Game of Firsts Keeps the Sharks on Top

By Mary Walsh

OTTAWA- Sunday, the San Jose Sharks defeated the Ottawa Senators 5-2 with goaltender Alex Stalock making his first NHL start. Stalock had played in 2 NHL games before, but always in relief. James Sheppard and Andrew Desjardins also scored their first goals of the season, bringing the number of 2013-14 Sharks with goals to 16. The Sharks are now 10-1-1 this season.

After the game, Stalock spoke on CSNCA‘s television broadcast:

Being there before, going in in relief is a little bit easier, because you don’t have all day to think of it. But you’re thinking about it all night– I found out yesterday– and thinking about it all day today. But it was nice to have a five o’clock game, a quick turnaround, didn’t have much time to think, just go and play.

Stalock stopped 38 of 40 shots from the Senators. The Sharks had not allowed more than 31 shots in a game before Sunday. The Senators’ quick, persistent forecheck was one reason they had so many shots. The Sharks’ energy level was inconsistent, almost sluggish at times. That could be because Sunday’s game followed a very quick turnaround.

The Sharks’ game in Montreal had ended a mere 17 hours earlier. Only two San Jose players had not played the night before: Stalock and forward Mike Brown. Other changes to the lineup included moving James Sheppard to the top line with Joe Thornton and Tomas Hertl. Sheppard had been a healthy scratch two games earlier. Matt Nieto was out, though he had been expected to play. After the game started, news came that he was not a healthy scratch.

The Sharks didn’t look especially weary to start the game. Tomas Hertl reminded everyone that he bears watching when he elluded the Senators defense and slid the puck by Craig Anderson just 1:16 into the game. Andrew Desjardins followed at 6:35 with a quick, hard backhander that surprised everyone. Desjardins had to look over his shoulder to follow his shot, since his back was to the net. That gave the Sharks a two goal lead.

The Sharks played with that lead for just over four minutes. At 11:07 of the period, Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson cut the lead in half with a shot from the point, while Cory Conacher screened Stalock.

With under three minutes to go in the period, San Jose’s Mike Brown was called for interference on Kyle Turris. With Brown in the box, Logan Couture initiated a short-handed rush off a pass from Tommy Wingels. Couture’s shot was stopped, but Anderson went down to stop Couture’s shot. Before he could recover, Wingels pounced on the puck for a shorthanded goal.

It was during the second period that the Sharks looked weary. With very little zone time, they still managed 11 shots, but the Senators outskated them at every turn. Karlsson’s first period goal served as a model for the Senators’ second goal, the only one scored in the second period. Near the midpoint of the period, with traffic buzzing in front of Stalock, Marc Methot‘s slapshot from the blue line brought the Senators back within one.

The Sharks came out refreshed for the third period. It took Joe Thornton under 90 seconds to get behind the goal line with the puck. James Sheppard, just arrived in front of the net, took Thornton’s pass and put the Sharks back up by two.

A little over six minutes later, Justin Braun and Joe Pavelski executed a play that should show up on the week’s highlights. Tommy Wingels picked up a mishandled puck from Senators defenseman Jared Cowen, carried it out of the Sharks’ zone and passed it to Pavelski who was just crossing the Senators’ blue line. Pavelski sent the puck to Justin Braun, who entered the zone at a good clip. Each player had pressure to contend with. The Sharks’ defenseman continued almost to the corner, drawing defense away from Pavelski and Anderson far out and to the side of the net. Anderson slowed Braun’s shot but it got by, sitting behind the goalie for a beat before Pavelski came flying in to put it home. Pavelski finished by crashing into the goal post. The goal was reviewed in case it had gone off of his skate. The goal held up as Pavelski had his stick well in position on the way in.

Each team had 3 power plays in the game, neither scored on any of those. The Sharks return to California tonight, finishing up their road trip on Wednesday, against the Kings in Los Angeles.

