NHL Podcast with Joe Lami: Canadiens win streak stops at nine; Caps Ovechkin goes for all time goals by Russian NHL player; Preds-Sharks part of the rivalry package on NBCSN

by Joe Lami

photo credit canadiens.nhl.com pk subban

SAN JOSE–On the NHL Podcast today the Vancouver Canucks ended an amazing streak by the Montreal Canadiens defeating them 5-1 the Habs streak was stopped at nine. Was the Habs feeling the pressure and pressing? Or were the Canucks just out for blood and wanted to stop the Canadiens at every turn.

The Washington Capitals Alexander Ovechkin is close to setting the all time goal scoring record for an NHL Russian player. Ovechkin currently has 480 career goals and Sergei Federov is leading by three with 483 all time goals.  Also the Nashville Predators get set with their key players James Neal, Craig Smith, Flip Forsberg, and Roman Josi as the Preds face the Sharks at SAP Center in San Jose on Wednesday night.

The LA Kings are swinging the sticks and finding the back of the nets as they have now won six straight games. That win streak is a testimony which holds true after a rather weak start. The Kings are getting great offensive help from Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli, and goaltender Jonathan Quick.

Joe talks on these subjects and much more on the NHL Podcast at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Barracuda shutout in Ontario

By: Eric He

Peter Budaj is a veteran of nearly 300 NHL games, and the goaltender is still going strong, even if it’s in the minors.

Now with the Ontario Reign of the AHL, the 33-year old Budaj posted a shutout of the San Jose Barracuda, as San Jose fell 3-0 on the road Saturday night.

The Barracuda drop to 2-3-0-1, while the Reign remain unbeaten at 5-0-0-0.

Down 1-0 in the third period, the Barracuda allowed Reign rookie Adrian Kempe to score on the power play at 4:12 to double Ontario’s advantage. Michael Mersch added an empty net goal to seal the 3-0 victory.

This came despite San Jose putting nine shots on goal in the third. It also outshot Ontario 10-9 in a scoreless second period, but could not get one past Budaj, who made 24 saves in all.

Ontario got on the board with the lone goal of the first when Andrew Crescenzi converted on a rebound.

The Barracuda have not scored in eight straight periods, and they also went 0-for-5 on the power play on Saturday.

Aaron Dell replaced Troy Groesnick in net at the start of the second period after Groesnick sustained an injury in the first.

Barracuda Shut Out By Gibson, Gulls

By Matthew T.F. Harrington

SAN JOSE, Calif. – It will continue to be a season of firsts in the inaugural campaign for the San Jose Barracuda, but with the highs will also come the lows. Friday night at the SAP Center, the Barracuda earned an inevitable and unenviable first after falling to the San Diego Gulls 3-0.

Ducks goalie John Gibson made 23 saves to shut out San Jose for the first time this year and give the Barracuda losses in two-straight for the first time this season. The Barracuda also fell to the undefeated Gulls (4-0-0-0) 3-2 in a shootout Wednesday night at home.

“There’s still plenty of things to work on,” said San Jose coach Roy Sommer. “We’re still young. We’d like to get a home win here.”

The Gulls scored twice in the first period on miscues from the Barracuda. Chris Wagner scored the first goal of the game at the 5:02 mark after cherry picking behind a Barracuda defender at the Gulls blue line. After defenseman Brandon Montour chipped the puck up, Wagner scooped it up and skated down the wing unimpeded before beating Barracuda goalie Aaron Dell’s glove hand for the goal.

Dell’s glove would come up short with 1:49 left in the period when he appeared to glove down a Gulls shot only to have the puck pop out where Chris Mueller could tap in his first goal of the season and double the Gulls’ advantage. One gaffe aside, Dell played well for the Barracuda, turning away 31 shots.

“We didn’t have any hold ups, we had a few miscues,” said San Jose forward Micheal Haley. “They had a lot of steam coming into our end. It’s hard to get out of your end when they’re coming at you full speed.”

While the Barracuda didn’t beat Gibson in the 1st 20 minutes, they came close on a 5-on-3 power play just about halfway through the period. Twice San Jose ripped perfect cross-crease passes just off the goal line, but twice one of the top goalie prospects in the AHL Gibson robbed would-be goals.

“That was the turning point in the game,” said Sommer. “We had two good looks where he made two great saves. After that we didn’t have much.”

