SJ Sharks report: Joe Thornton Signs with Toronto Maple Leafs

Former San Jose Shark Joe Thornton joins the Toronto Maple Leafs after more than 15 seasons with the Sharks. Thornton who makes his home in San Jose in the off season left for Toronto Friday to sign with the Leafs (file photo from mercurynews.com)

By Mary Walsh

Joe Thornton signed a one year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs Friday. The contract is worth $700,000. Currently, Thornton is in Switzerland, playing with HC Davos of the Swiss National League. He expects to be ready to go when the NHL starts the new season.

Thornton’s absence will be noticeable in San Jose. Whether he wore the Captain’s C or not, Thornton was a leader in the Sharks dressing room. His play and his experience helped guide many younger players over many seasons. Fans came to consider him very much the face of the franchise, even if he was not drafted by San Jose. The Sharks team Twitter account said simply: “Going to log off for a bit. Brb. Maybe.”

Evander Kane tweeted : “Man I’m going to miss ya, but feel very fortunate to play with you and become great friends. So many fun memories in a short period of time. I’ll make sure to keep your seat next to me at the back of the plane vacant until you come back.”

Brent Burns tweeted: “Daaaamn…. going to miss a lot more then just laughing with this guy… ultimate teammate, friend and guy to learn from..@MapleLeafs got a great one coming!”

Joining the Maple Leafs is more than leaving San Jose for Thornton. A Toronto Sun headline today reads: “Greybeard Joe Thornton comes home to join Maple Leafs.” The Maple Leafs are iconic to the hockey world, but Thornton was born in London, Ontario, so Toronto means family and a return to his roots.

Thornton is the leader among active players in points with 1,509. He scored 1,055 of those with San Jose over 15 seasons. He won the Hart Trophy and Art Ross Trophy in 2006, for his performance during season that saw him traded from Boston to San Jose.

Patrick Marleau tweeted (by way of his wife’s account):

For more than two decades, Jumbo and I have been friends, with the vast majority of those years being teammates, too. I now consider him a brother. Toronto has gained a tremendous influence, and we will miss his presence here in San Jose. Good luck in TO! -PM

Marleau has just signed a one year contract with San Jose. Three seasons ago, he signed with Toronto and played two seasons there. According to NHL.com, Marleau said at that time that it was possible Thornton would sign with Toronto as well. Marleau had a three-year contract with Toronto, a deal that San Jose was unprepared to match.

One would think that the Sharks would have been willing to offer $700,000 for one more year of Thornton. Whether they did make that offer or not, Thornton’s absence signals significant changes to come in San Jose. After recent disappointments, that is probably a good thing in the long run. Whatever the future holds, the Sharks family will miss Jumbo Joe Thornton.

Sharks Report: Sharks Sign Marleau, Other Familiar Faces

Returning for the third time the San Jose Sharks Patrick Marleau is back after playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins last season. Marleau also played for the Toronto Maple Leafs after leaving San Jose the first time. (image from @SAPSports)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks have been busy signing and re-signing familiar players. Patrick Marleau and Matt Nieto return from their 2020 pandemic playoff teams. Kevin Labanc and Stefan Noesen were resigned. The Sharks also added a goaltender, trading a 2022 fifth round pick to the Minnesota Wild for Devan Dubnyk and a 2022 seventh round pick.

Of Dubnyk, the Sharks press release said: “Over his 11-year NHL career, the three-time NHL All-Star (2016, 2017, 2019) has appeared in 520 NHL games, earning a 247-195-52 record with a 2.58 GAA, .915 save percentage and 32 shutouts. He has also appeared in 26 Stanley Cup Playoff games, all with Minnesota, earning an 8-18 record with a 2.72 GAA and .904 SV% with two shutouts.” Minnesota retained 50% of Dubnyk’s salary. This is the last year of that contract.

Sharks General Manager, Doug Wilson said: “Devan has been one of the League’s top goaltenders for many years and after playing so many years in the Western Conference, is someone our hockey staff is very familiar with. As we head into what will surely be a unique season, his acquisition gives us a high-quality and experienced tandem of netminders.”

