NHL notes: Loss a stunner for Sharks
|Sharks teammates Antti Niemi (centre), Niclas Wallin (right) and Marc-Edouard Vlasic (left) look up to watch a replay of the game-winning goal that ended their season after Game 5 of the NHL Western Conference final in Vancouver, B.C., May 24, 2011. (ANDY CLARK/Reuters)
The San Jose Sharks were still reeling Wednesday, the morning after being eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs.
"The sting isn't going to lessen for a while," Joe Thornton told the Mercury News in the wake of a 3-2 double-overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks Tuesday night. With the win the Canucks captured the Western Conference final four games to one.
"You're in the moment and fighting, and then something quirky happens, it's just done. Your season's over and you feel so empty," Thornton said.
It was the second consecutive year the Sharks were eliminated in the Western final.
"You'd like to think we got beat by a better team, but I don't believe we did," defenceman Ian White said. "This is probably the biggest disappointment I've ever had in my career."
Thornton looked on the bright side.
"Hopefully we're going to learn from this and be even better next year."
Ex-NHLer Potomski dies
Barry Potomski, who had a brief NHL career in the 1990s, died suddenly Tuesday in his hometown of Windsor.
He was 38.
Potomski died at a fitness centre, according to a Windsor newspaper report.
Potomski, who was never drafted, made his NHL debut with the 1995-96 Los Angeles Kings after five seasons in the minor leagues.
He played parts of three NHL seasons -- 59 games with the Kings and nine with the San Jose Sharks -- collecting six goals, five assists and 227 penalty minutes.
Another Foligno eyes NHL
Buffalo native Marcus Foligno has agreed to a three-year entry-level contract with the Sabres.
The son of former Sabre Mike Foligno was a fourth-round pick in the 2009 draft. He played four seasons with the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League and was second-team all-star on left wing this past season.
QUICK HITS: The Phoenix Coyotes held an open house for fans Wednesday with hopes of giving their season-ticket sales a boost. The prices seems right, at least by Canadian NHL standards: Ticket prices range from a high of $255 a game to a low of $10 ... Another money-losing team, the Columbus Blue Jackets, are offering season tickets starting at $15 a game ... Wednesday was the 20th anniversary of the Pittsburgh Penguins' first Stanley Cup title, in 1991. They defeated the Minnesota North Stars in the final.