S T. LOUIS – It was Baseball Hall of Fame member Lefty Gomez who helped popularize the phrase "I'd rather have more luck than good," but it's a mantra that can be applied frequently to hockey.
The San Jose Sharks have been pretty good in the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs. They have a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference finals against the St. Louis Blues. They have won two 7s games. They are averaging 3.29 goals per game and have the top scorer of the playoffs at Logan Couture (20 points).
But they have also been lucky. Some would say really, really lucky. They joined in Game 7 against Vegas Golden Knights in Round 1 thanks to a penalty of more than five minutes for the forward of the Knights Cody Eakin which should have been, in the best of cases, a minor of two minutes. The NHL apologized to Vegas for the mistake, and the officials who worked that game have not returned to work in the playoffs.
There was a challenge for the coach in Game 7 against Colorado Avalanche in Round 2, where Gabriel Landeskog was ruled out of play while changing on the bench, an uncommon call, although he was called correctly in that game. On Wednesday, there was a Timo Meier hand pbad that the four officials missed in the extra time that led to the winning goal of Erik Karlsson.
Just do not use the word L around the Sharks. They do not believe they have been lucky. They believe they have been good.
"It bothers me when he uses words like that because this team has played four or five elimination games – they are not moments, games," said Sharks coach Peter DeBoer. "Twelve to 15 hockey elimination periods against Vegas, against Colorado in Game 7, so I think that's a ridiculous claim."
"You know what, we've found a way, and we've faced a lot of adversity, we've had calls against us and we've had calls for us, and we're still standing." So that anyone can minimize that, I think it's disrespectful to our group and what we have done. "
The sharks players echoed their coach.
"I do not know if there's ever been a lucky team that has won," said forward Evander Kane. "I think at the end of the day, it all comes down to finding ways to win, and each team goes through adversity in the course of the playoffs, we've fought throughout these playoffs, there have been many different types of scenarios that we have not followed our path so we have been able to push and find a way to succeed. "
Forward Gus Nyquist said that even if the breaks that the Sharks have achieved can be considered lucky, they still have to take advantage of them or, in the case of Game 3 against the Blues, get in position to benefit from them.
"I would not say we're lucky," Nyquist said. "[Against Vegas], our first unit power game executed it perfectly. They scored four goals in five minutes. In game 3, [Couture] The clutch goes up and the game is tied. We fight through We know we never run out of a game until it's over. "
"We are fighting, we had two sets of seven games, we are struggling through many ups and downs," he said. "I do not think it's lucky, we just work for it, I do not care what everyone says, we deserve to win, I do not like luck in general, if you work for that, you deserve it."