Sharks can't solve Quick in 2-0 loss to Kings

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Sharks can't solve Quick in 2-0 loss to Kings

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LOS ANGELES -- The Sharks showed effort, energy and focus in the third period of Mondays loss to the Kings at Staples Center.Thats what makes it so much harder to figure out where they were in the first two.Jonathan Quick pitched a shutout in net and Ethan Moreau and Mike Richards provided the offense in a 2-0 Kings win over San Jose, in which the visitors were missing in action for most of the first 40 minutes. It was the Kings' first home shutout of the Sharks since March 23, 2002.
All I can say is, there are 82 games. You have to find a way to get up for every game, said Dan Boyle, whose team lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time since Oct. 15-17. Some nights are tougher than others, but at the end of the day you have to find a way.Im going to pick work-ethic, commitment, passion, said an ornery Todd McLellan, when asked what the problem was at the outset. I wanted to know where they went between the second and third to find it. Really disappointing, and probably more disappointing because we came out and played hard in the third. It made it even tougher to swallow.
The Sharks have played a number of physical and fast paced games lately against the likes of Detroit, Dallas, Chicago and Vancouver. Could it be that they were emotionally or physically drained, and looking ahead to a couple days off before hosting Montreal on Thursday?Boyle doesnt want to hear any excuses.Theres no reason why we shouldnt be ready for these guys, he said. Theyre in our division. As well as weve played, we talked about how were one point out of a playoff spot after 20 games. Its that close.He's right. The Sharks entered Mondays action with 27 points and the third seed in the Western Conference, while the ninth-seeded Edmonton Oilers had 26. The Kings, who improved to 6-1-2 in the Pacific while dropping the Sharks to 3-4-0, leapfrogged over three teams to take the division lead with 28 points.Quick, playing in his 200th career NHL game, recorded his 18th career shutout and second against San Jose. He didnt have to do a whole lot until late in the second when the Sharks had back-to-back power plays while trying to cut into the Kings two-goal lead.The 25-year-old goalie got some help on one shot when Boyle blasted it off of the post, and later snagged a wrist shot by a cutting Joe Pavelski late in the frame.In the third, Quick made a chest stop on Jamie McGinn after a bouncing puck ended up on McGinns stick in the slot with about seven minutes left, and shortly after he stoned Patrick Marleau who was alone in front, trying to redirect in a nice feed from Joe Thornton.Thirteen of Quicks 33 saves came in the third period.It didnt matter who was in goal for them, we werent near the net and didnt create anything, said McLellan of the first 40 minutes. In the third period he played very, very well."Hes an elite goaltender. We had our chances, we just couldnt finish, said Thornton.The Kings jumped out to a first period lead for just the third time this season on a pair of Sharks mistakes. After an unfathomable turnover by Justin Braun in the defensive zone, Moreau picked it up on the corner and quickly threw it on net. Antti Niemi misplayed it, and it snuck behind him at 8:37.Same thing as last game, I just have to see the puck and follow the puck, said Niemi, referring to a similar goal he surrendered on Saturday to Vancouvers Manny Malhotra.The goal was Moreaus first in 59 games, with the last coming on Oct. 9, 2010 in San Jose, when he was a member of the Edmonton Oilers.Los Angeles increased that lead to 2-0 during a four-on-four situation with Thornton and Jarret Stoll off on coincidental minors. This time it was Richards, who scored his ninth goal in the last 10 games on a feed from behind the net by Simon Gagne. Gagne patiently waited for Marc-Edouard Vlasic to give him an opening before feeding Richards in front of the net.Despite being down and showing little fight up to that point, the Sharks had a couple of golden opportunities to get back into it before the second period ended, as Stoll and Matt Greene were whistled for infractions at 15:24 and 17:52, respectively.The Sharks finished 0-for-5 on the power play, though, and McLellan chalked up that failure to San Joses general approach to the game.Its typical of these nights, he said. When you dont contribute, you dont give effort early in the game and wait for the power play to come, youre usually not sharp enough to score. You create a number of opportunities, but youre not going to get rewarded for it.The hockey gods dont work that way.Odds and ends: The Sharks were without Michal Handzus (sick) and Colin White (personal). Jason Demers was scratched, while Frazer McLaren made his season debut. There was a long delay in the third period after an apparent goal by the Kings that would have made it 3-0. The ruling came down that Slava Voynov kicked it in, although it appeared to go in off of the heel of Dustin Browns stick. Just before that, Brown made a dazzling move to skate around Braun and feed Voynov. Niemi finished with 31 saves. The Kings were 0-for-3 on the power play. The Sharks won 40 of 69 faceoffs.