Patrick Marleau resigned a one-year contract with San Jose after playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins from the last trade deadline through a 2020 playoff run. Last season, Marleau joined the Sharks after the season started and had a good start, which faded along with the rest of the 2019-20 Sharks team. Despite that, he reached a number of milestones in 58 games with the Sharks. The team press release ennumerated them:

“In his first game back in teal, Marleau scored two goals to become the eighth player in NHL history to score a goal in his teens & 40s with the same franchise on Oct. 10 at Chicago. On Dec. 12, 2019 vs. the New York Rangers, he and Joe Thornton became the first set of teammates in NHL history having 1,600 regular-season games to their resume to play in the same game. Marleau appeared in his 1,700th NHL game on Jan. 11 vs. the Dallas Stars to become the fifth skater to reach the mark and scored his 100th career game-winning goal as a Shark the same night. On Jan. 27, he collected his 1,100th point as a Shark, achieving his 22nd consecutive season of at least 10 or more goals.”

Matt Nieto has also returned after playing 70 games with the Colorado Avalanche, including a playoff run in the Edmonton bubble. Nieto as drafted by the Sharks in 2011. Of the move, Doug Wilson said in a press release:

“Matt’s a player we’re obviously familiar with having been here for our Stanley Cup Final run in 2016 and he plays with speed and energy. His quickness and defensive responsibility made him one of the top penalty killers on Colorado and we feel that those assets, along with his decision making and playmaking, will bring a lot of elements to our team. We’re excited to have Matt back in San Jose.”

Kevin Labanc was re-signed to a four-year contract. Per ESPN, Labanc’s contract is worth an annual $4,725,000. Wilson said of the young forward:

“Kevin brings a rare level of offensive skill and creativity to our line-up and has established himself as a top-six forward in our league. His Game 7 playoff performance last season is one of the most iconic moments in Sharks history and is a perfect example of the impact he can have on a hockey game. Kevin has shown a consistent ability to perform at a high level in both the regular season and the playoffs and he will be a big part of our club in the coming years.”

Stefan Noesen was also re-signed from last year’s roster. Last season, Noesen joined the Sharks December 19 after being claimed off waivers from Pittsburgh. In the foreshortened season with San Jose, Noesen scored seven goals and to assists, and took 32 penalty minutes. He was the first Sharks player since Timo Meier to score a goal in his team debut.

Of Noesen’s return to the team, Wilson said:

“Stefan came in here last season and made a pretty seamless transition both on and off the ice. He plays the game with a high tempo and energy and isn’t afraid to stick up for his teammates. We think he fits well with how we want our team to play and are happy he is returning to San Jose.”

One very familiar face is still missing from next season’s roster: Joe Thornton. He has not yet signed with an NHL team, but is playing in Davos, Switzerland to prepare. He has not ruled out coming back to San Jose, but it is far from certain at this time.

San Jose Sharks Stick with Boughner

San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner will get another season behind the bench for the Sharks as general manager Doug Wilson is happy to bring him back for 2020-21 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

On Tuesday, the San Jose Sharks announced that Bob Boughner would be their ninth Head Coach. Boughner took over as Interim Head Coach for the Sharks half way through last season, replacing Peter DeBoer.

In Tuesday’s press release, the Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson assessed Boughner’s time as Interim Head Coach. “Bob did a tremendous job last season, getting our group back to playing with an identity and structure that we need in order to be successful,” said Wilson. “We saw a marked improvement in our play in several key areas during the second half of the season, before losing some key players to injury.”

After a long NHL playing career and several successful seasons coaching Junior Hockey, Boughner joined the Sharks in 2015 as an assistant coach. In 2017, he was named Head Coach of the Florida Panthers. Two seasons later, he was replaced by Joel Quenneville in Florida and returned to the Sharks as an assistant coach. As a Head Coach in the NHL, his record is 94-82-25.