First Gibson robbed Nikolai Goldobin on the glove side, then kicked away a stick-side shot pad-high from Melker Karlsson. Goldobin also hit the post on the man advantage in the third period on a night when San Jose’s power play unit was snakebit (0-for-5).

“He’s covering the bottom so we have to go up top,” said Karlsson. “If it’s there you have to hit it. That should be a goal.”

San Diego added a power play goal in the 2nd after Nick Ritchie received a pass from Brandon Montour to Dell’s right. Ritchie’s wrist shot beat Dell blocker side to give the Gulls a commanding lead with 4:04 left a period that saw the visitors outshoot the home team 15-5.

“They had a very good forecheck,” said Haley. “They didn’t give us very much time or options which makes it very hard for us to get our forecheck going. It was just one of those days where it felt like we were chasing and not supporting.”

For the Barracuda, it’s back to work after a quick bus trip to the Inland Empire. San Jose takes on the Ontario Reign, affiliate of the rival Los Angeles Kings

“We’ve got a hard game tomorrow,” said Sommer. “That’s a team that’s undefeated. They’re not missing much from the team that won the Calder Cup (as the Manchester Monarchs). We’ll have our hands full tomorrow.”

Notes: The regulation loss snapped a three-game point-streak for the Barracuda. After losing to Rockford on opening night, the Barracuda twice beat Bakersfield before falling to San Diego in a shootout Wednesday…Melker Karlsson played in his second game with the Sharks affiliate, finishing with a shot on goal. “I’m getting better and better but I still have some things to work on. I haven’t practiced that much so my conditioning isn’t where it should be,” said Karlsson…Micheal Haley was returned to the Barracuda for Friday’s game after skating on the Sharks fourth line in their game against the Kings Thursday night. He saw 6:48 of ice time. Haley is expected to play Saturday against Ontario, his third game in a row. “It’s the American Hockey League. If you don’t want to play three-on-threes go play up top,” Sommer said with a smile…Barracuda captain Bryan Lerg played 8:51 with a shot on goal. He remains with the parent club…Defenseman Karl Stollery missed the game with an injury.

Karlsson Suits Up for First Time This Season, But Barracuda Fall to Gulls in Shootout 3-2.

By Matthew T.F. Harrington

If Bryan Lerg was disappointed by his demotion from the San Jose Sharks to their AHL affiliate the San Jose Barracuda, his play didn’t show it Wednesday night. The 28-year-old scored a goal and picked up the primary assist on another in the Barracuda’s 3-2 shootout loss to the unbeaten San Diego Gulls (3-0-0) at the SAP Center.

“Work hard,” said Lerg on his mind set heading in to his first game since being returned to the Barracuda (2-1-1). “We were looking for the win at home.”

“I thought (Lerg) was our best player by far,” assessed Barracuda coach Roy Sommer.

Lerg opened the scoring at the 5:11 into the first period, firing a shot from the slot into Gulls netminder John Gibson’s pads. The 6-foot-3 keeper made the initial save, but Lerg continued his course to the net to flip in his rebound for his 3rd goal of the season.

“I went to tee off on it and didn’t get all of it,” admitted Lerg. “The goalie tried to kick it to the corner and their D was flat footed. I beat them with my speed.”

The AHL vet added his first assist of the season with 1:20 remaining and the Barracuda on the penalty kill. Lerg pressured Gull rearguard Shane O’Brien at the red line, forcing a rushed O’Brien to spill to the ice. Lerg rushed up the ice on the breakaway, guiding a backhander to Gibson’s left in the Gull crease. Gibson made the sprawling save, put fellow penalty killer Scott Timmins jammed the loose puck home for his second goal of the season.

An unfortunate bounce led to a late San Diego goal with Barracuda defenseman Mark Cundari deflecting a Brandon Montour point shot around San Jose goalie Troy Grosenick. The goal, a power play strike with 5.4 seconds left in the period, marked the 4th goal in 14 short-handed situations for San Jose.

The Gulls scored again on the power play in the 2nd period, this time on a deflection from a San Diego skater. Defenseman Shea Theodore ripped a point shot on net. Gulls pest Harry Zolnierczyk was skating past Grosenick right as the shot came and managed to tip it over his blocker side for the goal at the 6:26 mark. The 2-2 deadlock would hold through the third period and into a back-and-forth three-on-three overtime despite a total of 5 power plays for the Gulls on the night.