San Jose Sharks Testing the Depths

By Mary Walsh

It is never a good thing when a roster player is out due to injury, as so many San Jose Sharks are right now. That obvious truth should not tarnish a high-quality silver lining. As effective as the Sharks have been over the last several seasons, their depth has not been tested as it is being now. The Sharks have had to fill spots in the lineup to replace (in the order they fell): Martin Havlat, Adam Burish, Raffi Torres, Brad Stuart, Dan Boyle and Brent Burns. Thursday in Boston and Saturday in Montreal, they were without five of those six. They even had to go without Tommy Wingels for most of the Boston game. However you measure the value of one player, that list punches holes in every line, every aspect of the Sharks’ game except goaltending. In the midst of this injury epidemic, Doug Wilson acquired Mike Brown. In the big picture, it seems that acquiring Brown had little to do with the Sharks’ injury problems.

The replacements the Sharks already had were not all likely to be playing in the NHL this season.  The most conspicuous of them, Tomas Hertl, has reduced the odds to slim or nil that he will be sent down to the AHL, barring some freak salary cap or roster size event that forces him out.  Would he have had the chance to make such an impression if Raffi Torres had been available? Freddie Hamilton and Matt Nieto, though both showed promise, were very likely to spend this season in the AHL with the Worcester Sharks. John McCarthy has been up and down and back again, as has Matt Pelech. Scott Hannan, the presumptive seventh defenseman acquired last season, has played in all but one game this season.

Those players have turned in respectable to excellent performances, and until last Thursday, helped keep the Sharks’ point streak intact.  We can’t know how the team would have done with every asset ready to go. The games got closer when the team lost Dan Boyle, and then Brent Burns. How much of that was their absence alone? How much of it was the natural ramping up of play as opponents found their legs after rocky starts?

The point is moot. Hannan has held down the fort on the blue line, and the bevvy of young players from Worcester have kept the forward lines moving. The readiness of those young players does the organization proud. They don’t have to be Brent Burns or Logan Couture or Raffi Torres, they just needed to not be a drag on a fast-moving ship. They did better than than that, by and large.

San Jose fans might not have seen these reinforcements in action were it not for what could have been a season-crippling casualty list. The missing starters will return, gradually. Replacements will be sent down again, but knowing they can step in and be better than “not a liability”… that is very exciting for the team. When playoffs roll around, chances look slim that the team will be overwhelmed because one or two key players get hurt (or suspended).

So why acquire Mike Brown? In his first game as a Shark, Brown wasn’t a problem. He didn’t take penalties or cause a wreck. He performed as advertised. He brought energy on the forecheck but only got credit for one hit. On the stat sheet that stands out, since Tomas Hertl was second in hits behind Zdeno Chara and Shawn Thornton in the game. Hertl had significantly more ice time at his disposal than Brown, and the fact remains that Brown was fine. That is saying something on his first day with the team.

He still doesn’t seem like a necessary addition. The Sharks might not be winning lopsided games now, but they are doing more than keeping themselves afloat. Many have said this team looks better than they ever have. The season is long, there is no straight course through it. Were it not for so many injuries at the start of the season, the Sharks might not have tested the depths of their organization so extensively. The team will certainly be stronger as their experienced players return, but so far the pressure hasn’t crushed them. It hardly slowed them down.

Sharks win in shutout

By Phillip Torres

MONTREAL-The San Jose Sharks (9-1-1) defeated the Montreal Canadians (6-5-0) 2-0 on Saturday night. Logan Couture scored both of the goals for the Sharks to propel them to the victory. Antti Niemi recorded 22 saves to earn the shutout.

Patrick Marleau earned both of the assists to Couture’s goals. Couture’s first goal was scored in the second period, as the first period went scoreless. The first goal was scored at the 6:20 mark on the power-play. The score remained 1-0 going into the second intermission.

The third period remained very defensive as just one goal was scored. The goal was from Couture once again and made it 2-0. The goal was scored at the 4:09 mark in the third and final period. The goal was his sixth of the season.

