18 days ago, the Sharks were steam-rolled by
the Vancouver Canucks 10-1 at SAP Center. On Monday night San Jose would lose
again, but by a more respectable 3-1 deficit. Sadly, a 2-goal loss is
considered respectable for a team that just doesn't have the pieces to compete
with upper echelon teams these days. The Sharks held serve for more than 30
minutes before an overturned goal would ignite the Canucks.
more evidence that the Sharks have a mix of young inexperienced players that
have to grow into professionals, and a gaggle of veteran castoffs that are
roster fillers. The blend equates to a team that rarely competes for 60
minutes. Monday night was more of the underachieving hockey that has come to be
San Jose's sad signature.
The Sharks passed a first test 5 minutes
into the contest after Mario Ferraro was sent to the penalty box for cross
checking. The Sharks were mauled by the Canucks power play back on November
2nd, but San Jose survived this attempt.
William Eklund just missed on
a prime scoring chance right after Ferraro's penalty expired, taking a
cross-ice feed from Tomas Hertl and lifting a shot over Thatcher Demko on a
The opening period was an about face for the Sharks, who
didn't allow the Canucks to get on the board. They trailed 4-0 the last time
these teams squared off, so a 0-0 period was a major step forward for San Jose.
Givani Smith was denied by Demko 2:20 into the 2nd period when the
Sharks forward tried to drag a loose puck around the Canucks netminder.
The Sharks appeared to score the game's first goal 11 minutes into the
2nd period when William Eklund punched home a rebound from the doorstep. The
goal was overturned after the Canucks challenged that Fabian Zetterlund had
interfered with Demko.
Vancouver countered 2 minutes later when Quinn
Hughes skated around the left side and snapped a shot from in deep that found
the upper right corner of the Sharks goal for the 1-0 lead.
turned ugly when Nils Hoglander slew-footed Kevin Labanc at 18:31, causing the
Sharks forward to crash to the ice on his shoulder. Referees Steve Kozari and
Garrett Rank assessed Hoglander with a match penalty for intent to injure. That
gave the Sharks a 5-minute power play.
The Sharks chose to use the
1:29 that remained in the period to rest themselves for the 3rd period, letting
their foot up off the gas. That would be a costly mistake. Teddy Blueger and
Sam Lafferty beat the Sharks with the forecheck in the Sharks zone, ending with
Lafferty slamming a puck home for the 2-0 lead with 0.8 seconds left on the
Hertl converted 48 seconds into the 3rd period on
the carryover from Hoglander's major penalty. The Sharks forward punched home a
rebound after Calen Addison pumped a shot on net from the high slot.
JT Miller made it a 3-1 game at 7:10 when he banged home a rebound off a Brock
Boeser shot. Miller was crashing at the top of the crease when the puck fell
right on his stick for his 12th goal of the season.
The Sharks pulled
Blackwood with 2:30 to play, but a high sticking penalty by Mike Hoffman
negated the extra attacker opportunity. Game Notes:
Jacob MacDonald made his return to the lineup after missing the last 6 games
due to a lower body issue. The Sharks also added Nico Sturm to the injured
reserve as he has left the team to deal with a personal matter. San Jose also
returned Danil Gushchin to the San Jose Barracuda.
* Prince Harry made
a surprise visit to Rogers Arena, dripping the puck for the ceremonial faceoff.
* Per Darin Stephens: The Sharks have now allowed 11 goals in the
final 2 minutes of periods this season. Only Detroit (13), Montreal (12) and
Minnesota (12) have allowed more.
* The Sharks lost for the 8th time
on the road to start the season. San Jose actually had a better record on the
road last season than at home.
* The Canucks out-shot the Sharks
40-28, meaning MacKenzie Blackwood continues to see more shots than he should.
Opposing teams just wearing down the goaltending. Probability says they'll go
in if you throw enough at the net, and the Sharks defense is obliging.