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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Sharks stay true to their dramatic form

SAN JOSE, Calif. — You have to give the Sharks credit for consistency: They hardly ever miss a chance to miss a chance.

It’s just the high drama of who they are and low frustration of who they aren’t and probably will never be.

When things get too easy and breezy in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Sharks’ standard reaction is to relax and kick one away, as they did again Saturday night against Los Angeles.

The Sharks are still up 3-2, still can clinch with one more victory either Monday in Game 6 or Wednesday in Game 7, and still, of course, are fully capable of future screw-ups.

They are talented enough to expect to blow through playoff rounds. They are also shaky enough that they hardly ever do.

“”It’s always disappointing when you feel like you’ve finally got it and you take a step backwards,”” coach Todd McLellan said after Sunday’s practice.

“”It’s like having a family, and you’re the parents. Just when you think your kids get it and they show you otherwise, it’s disappointing.””

Get the feeling McLellan’s focus on the Sharks’ nonfocus is almost whimsical at this point?

The double paradox: If the Sharks weren’t so talented, they probably wouldn’t be so careless; if they were more dependable, they wouldn’t be the Sharks.

McLellan can make all the moves and give all the lectures, as he did again Sunday in a film session involving the Game 5 errors that led to three fast Kings goals and the yanking of goaltender Antti Niemi.

And on Sunday, McLellan made the interesting decision to keep Niemi in goal for Game 6 despite Niemi getting pulled in two of the past three games.

Part of the decision, McLellan seemed to suggest, was meant as a statement to the rest of the team. They can’t use Niemi’s play as a total excuse for Game 5.


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