In the partial season as Interim Head Coach for the Sharks, Boughner saw his team win just 14 of 37 games, continuing the abysmal trend they were on when Peter DeBoer was fired. To make an already terrible season worse, the team lost Tomas Hertl, Logan Couture and Erik Karlsson to injury shortly after Boughner took over.

After the announcement Tuesday, Boughner thanked the Sharks owner and General Manager for bringing him back:

I’m very excited about the opportunity to return to the San Jose Sharks organization as head coach. I want to thank Hasso Plattner and Doug Wilson for their trust in me. Last year was a difficult season for everyone but I think we learned a lot about ourselves as a group and we made some positive strides over the second half of the year.

The roster that Boughner will have when regular play resumes will be somewhat changed from last season. While the injured players will likely be back, some long-time Sharks were traded at the deadline, such as defenseman Justin Braun and forward Barclay Goodrow. After struggling as the team did through the abbreviated 2019-2020 season, the Sharks would likely benefit from change. Whether the new Head Coach is enough of a change remains to be seen.

The Sharks also added Rocky Thompson as associate coach and John Madden as assistant coach. Of Thompson and Madden, Wilson said: “We’re also very pleased to add Rocky and John to our staff. Both come with a wealth of experience, both in playing the game and as teachers and leaders. With a healthy and motivated group of players, we are confident that this staff will do a terrific job leading our group in the coming years.”

Bob Boughner looks forward to working with his new coaches. In the Sharks press release, he said:

Rocky and John will bring some fresh energy and excitement to our group. Both have been head coaches, worked on coaching staffs in the NHL and have lots of experience working with and developing young players. It was important that anyone we brought in from the outside come from a culture of winning, which is what we are used to in San Jose. Rocky and John have the credibility and work ethic to help us get our talented team back to that level.

The coaching staff is rounded out by Evgeni Nabokov as goaltending coach, Dan Darrow as assistant video coach and Charlie Townsend as analyst/assistant to the NHL coaching staff. All are returning from last season.

NHL, Sharks, Suspend All Games Due to COVID-19 Concerns

The Capital One Arena, home of the Washington Capitals NHL hockey club, sits empty Thursday, March 12, 2020, in Washington. The NHL is following the NBA’s lead and suspending its season amid the coronavirus outbreak, the league announced Thursday (photo from usnews.com)

By Mary Walsh

On Thursday the NHL announced a pause in the season. They released a statement that read, in part:

In light of ongoing developments resulting from the coronavirus, and after consulting with medical experts and convening a conference call of the Board of Governors, the National Hockey League is announcing today that it will pause the 2019-20 season beginning with tonight’s games.

The move came on the heels of the NBA’s decision to suspend their season after one of their players tested positive for the new virus. Other leagues and events in the US are being suspended or cancelled daily due to concerns over the virus.

The San Jose Sharks had previously announced that March games would be played without fans and only limited media access, consistent with Santa Clara County’s March 9 ban large gatherings of people. After today’s NHL announcement, the Sharks released the following press release about the status of games and tickets:

The National Hockey League has announced today that the 2019-20 NHL regular season will be paused for the safety of its players, employees, and fans in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sharks Sports & Entertainment is fully supportive of the NHL’s decision.

With NHL games now being placed on hold as opposed to played without fans, ticket holders are asked to hang on to their tickets until additional information from the NHL becomes available.

As new developments arise, we will communicate with our fans and partners. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

The AHL has also suspended play, which puts the San Jose Barracuda and Stockton Heat and their fans in the same state of limbo as the Sharks.

The NHL expressed the hope that the season could resume at an appropriate time. There are 189 regular season games remaining, as well as the Stanley Cup playoffs. For the complete statement, go to the NHL website.