Sharks need to 'figure it out pretty soon' after another thrashing

Sharks need to 'figure it out pretty soon' after another thrashing

NASHVILLE – Apparently, one wake up call wasn’t good enough for the plummeting San Jose Sharks.
 
Just one day after suffering what was arguably their worst game under coach Pete DeBoer, Nashville put up a touchdown on the Sharks in a 7-2 win, giving San Jose its sixth straight defeat – all in regulation.
 
After getting outscored 13-3 the last two nights, including Friday’s 6-1 loss in Dallas, where do they go from here?
 
“In two years, last year and this year so far, we haven’t had one night like this almost. Now we have back-to-back nights,” Joe Pavelski said. “I think it’s just a reality check. A gut-check time.
 
“It’s on us as players. Bottom line is we haven’t put the effort in that we need to have right now, and it snowballed on us a little bit at times. I think we’ve got to take a deep breath and really take a look in the mirror, refocus a little bit and understand there’s hockey out there, but it’s not going to fix itself.”
 
What has to be fixed immediately is the defensive structure that has been so vital to the Sharks’ success in the Pete DeBoer era. Even when the club was going through stretches of struggling to score, as it was earlier in the season, it was still collecting points in the standings with its ability to limit the opposition’s scoring chances.
 
While the game against the Predators was actually a little better in that regard, believe it or not, it was still nowhere near the level it needs to be for the postseason. Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s absence was partly to blame for that, but the Brent Burns-Paul Martin pair has been a disaster lately. Both have a minus-nine rating during the six-game losing streak, and that number is indicative of how they’ve looked, too.
 
“We’re giving up some goals. It’s a combination of things,” DeBoer said. “Obviously it’s not good enough to win games, so we’ve got to figure it out. I don’t have an answer standing here for you, but I know our group. Every team I’ve ever coached has a tough part of the season. This is obviously ours. We’ll regroup, and figure it out.”
 
Burns, who admitted to a “bad read” on Nashville’s second goal when Roman Josi sped around him, said: “It’s a tough league when you’re not executing little things.”
 
The Sharks actually looked strong early, poised to put the Dallas disaster behind them. The first few shifts, they had the puck in the Nashville end.
 
But Tomas Hertl was outmuscled behind the net by Colin Wilson on Colton Sissons’ goal at 4:14, Burns got beat on the second, and the Sharks never recovered. Patrick Marleau’s second period power play goal offered life, but that was extinguished 24 seconds later when James Neal answered with a power play goal of his own. The Sharks never got closer than two goals after that.
 
“When things are going bad, those are the things that are happening,” Burns said of Neal’s response to Marleau’s marker. “So, you’ve just got work through it."
 
Will they be able to work through it with just seven games left in the regular season, though? That this cold spell is happening in late March doesn’t speak well to the Sharks’ chances in the postseason, which begins in just two-and-a-half weeks.
 
Burns said: “Right now we should be just tightening up everything. … We've got figure it out pretty soon.”

Sharks forward Haley could face supplemental discipline from NHL

Sharks forward Haley could face supplemental discipline from NHL

NASHVILLE – Sharks forward Micheal Haley could be in line for supplemental discipline from the league, after earning a match penalty in the third period of Saturday’s 7-2 loss in Nashville.
 
After absorbing a borderline hit from behind by Calle Jarnkrok, Haley tracked down the Predators forward and promptly delivered a left jab to Jarnkrok’s face at 12:56 of the final frame, with the Sharks trailing 5-2 at the time.
 
Naturally, there were differing opinions from the two head coaches on the play.
 
Pete DeBoer said: “When you run someone from behind in a game like that, you probably deserve to get a punch in the mouth.”
 
Predators coach Peter Laviolette told reporters: "It's an ugly play. This isn't the wild, wild west. I mean, Calle hit him. We took a penalty. If we start doing that, we're in trouble, so hopefully it gets looked at."
 
Any player who earns a match penalty "shall be automatically suspended from further competition until the commissioner has ruled on the issue,” according to league rules.
 
In 54 games this season, Haley has two goals and nine assists for 11 points. His 110 penalty minutes is fifth in the league.
 
Jarnkrok did not return after the punch, but told reporters after the game he felt “OK.”
 
"I feel pretty good," Jarnkrok said. "Obviously, I saw him coming. There were a couple other guys coming, too. I didn't really know what to do. He got in a good punch on me.”