Out in Denver, the Sharks are dealing with the fallout from Dan Boyle’s freak goal on his own team.
A day later, Boyle said he’s still not over the mistake, but he’ll have forgotten by tonight’s game.
Sharks coach Todd McLellan seems content to write the whole thing off as a freak accident, taking great pains not to blame anyone for what happened.
I also suspect in some ways, McLellan is happy for the distraction. Instead of everyone talking about how great Colorado goalie Craig Anderson played Sunday night, and instead of talking about how the Sharks have struggled to consistently score against Anderson, everyone is talking about a fluke goal.
The players are rallying around Boyle, worried about Boyle’s mental health but seemingly not too concerned about Anderson. So in a lot of ways, that freak goal might have taken a lot of pressure off of San Jose’s shoulders.
It should be a great game. Will the Sharks step-up and tie the series or will they collapse under all of the expectations and freak goals? I suspect the Sharks will take control of the series, just to silence all of the talk that they’re not a mentally tough team.
In fact, I suspect that at the end of the series, Colorado will wish they had scored their own goal in that overtime. I suspect Boyle’s goal might have been the series turning point that finally lights a fire beneath the Sharks.
McLellan also said he he expects Dany Heatley back in the line-up tonight. And that also has to help San Jose.