Day game disaster could spell the end for San Jose
I hate day games. I especially hate playoff day games. I really, really hate playoff day games when the team I'm following gets shelled, slammed and slaughtered.
The St. Louis Blues dismantled the San Jose Sharks 5-0 on Sunday in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals. The Blues lead the best-of-seven series 3-2 and will probably end the series in six games when the two teams meet on Tuesday in the Show-me State.
Jaden Schwartz scored three goals for his second hat trick in these playoffs. Jordan Binnington stopped all 21 Sharks shots he faced and let's be fair, he had a pretty easy day. Over the final two periods, the Blues outshot the Sharks 36-10 and outscored them 4-0.
The game was over early and it felt like it. So many times throughout the playoffs, the Sharks fell behind but never felt out of it. For the first time on Sunday, it really felt as though the game ended with the Blues second goal.
The Sharks lost game four 2-1, but they very easily could have taken that game and been up 3-1. The breaks did not go their way. Karma maybe? Now they find themselves heading out on the road with the season on the line.
The Sharks have been here before. Vegas won game four of the opening round series 5-0 to take a 3-1 series lead. San Jose pulled it all together and won the next three games to win the series.
This is not the same situation. In that series, game five was at the Tank and the Sharks were mostly healthy. Now they face an elimination game on the road with health question marks everywhere.
The Sharks may have to play game six without key players Tomas Hertl, Joe Pavelski and Erik Karlsson. Head coach Pete Deboer would not give an update on each players status or even confirm if they were traveling or not to St. Louis. Not great news.
Karlsson's tenure in San Jose has been mostly mired by a lingering groin injury. He appeared to re-aggravate it in game four and probably shouldn't have been in the lineup for game 5. Hertl and Pavelski were victims of questionable hits. Joonas Donskoi took a puck to the face but returned to play in the third period.
I almost feel like winning game three via the handpass may have been the worst thing to happen to the Sharks during this run. It's like the universe shifted in the Blues favor with one single call.
If the Sharks have any chance of forcing a game seven they have to get more from the Evander Kane and Logan Couture's of the world and I don't mean penalty-wise. I mean on the scoresheet. Kane has one assist and just 8 shots on goal in this series. Couture had zero points and was a minus-3 in games four and five. Do something Evander - you may be our only hope!
Oh, and Martin Jones has to be the best version of himself. The Blues have been undressing him with the high snipe. Somehow, someway he must find a way to stop those shots and maybe, just maybe there will be a game 7 at the Tank later this week.
It's very hard to count this team out of anything and I'm not ready to shovel dirt on them yet, but it definitely feels like the fat lady is warming up those vocal cords.
Thanks for reading,