SAN JOSE, Calif. – From the billboard to the coaching hall, the San Jose Sharks were injured and injured in the fifth game by the St. Louis Blues.
There was the final score of 5-0, which unbalanced at the last calculation as he appeared on the ice, with the Blues' control play from the second period to take a 3-2 lead in the final of the Western Conference. But more worrying for San Jose, a series of injuries left the Sharks without key players Tomas Hertl, Joe Pavelski and Erik Karlsson in the third period, thus thwarting any hope of recovery.
"You do not want to apologize to yourself, but there are some pretty important guys who go down, offensive guys who, when you play from the back, it's hard to push the pace," he said. said Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon, typically Karlsson's partner. "We've had some power-play opportunities to get some traction and appearances, but I think that in the end we need to increase our level rather than doing the opposite."
Karlsson's status was questionable before the fifth match, having missed eight critical minutes of the third period of the fourth match. He did not seem much better on Sunday afternoon, obviously skating and playing passively, a result of what was supposed to be a groin injury for the 28-year-old star defender.
This was evident on two of the first three goals of the Blues. At 5:50 of the first period, Karlsson missed a pass to Dillon and Oskar Sundqvist scored a goal in front of Martin Jones, using Karlsson as a screen. "They marked where we went back and inadvertently threw our own goalkeeper, Joner was not really lucky with that one," Couture said.
Historically known for his closing speed as a defender, Karlsson could not go back to defend Blues striker Vladimir Tarasenko on a breakaway. Brent Burns brought him into a breakaway and Tarasenko dropped the puck on Jones' glove on a penalty shot for a 3-0 lead.
After playing 7:29 in the first period, Karlsson only played 3:03 in the second half and did not come back in third.
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer was asked if he regretted playing Karlsson in a critical state of the fifth game. "The setback is 20/20, you know, we make these decisions based on reports from the player and the doctor. [staff], "he said." According to the report, he thought he could play and succeed through the game. It's easy to sit here and say now: "Yes, of course, you have regrets."
The other two injuries occurred during the match, on questionable Blues shots.
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Hertl was hit high by Ivan Barbashev in the first half and did not play in the third period. DeBoer argued that this should have been a major penalty.
"It can be said that Tommy Hertl 's five – minute major said that if he was called, he would perhaps play a decisive game," he said. "But we get out of the first run 1-0, then Hertl can not go and, you know, Karlsson can not go in. So we started taking some water."
Flooding continued when Pavelski was hit hard by Blues defender Alex Pietrangelo and went to the locker room at 1:31 of the third period.
Pavelski, who missed six games due to a second round concussion against Colorado, did not return to the match. Joonas Donskoi, who was hit in the face with a puck during the match, returned to the game in the third period.
Couture said the NHL's player safety department may have paved the way for successes like the one that released Hertl from Match 5 by not sanctioning the Blues Sammy Blais for his portrait of defender Justin Braun in Game 3.
"I've seen Hertl's hit, I just watched the replay.Yeah, it's a tough one.But, I mean, when they got one earlier in Match 3 on the hit [Justin] Braun and nothing happened, so they can do it again, right? "He said.
Couture was also unhappy with how the Sharks reacted to this physical appearance in the third period, taking five minor penalties. Evander Kane and Micheal Haley were fined 10 minutes.
"[We need to] control our emotions in the third. It's a three-goal match, we obviously took far too many penalties. You can not win or come back when you are in the box all the time. That escaped us at the end. I would have really liked us to control our emotions and at least give us a chance, "he said.
The Blues knew that the Sharks would try to play more physically while the game was out of reach. "We knew that they were going out in the third period and trying to hit, but we are just trying to focus on our game, we are trying to keep our cool, they can run, but I think the referees have managed the situation, "St. Louis defender Joel Edmondson said. "I'm not going to attack the bear or anything, we're just happy with the way we played and we kept our cool."
The Blues must feel good about coming home for Game 6, looking for their first place in the Stanley Cup final since 1970. They beat the Sharks 7-1 from this controversial hand-to-hand goal that ended in match 3 overtime. They controlled much of Game 5 after giving up the possession advantage of the puck to San Jose in Game 4.
And now, they can add the health of the team to the list of benefits. Sharks coach Peter DeBoer gave no information on the status of Pavelski, Hertl or Karlsson for the sixth match.
Couture said the Sharks faced this kind of adversity in the playoffs.
"We are still alive – we had been to this place before, we were 3-2 in Vegas in a very difficult building, St. Louis is similar, it's a tough building against a good team. We have scored one goal in the last two games, it will not reduce it, "he said.