SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS
David Pollak: Sharks’ collapse complete; Kings win Game 7
On a franchise that has long had the reputation of being playoff failures even after reaching the Western Conference finals in successive years, this was the worst yet.
The Sharks went 0 for 4 on the power play in the second period alone. They had two more chances in the final period, but by then the general excitement that followed a power play had lost its charm. Fans grumbled early and often, and it was so quiet inside the normally raucous building that you could hear lone, plaintive cries of: “Shoot it!” The Sharks’ final chance came at 14:58 of the third period, with the team still within reach at 3-1. Instead, it was one final taste of frustration.
Mark Purdy: San Jose Sharks live down to reputation
There is no use piling on the Sharks at this point. They looked sad enough in that handshake line. They looked even sadder in the dressing room when, with no standing to make excuses, none of them tried. They know their reputation as underachievers who lack the killer instinct to ever win a championship.
The performances of the top players at the tail end of the series only adds fuel to the fire. Marleau, Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture and Brent Burns combined for a grand total of one goal and two assists over the four defeats. None of them found the scoresheet at all in the final three games, as the Sharks got just two goals from James Sheppard and Matt Irwin.
Despite the series going the full seven, McLellan said this latest performance wasn’t nearly as close as 2013. The Sharks scored just two goals in their final three games, getting dominated 18-5 over four consecutive losses.
And with this massive system failure, there is no good reason to expect that the fan base will be even remotely as tolerant as it has been in the past, nor should it be. Enough is enough, and in this case, way too little is way too much. San Jose’s continental reputation as a team with a miserable springtime resume is now set in granite, and claiming the Sharks are just a tweak away won’t stand any longer. This is who they are, and this is who they shall remain until they decide to prove otherwise.
Corey Masisak: Kings complete comeback, advance to face Ducks
The Kings became the fourth team in NHL history to win a Stanley Cup Playoff series after losing the first three games, joining the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1942, New York Islanders in 1975 and Philadelphia Flyers in 2010. Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, who were members of that Flyers team, became the first players to do it twice.
Eric Gilmore: Sharks devastated after blowing 3-0 series lead
“We obviously don’t want to hear that kind of stuff, but what are we going to say?” defenseman Brad Stuart said. “We were on the wrong side of history tonight. It’s tough for us to argue with anything that’s said. We let ourselves down, we let the fans down, we let everybody in our organization down. It’s not a good feeling. There’s not really much else you can say about it.”
Eric Gilmore: Failures on power play contribute to Sharks’ demise
The Sharks saved the worst for last. They went 0-for 6 on the power play Wednesday night in a 5-1 loss to the Kings in Game 7 at SAP Center. Four of those power plays came in the second period when the game and series were still up for grabs.
SB Nation – FEAR THE FIN
Unfortunately, as much as it rationally should not, the order of the wins does matter. The Sharks coming oh-so-close to sweeping the Kings, setting themselves up for an easier second-round opponent in the process and surely a lengthy playoff run, before dropping four straight to the team that beat them in the playoffs last spring as well…that hurts. And it’s going to hurt for a long, long time. Thornton and Marleau deserved better than this and they’ll get another kick at the can next year with a roster that should be a legitimate Cup contender as long as the Sharks don’t completely overreact to this series and blow everything up. But if it’s getting hard for me to keep doing this every spring, I can’t imagine how hard it’s getting for them.