Sharks Fall 4-3 to Avalanche, Couture Leaves Game With Injury

NHL on ice official Bob Meier (34) takes a look over San Jose Shark Logan Couture (39) after taking a deflected pass off his cheek in the first period Sunday night at SAP Center (photo sfgate.com)

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE– The San Jose Sharks fell to the visiting Colorado Avalanche 4-3 Sunday. The loss extended the Sharks’ current losing streak to three. Colorado goals came from Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, Vladislav Namestnikov and Joonas Donskoi. Avalanche goaltender, Pavel Fracouz made 22 saves in the win. Sharks goals came from Joe Thornton, Melker Karlsson and Noah Gregor. Martin Jones made

Before anyone scored a goal, Logan Couture took a deflected puck to the face. After the game, Sharks forward Timo Meier explained what he had seen of the incident: “Unlucky play. I was trying to make a pass and it got deflected. He didn’t see it coming and I’m not sure where it hit him. Very unfortunate, I hope he’s doing well. A big part of our team, a big leader so I hope he’s recovering quick.”

Coach Bob Boughner said “I believe it was his cheek and he went under concussion protocol with the NHL. I think it was just precautionary, that we didn’t want to throw him back in there. But I don’t think it’s anything serious, I think he’s going to be fine.” Additionally, Boughner did not rule Couture out for the next game.

While Couture was being injured, Vladislav Kamenev was being called for interference against Joe Thornton. During the resulting power play, the Sharks started the scoring at 11:16. Timo Meier sent the puck from high in the slot to the net. Evander Kane was there to receive it but it went off of Erik Johnson’s skate and followed an unexpected trajectory. Kane reached for it and just pushed it across the goal mouth. Joe Thornton was right where he needed to be to gather the stray puck and put it in the net. Assists went to Kane and Meier.

Nathan MacKinnon tied it up with a power play goal for Colorado at 16:17. The Sharks had just stopped a shot by JT Compher but it rebounded up the slot to Gabriel Landeskog. He made a quick pass to MacKinnon who was waiting in the face-off circle to take the shot.

At the end of the first period, the shot count was 8-7 Colorado and the Avalanche won 69% of the face-offs.

Landeskog gave his team a lead early in the second period, just 1:59 in. A turnover in the neutral zone left Radim Simek facing a two on one of Landeskog and MacKinnon. MacKinnon took the shot and Jones stopped it but Landeskog was trailing just enough to put the rebound in the net. Assists went to MacKinnon and Vladislav Namestnikov.

Melker Karlsson tied it back up again less than two minutes later. Getting a jump on traffic through the neutral zone, Karlsson caught a pass from Marcus Sorensen near the Sharks blue line and skated the other way all alone. He went right up the middle and beat Pavel Francouz with a quick wrist shot. Sorensen got the assist.

Vladislav Namestnikov completed the goal set for his line at 8:41 of the second. Landeskog made a pass around the Sharks defenders and Namestnikov caught it but not in a great shooting position. He had to spin and shoot it back behind the goaltender to get the goal. Assists went to Landeskog and MacKinnon.

The Sharks had to kill a lengthy power play between 15:35 and 18:53, with a little under 40 seconds of five-on-three. Melker Karlsson went to the box for slashing, and then Timo Meier was called for hooking. The Sharks allowed just one shot during those penalties.

In the second period, the shot count was 10-7 Colorado and the Avalanche also won 60% of the face-offs.

A couple of things went unnoticed by the men in stripes during the third period. Colorado got away with too many men on the ice around the 10 minute mark, and then Timo Meier got whacked on the hands without any official noticing. The audience saw enough of both incidents to object loudly.

Joonas Donskoi made it 4-2 Avalanche after J.T. Compher found him with a backhand pass off the rush. It was a very nifty play, reminiscent of Donskoi in teal. Assists went to Compher and Erik Johnson.

With just under two minutes left, Evander Kane was felled with a high stick, putting the Sharks on a short power play. Kane appeared none the worse for wear during the power play.

With the Sharks goalie pulled, Noah Gregor scored his second goal of the season with 44 seconds left in the period. Assists went to Meier and Kevin Labanc.

The third period shot count was 11-6 Sharks, with the Avalanche winning 52% of the face-offs.

The Sharks next play on Wednesday in Chicago against the Blackhawks at 5:00 PM PT.

