After Tuesday’s shootout loss to the Rangers, Sharks coach Peter DeBoer pointed to the opposition’s desperation level as a driving force that pushed New York past San Jose.
On Wednesday following morning skate, he doubled-down on that desperation gave the visitors’ more energy.
“That’s the lesson in last night’s game a little bit,” he said.
The Sharks themselves aren’t in dire straits. Heck, they got a point on the evening thanks to Tomas Hertl’s tying goal sending the contest into overtime. But the competition waiting to visit San Jose as the homestand rolls on will be in a similar situation as the Rangers – desperate early in the season, and looking to out-chance and outplay the Pacific Division juggernaut.
And that’s something that the Sharks have to adjust to with two desperate squads in the Blue Jackets and Red Wings about to visit the Tank.
“The desperation level of some of these teams is going to be very high,” DeBoer continued. “We have to appreciate that we are 10-12 games in now, and everyone is starting to look at where they are in the standings.”
San Jose’s upcoming opponent, the Columbus Blue Jackets, is a prime example. The Blue Jackets are currently ranked fifth in the Metropolitan Division after starting the season 6-5-0.
San Jose Sharks
They’ve had bursts where they appear to be dictating the pace of games, but have found themselves on the losing side of three of their last five contests – including a 5-3 loss to the Red Wings Tuesday where the Blue Jackets were constantly playing from behind. And as many hockey fans would expect, was followed up by a press conference from a visibly less-than-enthused coach John Tortorella.
To make matters worse, Detroit went into that game with only two wins on the season, and clearly used their own desperation to race out to an early 3-0 lead.
With the Blue Jackets now coming to the Bay Area in that desperate state, the Sharks have to be prepared not to let another team’s desperation put them on their heels or pin them into their own zone. What it comes down to is the Sharks, despite having a better record, playing with a little desperation themselves.
“We have to be able to match that (level of desperation), or at least play at that level,” DeBoer said. “We had guys in position. The detail I think was there. It’s just the desperation level to win battles.”