Sharks need everyone to step up in crucial Game 4 against Golden Knights


Sharks need everyone to step up in crucial Game 4 against Golden Knights

Perhaps the biggest criticism head coach Peter DeBoer made after the Sharks were stunned 6-3 by the Golden Knights on Sunday in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs was that not enough players stepped up.

“We didn’t have enough participants playing at a high enough level,” he told the media after the loss. “We weren't good enough across the board to win tonight."

Now, with even more players missing from the Sharks' lineup for Game 4, the stage is set for everyone to step up their game – and not, as Sharks’ radio announcer Dan Rusanowsky said on NBC Sports California’s live Facebook Q&A, “hand the game to another team on a silver platter.”

San Jose is getting a new look for Tuesday evening with Joe Thornton, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and Micheal Haley all being out of the lineup. While the shuffle is partially to adjust to Joonas Donskoi and Lukas Radil being added to the forward attack, it also serves as a test for the Sharks to get a jump on Vegas’ offense.

The Sharks haven't been able to counter the attack of the Knights’ forward assault in the last two games, particularly the combination of Mark Stone, Paul Stastny, and Max Pacioretty. As Sharks broadcaster Bret Hedican summarized during NBC’s Facebook Q&A that a line needs to make the decision to step up and commit to shutting the Stone line down – or better yet, the whole team needs to rise to meet that test.

Game 4 will also be a big test for Donskoi and Radil, who have been healthy scratches through the first three games of these playoffs. Donskoi told the media after practice on Tuesday that he had been feeling “kind of helpless” watching the team struggle the last two games and not being able to do anything to help.

Tuesday’s game would be a great time for Donskoi, as well as Radil, to really show how they can fill in and make a difference.

Overall, the Sharks as a whole need to step up on the defensive side of the puck. While Martin Jones no doubt has to have a much stronger performance than he did in Game 3, the blame for letting in three goals less than a minute into every period doesn’t rest solely on him.

After doing a great job taking the center of the ice away from Vegas in Game 1, San Jose has let the opposition travel quickly into their zone and make big plays. If the Sharks are going to have any chance of building momentum and not letting the Knights take over the pace of play yet again, they’ll need to get back to having that “defense-first” mentality.

[RELATED: How Thornton suspension affects Sharks' lineup]

While big performances from any of these parties could help the Sharks win Game 4 and tie the series up 2-2, it will really take all members of the team stepping up and banding together.

The Golden Knights enter Tuesday’s contest with a leg up in the series, plus the support of their home crowd to push them along. It’ll take the collective San Jose squad to shut them down.

Sharks' Evander Kane announces daughter's birth after 'tough journey'


Sharks' Evander Kane announces daughter's birth after 'tough journey'

Just over a year after losing their daughter during pregnancy, Sharks forward Evander Kane and his wife, Anna, welcomed another daughter into the world.

The Kanes announced the birth of their daughter, Kensington Ava, on Thursday on social media. Evander Kane said his daughter was born on July 3. 

"My wife Anna is a rockstar, the strength and love she has displayed over the last 18 months," Kane wrote on Twitter. "We want to thank everyone who has reached out during this period in support of our family and (we) appreciate the kind words throughout this journey. I'm so proud of my daughter, it's tough to put into words how much she means to me."

Kane thanked the Sharks, their fans, his friends and family "for their overwhelming love" during a difficult time. Last March, Kane announced that their daughter, Eva, passed away 26 weeks into Anna's pregnancy.

"You gave us all, especially your mom and I, something to be excited about," Kane wrote of Eva on Twitter on March 14, 2019. "And though we are devastated that you couldn't stay with us longer, your mom and I will always cherish the time we had with your beautiful soul. Your spirit will give us strength, your love will give us comfort. We will love you forever."

The Sharks, San Jose teammate Mario Ferraro and Hockey Diversity Alliance co-founder Akim Aliu all commented on Kane's Instagram post on Thursday.

Sharks' Tomas Hertl explains funny, simple reason why he wears No. 48

Sharks' Tomas Hertl explains funny, simple reason why he wears No. 48

Tomas Hertl has a huge year ahead of him. As he returns from ACL and MCL surgery, he and his wife Aneta are expecting the birth of their first child in November.

Sharks fans everywhere can't wait for No. 48 to get back on the ice. But how did he pick that number? It’s quite simple.

“They give it to me,” he wrote in a recent NHLPA questionnaire.

Enough said.

But before Hertl was the Sharks’ All-Star center, he had other aspirations.

Believe it or not, he wrote in the questionnaire that he wanted to be an architect if he wasn’t going to be a hockey player. But he was born to play hockey.

His dad, Jaroslav, during the winter in his native in Prague, would create nets (measuring the perfect size) on the frozen ponds near where he lived. Hertl’s dad would even kick off skaters if they were recreationally using the area where he wanted to play hockey.

[RELATED: Sharks avoid nightmare scenario in 2020 NHL Draft lottery]

As much as Hertl could have thrived as an architect, his career as a hockey star was destined.