Ok, after having a couple of days to think about the Sharks 1-0 overtime loss in Colorado Sunday night, I feel like I need to comment on Dan Boyle’s errant play on the puck that ended up in the back of his own net. I’ve watched the replay several times and after listening to Brian Engblom’s take on the situation, I’d have to agree with him that this wasn’t Dan Boyle’s fault.
Now, the fact of the matter is that hockey is a team sport. You live as a team, you die as a team. The objective is not to point fingers at players on your team and say that the outcome of the game was one person’s individual fault because, let’s face it, the Sharks had plenty of opportunities to win that hockey game but they failed to convert on them. I don’t think that any of the players in the Sharks’ locker room are blaming Boyle for being down 2-1 in the series, but I know that fans are. I was one of them when I initially saw the play. The responsibility of that puck staying out of the net is on the goaltender, Evgeni Nabokov. Nabby was caught sleeping on the play as Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reily did indeed get a stick on the puck when Boyle tried playing it behind the net. The angle at which the puck was played was so sharp that there was only a small amount of net that Nabokov had to cover in order to prevent the goal, but he was off the post and not even square to the puck allowing it to squeeze through his pads.
It has been the mental errors of this team that are causing them to lose hockey games. We will see how they respond in the all important Game 4 to tonight at the Pepsi Center. It has been confirmed that Dany Heatley will be back in the lineup tonight.