Sharks

Sharks

SAN JOSE -- For long stretches of Friday's game at SAP Center, the Sharks looked like their old selves. 

Solid forecheck. Relentless pace. Creating chance after chance with a victory within their reach. That's the way San Jose has played at its best under the helm of Peter DeBoer.

"That's the team I've become familiar with," San Jose's head coach said after the eventual 3-2 loss to the Jets. "That's the style of play. It was nice to see, we haven't seen it in a while. It would have been nice to get rewarded for it, but if we play with that type of game, the wins will come."

While the Sharks didn't get the win -- thanks to a tie-breaking goal by Winnipeg forward Nikolaj Ehlers with 1:24 left in regulation -- they still felt like they played one of their best games so far in what has been a lackluster start to their season.

The next step after putting up such a big fight and coming up short is to put more pucks in the back of the net.

"We were playing with the puck in the other team's end for the first time in a long time, and that builds confidence," Sharks captain Logan Couture said. "I think once the puck starts to go in for a couple of us then we'll start feeling more confident and finish more plays around the net."

 

Perhaps the biggest disappointment coming out of Friday's loss was how few goals the Sharks buried despite leading the shot clock 53-19. Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck played a heck of a game, as he faced the most shots in his professional career. 

"There was a stretch there where I was praying a little bit," Hellebuyck told reporters after the game.

Nevertheless, San Jose's forward attack couldn't tack on the go-ahead goal. Going forward, the team's execution needs just a little bit more finesse and finish to find the back of the net on a more regular basis.

"We need better finish around the net," Couture explained. "I think right now the confidence is low when it comes to goal-scoring. Some guys, we're getting around the net and we're kind of just firing (the puck) and not taking the extra second to make a play. Maybe look for a guy on the backside or something like that."

One other area the Sharks need to address? Taking the other team out of the game. Completely.

"I think the only thing we didn't do well was we let them hang around," Evander Kane summarized. "I thought, for the most part, we did a good job, but we let them hang around and those one or two mistakes that you make come back to haunt you. That's what happened tonight."

In a game where they did so many things right and still came up short, the Sharks are happy they're playing a back-to-back and can redeem themselves on Saturday night against the visiting Vancouver Canucks.

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"We want to get right back at it," DeBoer said. "We played a good game. We'll look at it tomorrow morning, have a quick meeting. We don't want to change anything. We want to play that same type of game tomorrow night."