Avs, Grubauer Shutout Sharks to Split Series with 4-0 Win

Photo credit: nhl.com/avalanche

By Matthew Harrington

The search for consistency continues for the San Jose Sharks after they failed to build on a 6-2 victory over the Avalanche Monday, falling to the same Colorado side 4-0 Wednesday evening at home. Philipp Grubauer made 26 saves for his 3rd shutout of the season and Mikko Rantanen scored twice and picked up for points, Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and three assists and Samuel Girard scored for the Avs (12-7-1). Nathan MacKinnon didn’t return after taking a hit from Sharks rookie Joachim Blichfeld late in the third that earned the winger an ejection. For the Sharks (8-10-2), another chance to win back-to-back games slipped away.

“It’s disappointing right now any time you lose,” said Sharks goalie Martin Jones when asked about his thoughts on standing toe-to-toe with one of the league’s best for five periods of the two-game series. “We could play with those guys, we could play with anybody when we play a certain way. It’s just wrapping our heads around playing a certain way. Guys just have to do it.”

One could argue that this was the first game the Sharks dearly missed the impact of Tomas Hertl, one of the team’s top centers on the shelf after a positive COVID-19 test last Wednesday. Sure, he could have made a difference in Saturday’s gong show against St. Louis, but the team managed six goals without him. In Monday’s contest, the faceoff stats weren’t great for the team, but overall it was the Sharks’ best performance of the year. But on Wednesday the Sharks were still in the game, trailing 2-0 before the five-minute power play from Blichfeld’s penalty. Hertl’s ability to control play in the offensive end could have helped the Sharks break through, but his impact in the faceoff dot is what really hurts.

Trailing 1-0 already on a faceoff draw, Landeskog batted the puck toward Brent Burns on the halfwall, a faceoff loss for Logan Couture and the Sharks (They won 39.6 % of draws). Burns tried to knock the puck up to Kevin Labanc, but instead Rantanen picked it up and fed Girard at the point. Girard’s point blast beat Jones, hit iron and went in for a 2-0 Avs lead 5:29 into the third. For Girard, half of his four goals this year have come in the last two games against San Jose.

“We’ve played some pretty good faceoff teams,” said Jones. “(Hertl’s) obviously an important centerman for us. It’s tough to get the puck. Anytime you can start with the puck it, that’s going to make life a little easier.”

The Sharks still were a couple strong shifts away from working their way back into the game when Blichfeld, making his NHL season debut after a strong AHL start, hit MacKinnon with the shoulder in the chest and head area as he neared the Sharks bench 8:08 into the third period. He was assessed a match penalty for intent to injure and MacKinnon left the game, but the Avs went on a five-minute power play.

The penalty kill did well, limiting Colorado to just one goal on a Landeskog rebound putback just 15 seconds into the power play, but the Avs outshot the Sharks 18-10 in the final frame after leading in SOGs 20-16 after two. Rantanen buried the dagger wrap-around goal with 5:26 left in regulation.

Rantanen scored the first goal of the game late in the second, but otherwise Martin Jones was sharp in net through two, making 19 saves against a potent Avalanche lineup.

“We did enough to keep the game close,” said Sharks coach Bob Boughner. “Win a period, win the game kind of attitude. We couldn’t get it done in the third period.”

Next up, the Sharks will welcome the Vegas Golden Knights in a back-to-back homeset starting Friday night at SAP Center.

Notes: Nikolai Knyzhov was paired with Erik Karlsson on defense…Joachim Blichfeld was making his season debut with the Sharks after picking up nine points in six games with the AHL Barracuda….The Sharks had to Danes in the lineup with Blichfeld and center Alexander True both on the fourth line…The Sharks haven’t had a faceoff percentage higher than 45% in the three games Hertl has missed and haven’t won the faceoff battle since a February 11th loss to the Los Angeles Kings.