Sharks lose a heartbreaker

by Jerry Feitelberg

PHOTO 11 OF 25 – SAN JOSE SHARKS VS. BOSTON BRUINS BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 24: David Krejci #46 of the Boston Bruins skates against Joe Thornton #19 of the San Jose Sharks at the TD

The Sharks played a great game. They dominated play in all three periods but they lost the game as the Bruins could not get their legs going.The Sharks dominated play in the first period and had sixteen shots on goal while the Bruins could manage just three shots. There was no scoring in the first period.

The Sharks controlled play in the second period. They outshot the Bruins 10-7 but the Bruins scored the first goal of the night when Jarome Iginla scored with just 1:12 left to play in the period. For Iginla, it was his first goal as a Bruin. Krejci and Seidenberg assisted on the play.

The lead didn’t last long. The Sharks evened the score at one when Patrick Marleau scored on a rebound with just eighteen seconds played in the third period. Logan Couture and Marc-Edouard Vlasic received assists on the play. The Sharks kept the play in the offensive zone for most of the third period and it looked the game was going to end in a tie. However, with less than four seconds left to play, Milan Lucic got the puck from the corner to Adam McQuaid at the point and McQuaid’s shot

was tipped into the net by David Krejci. The goal came with just 0.8 seconds left in the game.

Boston wins 2-1. It was the first loss of the year, in regulation, for the Sharks.

Game notes- Dan Boyle who was injured last week was with the team in Boston but did not play. Forward Brett Burns also did not play and is listed as day to day. The Sharks also announced that they acquired Mike Brown from the Edmonton Oilers for a fourth round draft pick.

Sharks goalie Antti Niemi made fifteen saves but allowed two goals while his counterpart,Tuuka Rask of the Bruins stopped 38 shots and allowed just one goal and was named first Star of the Night.

The Sharks are now 8-1-1 on the season.

After the game Sharks coach Todd McLellan commented on the heartbreaking loss. McLellan said “we could have scored on numerous chances. We played the game we wanted to play and we are disappointed with the loss.”

The Sharks travel to Montreal to play the Canadiens Saturday night then on to Ottawa for a Sunday afternoon game. Sharks conclude the five game road trip in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

The Sharks announced that the "Road to the Olympics-Olympic Celebration Tour will be at the Oakland Ice Center October 25-27th,2013. Additional details are in the attachment below.

The Sharks beat the Red Wings

by Jerry Feitelberg

The Sharks beat the Red Wings in a Shoot-out

The San Jose Sharks began a five game road trip Monday night in Detroit. The Sharks and Red Wings had been long time opponents the Western Conference but the league re-aligned the division and the Sharks will play the Red Wings just twice this year, once in Detroit and once in San Jose.

The Sharks started the road trip with a 1-0 win over the Red Wings winning the game in a shoot-out.

The Sharks’ Dan Boyle was not available as he is recovering from the wicked hit he took last week in St. Louis. Forward Brett Burns also did not play as he was hit in the mouth with a stick Saturday night

and was having dental work done.

Neither the Sharks nor the Red Wings could produce any offense at all. There was no scoring in any of the three periods. The game went to a five minute overtime period but neither team could put the puck in the net.

The Red Wings sent out Pavel Datsyuk, Daniel Alfredsson and Todd Bertuzzi to try and beat Niemi in the first three rounds of the shoot-out. The Sharks countered with Patrick Marleau, Logan Couture and rookie Tomas Hertl .

The Red Wings went first. Antti Niemi stopped Datsyuk and Wings’ goalie Jimmy Howard caught a break when Marleau’s shot hit the post. Alfredsson failed to score but the Sharks’ Logan Couture

beat Jimmy Howard put the Sharks up 1-0. Todd Bertuzzi was the last chance for the Wings and he

left the ice talking to himself as Niemi stopped his shot as he sprawled across the net while lifting his right leg and blocked the shot with his pads. It was Niemi’s best save of the year.

Game notes- Sharks’ goalie Antti Niemi stopped all 24 shots he faced while the Wings’ Jimmy Howard made 27 saves. Couture recorded his eighth career shoot-out goal and fifth game winner of his career.

The Sharks improve to 8-0-1 good for 17 points while the Red Wings drop to 6-3-1 for the season.

