Sharks Need to Think Defense More Often

San Jose’s 5-1 loss to Dallas would have been brutal enough without a Steve Ott hat trick, the first of his career.

Obviously, there were a lot of problems in the loss.

Goalie Evgeni Nabokov had a tough night, giving up five goals on 21 shots.

San Jose’s defense was, as the final score indicates, porous.

Obviously, it’s just one game, but it’s one game that’s very close to the playoffs.

Everyone is waiting for San Jose to implode in the post-season one more time.

As it stands this morning, the Sharks will have to play Colorado in the first round. The Avs are like the Stars: a solid enough team but hardly an NHL powerhouse.

If the Sharks can’t contain the Stars and if the Sharks can’t take Dallas seriously, are they really going to be able to step it up for Colorado? Or will the Sharks try and put up 20 goals, even if it means playing sloppily and giving a weak opponent every opportunity to pretty much score at will? Because that’s what happened with Dallas last night. Steve Ott is a 20-goal guy. He did a seventh of his average season scoring last night.

He’ll probably send the Sharks a nice thank you note.

Every year there’s a lot of talk about how the Sharks will blow the playoffs. Last night’s loss to Dallas was a preview of just how a team as talented as San Jose will wind up with a first round exit.

The Sharks need to take their opponent seriously, whoever they are, and the second a game gets away from them, they need to clamp down their defense. Tight defense is what wins playoff games and after last night’s game, a late season tune-up kind of game, I’m not sure the Sharks have the discipline to shut anyone down.

The Sharks are good at scoring but that’s not going to be enough in the playoffs.