San Jose Sharks podcast with Len Shapiro: Sharks go after series win against Avalanche tonight

The San Jose Sharks Erik Karlsson (foreground) skates past the Sharks bench for a victory lap after scoring a third period goal on Mon Mar 1, 2021 against the Colorado Avalanche during game 1 of their two game series at SAP Center in San Jose (AP News photo)

On the Sharks podcast with Len:

#1 Len for the San Jose Sharks a big win turning it around from Saturday’s loss to the St Louis Blues 7-6 and getting a four goal win on Monday night 6-2 against the Colorado Avalanche.

#2 It was a game for the Sharks against the Avs that they got help from defencemen Radim Simek and Erik Karlsson.

#3 How important is it for Karlsson to get that first goal of the season under his belt?

#4 The lines were dominate on Monday night and it was said that it was the Sharks best game of the year coming back down 2-0 to score six unanswered goals.

#5 The Sharks and Avalanche face off again at SAP Center tonight at 7:30pm given that the Avs lost in a Sharks come backer fashion there is little doubt Colorado will come out firing on all cylinders?

Join Len for the Sharks podcasts each Wednesday mornings at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Jose Sharks podcast with Len Shapiro Wed Mar 3, 2021 by Sports Radio Service | Free Listening on SoundCloud

San Jose Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa Walsh: Sharks prepare for Avalanche in game 2 of series Wednesday night

The San Jose Sharks Rudolf Balcers (92) skates ahead of Brent Burns (88) during Sun Feb 27, 2021 pre game skate at SAP Center. The Sharks host the Colorado Avalanche for game two of the series Wed Mar 3, 2021 in San Jose (photo from @SanJoseSharks)

On the San Jose Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa:

#1 Mary Lisa the four goal 6-2 win for the San Jose Sharks (8-9-2) against the Colorado Avalanche (11-7-1) on Monday night was certainly a well needed win after the Sharks took a tough loss on last Saturday night in a shoot out against the St Louis Blues 7-6.

#2 The Sharks over these last two games have scored 12 goals and win or lose they’re scoring and offensive production has been off the charts.

#3 Even the Sharks defencemen have taken advantage of finding the back of the net Radim Simek and Erik Karlsson both scored a goal a piece.

#4 Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner coached probably one of his best games this season as the Sharks were down in the second period 2-0 who knew that they would answer back with six consecutive goals for the win.

#5 The Avalanche have won four of their last eight games previous to that they have had five consecutive games postponed. The Sharks have now won three of their last seven games with two postponements intertwined in the schedule how do you see game two coming up with the Avalanche Wednesday night?

Join Mary Lisa for the Sharks podcasts each Tuesday morning at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Jose Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa Walsh Tue Mar 3, 2021 by Sports Radio Service | Free Listening on SoundCloud

NHL Hockey in Lake Tahoe Series podcast with Matt Harrington: Tahoe Warmth melts and delays first game for midnight start

Workers put together the ice rink at Edgewood Lake Tahoe Resort on the 18th Fairway golf course on Fri Feb 19, 2021 in preparation of the weekend games featuring the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche on Saturday and the Boston Bruins vs. Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday (AP News photo)

On the NHL podcast with Matt:

#1 According to Vegas Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer the setting at Lake Tahoe for outdoor hockey was breathtaking. But who knew that the game was going to be delayed because the ice got slushing after the first period.

#2 How much does this put a dent on the trip for the Knights and the Colorado Avalanche as these two teams skated for a period and now will have to come back at 9pm local 12 midnight eastern tonight.

#3 Before today’s game between Vegas and the Colorado Avalanche DeBoer said the backdrop of the mountains and lakes were stunning but the temps really rised and who knew the ice couldn’t hold and the game would have to be moved to very late start.

#4  Lots of work went into constructing this NHL Tahoe series, the league built a rink on the 18th fairway gold course located at the Edgewood Tahoe Resort. At the 18th fairway it was surrounded by trees, snow covered mountain on the Sierra range like no other NHL experience before.

#5 Matt, does something like this put doubts in the minds of the NHL, the players and viewers at home that they would book another venue like Tahoe again?