Sharks Lose 2-1 in OT to Senators

mercurynews.com photo: The Ottawa Senators Chris Tierney (71) tries to put the puck past San Jose Sharks goaltender Aaron Dell (30) during a penalty shot in the second period on Saturday night at SAP Center in San Jose

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE- The San Jose Sharks fell 2-1 in overtime to the Ottawa Senators Saturday at the SAP Center. Ottawa goals came from Nick Paul and ex-Shark Chris Tierney. Goaltender Craig Anderson made 31 saves for the win. The lone Sharks goal came from Evander Kane, while San Jose goalie Aaron Dell made 36 saves in the loss.

After the game, the Sharks goalie said: “We had only a couple breakdowns. For the most part I think we played a really solid game. And we had a lot of chances, just bounced over our stick a couple of times, just you know some bad luck I think. One of those goes in, it’s a whole different game.”

Sharks defenseman Brent Burns was asked how he felt after getting 31.5 minutes of ice time. He said: “I feel great, I feel good. I think we’re all in the same boat. We all train for the summer to play more than what we ever play so it’s good. I get to eat more tonight now.”

The Senators scored on their ninth shot of the first period, at 10:33. The Senators moved the puck from the blue line, below the goal line, back to the blue line, and behind the net again. Jayce Hawryluk gathered the puck behind the net and Anthony Duclair made a short pass to the front for the net for Nick Paul.

The Sharks had the only power plays in the first period, one at 7:41, one at 17:11 and a third at 19:32. They got three shots on those power plays before finally scoring at the tail end of the period.

Evander Kane tipped a Brent Burns shot but that did not go through. Kane followed up and got his stick on the puck again to pop it into the net. Assists went to Brent Burns and Timo Meier.

The shot count for the period was 16-14 Sharks. San Jose also had a very good period in the face-off circle, winning 65% of the time. Joe Thornton, Evander Kane and Dylan Gambrell shared the bulk of those face-offs, each taking five draws.

In his first NHL game, Nikolai Knyzhov took the Sharks’ first penalty of the game at 4:28 of the second. The Sharks killed that off, allowing just one shot on goal.
The teams traded breakaways in the final few minutes of the second period but both goaltenders were up to the task.

Radim Simek kicked the puck into the net with 24.8 seconds left and the goal was immediately waved off. Simek then went to the other end and swept the puck away from the crease before it could cross the line. Since he closed his glove over the puck, that earned the Senators a penalty shot, taken by Chris Tierney. Dell attempted a poke check, and then Tierney lost control of the puck before he could take the shot.

By the end of the period, the shots were 10-9 Senators.

Both teams had good chances in the middle of the third period, including shots from Couture and Labanc in quick succession, without breaking the 1-1 tie. The Senators pressed hard in the final minute and Dell had to stop a great chance for Colin White in the final 20 seconds to get the game into overtime. The shot count for the period was 13-5 Senators.

Overtime did not last long, ending after just 35 seconds. Christ Tierney scored in a two on one after Anthony Duclair made a pass across the ice, around a sliding Brent Burns. Assists went to Duclair and Chabot.

The Sharks next play against the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday at 7:00 PM PT at the SAP Center.

Sharks Shut-out Penguins 5-0; Jones stops all 30 Penguin shots

photo from sfgate.com: The San Jose Sharks goaltender Marty Jones (31) puts one of his 30 saves on the Pittsburgh Penguins Teddy Blueger (53) in the second period on Saturday night at SAP Center in San Jose

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE- The San Jose Sharks shut out the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-0 Saturday, extending the Penguins’ losing streak to six. Sharks goals came from Evander Kane, Timo Meier, Joel Kellman, Logan Couture and Joe Thornton. In all, nine Sharks players earned points in the game. Sharks goaltender Martin Jones made 30 saves for the win. Pittsburgh’s Tristan Jarry made 27 saves on 32 shots.

After the game, Sharks  captain Logan Couture said:

We know how it feels to be going through a tough time like that, when you get jumped on early. It really takes the wind out of your sails. So, that was our goal and I thought we did a very good job. You know, we started on time, we placed the puck in good spots and forced them to defend. With their skilled players they don’t like doing that was the big difference tonight.

