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Sharks like their defense even without Vlasic

Apr 30, 2014, 9:24 AM EDT

Marc-Edouard Vlasic Getty Images

The San Jose Sharks going without Marc-Edouard Vlasic in most of Game 5 and all of Game 6 could be viewed as a contributing reason as to why they’re in a Game 7 against the Los Angeles Kings tonight.

Vlasic was replaced by Matt Irwin in Game 6 and the Sharks were pleased with how the defensive corps played in spite of Vlasic’s absence as Kevin Kurz of shares.

I thought we moved the puck well,” Jason Demers said. “We have a very special group on D … Matt came in and did a great job. Everyone kind of stepped up. We didn’t get the win, but there were a lot of positives on the defensive side for us, which we’re going to have to build on [Wednesday].”

Sharks coach Todd McLellan didn’t offer much of an update on Vlasic’s status on Tuesday and if he can’t go, it’ll likely be Irwin who draws in again. Losing Vlasic is no small problem as he’s been San Jose’s top blue liner this season and has been their go-to guy for matching up against opponents’ top players.

It’s no coincidence that Anze Kopitar found a bit more freedom in Game 6 without Vlasic there to match up against him. If anything, being on home ice could help the Sharks from a match up standpoint as McLellan will get the guys he wants out against the Kings best players.

  1. patrickla818 - Apr 30, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    “The San Jose Sharks going without Marc-Edouard Vlasic in most of Game 5 and all of Game 6 could be viewed as a contributing reason as to why they’re in a Game 7 against the Los Angeles Kings tonight.”

    Really? So you think the Kings didn’t have their share of reasons for playing poorly the first 3 games?

    Man up. Stop with the excuses.

    • lowenni - Apr 30, 2014 at 9:44 AM

      It’s not an overall excuse, but losing your best defenseman and arguably the best positionally sound defenseman in the league, along with being one of the best shutdown defenseman and an Olympian, does affect a team. The Kings may have their share of reasons, but they haven’t lost Doughty, Kopitar, Carter, or anyone as important as Vlasic, so your comment isn’t really warranted. The Sharks do need to overcome it and that’s what Demers is saying here.Yerdon’s point is that his loss is a factor. And I’m not a Sharks fan btw.

    • titansrbeast - Apr 30, 2014 at 4:18 PM

      WTF are you watching? Take out Drew Doughty and then tell us it doesn’t matter. You clearly know NOTHING about the game. Anything you say on these boards from this point on is useless. You showed how much knowledge you have with one post.

  2. sjsharks66 - Apr 30, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    With or without Vlasic… The Sharks are moving on. Later Kings!

    • mms1982 - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:21 PM

      thats funny

  3. nightfireop - Apr 30, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    well i would agree with the author in the sense that even without vlasic, the sharks did play a good 2.5 periods of game 6. it wasn’t until that game winning goal (whether you agree or not) that got them unraveled. i was talking to a co-worker yesterday about vlasic and he told me it’s basically like the us losing voynov: exceptional defenseman but nothing worth panicking about.

    bottom line, tonight is a best of 1 game, whoever wants it more will win; plain and simple. on paper the sharks have the advantage given that it’s on their own home ice with some of the loudest fans in the league. we’ll see…it will be our toughest task yet.

    • ethanmacleod1685 - Apr 30, 2014 at 10:26 AM

      It’s not like you losing Voynov, not at all. Vlasic is our Lidstrom, not Voynov

      • nightfireop - Apr 30, 2014 at 10:41 AM

        i don’t know too much about the sharks roster other than a couple of franchise names; so if you say so.

        but none of it matters anymore, tonight whoever wants it more will win the series.

  4. echech88 - Apr 30, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    Pretty sure most teams have key guys hurt at this point in the year.

    Should they advance would the Sharks and their fans be discounting a win over the Ducks because Robidas is out or if Getzlaf got knocked out again? Doubtful.

    • ethanmacleod1685 - Apr 30, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      Key guys? Hello! He’s our no.1 d man. This man is still underrated as hell I can see

  5. sjsharks66 - Apr 30, 2014 at 11:04 AM

    Yeah Vlasic is our best Dman. I thought the defense played great in game 6. Like stated above, that questionable goal was just the dagger in the heart to the D and Stalock. Today is a new day! Game 7 is all that matters now. Convert on the power play, hit players off the puck and protect Stalock/Niemi. Should be a great game. Wonder if we will see a Thornton/Getzlaf type faceoff tonight? Is it 7:00 yet?!

  6. blomfeld - Apr 30, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    “The Sharks like their defense even without Vlasic” …

    fair enough I guess ? … then again, Captain Smith liked the Titanic even without lifeboats …

  7. spitfisher - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    If the sharks lose or simply not make it to the dance ( cup finals) one could look back and say there was decision to make of signing Thorton or trading him for several picks, cash and future considerations. I always thought a block buster trade at the time would have benefited SJ involving Thornton. Crazy right?

    In hind site of his tenure @ SJ, including the reasons why he was traded to them in the first place. Is he really getting the job done? Look what he is being paid The sharks play great in the regular season and but much like Joes game of a lots of assists and fewer goals….no one remembers assists.

  8. cybernetikghost - Apr 30, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    It probably sucks to have lost vlasic, but I’m sure that it makes it so much worse knowing that you don’t really have that confidence that you need in your goalie. Not a dig or anything, just saying. I would put the onus on the sharks’ forwards; if those guys can’t win this game with how much more talent they have compared to the kings, then they truly don’t deserve to go to the next round.

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