The NHL announced that Patrick Marleau was named as one of the three stars this week.

The Sharks announced that forwards Freddie Hamilton and John McCarthy were recalled from Worcester of the AHL while forward Matt Pelech was assigned to Worcester.

McCarthy has played in two games with the Sharks this season while Hamilton is looking to make his NHL debut. Hamilton is from Toronto and his parents traveled to Detroit to watch him play.

Pelech played five games with the Sharks scoring one goal and 22 penalty minutes.

Next stop for the Sharks is Thursday night in Boston then they play Montreal on Saturday and Ottawa on Sunday. The road trip concludes Wednesday night when the Sharks play the LA Kings.


Sharks extinguish the Flames 6-3


by Kahlil Najar

SAN JOSE – Joe Pavlelski scored a pair of power play goals and Patrick Marleau, Brent Burns and Scott Hannan each notched a goal a piece as the San Jose Shark (7-0-1) stayed unbeaten at home and beat the Calgary Flames (3-2-2) 6-3. Newly crowned Assistant Captain Logan Couture also contributed with a goal and an assist.

“There’s a lot of leaders in the locker room but those two (Couture and Pavelski) right now deserve the opportunity,” said Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan. “It can go to Stuart, it can go to Hannan, it can go to Vlasic, I could go on an on. As we go into Detroit, we may pick someone else.”

“It’s pretty cool,” Couture said. “I know there are a lot of guys in this room who are leaders, veterans, and it could have gone to a lot of guys, so for the coaching staff to put it on my jersey was pretty cool.”

Brent Burns got the Sharks on the board with less than a minute into the first period when he beat Calgary goalie Karri Rämö from right in front of the goal on a nice pass from the corner boards from Pavelski. That goal marked the fourth time in eight games that the Sharks have scored a goal in the first minute. Scott Hannan made it 2-0 with only 53 seconds left in the first period when he took a shot from the blue line that deflected off of former Shark TJ Gallardi and into the back of net to make it a 2-0 lead at the end of one.

The second opened up for the Flames when after a Tommy Wingels penalty for hooking, Sean Monahan scored his fifth goal of the year and make it a 2-1 game. Pavelski and Marleau contributed with the next two Sharks goals, both on power plays to bring the score 4-1 at the end of the second period. Pavelski got great positioning on Brodie of the Flames and was able to take the pass from Marleau and sneak it by Rämö. On Marleau’s goal, Pavelski was able to find Marleau camping out in the front of the goal with no one on him and make it impossible for Rämö to stop him.

The Flames made it interesting in the third when they scored a pair of goals within the first five minutes of the period but Pavelski got his second goal of the night and Couture netted an empty netter to seal the victory for the Sharks 6-3.

Both teams combined for 15 penalties and the Flames ended up going 1-for-6 while the Sharks went 3-for-9. “It was huge tonight getting three on the power play ,” said Thornton. “That was huge. Especially in the third when they got those two quick goals on us, to come back and respond and get that fifth goal was huge.”

The Sharks head out East to take on Detroit this Monday at 4:30pm PST.

Sharks lose in a shoot-out

The Sharks lose in a Shoot-out

by Jerry Feitelberg

The San Jose lost for the first time this year on the road to the Dallas Stars. The Stars won the game in the third round of the shoot-out when Alex Chiasson beat Antti Niemi to give the Stars a 4-3 win.

The Sharks were trying to start the season 7-0 as they did last year but it was not in the cards.

The Sharks are now 6-0-1 for the year while Dallas even its record at 3-3-0

The Sharks had Antti Niemi in goal while Dallas sent out backup goalie Dan Ellis to tend the nets.

Play had just begun in the first period when Tyler Kennedy blasted a wrist shot that beat Ellis

with just nine seconds played. It was Kennedy’s first goal as a Shark and it was the second quickest goal in Sharks’ history.The Stars tied the game at one when Tyler Seguin scored his third goal of the year. The tie didn’t last long. Rookie Matt Nieto scored his second goal of the season when he got the puck in the neutral zone and sped down the ice skating to the left and then blasting a slap shot that beat Ellis to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead. Joe Pavelski and Tommy Wingels assisted on the play.

