Shark-Infested Blogger

May 8, 2010 1:07 AM

Teal and Silver Lining to Thursday's Loss

It is never easy to watch a team get dominated in a regular season game. It can be disheartening to see it happen in the playoffs.

However, as they say, a loss is a loss, and it counts the same whether it is 2-1 or 7-1. It does not feel the same, and does not have the same result for the opposing team--had Detroit win 2-1, the prevailing thought would be that their goalie stole back the game he lost, rather than that the Red Wings have broken through--but in the end, it is just one game.

For those who are feeling blue because they cannot just look at the mathematical equation, there are some other silver linings to find in this loss--one for each goal of the deficit...3443681450_c4126c85ba.jpg
  1. Even should the Chicago Blackhawks win out in their series over the Vancouver Canucks, they will play through Sunday, meaning the third round would not start until probably Wednesday; it would be worse if their series went longer. Thus, a victory would have resulted in six days between games and left the Sharks rustier than their opponents.
  2. By taking a big hit like this, the result will be humbling for the Sharks and sharpen their focus. They can learn the lesson of not letting their foes off the hook and the importance of closing off a series while you have your opponent down.
  3. On the other hand, a sweep may have left them overconfident. Of course, a 7-1 loss can shake confidence, but this team weathered worse in the first round by being primarily responsible for scoring a goal on themselves in their first three games to take a 2-1 series deficit against the lowest-seeded team, and the adversity appeared to be a rallying point for the team.
  4. Thomas Greiss got playing time and played effectively. That means if something happens to Evgeni Nabokov, the team does not have to rely on a goalie with little NHL experience and absolutely no playoff experience. Moreover, an overworked goalie (Nabby started his 88th game including exhibition, regular, Olympic, and post-seasons) got some much needed rest, even though only one of the goals was one he probably should have saved.
  5. Brad Stuart was hurt during the game, and is listed as day-to-day. Stuart has been one of their more effective defencemen, and even if he plays he will not likely be 100 percent.
  6. The team's only goal did come from its top line, so if they can do something in a game the team looked this bad in, that has to give them confidence to continue to produce.
Ultimately, it was unlikely a team as good as the Red Wings would be swept, and the Sharks are still in the driver's seat. It is difficult to imagine a team that looked better than any other through their first nine games losing three more games just because they lost their first in a series.

I am sure the team has that big-picture view, too.

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