Sharks get reality check after 4-2 loss to Kings as trade deadline looms


Sharks get reality check after 4-2 loss to Kings as trade deadline looms

Courtesy of Brandon Magnus/NHLI via Getty Images

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks should be sellers at the trading deadline on Monday.

In its latest loss, a 4-2 clunker to the Los Angeles Kings, Team Teal now sits four points out of fourth place and the final playoff spot in the Honda Pacific Division.

That may not sound like a big deficit to overcome with 16 games remaining in the regular season, but this team hasn't shown the type of desperation needed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Sharks have lost two of its past three games to teams beneath them in the standings. With the trade of Devan Dubnyk for a propect (Greg Pateryn) and a low draft pick (2021 fifth rounder) I believe it's a sign of things to come on Monday morning. The message has been sent by general manager Doug Wilson. He's waving the white flag and hopefully is looking to rebuild this team. We will know what his "reset" really means by Monday afternoon.

The defensive breakdowns that led to the Kings scoring two goals in a 53-second span is why the Men of Teal don't deserve to play more than 56 games this season. Martin Jones was left hung out to dry by his defense, who somehow forgot it's not a good idea to leave the opponent all alone in front of the net. Both Andreas Athanasiou and Alex Iafallo had time to binge watch a series on Netflix before putting the puck into the back of the net.

"We weren't disciplined back there," said Sharks defenseman Mario Ferraro. "Not playing with enough detail. You let that slide, you give them enough chances, they eventually are going to put it in the back of the net. That's what happened there."

If the shady defense wasn't bad enough for the Sharks, their ineptitude on the power play is a glaring reason why they don't deserve a trip to Lord Stanley's tournament. They were 1-for-5 against Los Angeles on the night. The Kings were practically begging for the Sharks to come back in this game. When you're struggling to score at even strength, the special teams need to come through. And it hasn't been very special for San Jose throughout the season. Oh, did I forget to mention all the lazy penalties they have been taking lately?

"We had chances early on being up on the power play to sort of surmount a lead, (and) we didn't," said Sharks head coach Bob Boughner. "They got better as the game went on and we went the other way. The game was lost in the second period," Boughner said.

I believe it's time to give some of the kids from the Barracuda a chance to show what kind of potential they may have. Let's give shots to the Noah Gregor's, Joachim Blichfeld's, Maxim Letunov's, and the Sasha Chmelevski's and see what they can do. It has worked out well with former 'Cuda defensemen Nikoli Khynzov and Radim Simek.

Speaking of the 'Cuda, goaltender Josef Korenar has been called up and earned his promotion to be the backup goalie for the Sharks. He's been impressive for the past two seasons with the 'Cuda and he deserves some starts in these final 16 games. He shouldn't just come in and perform mop-up duty in relief like he did tonight, when he started the third period in place of Jones.

"I just try to play my best game," said Korenar on how he felt after his NHL debut. "I'm trying to do that every day. I can't even believe it."

The Kings looked like the team playing with desperation as they fight for their playoff lives. Do the Sharks have it in them to make a serious push for the postseason? We'll find out more with what Wilson does between now and Monday and just what effect it will have on San Jose.


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