In the second period Dallas tied the game at two when defenseman Trevor Daley scored his first goal of the year. The game stayed tied until Patrick Marleau put the puck past Goalie Dan Ellis on a wraparound shot that bounced off Daley’s skate. The Stars tied the game at three just 27 seconds later

when Cody Eakin put the puck past Niemi on a rebound. 3-3 after two periods.

There was no scoring in the third period and the game went to overtime. Neither team scored in the five minute overtime period. The game was decided by Alex Chiasson’s goal in the the third round.

Final score 4-3 in favor of Dallas.

Notes- The Sharks outshot the Stars 35-21. Antti Niemi made 28 saves while Dan Ellis stopped the Sharks 32 times.

After the game, Sharks’s coach Todd McLellan said “ It’s not about the streak. It’s about living for today. We’re disappointed we didn’t get the two points. We probably didn’t play well enough. We

weren’t as crisp and as fast as we have been earlier and sometimes a good team can do that to you.”

In other news, defenseman Brad Stuart returned to play after a three game suspension. The Sharks also announced that defenseman Dan Boyle who was injured Tuesday night in St.Louis retuned to San Jose to continue hos medical care and undergo further evaluation.

The Sharks return home to play the Calgary Flames Saturday night at 7pm at the SAP Center.

Larry Levitt on Sharks and Bulls hockey


by Larry Levitt

SAN JOSE–The Sharks who brought a winning streak into Dallas on Thursday night lost a tough one in overtime during a shootout 4-3. The Sharks didn’t play their brand of hockey. They got a little sloppy and they really didn’t recover in this one. In the past when you saw them making a mistake they would clean it up between periods and they would come out fresh.

However on Thursday in Dallas they weren’t really clean and the puck wasn’t bouncing their way they had a lot of bad bounces. They also lost their captain Dan Boyle on a brutal head injury on Tuesday night in St. Louis and it’s not so much the hit that happened it’s the visual of seeing him laying there knocked out like a prize fighter on the ice.

Boyle had his jaw popped and it knocked him out which is kind of scary and we’ve learned that Boyle is doing well, he left St. Louis on Wednesday and flew back to the Bay Area and was looked at by doctors on Thursday in San Jose. Boyle’s prognosis is going to be alright but to see the injury face to face that has a weight on you and that’s the lasting impression the team had as he was carted off the ice on Tuesday night.

The hit on Boyle wasn’t a dirty hit but it was a bad penalty and it was a boarding call and it wasn’t an intentional dirty hit. The fact that the actual boards where a piece of the glass it bounced and he got pushed into the dashboards which was a penalty. It wasn’t a bad illegal hit but it just hit him the right way where his jaw hit the dashboard where it sticks out.

Blues forward Maxim Lapierre didn’t even know that Boyle was laying there and he was knocked out and as you see the replay he was skating off watching the puck and finishing the check, yeah it was illegal check there’s no if, ands and buts about it and Lapierre has to take responsibility for what he did but it could have been much, much worse.

Bulls talk about home opener on Nov 8th: The San Francisco Bulls the minor league affiliate of the Sharks start their regular season home schedule on November 8th at the Cow Palace after an eight game road trip starting tonight (Friday) and it’s should be an exciting second season. The Bulls actually start on the road because of the Grand National Rodeo at the Cow Palace.

The Bulls open their season against the Alaska Aces for the first of two game series. It’s interesting because it’s a 7PM game time but because it’s in Alaska it’s really 8PM there because of the time difference. The Park 77 in San Francisco is hosting a viewing party for Bulls fans and their going to be doing that all weekend.

A lot of the Bulls players stay in that location and it will be an interesting season and their coming up for their second year and head coach Pat Curcio is in his second year with the Bulls. There are eight players returning from last year so he’s got some people who know Curcio’s system and his terminology already it’s not going to be just two guys starting a new thing.

