To say Game 4 is a make or break game for the Sharks is an understatement. Going down 3-1, with the way they’ve been playing against Vancouver, will be a tough situation. The key for the Men in Teal will be to jump out early like they did in Game 3. Not only does it give them a psychological edge, but it forces the Canucks to change their gameplan. Teams play very differently when they’re behind.

With¬† the game scoreless after the 1st period, the Sharks won’t have that same edge going further into the game. One positive is that they have been clearing the puck much more efficiently, making smart passes and not turning it over on their own zone. Niemi did a great job, making a few key saves.¬† However, they did get 3 power plays, but were unable to convert on any of them.

They got a power play to start the 2nd after, Raffi Torres of the Canucks hit Douglas Murray on the boards at the end of the 1st. Torres looks at the ref with a disbelieving look. Well what did he expect? It was clearly charging. I’ve never understood why players will argue an obvious call. If you use your stick and it trips an opposing player, it’s tripping or interference depending. So pretty much right after the Torres penalty is over, the Sharkies get another PP. What happens? They do not convert. You can’t score if you don’t shoot the puck. They only had like 7 on all 5. There was a pretty cool moment when McGinn, who rightfully wasn’t suspended for his Game 3 hit, tries to check Keith Ballard, who goes low, and McGinn does a complete 360 somersault and luckily doesn’t land on his head.

Of course the way the game is going, Vancouver scores first on a 5 on 3 power play. They then score ANOTHER 5 on 3 power play goal. Instead of toughening up and playing defense, the Sharks get a delay of game penalty and like 8 seconds later the Canucks get the 5-on-3-power-play-hat-trick, with their 3rd of the game. They are putting no pressure on Vancouver, they’re pretty much just standing there, in the 2-2 box defense. It’s really tough to watch and while the Sharks have come back from a 3 goal deficit during these playoffs, but not one that came so ugly and so fast.

So much for the comeback, while the Sharks got 2 goals, it wasn’t enough as Vancouver walked away with the 4-2 win and a 3 to 1 series advantage. For Game 5, there’s no use playing their regular brand of hockey. It could be the last game of their season and another failed playoff run. Changing the defensive strategy is a must. They need to be more aggressive and not let the Canucks walk right into scoring opportunities.