Ratto: Five keys for the Sharks as series shifts to S.J.

May 19, 2011, 4:53 pm
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May 19, 2011


Ray Ratto

With the Stanley Cup Western Conference Final perhaps only a weekend away from being over, here are some things you havent thought of mostly because nobody in their right mind would.

1. Ben Eager: Threat or menace?
Eager was good when he wasnt being bad, but the balance was wildly off. So does he play Friday, or does Todd McLellan forgo his energy for a more balanced, cerebral, disciplined approach? A tough call that even a plane ride home wont clear up -- especially given that they need energy which so few of Eager's brethren provided.

RATTO: Don't hang Game 2 crash on Eager

2. Who else sits?
So few to choose from, even though so few competed. There are not a lot of options for McLellan to shake up the roster, and changing lines, which he did often Wednesday night, surely didnt have any effect. Even trying to turn the game into a pie fight at the end didnt work. If this isnt helplessness, its hard to know what is.

3. Is home so sweet?
Not really. San Jose is 0-5 in conference final games at home all-time, and a modest 4-3 at home in this postseason. Its hard to know whether fan love really reaches them at their core, as its hard to know what does. This may be a simple matter of the better team doing the better work, but surely the Sharks have more competitive orneriness than this. Surely they do. Surely . . . maybe.
4. Those are prime seats - use them
Without the Green Men, a fan at Rogers Arena took it upon herself to distract Ben Eager in the penalty box as best she could by lifting her top. Eager seems to have noticed, but had the good sense given the tenor of the game not to do anything about it like elope. In short, the penalty box seat gap between the Sharks and Canucks seems as pronounced as the one on the ice. Thats a lot of pressure for the folks in Section 115.

RELATED: Have Sharks, McLellan run out of options?

5. How many more times can a person wake up?
Logan Couture on Wednesdays grande debacle: You look at the last six to seven games we've played, we're just not playing well. We're not playing the way we should be in the playoffs. Tonight was just embarrassing. Hopefully, it wakes us up a little bit. A little bit? At this point? A knee in the groin is probably insufficient for this job, as many times as its had to be invoked.

Ray Ratto is a columnist for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.