Join Matt for the NHL podcasts each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

NHL Lake Tahoe Series podcast with Matt Harrington Sat Feb 20, 2021 by Sports Radio Service | Free Listening on SoundCloud

 

NHL podcast with Matt Harrington: NHL games continued to be postponed due to Covid; Ovechkin moves into 7th on all time goal scoring list

The Washington Capitals Alexander Ovechkin moved past Mike Gartner on the all time NHL goal scoring list to seventh place on Thursday (file photo from hotsr.com)

On the NHL podcast with Matt:

#1 Taking a look at some of the postponements in the NHL. The Minnesota Wild have shut down facilities and games due to Coronavirus concerns. Six players are on the NHL Covid-19 protocol list for the next four games and the Wild have their next four games postponed.

#2 Matt a total of 22 NHL games have now been postponed spanning 16 of the 24 NHL teams stateside. If the NHL wanted to get this season going without a hitch wouldn’t have been much safer with at least four bubble cities in Canada with no US travel to make this work or four bubbles in Arizona and Florida to make it work?

#3 The Arizona Coyotes and St Louis Blues will play their series at Enterprise Arena in St Louis on Sunday and Monday after a number of NHL games have been postponed. Arizona was supposed to have played the Wild on Saturday and Sunday and the Blues were suppose to play the Colorado Avalanche this weekend. The Avalanche postponed their games with the Blues because of Covid-19 protocols and the Aves have now postponed four games. The Aves and Wild’s games have been postponed through Feb 11th.

#4 Matt talk about the achievement of the Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin who scored on the New York Rangers on Thursday to move past Mike Gartner into seventh place on the all time goal scorers list.

#5 The San Jose Sharks were supposed to open their home season in Glendale but that was canceled when their opponents the Las Vegas Golden Knights had Covid-19 protocol issues. The Sharks have not played on game in San Jose yet but are scheduled to be there for their first home opener on Sat 13th.

Join Matt Harrington each Saturday night for the NHL podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

NHL Podcast with Matt Harrington Sat Feb 6, 2021 by Sports Radio Service | Free Listening on SoundCloud

Sharks Shut Out 3-0 by Avalanche

By Mary Walsh

The Sharks fell 3-0 to the Colorado Avalanche in Denver on Thursday. Goals came from Nazem Kadri (2) and Andre Burakovsky. Colorado goaltender Philipp Grubauer made 21 saves for the win. Sharks goaltender Devan Dubnyk made 35 saves in the loss. It was the first time the Sharks were shut out this season.

If there was a lost opportunity in the game, it was the Sharks’ three first period power plays. After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said:

“First of all, we’re losing draws on the power play, so we’re chasing pucks down the ice. Then, we get in, we get set up, we get a shot and, you know, no retrieval. They get it back down. So now you’ve gone up and down the ice twice and you don’t have any gas. We gotta win more draws on the power play. They sniffed out a couple of our entries, we made a change between the first and second but we never got to use it, we never had a power play after that.”

Of the Sharks’ defensive game, goaltender Devan Dubnyk said: “I thought the guys played great, honestly. I thought we made very, very good adjustments from last game. We got a little bit away from it in the third I think when they got the two. But if you look at the adjustments that we made in the first two periods it was huge, and that’s how we have to play that team to be successful.”

The first period was close in shots (7-6 Sharks) but less balanced in other respects. The Avalanche dominated in the face-off circle at 59%, and also in penalty minutes, taking three penalties to the Sharks’ one. Colorado had one shot in their power play, and the Sharks had two in three tries.

The second period saw the shot count tip to Colorado, 12-6. The Sharks took two penalties in the period and had no power plays. The Sharks improved in the face-off circle to 50%.

After five shots off the post, Colorado finally broke through in the third period. Nazem Kadri scored at 9:55. The Sharks had just finished two good offensive pushes and had just changed lines. Colorado converged in the slot and, with Joonas Donskoi down and five bodies in front of Dubnyk, Kadri found himself outside the scramble with a view of an open net corner. Assists went to Brandon Saad and Donskoi.

