The NHL's 32nd ranked San Jose Sharks made a
stop in Chicago to face the 31st ranked Blackhawks on Tuesday night. It was a
grand display of bad hockey, showcasing two teams that can't score or generate
much excitement in a game that's made to be exciting. When regulation expired,
the game was knotted at 1-1, then neither team could score in overtime. In the
end, the Sharks would fall 2-1 in the shootout when Boris Katchouk slipped a
puck past Mackenzie Blackwood in the 9th round of the skills competition. No,
not Connor Bedard, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews or Stan Makita. Boris Katchouk.
For San Jose, it put an end to a miserable 5-game road trip, that
netted the Sharks 3 of 10 possible points in the standings. By losing in the
shootout, the Blackhawks created a point of separation between them and the
Sharks for worst record in the NHL. Chicago's 28 points are 4 better than San
Jose, who fell to 10-31-4 on the season.
It was another miserable
display that was excruciating to watch. Save for a pair of fights, it would not
have been inappropriate to call in a doctor to see if either team had a pulse.
The Sharks limp home from a trip that should have ended with better
results. The opponents were bottom of barrel variety, but as the league's
cellar dweller, San Jose proved they are the worse team in the league b a
The Sharks got themselves into hot water early,
taking a pair of penalties 4 minutes apart. They killed the first, but a
slashing penalty to Ryan Carpenter would prove costly. Southern California
native Cole Guttman jammed a rebound over the goal line after former Sharks
Ryan Donato pushed a shot to the front of the net.
San Jose would
out-shoot the Blackhawks 9-5 in the opening frame, but they had little to speak
of in terms of quality scoring chances.
Rookie William Eklund has hit
a wall in this season. Call it an absence of luck or the rookie doldrums, but
his struggles were one full display in this one. After missing on a wide open
net chance in the 1st period, he missed on an even better chance 5 minutes into
the 2nd period when his attempt from 10 feet out at an undefended goal clanked
off the crossbar.
A Sharks 2-on-1 chance to start the 3rd period was
turned aside by Blackhawks goaltender Petr Mrazek, to extend a perfect string
of saves on the Sharks. That string would last 29 shots before San Jose finally
got to him.
Ryan Carpenter converted on a one-time chance from the
area to the right of the crease. Justin Bailey gathered a Mike Hoffman feed
while skating behind the Blackhawks net, then delivered the puck to Carpenter
out in front of the net.
In the overtime, Mario Ferraro was called for
holding just 45 seconds into the extra period. San Jose did a good job to kill
the penalty. Game Notes:
* The NHL's #1 overall pick in
last year's NHL Draft, Connor Bedard, did not play in the game as he continues
to nurse the broken jaw he sustained in December.
* Forward Mikael
Granlund was injured from an open ice hit early in the 3rd period. Mackenzie
Entwistle caught Granlund up high near the Blackhawks zone. Granlund skated off
holding his right shoulder and headed straight to the locker room. He did not
return to the game.
* Ryan Carpenter's NHL Career began by signing with
the Sharks as an undrafted free agent in 2014, but he played three seasons in
Chicago after he was released by the Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights.
* The Sharks remain mum on Logan Couture's status. He traveled with the team on
the current 50game trip and was expected to make his season debut, but that did
not come to fruition. It's unclear if he will return to the lineup when the
Sharks return home on Saturday when they face Anaheim.
* San Jose will
play a single home game before hitting the road again. They will play Anaheim
on Saturday then fly to Los Angeles to play the Kings on January 22nd. They
then return home for three games. They will return to Southern California to
play the Ducks before the NHL All Star break.