ELmont, NY – There was perhaps one bright spot in the San Jose Sharks’ 5-2 loss to the New York Islanders.
“Listen, that streak was our best. You saw it, didn’t you?” coach David Quinn said of his fourth streak from Juna Gadjovich-Nikko Sturm-Evgeny Svechnikov.
The Sharks 0-5-0: This is the first time in franchise history that they’ve lost their first five games of a season, so it’s also the worst start in franchise history.
But Sturm and Svechnikov accounted for both Sharks’ goals tonight, and the strikers’ depth is linked to leading the team in goals with two goals each.
“Just keep it simple,” Sturm said of the success of his line. “We’re just trying to play to our strengths. I think we can all skate well. Jade and I are bigger bodies. We try to get disc and play to our advantage. We wouldn’t go out there and hang out with anyone, we wouldn’t have much success like that.”
“One thing about this game, it rewards honesty,” Quinn noted. “We are honest sometimes, but we are not honest enough. And that is something we have to learn, and we have to get out of this predicament by playing with more honesty.”
What does Quinn mean by honest play?
Severe warning ⛈️ pic.twitter.com/pZJtxX1yc7
– Sharks on NBCS (NBCSSharks) October 19, 2022
Two things stand out here: First, Sturm uses his feet and every inch of his 6-foot-3 frame to knock out Anthony Bouvier (18) and Adam Bellick (3) along the right wall. This is the design.
Second, Sturm is smart about loitering where he does around the net. Ryan Bullock (6) is busy with Svechnikov (10), so Sturm is open when Jaycob Megna (24) delivers points.
Svechnikov scored his second goal of the season‼️ pic.twitter.com/3NZCc88fkQ
– Sharks on NBCS (NBCSSharks) October 19, 2022
Kyle Palmieri, 21, looks like he’s about to get out, but Storm is stalked with a pot check, and his pressure may force Palmieri to give it up sooner than he’d prefer. Matt Benning (5) pounces on the turnover, and Svechnikov smashes the net.
Fourth-line targets are examples of north-south hockey that the sharks may need to rely on to break out of the season-opening death spiral. It’s simple, smashing the net stuff isn’t exciting, but it’s safe offensively and, most importantly, defensively.
Sturm’s line played an honest game, and the central man also spoke honestly after the match. The Stanley Cup winner was grumpy in a good way and is well worth the read (or Watch) His entire interview is here.
A local reporter told me that this was the most honest post-game interview he’s scored in four years.
Sturm, on what his streak was doing so well:
Just keep it simple. And our line, I think we all know, aren’t the most skilled guys out there. We’re just trying to play to our strengths. I think we can all skate well. Gad and I are bigger bodies. We try to get tweaks and play for our advantages. We wouldn’t go out there and hang out with anyone, and we wouldn’t have much success like that.
Sturm, on what those back-to-back defeats feel like after winning the Stanley Cup last year:
Have to look back, I haven’t been on a losing team, I think, since my freshman year. It’s not something I’m really used to. I do not like that.
We just talked about it. We don’t have much time. The holes are getting deeper and deeper. And sometime soon, it will be too late.
Sturm, if your new sharks feel comfortable talking in the room:
yes. Men are not a problem at all. I can tell you that. This group is very, very close. great comrades. Everyone gets along with everyone else really well, but we just couldn’t translate that onto the ice. We have to find out quickly.
Sturm, why a knit locker room didn’t translate into success on the ice:
The most important thing is that we haven’t played hockey for 60 minutes. I think the first 20 minutes of the day and the Chicago game was great. Then in the second period, we back off.
There is clearly a regression. You have to expect opposition.
You have to respect them as an opponent and be prepared to talk about it in the intermission, that they will come out, and they will stare in your face.
They will not give it to us. We cannot expect that they will give it to us. This is how we play now.
Sturm, if a goal like him should inspire the rest of the San Jose Sharks team:
ignite your enthusiasm? We all know how to play the game. Obviously, there is not a lot of confidence at the moment. Let’s face it, there are a lot of guys here who want to score a little more goals than they are right now.
I think the best way [when you’re in a situation] Like this to get greasy. to get dirty. We have to play more aggressively.
Let’s face it, we won’t blow the difference. We’re not going to score five or six goals in every game. We had to understand how to start winning matches when we scored two or three goals, and that’s what we have to focus on, and play on our strengths. If we are trying to be someone we are not, we will have no success.
Sturm, if there is a message from GM Mike Grier after the game:
This is the National Hockey League. You don’t need a coach or general manager to tell us. Everyone should know where we are now. Not junior or college where you need someone to motivate you.
Every year, you should feel like you’re taking a step forward.
We want to change the culture here. So far, we haven’t done anything.
You’re 0-5, I don’t think you need Queenie or Mike to come in here and motivate anyone. Think at the end of the day, play like this, you play for a job. So the motivation must be sufficient.
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