“That’s a pretty good team over there,” said Sommer. “They have lots of veteran guys who have been around and know how to put the puck in the net.”

The Gulls’ Nick Ritchie and Stefan Noesen would beat Grosenick in the skills competition to earn the second point for the visitors, keeping their record unblemished. Gibson turned away attempts by Lerg and Nikolai Goldobin, another player returned by the Sharks this morning.

One player hoping to join the Sharks sooner rather than later, rehabbing forward Melker Karlsson, saw his first time on ice this season. Karlsson finished the night with an assist and a +1 rating while nearly scoring in 3-on-3 overtime.

“He was good,” said Lerg, who joined Karlsson in the 3-on-3 session. “I thought he played well. He’s getting back into the swing of things. It was his first game in a while. We tried to keep it simple and get him in deep and use our speed.”

Once the thrill of returning to the ice wore off, Karlsson realized he still has some work to put in before he is ready for an NHL assignment.

“It felt pretty good in the beginning,” said Karlsson. “But my conditioning is not where it should be. With my game, I have to have energy for it to work.”

“We’ll see how long it takes before I get in condition,” said Karlsson. “It shouldn’t be too long, just a few practices them I’m going to feel good.”

Whether it’s next week against the Nashville Predators or further down the line, Karlsson is ready to return to the top tier.

“That’s where you want to play,” said Karlsson. “That’s where I’m going to play later I hope.”

With the injuries stacking up for the parent club, the Barracuda bench boss acknowledges call-ups may be early and often in the next few days.

“Any one that is playing here right now knows,” said Sommer. “They’re banged up up top. You play good you’re probably playing against LA tomorrow. We want guys to realize that.”

Haley leads Barracudas past Condors

By: Eric He

A late power play goal by Michael Haley was enough for the San Jose Barracuda to squeeze by the Bakersfield Condors 4-3 on the road on Saturday night.

Haley, who had two goals on the night, converted from point-blank for the game-winner at 16:41 of the third period after a feed by Ryan Carpenter. San Jose was able to hang on to seal its second consecutive road win.

Haley also scored the first goal of the game, deflecting a pass from Carpenter again to put the Barracuda up 1-0. After Bryan Lerg gave San Jose a 2-0 lead, a parade to the penalty box by the Barracuda resulted in consecutive power play goals by Bakersfield to even the score.

After the Condors went ahead 3-2 early in the third, the Barracuda finished with two unanswered for the win. Trevor Parkes recorded his first goal of the season, jamming in the rebound after a shot from the point.

Aaron Dell made 30 saves on the night, while prospect Julius Bergman made his season debut with the Barracuda.

The Barracuda will head back home and take on the San Diego Gulls on Wednesday.

Couture And Donskoi Out, Goldobin Called Up

By Mary Walsh

San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture will miss four to six weeks due to a broken right fibula. Per Curtis Pashelka of the Mercury News, the injury was sustained during practice in New Jersey on Thursday. In a press release Friday, Sharks GM Doug Wilson said:

Logan was injured in practice on Thursday in New Jersey and suffered a fractured right fibula at the ankle. He will be returning to San Jose to undergo surgery under the direction of Kaiser Permanente’s medical team. He is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

Forward Joonas Donskoi is also out due to an injury sustained blocking a shot during the game against the Anaheim Ducks.

Rookie forward Nikolay Goldobin has been recalled to fill one of the open spots on the roster. Goldobin was the Sharks’ first round pick in 2014. Last season he played 38 games with HIFK in Finland and nine games with the Worcester Sharks of the AHL. This season he played one game with the San Jose Barracuda.

Forward Ben Smith, who was a scratch for the first three games of the season, will also join the lineup tonight as the team faces the New Jersey Devils. Saturday, the Sharks will play the New York Islanders in Brooklyn.

Barracuda notch first win of the season

By: Eric He

It was a historic night for the San Jose Barracuda, who recorded their first win in franchise history with a 4-1 win over the Stockton Heat on the road on Thursday night.

The Barracuda jumped out to a 3-0 advantage after two periods. A breakaway goal by Ryan Carpenter put San Jose on the board 28 seconds into the second. Micheal Haley’s goal from a tough angle made it 2-0, and Scott Timmons made it a trifecta in the period, putting home a rebound that was ruled a good goal upon review.

