In this year's playoffs, there have been plenty of teams with reason to be upset.
Then, all at once, everything went wrong.
The Sharks need to come out in Game 5 with the kind of play they showed in the final two periods Friday. If he continues to stifle their potent offense, it will be a cakewalk for St. Louis.
After falling behind 3-0 through two periods in their Western Conference final tilt at SAP Center, Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson was not on the bench to begin the third period. "We're right where I expected we would be, in a good spot going home, and we've got to get the job done".
"We kind of were stressing we've got to get more pucks on net with traffic and we were just kind of passing it around the outside a little too much", Bozak said. That team's relentless over there.
Chara, 42, is the oldest player in a locker room made up of 18 players age 30 or younger, but the defenseman says it's important to make sure age does not separate the team.
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They've been wearing them down at an alarming rate.
Veteran Shark Joe Pavelski, who missed most of the second round due to a concussion, was injured on his first shift of the third period when hit hard along the boards by Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo. Jonas Donskoi went to the room with a bloodied mouth.
Oddly, Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said he relied on medical news from his staff and Karlsson when choosing his lineup for Sunday. "Then (Tomas) Hertl can't go".
This marks just the third time all postseason that the offensive-powered Sharks have been left off the scoresheet. "Not our finest moment, but I understand where that emotion is coming from".
By the end of the contest, San Jose was a sports version of the walking wounded.
The St. Louis Blues were in overtime of Game 3 of the Western Conference final before a clear hand pass sent the puck directly into the slot, and now they're down 2-1 in the series. The Blues have gone 27-22 on the road and they have averaged 2.80 gpg and have allowed 2.45 gpg in those games. San Jose lost Pavelski and Hertl to high hits that definitely riled up the Sharks bench.
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St. Louis winger Vladimir Tarasenko said: "I think every player dreams to play in the Stanley Cup Final, but we're not there yet". "Yeah, that's a tough one". Game 6 in St. Louis might be the most hard one this franchise has had to play in decades, if not ever.
Are the Blues crossing the line? That said, massive spoilers ahead for you.
The Colorado Avalanche were offside (but were they?) in Game 7 where a goal was called back, and they were knocked out in Round 2.
Karlsson ended Game 4 in a lot of pain after seemingly aggravating a groin injury, but played more than seven minutes in the first period on Sunday.
In retrospect, DeBoer admits it would have been a good idea to dress seven defencemen just in case. "We prefer to be very cautious and hands on when it comes to these types of situations" League commissioner Gary Bettman said to the media late Wednesday night.
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