe Pavelski game winning shot. The bad hit by Jarret Stoll on Ian White was the only downer of the game. It knocked White out of the rest of the game and out of game #2. And you'd be excused if you missed the first goal scored by Heatley 28 seconds after the puck drop. Everything felt like playoff hockey. So how do you top game #1? Well, we're still not sure because game #2 was a stinker.
Game 2 Sharks were without Ian White on defense and the Kings were without Jarret Stoll at center. I'm not going to get into the hit from game 1, suffice it to say it was bad and Stoll was issued a 1 game suspension. Sadly the Kings came out fired and ready to play. The Sharks? The Sharks team that took the ice Saturday night looked like the Sharks from January; slow, and not willing to do what it takes to win games. Which brings us to game 3.
Game 3 is tonight down in LA. I wouldn't quite call this a "must win" game, but the Sharks do need to come out looking like they know what they're doing on the ice. Ian White is expected to be back, but he isn't the only answer. Our top players have to show up. Marleau, who'd been clutch in late game/OT action needs to show up before the end of the game. Thornton, known for his passing, needs to remember what color jersey to pass to. Shots need to be blocked, and adapting to the Kings dominance on the boards needs to happen from the coaching staff.
Saturday's game was one of the worst games I'd seen this season, but it's not the worst and I know the Sharks can bounce back, as they have before this season. Puck drops at 7:30 on Versus, and the "Beat LA" chant starts at 7. Go Sharks!