The first period was scoreless until the 18:48 mark when Evander Kane took advantage of a turn-over in the neutral zone. He broke away form the pack and went right for the net. He moved right but then shot left to beat Tristan Jarry on the blocker side. Marc-Edouard Vlasic got the assist.

The shots were almost even at 11-10 Sharks. There was just one penalty, a tripping call against Mario Ferraro. The Penguins got three shots on the power play.

In the second period, penalties were called early and often. Each team had two penalties before the half-way mark of the period. Just 2:13 in, Evander Kane went to the box for a double-minor high-sticking against Chad Ruhwedel. Before that expired, Patrick Marleau was called for slashing Mario Ferraro. Less than a minute after that, Mario Ferraro was called for high-sticking Sidney Crosby. At 9:05, Marcus Pettersson was called for tripping Brent Burns. The Penguins got four shots during their time with the man advantage, while the Sharks got none.

Just seconds after that fourth penalty ended, Timo Meier added to the Sharks’ tally. Mario Ferraro held the puck in the zone and then, under pressure, got it to Marcus Sorensen. Sorensen made a quick pass to Timo Meier who was in the face-off circle. Meier took a shot that went under a defender’s stick and then through a hole against the post. Assists went to Sorensen and Ferraro.

At 14:15, Joel Kellman scored the Sharks’ third goal of the game. Marcus Sorensen carried the puck in along the boards, but had Schultz all over him. He dropped the puck to Kellman, who looked like he might pass to Radim Simek. Instead, he took the shot.

Radim Simek and Patrick Hornqvist added to the penalty tally with simultaneous minors at 14:56. A series of slashes around the Sharks net resulted in Simek challenging Hornqvist to fight but his invitation was declined. Simek went for roughing while Hornqvist went for slashing.

Logan Couture scored San Jose’s fourth of the game 8:01 into the third period. Ferraro took a shot from the blue line that Couture redirected under the goalie for his 16th of the season. Assists went to Ferraro and Kane.

Patric Hornqvist was called for interference at the same time as that goal, putting the Sharks on a power play. The Sharks got one shot on that power play.

Joe Thornton inadvertently scored the Sharks’ fifth goal. He tried to pass the puck to Timo Meier on the other side of the blue paint, but it went off a defender and into the net instead. Assists went to Meier and Tim Heed.

The final shot count was 32-30 Sharks. In the face-off circle, the Penguins won 57% of the draws.

Midway through the third period, Sharks defenseman Jacob Middleton and Penguins forward Dominik Simon left the game with injuries. Their injuries were not related but occurred at almost the same time in the game. Patrick Hornqvist pushed Middleton down in front of the net and Middleton seemed to get one leg in a bad position. “I just know Middsy went down pretty hard. I think it was his left ankle, he was screaming. It wasn’t good,” said Logan Couture after the game.

The Sharks next play on Tuesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs in San Jose at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Trade Marleau, Goodrow at the Deadline

popsugar.com file photo: Former San Jose Shark Patrick Marleau (12) who was dealt to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday will have a shot at playing the post season

By Mary Walsh

For the first time in many years, the San Jose Sharks are not expected to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. That situation became clear early enough in the season for them to be sellers at the trade deadline. Both Patrick Marleau and Barclay Goodrow were traded today, following Brenden Dillon to playoff-bound teams in the Eastern Conference.

Patrick Marleau was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Barclay Goodrow went to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Dillon was traded last week to the Washington Capitals. The Sharks also acquired defenseman Brandon Davidson from the Calgary Flames today.

The Sharks received a conditional 2021 third round draft pick from Pittsburgh, which would become a second round pick if the Penguins win the Cup in 2020. The Penguins are currently ranked second in the Metropolitan division, just 2 points out of first behind the Capitals. Patrick Marleau was on a one-year contract with the Sharks, so he will be a free agent again this summer.

From a Sharks press release:

“Patrick is one of the most iconic players ever to wear the Sharks uniform,” said Wilson. “Although we have had a disappointing season in San Jose, he deserves every opportunity to have a chance at winning a Stanley Cup, and we’re happy to accommodate that. We wish him the best of luck.”

