The Sharks Could Learn Something From Game Three ... By Watching The Canucks

Obviously, every game will be watched and every matchup will be scrutinized, while players and coaches come up with a list of things that they did and didn't do that they can improve upon going into the next game. Joe Thornton spent the majority of games one and two neutralizing Ryan Kesler, and in game three, he was able to use knowledge gained from the first two games to put his talents to work elsewhere, as the Canucks didn't want Kesler anywhere near him. So he watched, he improved, and he had himself a great game in a postseason full of them for the Sharks Captain. However, the Sharks need to look beyond the X's and O's of the game.

In game two, the Sharks fell behind in the third period, and as the lead grew, their hustle and effort exponentially shrank. When they were down one, they did not pick up the pace and they did not try and change the gameplan. When they were down two, all was basically lost at that point and they gave up on the game. Well, that isn't entirely accurate, in that the players never wanted to lose or anything like that, but the hustle was clearly gone.

Well, in the eventual 4-3 win for the Sharks in game three, the Canucks showed something that San Jose could certainly learn from. Two goals from Patrick Marleau and a goal from Ryane Clowe in the first period certainly sucked the wind out of the Canucks, but they didn't give up there. They re-evaluated and came out in the second period, scoring a goal to get on the board. The Sharks, not to be out-done, put up another goal to take a 4-1 lead. At that point, one could have expected the Canucks to roll over and lose the game.

But they weren't having any of that "roll over" business. They kept fighting, going after every puck and forcing the Sharks to play on their heels for a good portion of the third (the portion that wasn't spend with the Sharks on a power play), a real aggressive style of play. Kevin Bieksa and Dan Hamhuis put up goals in the period to bring the Canucks within one, and they did not stop fighting until the game was over. They didn't get the win, but that kind of fire is exactly what was absent from the Sharks in game two.

San Jose can certainly learn something from the Canucks, they need to ensure that they remain in every game played for the remainder of this postseason, and they can do that by continuing to fight for a full sixty minutes of hockey. In a way, they have fought back already, after being down in the series 2-0, but better on-ice periods when the team is down is something they've had in the past (the recent past, even), and something they definitely need going forward. 

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