Hockey is a great sport and the more you play together the easier it is to play as a team. The Aces knocked the Bulls out of the playoffs to end their season last year and opening up in Alaska this year it’s going to be interesting at first and like I said it’s a new team and there are some returning players but Alaska has got a new team too.

The benefit for the Bulls on this road trip they go in October before the snow hits Alaska and it will allow the Bulls to get accumulated to the weather easier and get comfortable with what’s going on and starting a road trip can be a plus and it could be a good bonding thing for the guys. It’s not like their going to have a lot of time on their hands to go sightseeing and do other things their going to have their minds strictly on hockey.

Larry Levitt does weekly commentary on San Jose Sharks and San Francisco Bulls each week

Sharks win but Lose Dan Boyle to Injury

by Jerry Feitelberg

San Jose Sharks watch as teammate Dan Boyle is placed onto a stretcher during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013, in St. Louis. Boyle suffered a head injury. The Sharks won 6-2. (AP Photo/Bill Boyce)

Sharks win but lose Boyle to Injury

The San Jose Sharks met the St.Louis Blues for the first time this season and came away with

a 6-2 win to remain unbeaten so far this year. The Sharks are now 6-0 while the Blues lost for the first time this year and drop to 4-1.

The Sharks’ played a very emotional game as their All-Star defenseman Dan Boyle was mugged by

the Blues Maxim Lapierre. LaPierre could see Boyle’s name and number but did not let up and

he slammed into Boyle ramming Boyle’s jaw into the top of the boards. Boyle went down and did not move. Boyle was placed on stretcher and taken to a St. Louis hospital. There were 79 minutes of penalties called in the first period. LaPierre was given two five minute majors and a game misconduct.

The league will probably have a lot to say about the hit and they will possibly suspend LaPierre for

the vicious hit on Boyle. Ryan Reaves of the Blues and Matt Pelech of the Sharks also received

game misconduct penalties and were ejected from the game.

The Sharks scored two power play goals in the first period to take a 2-0 lead. Logan Couture and

Joe Pavelski scored the power play goals and Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton assisted on each goal.

The Sharks made it a 4-0 game in the second period. Tommy Wingels scored a wraparound goal with 8:34 played. Matt Nieto and Joe Pavelski picked up assists. With just 2:47 left in the period, Scott Hannan put the puck through the “five” hole with help from Joe Thornton and Brett Burns.

The Sharks scored two more goals in the third period. The Blues replaced goalie Jaroslav Halak with

backup Brian Elliott. Thornton scored the fifth goal of the night with an assist from Tomas Hertl.

St.Louis came back with two goals to make it a 5-2 game but Patrick Marleau beat Elliot for the Shark’s sixth and final goal of the night. Final score 6-2 Sharks.

Game notes- After the game, Joe Thornton had this to say about Dan Boyle. “He wasn’t saying anything and he wasn’t responding.” He also said “it was very scary.”

Logan Couture responded by saying “ it’s just disgusting to see that type of play in hockey, when a player that probably shouldn’t even be in this league is taking out one of the best players in the world.”

Sharks Coach Todd McLellan said”well, he left and went to the hospital and from what I understand he is doing OK.”

In other notes, Antti Niemi stopped 25 shots while allowing two goals. Blues’ goalie

Jaroslav Halak stopped 22 shots while giving up four goals and was replaced by Brian Elliott who was beaten twice by the sharks. Tomas Hertl leads all NHL rookies in scoring with nine points(7 goals and two assists.) The Sharks lead the league in goals scored(30) and in goal differential (plus 9)

Joe Thornton scored a goal and had three assists and Patrick Marleau also notched a goal and he had two

assists for the Sharks.

The NHL announced that Tomas Hertl was named as one of the NHL three stars for the week.

Sidney Crosby of the Penguins and Avalanche Goalies Varlamov and Giguere were also named.

The Sharks recalled forward Bracken Kearns from Worcester and place Adam Burish on injured reserve.

The Sharks play The Dallas Stars Thursday night in Dallas.

Jerry Feitelberg