Tempers flared considerably when the Sharks played the Golden Knights on Saturday night. So much so, even, that three members of the Sharks were ejected from the game, including head coach Peter DeBoer.
“We’ve got an emotional team,” defenseman Brenden Dillon told the media diplomatically. “We’ve got guys who are physical. Guys who definitely don’t like to lose, myself included.”
The Sharks and Golden Knights have played each other physically since Vegas entered the league last season, and San Jose was understandably frustrated after Vegas notched a 4-0 lead in the first period alone. But that was no match for the level of anger that was reached after a breakaway goal from William Carrier put the Sharks in a 5-0 hole.
Not long after coming out of the box for serving a high-sticking penalty, Evander Kane was called for tripping after a hip-to-hip hit on Vegas forward Tomas Nosek. Just moments later, Kane was issued a game misconduct and tossed from the contest, reportedly for language he used on the ice. Then DeBoer was noticeably absent from the bench as well, after also being tossed from the game.
The winger didn’t elaborate on the incident when asked about it after the game. The Sharks coach, however, broke down what transpired between himself and the ref.
“I didn’t even swear,” DeBoer prefaced. “I just asked him, 'Did that feel good, kicking Evander out under these circumstances?' That was enough, I guess. I guess he wanted another victim.”
It’s understandable for DeBoer and the rest of the team to be upset. Kane is one of the Sharks most dynamic players – not to mention a guy who can help drive the team’s intensity in the face of adversity. In a contest where players were getting beat up and the score was incredibly lopsided, that’s not a player any team wants to lose.
“You’ve got a team down 5-0,” DeBoer said. “I’m already short on the bench with (Logan) Couture hurt and you’re going to kick a guy out for arguing a call because emotions are high? Have a little feel for the game.”
Even with the emotional response to Saturday’s game, San Jose knows they can't let this one derail them. Especially with four more road games ahead of them.
“For us, it’s just about getting back on track here,” Dillon summarized. “We’ve got a big rest of this road trip with some good teams and we’re just going to have to reset for the next one.”