Barclay Goodrow has another year on his very cap-friendly contract. In exchange for Goodrow, the Sharks got Tampa Bay’s first round pick and a third round pick (originally Philadelphia’s) in the 2020 draft as well as forward Anthony Greco. Tampa Bay is also second in their division, the Atlantic, five points out of first but boasting a +50 goal differential.

From the Sharks press release:

“Barclay has been an extremely valuable, team-first payer to our organization for the past six seasons,” said Wilson. “His story of perseverance and hard work from being an undrafted free agent to being one of the most versatile players in the National Hockey League has been a pleasure to watch. You hate to lose players like this, but this is an important step in acquiring valuable assets that can be utilized by our club moving forward.”

Anthony Greco was playing with Tampa Bay’s AHL team, after being recently acquired by Tampa Bay from the Florida Panthers.

The Sharks acquired defenseman Brandon Davidson from the Calgary Flames for future consideration. Davidson, 28, has played seven games this season with the Calgary Flames and played 34 games with the AHL’s Stockton Heat. During his career, he earned 23 points in 169 NHL games with the Flames, the Oilers, the Canadiens, the Islanders and the Blackhawks.

Despite many rumors, Joe Thornton was not traded to either the Dallas Stars or the Boston Bruins. He will finish the season in teal.

Sharks, Jones, Shut Out Wild 2-0; Sharks win four out of last five

photo from nbcsports.com:

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks shut out the Minnesota Wild 2-0 Saturday at Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul. It was Martin Jones’ first shut-out of the season. He made 39 saves in the win, with goals from Dylan Gambrell and Melker Karlson. Alex Stalock made 19 saves on 20 shots in the loss.

After the game, Sharks interim head coach Bob Boughner said:

I think you have to give credit to the players. Facing the injuries that we were facing, and, I think, a little bit of adversity, and Jonesy coming in there and doing the job. I know they wanted to play hard for him. I thought we really defended well. You know, we gave up 39 shots and they threw a lot at us but I thought we played hard and I thought Jonesy made the saves that he had to.

Asked about Dylan Gambrell’s goal, he said: “That whole line, the True line, I think they did their job. I had to put Dylan out there as a right-hand shot on a couple of key face-offs against some really good players and he did a really good job. And they chipped in with a goal 5-on-5 and that always helps, if you’re getting some depth scoring. And a lot of our skill is out and guys like that have to step up.”

The Sharks went into Saturday’s game in Minnesota down two more players as well as Tomas Hertl and Logan Couture. Evander Kane received a three-game suspension for an elbow in Friday’s game against the Jets. Kane’s comments on the NHL’s decision can be found on Twitter. The NHL may have a public response to those comments but they have not made one yet.

Erik Karlsson injured his hand in the same game and the team declared the defenseman out for the rest of the season. The Sharks filled out the roster with Antti Suomela and Tim Heed, who have both played with the Sharks this season. Heed last played on January 16 and Suomela played on February 1.

The Wild out-shot the Sharks in the first period 10-8, though the Sharks had two plus power plays, including a two man advantage for 1:52. They had four shots in those combined power plays. The Sharks also had to kill one penalty, allowing one shot to Minnesota’s top-ranked power play. The Sharks did very well in the face-off circle, winning 74% of them.

The shot disparity continued in the second period, with the count at 14-6 Wild. There was a single penalty in the second, an illegal stick penalty to Kevin Labanc. Labanc lost his stick in a collision along the boards and Timo Meier pushed it back to him with his own stick. The move by Meier made it illegal for Labanc to use that stick. the Wild got credit for one shot on that power play.

The face-off contest went to Minnesota in the second, with the Wild winning 67% of them.

The Sharks scored at 3:08 of the third when Brent Burns’ shot went off of Dylan Gambrell in front of the net. It was Gambrell’s third of the year with Burns and Antti Suomela getting the assists.

The Sharks had one more penalty to kill in the third, and again they allowed just one shot on goal.

