Home Sports Sharks’ Brent Burns refocuses for do-or-die Game 6 vs. Oilers

Sharks’ Brent Burns refocuses for do-or-die Game 6 vs. Oilers

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			Sharks’ Brent Burns refocuses for do-or-die Game 6 vs. Oilers

SAN JOSE — Brent Burns went through his normal morning game-day routine Saturday as the Sharks got ready for Game 6 of their opening round series against the Edmonton Oilers.

The day before when he got home, Burns hung out with his two children as they played in the pool on a warm, sun-splashed spring afternoon.

In other words, life didn’t come to an end for Burns or any other member of the Sharks after a heartbreaking overtime loss to the Oilers in Game 5 on Thursday.

“You just recharge and get ready for another game,” Burns told this newspaper. “I go into every game all year needing a win. My life is miserable if we’re losing.

“Every game, whether you win in overtime or lose in overtime or win by a big margin, it’s always just one game.”

A lot of the focus coming into this series centered around how the Sharks were going to slow down Connor McDavid and how the Oilers were going to contain Burns.

Both teams have to like the way they’ve played defensively against the other team’s top offensive threat.

McDavid has a goal and two assists, all in Edmonton, and Burns has been held without a point in four of the five games. Burns had three assists in the Sharks’ 7-0 win in Game 4.

The Sharks are a different team when Burns, named a finalist for the Norris Trophy on Friday, is at the top of his game. So far, there’s been glimpses of that, but the Oilers have done an admirable job of being physical with Burns and taking away his time to make plays.

Burns led the league in shots on goal during the regular season with 320, and ranks third in that category in the playoffs with 22 going into Saturday night.

Asked about Burns’ shot total in the series, Sharks coach Pete DeBoer reiterated that if Burns is being contained, others need to step up.

“Those guys get special attention,” DeBoer said. “McDavid led the league in scoring during the regular season. He’s not leading the league in scoring in the playoffs.

“Those guys get that attention and when they get that attention … there’s some subtle thing you can do to try and get them away, but a lot of times, it’s ‘Hey, you’ve to deal with this and understand that that’s going to free up something for somewhere else if they’re going to pay that type of attention to you.

“It’s tough on great players like that because they’re used to making a difference. I still think (Burns) is. I think any guy in the league will take three or four shots on net a night.”

Burns had four shots on goal in Game 5 but was also whistled for delay of game after a clearing attempt from behind the Sharks’ net went over the glass.

The Sharks were on the verge of killing one penalty to Timo Meier, but couldn’t kill a second straight penalty as Mark Letestu scored with the man advantage to cut San Jose’s lead at that point to 3-2.

By the time Burns got home the next day, the page had been turned.

“I always say it and you guys just think I’m lying or just saying the normal thing. It’s one game, you forget about and go to the next one and just enjoy it,” Burns said.

“A lot of guys that didn’t get to play in the playoffs — or they haven’t played in the playoffs, whatever it is — it’s just a great time. Every shift’s important, you can feel the energy. It’s a fun time to play.”

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