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THN.com Playoff Blog: Sharks' leaders must step up

Edward Fraser
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Brad Richards of the Stars skates past Joe Thornton of the Sharks during Game 4. (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images) Author: The Hockey News

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THN.com Playoff Blog: Sharks' leaders must step up

Edward Fraser
By:

Truth told, Dallas-San Jose Game 4 was a bit of a dud compared to tilts one, two and three, but unlike the previous trio of games, the Sharks ultimately found a way to win.

For all the talk of the Sharks having no teeth, the boys in teal could just as easily be all knotted up, or ahead, in this series had Lady Luck been on their side.

Yes, Dallas has been the better team, of that there is no doubt, but it’s hardly been a blowout – OT losses in Games 1 and 3 and a Game 2 in which San Jose led going into the third.

But that doesn’t change the fact the Sharks only found a way to win when it was all but too late.

The margin between good teams and great teams is a small one, but San Jose still remains on the wrong side of the divide.

This team needs someone – I’m looking at you Joe and Patrick – to grab the team and pull them to victory.

Problem is, nothing any of the Sharks’ supposed leaders have done in the past makes me think they have what it takes to bring the team all the way back from this momentous hole they’ve dug themselves.

It was a positive sign that the Sharks didn’t fold up shop after the Stars scored first in Game 4, but collars will only get tighter with the pressure of performing, and winning, in front of a home crowd.

Needless to say, Evgeni Nabokov must be much better than he was in Games 1 and 2, but it will be the men up the middle who must really step up their games if the Sharks hope to avoid bowing out in the second round for the third straight season.

THURSDAY LARF
This one’s been around awhile, but still worth sharing for those who haven’t seen it…

AND SPEAKING OF YOUTUBE GEMS
Friend and THN.com Maple Leafs blogger Gus Katsaros passed along a link to Sean Leahy’s Going Five Hole Blog and this bizarre clip of a goalie scoring an empty net goal…while on a 2-on-1. Have a look and a read.

And while you’re there, check out the excellent Mike Lange Tournament of Quotes.

THN.com's Playoff Blogs, featuring analysis and opinion on the action from the night before, with insight on what happened and what it all means going forward, will appear daily throughout the NHL playoffs. Read more entries HERE.

Edward Fraser is the editor of thehockeynews.com. His blog appears Thursdays.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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THN.com Playoff Blog: Sharks' leaders must step up