The Sharks’ veterans are being asked to be good soldiers while youngsters continue to get a look-see to finish the season.
San Jose head coach Bob Boughner said he’s happy with their response, and that thought didn’t change for most of Monday’s 5-4 overtime loss to playoff-bound and powerful Colorado.
Evander Kane scored two more goals and Tomas Hertl and Timo Meier added one each but San Jose was eliminated from playoff contention when Andre Burakovsky scored 41 seconds into sudden death in front of 1,071 socially distanced fans at SAP Center.
Boughner explained he talked to the older players on the team following the April 12 trade deadline and told the group exactly what was expected and what the organization wanted while lineup decision and ice time might be skewed more toward inexperience down the stretch.
“This is the short-term pain you’re going to have to go through,” Boughner said. “These guys have bought into that, I know that. I haven’t seen anybody throw the white flag up or quit with their competing.”
A Western Conference finalist in 2019, the Sharks will miss the postseason for a second straight season for only the third time in 30 seasons. San Jose has not missed three years in succession, and the goal is to get a head start on decisions that need to be made on younger players before the offseason.
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