SAN JOSE -- If we were to go overboard with Valentine’s Day puns, we might’ve called the Sharks’ game against the Capitals on Thursday night a “heartbreaker” or one that “lost that love and feeling.”
But at the end of 60 minutes, there were no puns needed. It simply wasn’t the Sharks best game, as they dropped their second and final matchup of the season with the defending Stanley Cup champs, 5-1.
Here are three takeaways from Thursday’s game:
It’s probably a good thing San Jose doesn’t play Washington more often…
… because the pace of their two games this season has been brutal. Like the matchup back on January 22, Thursday’s game was a fast end-to-end affair. The play was so fast, more than one skater wiped out during the course of the contest.
This was also a heavier game than the 7-6 contest these teams previously played against each other. Washington did a particularly good job tangling San Jose’s offense up, which contributed to the Sharks only scoring one goal on the evening.
On that note …
This wasn’t the same back-and-forth game we saw last month
Unlike the previous game against Washington -- unlike their last several games, really -- the Sharks had trouble getting a lot of quality offensive zone time on Thursday. They spent a good portion of the contest hemmed in their own end, and were uncharacteristically outshot for the entire game. On the couple good chances they generated, they weren’t able to bury them.
After the morning skate on Wednesday, defenseman Brenden Dillon told the media the team couldn’t get comfortable just because they had a nice winning streak going. San Jose didn’t look comfortable by any means, but they also didn’t look as crisp and confident as they did through the four games they just played on the road.
Best to put this one in the rearview mirror
San Jose may not have gotten any more points in the standings, but that didn’t stop the teams around them from continuing to gain ground around them. Although the Flames lost in a shootout earlier in the evening, Calgary gained a point in the standings to tie the Sharks with 75.
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With just 24 games left in the season, San Jose needs to pick up the pieces from Thursday evening and move on. The Sharks have the Canucks coming into town on Saturday and a Boston Bruins squad -- who currently has a winning streak going -- visiting on Monday. With as good as San Jose has been on their home ice so far this season, putting this second game against the Caps behind them is best.