Season after season, the San Jose Sharks do outstanding in the regular season, and collapse in the playoffs. The Sharks finished the regular season in second place in the Pacific division with 111 points. However, in the playoffs this year, they hit a new low. After a game-seven 5-1 loss to their division rival, the Los Angeles Kings, the Sharks became the fourth team to ever blow a 3-0 series lead. After utterly dominating the first three games of the series, outscoring the Kings 17-8, San Jose looked well on their way to a second round appearance. After three straight wins, everything went downhill for the Sharks – they failed to score on their last 15 power plays, were shutout in game five and scored just two goals in the last three games of the series.
Collapsing in the playoffs is becoming an old habit for the Sharks. In their franchise’s history, they have made 16 appearances in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, reaching the Western Conference finals 3 times, but have yet to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. In the 2009-10 season, the Sharks were swept by the Chicago Blackhawks in the West Finals and in the 2003-04 season, they lost every single home game in the West Finals and lost the series 4-2 to the Calgary Flames. This epic playoff collapse was extremely disappointing, but given their past playoff failures, it was certainly not surprising.
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Without a doubt, the Sharks have a great team, filled with lots of talent, but that talent didn’t do much in the playoffs.
Pavelski finished the regular season with 79 points, 41 goals and 38 assist – a career-high season. With a goal in each of the first three games, and two assist in game four, Pavelski started the playoffs strong. In the last three games, he recorded zero assist and zero goals.
Thornton finished the regular season in second on the points leaderboard with 76 points (11 goals, 65 assist). Thornton came up short in the playoffs – he scored just two goals, one in game one and one in game two, got one assist in game three, and got nothing after that.
Couture certainly didn’t have the greatest regular season, but he did do well for someone who only played 65 games due to an injury. He finished the regular season with 23 goals and 31 assists. In the playoffs, he only scored one goal and got two assists. Like the others, he scored his lone goal and got his two assists early in the playoffs, and did nothing afterwards.