The title isn't entirely accurate, in that the San Jose Sharks did look like a competent team who belonged in the Western Conference Finals through two periods of play, but the Vancouver Canucks absolutely ran away with the game in the third period, with four consecutive goals, two of them on the power play. It wasn't as though the Canucks beat up on the best the Sharks had to give with those four goals, but at that point, they had given up, so the 7-3 final score is more than justified.
However, the Sharks did show some kind of emotion in the game, if they showed anything at all. Unfortunately, it wasn't always the good kind of emotion. Ben Eager spent twenty minutes in the penalty box over three periods of play, before earning a ten-minute game misconduct. That's twenty minutes of a sixty minute hockey game, if you're just now getting familiar with the way things work around here. One third of the game. Eager went to the box in each period of play, but not every time was so bad.
There were a couple questionable calls, and there's a point where you see a guy going out there and hitting hard and saying "that's a good thing to do." Those times, of course, are when a player is trying to light a fire under his team and get them back in the game, and unfortunately, it didn't truly seem like Eager was trying to get his team back into the game. What it did seem like was Eager being petulant and jaded ... which of course, is also not an anomaly in hockey these days. But Eager let it run through the majority of the game and really did not help his team at all.
Things got especially worse when he scored late in the game while driving the net. Roberto Luongo went to the back of the net, and Eager did a fist pump and raised his hands in the air for a prolonged amount of time, while the rest of the Sharks simply got ready for the next shift. Eager decided it was best of him to talk a little trash, so he drifted back to the net, stood over it, and talked through it down at Luongo. He was taunting the Canucks, who at that point held a four-goal lead over the Sharks.
It was pretty embarrassing, honestly.
None of this is to see that the Sharks have Eager to blame for the loss - no - it took a team effort to lose this time out. Are they done? Certainly not, you do not have to panic until you've started losing at home. But where is the good emotion the title speaks of?
Well, Patrick Marleau, recently notable for being called gutless by Jeremy Roenick, and now notable for a three-game goal streak, got into a good bout of fisticuffs. Marleau dropped the gloves after being pushed and chopped at multiple times by Kevin Bieksa. Marleau isn't generally one to fight, and Bieksa is a veteran of such frozen fisticuffs. So what happened?
To put it nicely, he was quite beaten. When the fight is up on HockeyFights.com, the folks will surely score it for Bieksa, but it's a good sign for Sharks fans that Marleau took off the gloves. This wasn't some act of desperation and petulance like we saw from Eager earlier on, this was a guy, with his team still in the game, not getting pushed around by a guy on the Canucks. Roenick's earlier criticisms are, for the most part, unwarranted and they were at the time he said them, too. But this kind of fire is good for Marleau.
And when it all comes down to it, it's good for the Sharks, too. You don't want your best player going out there and getting into fights every time out, but this was an isolated incident that he probably needed. Sure, he got beat, but the general consensus seems to be "good for him."
The Sharks will need more emotion in game three at home. They'll need emotion from Marleau, emotion from Joe Thornton and head coach Todd McLellan. They will need the fans to be loud and as emotional as ever. They can probably do without Ben Eager and his emotion, however.