San Jose Sharks’ Mikkel Boedker, left, celebrates after scoring against the Los Angeles Kings during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, in San Jose , Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
by M. Walsh
SAN JOSE– After Saturday’s 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings, Sharks Captain Joe Pavelksi said:
“It’s two games in, we’re not panicking by any means but we need results and that’s on us as players. We’ve been given something that we know inside out and the commitment to do it has to be there. There’s just too many odd man rushes, a few too many battles that we lose and we’re not getting those second chances. So there’s just a commitment level that has to go up and doing it the right way.”
That described the game quite accurately. Logan Couture’s comments were more sweeping:
“That was just horrible. You can’t make excuses because that was a very very poor effort. From the first minute to the sixtieth minute, from power play to penalty kill. That was just garbage hockey.”
For Los Angeles, two goals came from Anze Kopitar, one from Dustin Brown and one from Nick Shore. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick made 24 saves on 25 shots. The lone goal for the Sharks came from Mikkel Boedker, while Martin Jones made 25 saves on 29 shots and backup Aaron Dell made 9 saves. It is worth noting that Sharks forward Melker Karlsson took a hit during the second period and did not skate during the third.
Martin Jones started out looking like he might have a better game than he did. As the team struggled to get a shot on goal, the goaltender made a fine save near the four minute mark after the Kings stormed into the zone three on one. The Kings seemed to get more energy from that than the Sharks did and two minutes later the Sharks had a shot on goal but the Kings had a goal. Dustin Brown’s bad angle shot went over Jones’ shoulder through an opening that probably should not have been there. An assist went to Anze Kopitar.
That did spark the Sharks and just 1:06 later, Mikkel Boedker put the Sharks’ second shot past Jonathan Quick. Assists went to Brenden Dillon and Dylan DeMelo.
After a skirmish in the corner behind the Kings goal line at 8:31, Kurtis MacDermid was called for roughing. The Sharks added just one shot to their tally during that power play.
Logan Couture was called for tripping at 11:29, and the Sharks killed the penalty. Tomas Hertl took the next penalty, for hooking. The Sharks killed that one off as well, but as the seconds wound down, the Kings kept the pressure on. A regrettable line change gave Kopitar an opening to skate in nearly unfettered. He did not waste the opportunity and scored with just 8 seconds to go. The period ended with the score 2-1 Kings, with the shots an ominous 17-6 for Los Angeles.
5:57 into the second, the Sharks were on the penalty kill after Brenden Dillon high-sticked Kopitar. The Sharks killed the penalty off and were rewarded with a power play of their own at 8:34. It did not amount to much, and was riddled with bad takeaways by the Los Angeles penalty killers.
At 12:07 the game went from bad to worse as a shot got through to Jones and bounced over him to sit momentarily in the blue paint. No Shark was there to prevent Kopitar from tucking it over the line.
There were plenty of teal sweaters around the Sharks net when the next goal went in. Jones seemed to catch a long bouncing shot in his glove, but the puck instead bounced out and pinballed around and into the net to make it 4-1. The goal was awarded to Nick Shore. Aaron Dell came into the game to replace Martin Jones.
By the end of the second period, the score was 4-1, with the shot count still an abysmal 32-18 Los Angeles.
The third period provided little redemption for the Sharks. They did not give up any more goals, but the Kings did not look very motivated to increase the three goal lead. The Sharks killed three more penalties, while the Kings killed two. The Sharks pulled their goaltender with three minutes to go but it did not change the score.
The Sharks next play on Thursday against the Buffalo Sabres at 7:30 PM PT.