It was a recipe for disaster. Their second game in as many nights, facing a much better opponent than the first – on the road, no less – and the Ducks the followed the recipe.
The Sharks broke out to a 5-0 lead that no amount of fights could curtail (there were six, for the record) and no third-period bounce-back could overcome. The shots on goal count was just as lopsided – 38-11 through two periods, and 41-24 the game.
All of which led Randy Carlyle to say, “we didn’t really seem to get involved in the game.
“From our standpoint, you can’t come into this building and expect them not to be coming out and jumping at you,” the coach continued. “I mean we did play last night. This is the second half of a back-to-back. But we got ourselves out of position and got into lots of trouble.”
The trouble began quickly, when Dany Heatley beat Curtis McElhinney 36 seconds into the game – the result of a Joe Thornton faceoff win against Ryan Getzlaf, and a long rebound off McElhinney’s pads that Thornton shuffled to his wide-open line mate in front of the net.
Logan Couture added a power-play goal before the period was over, and Heatley, Niclas Wallin and Patrick Marleau completed the Sharks’ scoring in the second.
Power-play goals by Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry in the third period, other than earning fans free pizza coupons, were a moot point.
The Ducks (4-7-1) handed the Sharks (5-3-1) a total of 9 minutes of power-play time, including 1:13 of 5-on-3 time that San Jose could not convert.
Carlyle, who juggled the forwards lines significantly, seemed short on answers – which will only further fuel speculation about his job security.
“It was scrambling hockey,” he said. “We were running around trying to do too many things. We were puck chasing. We didn’t have our positional play. I don’t know if we were over aggressive from the standpoint of defending. It was one of those games where we didn’t look like we had much structure to it.”
Defenseman Cam Fowler missed his sixth straight game following a broken nose.