Nikita Jevpalovs, who earned first star honors, added the finishing touches with a third period marker that answered a goal by Stockton in the third period.

Goaltender Aaron Dell was solid for San Jose, stopping 25 of 26 shots.

Another road game awaits the Barracuda on Saturday, as they face the Bakersfield Condors on the road at 7pm.

Sportstalk remote podcast from Gaylord’s Indian Restaurant in San Francisco Mon Oct 12, 2015

Cast: Jerry Feitelberg (host), Jeremy Harness, Len Shapiro, Mary Lisa Walsh, Joe Lami and Lee Leonard (producer) podcast from Gaylord’s Indian Restaurant at One Embarcadero downtown San Francisco. Just a few blocks away from Embarcadero BART this jewel of a restaurant serves up some of India’s best dishes. Our thanks to owner Susil for hosting us.

Sportstalk radio got to enjoy Tika Malsala chicken, Tandoori Chicken, some of the finest nan breads garlic and onion nan, fried chicken sticks and fried cheese sticks, the sauces were excellent condiments for the breads, chicken and cheese. Find out what your missing in fine Indian dinning cuisine. For desert take our word for it we enjoyed the Kulfi a saffron flavored ice cream with pistachios and Rasmalai sweet dumpling topped with saffron milk sauce. Jeremy Harness spared no deserts on this night.

Sports headlines covered: Mary Lisa says the Sharks are improved, Joe Lami and Len Shapiro say the team needs more work but likes the goaltenders of Martin Jones and Alex Stalock. Look for veteran skaters Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and Joe Pavelski to name a few to crash the nets as the Sharks start a road this this week in Washington, New Jersey, NY Islanders, NY Rangers, before returning home on Thursday Oct 22.

Also Jerry, Jermey, Joe, and Len cover the MLB Playoffs to end the show.

Barracuda Drop Franchise Opener to IceHogs

By: Ben Leonard

SAN JOSE, Calif. —

Fans wearing t-shirts saying “I was there” in bold print were lining up outside the SAP Center again, but not for the Sharks. Why, might you ask?

The new kids on the block, the San Jose Barracuda, gave their fans a chance to witness history on Friday night, writing the first page of their franchise history book while falling 4-2 to the Rockford IceHogs. Tanner Kero and Jeremy Morin each had three points for Rockford in the victory.

Formerly the Worcester Sharks of the AHL and the Sharks’ highest minor league affiliate, the Barracuda moved to San Jose after last season as part of a flurry of AHL relocations.

Watch these games closely, Sharks fans — you’re witnessing the future. Last season the Sharks had 27 players on their roster who played for Worcester in the American Hockey League, including Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski, and Tomas Hertl.

But in the early going, they didn’t look much like the squad that went 41-29-4-2 and finished seventh in the Eastern Conference. Penalties, miscues, and sloppy play put the Barracuda in a hole while most fans were still finding their seats. Tanner Kero scored the first goal of the Icehogs’ season after just 61 seconds, beating Barracuda goalie Troy Groesnick on his glove side.

Penalties plagued San Jose, getting called for three penalties in the first eleven minutes, including a high-stick, hooking, and a cross-check. However with plenty of practice, the Barracuda did a good job on the penalty kill, neutralizing Rockford’s advantage all three times — but not stopping them when they had full strength. Kero assisted Dennis Rasmussen in beating Groesnick again, this time going shortside, giving Rockford a 2-0 advantage after just 14:43 in the first period.

Left winger Micheal Haley on what went wrong in the first period:

It was the first time we had seen some of these teams. We have a lot to work on, but we’re going to get better from here. In this league, there’s always some young guys who just became pros with some nerves.”

But San Jose didn’t give up, wanting to give their fans something to cheer about in their first-ever game, storming back to tie up the game with two power play goals just twelves minutes later. Haley was the first to light up the lamp for the Barracuda, going up the five hole of Rockford goalie Michael Leighton, assisted by right winger Nikita Jevpalovs and center Scott Timmins just 12.1 seconds before the end of the first period. After he had a good chance on a penalty kill that he missed, Haley thought it felt really “good to bounce back” with the goal.