The Wild pulled Stalock from the net for the extra skater with 1:36 to go in the third. Melker Karlsson and Patrick Marleau had shots at the empty net but the Wild defense was there to prevent those goals. Karlsson and Barclay Goodrow had another chance, this time as a two-man breakaway. Goodrow gave the puck to Karlsson for the shot and Karlsson took it. Goodrow got the assist.

The third period face-off battle went to the Wild as they won 62% of them. The shot count was also in their favor 15-7. The lion’s share of the Sharks face-offs were taken by Joe Thornton (won 13 of 19) and Barclay Goodrow (won 9 of 22).

The Sharks will next play on Monday in San Jose against the Florida Panthers at 1:00 PM PT.

Sharks Beat Jets 3-2 in Winnipeg; Sharks win three of last four games

photo from sfgate.com: The San Jose Sharks Brendan Dillion (4) goes airborne after having a collision with the Winnipeg Jets Nikolaj Ehlers (27) as the Sharks Evander Kane (9) is in the background in Friday night’s game in Winnipeg

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks defeated the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 Friday, in Brent Burns’ 1,100th NHL game. Sharks goals came from Marcus Sorensen, Melker Karlsson and Timo Meier. Aaron Dell made 30 saves in the win. Jets goals came from Kyle Connor and Blake Wheeler, with Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck making 32 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks interim head coach Bob Boughner said:

You’re never going to come in and play the Jets and not give up some chances, with the team they have and the offense. But I thought we did some really good things away from the puck. I thought that we had guys climbing above and not giving too many odd-man rushes. And there were spurts in the game that we were really good defensively, and when they had their chances, Deller was there to make the big stop.

Timo Meier has three goals and four assists in the last six games, including the game-winner Friday. Of this streak, Evander Kane said: “He’s playing heavy. You know, he’s skating. He’s a big powerful guy with a good scoring touch. When he goes hard to the net, he can finish. So that was another example of that tonight.”

In the first period, the Sharks out shot the Jets 13-3. At 14:51, Marcus Sorensen scored in a chaotic scrum in front of Connor Hellebuyck. Assists went to Alexander True and Dylan Gambrell. The Jets challenged the goal for goaltender interference but the challenge was unsuccessful, giving the Sharks their first power play.

The second period was something of a reversal, with the teams even in shots at 11, but the Jets scoring twice.

Their first goal came on a power play at 8:21, with Evander Kane in the box for interference. From right in front of the net, Kyle Connor was able to put a shot between his legs and over Dell’s shoulder, into the top corner. Assists went to Blake Wheeler and Neal Pionk.

Blake Wheeler scored less than two minutes later. His shot went past a moving screen and into the top corner. Andrew Copp found him with a pass from the corner, and a second assist went to Nikolaj Ehlers.

The Sharks ended the second period on a power play when Josh Morrisey was called for holding Timo Meier. They started the third with 1:54 remaining on that power play. The did not get any shots on net in that power play.

At 5:18, Melker Karlsson did score, in a quick give and go play with Joel Kellman. The give and go had the Jets defense discombobulated enough that when Karlsson got to the front of the net and received the puck no one was in his way. Assists went to Kellman and
Stefan Noesen.

Timo Meier added another for the Sharks, just 1:29 later. Brent Burns sent the puck to the net where Kevin Labanc tried to get to it. Dmitry Kulikov was in his way so he couldn’t get control of it. The puck trickled out to the side of the blue paint, where Meier found it and put it in the net. Assists went to Labanc and Burns.

The teams played 4-on-4 at 6:55 when Marcus Sorensen went to the box for roughing against Jack Roslovic, and Roslovic went for cross-checking Sorensen. The Sharks killed Evander Kane’s second penalty of the game at 13:17 of the third, and held on to their lead for the rest of the period. The Jets pulled their goaltender with about two minutes to go. Those final minutes were marked by many good saves from Aaron Dell and some missed clearing opportunities for the Sharks, but they kept the puck out of the net.

The third period shot count was 16-11 Jets. The face-off contest went to the Jets 53%-47%.

The Sharks next play on Saturday in St Paul against the Minnesota Wild at 2:00 PM PT.