SAN JOSE – After a team loses, there's always a need to pinpoint what went wrong. What play changed the course of the game. What specific mistake from that contest led to the loss.
In regard to the Sharks' 4-3 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers, it wasn't just that familiar problem with odd-man rushes. Tuesday's game just wasn't the team's best offensive effort, and a disappointment after their dominant win over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.
"We didn't have enough participants tonight," coach Peter DeBoer told the media after the loss. "Didn't play good enough for long enough stretches. I don't have an answer why. It wasn't one or two guys, it was almost everybody. It's just one of those nights."
Captain Joe Pavelski agreed: "We didn't create a lot of offense all night. There was something missing as far as a little jam to our game."
This isn't to say the Sharks got steam-rolled. The offense that was generated, whether it was on Marcus Sorensen's first-period goal, or on Logan Couture's second period marker, looked as though it could give San Jose that push to take over the pace of the game.
Even then, the Sharks had trouble holding onto a lead. Not that their opponents were much better.
"[The Oilers] didn't have a whole lot either," Pavelski pointed out. "It was kind of a quiet game."
The embattled Edmonton team, which was playing just hours after their head coach was fired and ultimately replaced, didn't exactly play the desperate game a seasoned hockey viewer may expect. In fact, even with the Connor McDavid-led first line being difficult to contain, the Oilers never had a lead until scoring the game-winning goal in overtime.
There was a suggestion after the game that the short-handed goal the Sharks gave up in the second period was the turning point in the game. But Pavelski disagreed.
"We're not hanging this game on that play," the captain said. "There's a lot of other plays throughout the night."
The night is something the Sharks obviously want to turn the page on quickly. They're now 3-1-1 on their long homestand, and want to end it on a high note against the Vancouver Canucks on Friday.
"This league doesn't allow you to get frustrated for too long," DeBoer said. "We've had a good homestand, we're picking up points. We'll take the good and look at the bad, and try and get it fixed."