Fittingly, emotional leader, 2014-15 team MVP, and captain Bryan Lerg tied up the game with a goal of his own just six minutes later, assisted by Mirco Mueller and Haley, who picked up his second point of the night with the assist. Lerg took the media through the goal, quick to laud his teammates: “I got a good pass, and their guy was in the shooting lane so I kind of shot off the side a little bit. Haley set a good screen up front, so that’s the most important thing. If he doesn’t do that, it doesn’t go in.”

Lerg, who led Worcester with 41 points in 68 games last season, had the fans chanting “BARRACUDA, BARRACUDA” for the first time. Haley lauded the “great” crowd, noting how “they got behind us and lifted us up during the game.”

But the energy didn’t last long. Their comeback was eventually to no avail, as the IceHogs looked comfortable on the shoddy ice, taking a 4-2 lead after 8:47 in the third. Kero just added to his stellar night with a second goal, right in front of Groesnick with 15 minutes left in the third period, and Morin became the second IceHog with three points on the night with another wide open goal, effectively sealing the Barracuda’s fate.

Overall, the Barracuda was very good on the power play, converting on two of their four attempts and killing all five of the IceHogs’ power plays, but as Lerg said, “five-on-five, [they’ve] got some shaping up to do.” They struggled to get quality shots off at times, getting out-shot 41-32.

Coach Tom Sommer also chalked up the loss to the hype surrounding the home opener: I don’t see anyone really winning home openers.I think there’s a lot of anxiety….it’s almost better to start off on the road.”

Another reason the Barracuda didn’t look anything close to cohesive on Friday night: they haven’t played together much before. With the rookie games and exhibition games, Sommer noted that the other players were still up.

Notes: The ice was noticeably wet after Chuck-a-Puck took too long in between the second and third periods, not leaving sufficient time for it to dry….With the loss, the 17-year veteran Barracuda coach Sommer remained 19 wins shy of tying all-time AHL coaching wins leader Fred “Bun” Cook, sitting at 617…



Pavelski Named Captain, Torres Suspended

By Mary Walsh

Monday, the San Jose Sharks named Joe Pavelksi team captain, saw Raffi Torres suspended, and cut their roster down to size.

The choice of captain was not surprising, as Pavelksi was generally presumed to be the top candidate for the job. Pavelski has been a team leader in terms of performance and poise for the past two seasons. The alternates will be Joe Thornton and Logan Couture.

Also on Monday, Raffi Torres was given a head-turning suspension of 41 games. The suspension is a response to Torres’ hit on Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg during the Sharks’ final preseason game on Saturday. The NHL’s Department of Player Safety conceded that Torres did not qualify as a repeat offender since it has been more than 18 months since his last offense. However, the NHL considered the fact that Torres has only appeared in 15 games since his most recent suspension. Further, the NHL had already warned, fined, or suspended Torres nine times in his career. The fact that so many of those offenses were due to illegal hits gave the NHL more ammunition to impose the exceptionally lengthy suspension.

The 41-game suspension certainly puts Torres in the running for most disappointing acquisition by the Sharks. Despite occasional flashes of promise as a productive forward, his knee injury and untimely suspensions have resulted in Torres playing only 16 regular season games and 12 playoff games since the Sharks traded a third round pick for him at the 2012 trade deadline.

Over the weekend, the Sharks assigned Nikolay Goldobin, Mirco Mueller and Melker Karlsson to the AHL Barracuda. They also returned the nine players called up from the AHL Barracuda for Saturday’s preseason game. Those nine were goalie Troy Grosenick, forwards Bryan Lerg, Micheal Haley, John McCarthy, Ryan Carpenter, Frazer McLaren, and Jeremy Langlois, and defensemen Karl Stollery, and Gus Young.

The final roster then includes two goaltenders, thirteen available forwards and seven defensemen. The forwards are: Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton, Joonas Donskoi,
Patrick Marleau, Logan Couture, Joel Ward, Matt Nieto, Tomas Hertl, Tommy Wingels, Chris Tierney, Mike Brown, Barclay Goodrow and Ben Smith. the defensemen will be: Marc-Edouard Vlasic,Justin Braun, Paul Martin, Brent Burns, Brenden Dillon, Matt Tennyson and Dylan DeMelo.

The Sharks will open the season against the Kings in Los Angeles on Wednesday at 7:30 PT.