Defense and goaltending. The defense hasn't been really good. Howard has been solid, but far from great. We've become used to a higher level of goaltending in the last two years.
I agree with you on goaltending. Howard has let in too many backbreaking goals. Everytime the momentum had swung our way he gave it back to San Jose. He played great after 1 goal got scored against him, but once that 2nd on goes in he seems to lose all composure.
I have to disagree somewhat when it comes to our defense. Yes, they did not always play up to the level that has come to be expected of them. The biggest offender IMO was Ericson. He seemed to turn the puck over a lot in our end. However, there were so many times they were forced to take bad penalties because Howard sent a juicy rebound right to a sharks player or he was so far out of position that he couldn't get back when needed. How many times did you see not just our defense, but also some of our forwards crowded into the crease desperately searching for the puck because Howard not only didn't freeze it, but also lost sight of it.
I'm certainly not placing all the blame on him, but I do think this series has made it clear that Howard still needs to grow into the job if we want to have success in the postseason.