Sharks were schooled

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:41 PM ET


 In the deathly quiet San Jose dressing room, Evgeni Nabokov sat patiently fielding question after question about what went wrong.

 The glum goalie served up plenty of answers before cutting to the bone from a Sharks' perspective.

 "They smelled the blood tonight and it showed," shrugged the sullen netminder after allowing two goals on 28 shots before being pulled in the final minute of the 3-1 loss to the Flames.

 "They played a great game.

 "They were coming very hard tonight.

 "I thought we played all right but that's not good enough for a Game 6."

 Flames coach Darryl Sutter came to Calgary 17 months ago after coaching the Sharks five-and-a-half seasons, helping to build the California squad into a contender before being fired.

 Standing on the ice by the Sharks bench after the game, Sutter shook every defeated player's hand as a sign of respect as they left the ice.

 "They're special guys," Sutter said. "We were so close two years ago with most of the guys in that group ... those guys are winners, too. And I'm not saying it because we're finished with them. They're still a benchmark. They're still where organizations in terms of depth and development, teams have to look at and models themselves after.

 "I felt bad for them. I didn't really look at everything but myself -- it's about the players.

 "And I felt bad for those guys ... Hey, we went to war with those guys, too."

 The second-seeded Sharks had hoped to break through to the Stanley Cup final for the first time and took no solace in making it to the Western Conference final.

 "We didn't just want to play well and do well. Our goal was to win the Stanley Cup," said Sharks winger Todd Harvey, one of just three Sharks players available for interviews after the game.

 "We've come a long way. We scratched and we clawed but they got the bounces and we didn't."

 Sharks centre Mike Ricci, who drew taunts from Calgary fans throughout the series, said he needed more time to put the loss into perspective.

 "It's too early ... I don't know, they beat us and they deserved it," Ricci said.

 "They won. They're a great team."


Videos

Photos