The San Jose Sharks are looking at changes -- whether it be the players or front office -- after a historic collapse against the Los Angeles Kings in the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs.
The San Jose Sharks are looking at offseason changes after their historic collapse against the Los Angeles Kings in the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs.
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This is what Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area is emphasizing in his May 1 article:
"Dan Boyle was not ready to ponder his future with the Sharks organization just a few minutes after one of the worst collapses in the history of the NHL playoffs.
"Boyle, a pending unrestricted free agent, may have played his last game with the club after six seasons on the blue line.
"'I haven't even thought of that, to be honest with you,' Boyle said. 'I'm so consumed with the game. I hadn't thought of that.'
"'The team we had -- the team we have -- it's very unfortunate, a missed opportunity. There's a lot of good things here. That's a devastating loss.'
"Circumstances are much different now when compared to the end of the 2013 season, a seven-game defeat to the Kings in the second round.
"It was evident the Sharks were not going to dramatically alter the roster after the addition of Raffi Torres and position change by Brent Burns sparked the club to a strong end to the regular season and decent showing in the playoffs.
"The battle cry headed into 2013-14 was that the Sharks had found their identity. After a solid regular season in which the team had to deal with some significant injuries among its forward group, it was getting healthy headed into the postseason.
"The Sharks were set up for a long playoff run. Or so they thought."
Sharks head coach Todd McLellan told Kurz the changes the team made last year apparently are not enough.
"There's a lot of proud moments in the organization and probably some that were not so good before, but this is as low as it's been for me, and for the players that have been together for the six years that I've been here.
"I really don't know. We made changes last year on the fly to become a faster team, and for the most part of the year we saw it. Obviously, we just saw the evidence. It's not good enough right now."
Kurz's colleague at CSN Bay Area, Ray Ratto, argues it would be foolish for the Sharks to let go of McLellan.
"But this team is nowhere near Boston's. The central core of this team went missing with the kill shot ready to be applied. The goaltending was wobbly, and the defense was wobblier once Marc-Edouard Vlasic got hurt.
"And though this was not a failure of coaching -- the players have to eat all four courses of this -- one has to wonder about McLellan's future.
"Only for a minute, anyway. General manager Doug Wilson would be foolish to even consider exchanging McLellan for anyone, and McLellan would be in Toronto or Vancouver within days filling either of those two high-flying vacancies."
The Kings, behind a breakaway third period and Jonathan Quick's 39 saves, beat the Sharks 5-1 in Game 7 on April 30 to complete a historic comeback from an 0-3 playoff-series deficit.
Los Angeles becomes just the fourth NHL team to accomplish the feat, following the Toronto Blue Jays (1942), New York Islanders (1972) and Philadelphia Flyers (2010), per ESPN. The Kings will next take on their cross-town rivals, the Anaheim Ducks, in the Western Conference semifinals.
Sharks center Logan Couture summed it up best after the loss, per David Pollak of The San Jose Mercury News.
He said,"Every year you lose is pretty low, but this one is a type of series that will rip your heart out. It hurts. It's going to be a long summer thinking about this one and what we let slip away."
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