The San Jose Sharks are unraveling.
Not only has their biggest and most obvious flaw — goaltending — once again been exposed in their in Round 1 series against the Vegas Golden Knights, but the team has started to melt down in all phases and now has been pushed to the brink of elimination following an ugly 5-0 loss on Tuesday night.
The Golden Knights are now in complete control of the series with a 3-1 lead and seem to be just toying with the Sharks.
If the results weren’t bad enough, the Sharks completely lost their composure in the third period of Game 4, a development that was highlighted by an Evander Kane tantrum that resulted in him earning 14 penalty minutes and an early exit to the locker room.
Kane has made headlines in this series for his Game 3 fight with Golden Knights enforcer Ryan Reaves and then some trash talk through the media on Tuesday where he said, among other things, that he thought he was “fighting the muffin man” when he dropped the gloves with Reaves.
As Kane was being escorted to the locker room on Tuesday, the Vegas in-game entertainment crew played “The Muffin Man.”
Here is the entire sequence involving Kane on Tuesday.
Whether or not that punch is enough to earn a suspension remains to be seen, but it will almost certainly be looked at by the NHL Department of Player Safety.
The Sharks were already playing Tuesday without Joe Thornton after he was suspended for a hit to the head late in the Sharks’ Game 3 loss.
But the meltdown did not stop there.
With the Sharks already shorthanded late in the third period, Timo Meier earned a two-minute minor unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for yelling at the officials from the bench.
As for the actual hockey, things were not much better.
Starting goalie Martin Jones gave up two early goals — including another in the first two minutes — on only seven shots and was benched after the first period. Backup Aaron Dell did not play any better, while the Sharks’ defense that is led by Norris Trophy winners Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns just looked bad at times. The former still does not look to be anywhere near 100 percent healthy.
Max Pacioretty had four points, including two goals, in the win for Vegas while Shea Theodore, Alex Tuch and Jonathan Marchessault also found the back of the net for a Golden Knights team that is having no problems feasting on the Sharks’ horrendous goaltending.
The series shifts back to San Jose on Thursday for Game 5 at 10 p.m. ET on NBCSN where the Golden Knights will have a chance to move on.
More Sharks-Golden Knights:
• Sharks lose Thornton for Game 4
• Trash talk between Kane, Reaves almost as good as their fight