Moments later, Logan Couture and Brent Burns collided in front of their net, both in pursuit of the same Colorado player. Couture’s skate made contact with Burns’ ankle and he seemed to be in distress on the bench. A few minutes later Burns could still be seen trying to walk it off. He missed a shift or so before getting back on the ice.

Colorado scored again at 11:53 on a three-on-two. Drawing the Sharks to the right, Kadri made a pass across the center to Andre Burakovsky who had just arrived at the net, ready for a deflection. Assists went to Kadri and Saad.

The Sharks had a power play in the final four minutes but couldn’t score, though they pulled Dubnyk for an extra skater and did manage two shots. Then they found themselves killing a penalty with just 1:14 to go after Noah Gregor was called for tripping Gabriel Landeskog. With six seconds left in the period, Nazem Kadri tipped Cale Makar’s shot from the blue line. Assists went to Makar and Nathan MacKinnon.

Colorado’s Pierre-Edouard Bellemare left the game in the first period, with a lower body injury. He was injured after Ryan Donato lost an edge and collided with him.

The Sharks are scheduled to play on Monday. They will be in their temporary home arena in Arizona, playing the Vegas Golden Knights at 6:00 PM PT. There is some doubt about that schedule as the Golden Knights may not play due to COVID-19 exposure.

Avalanche Bury Sharks in 7-3 Win

The Colorado Avalanche’s center Nathan MacKinnon (29) gets past the San Jose Sharks Mario Ferraro (38) to put the puck on net and Sharks goaltender Martin Jones (1) in the first period of Tue Jan 26, 2021 game at the Ball Center in Denver (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks fell 7-3 to the high-powered Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday. The Avalanche goals were scored by Valeri Nichushkin, Brandon Saad (2), Joonas Donskoi, Mikko Rantanen, Devon Toews and Samuel Girard. Their goaltender, Philipp Grubauer, made 27 saves for the win. Sharks goals came from Noah Gregor, Ryan Donato and Logan Couture. Martin Jones made 14 saves on 19 shots before being replaced by Devan Dubnyk, who made 21 saves for San Jose.

Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner described the moment he thought the game really started to unravel for his team:

“The most disappointing thing for me was, you know, okay it’s three-one after the first period, we had a good eight, nine minutes and we’re still in the hockey game and then we start on the power play. We turn one over, they go down and get a breakaway. Our next unit comes on, turns one over, it’s in the back of our net, it’s four one. Obviously, that’s when the game opens up a bit and we paid the price for it. You can’t open up against these guys and you can’t mis-manage pucks and that’s exactly what we did.”

Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson said:

“They played a good game today and we did not. I think we started okay but we still defended a lot, even though we got the first goal. I don’t think that was anything we really created. We got a good puck bounce. I think that once they started rolling, we became a little passive and we gave them a little too much room and, you know, we started doubting ourselves a bit. And that’s probably why the game ran away from us against a good team like this.”

The Sharks scored first, a double-tap from Ryan Donato at 10:39. He brought the puck up from the goal line and tried to shoot it through two defenders but it hit a couple of legs. He found it as it bounced and nudged it in for his third of the season. Assists went to Kevin Labanc and Logan Couture.

Colorado tied it up at 16:15. Valeri Nichushkin carried the puck down around behind the net and then sent it back to the blue line for a shot by Erik Johnson. Joonas Donskoi skated across in front of Martin Jones just as the shot came in and the puck hit him on the way in. Assists went to Johnson and Nichushkin.

The Avalanche took the lead less that a minute later. Cale Makar put the puck into traffic in front of Martin Jones and Brandon Saad knocked it in. Assists went to Makar and Andre Burakovsky.

Piling it on, Colorado scored a power play goal in the final minute of play. Nikolai Knyzhov was in the box for hooking against Tyson Jost. The Sharks penalty kill held off the Colorado power play for almost a minute before Mikko Rantanen scored with a hard shot from above the face-off circle. Assists went to Nathan MacKinnon and Makar.

At the end of the first, Colorado led in shots 16-9 and the Sharks had a slight lead in face-off wins of 52%.

The Avalanche kept rolling. The Sharks had an early power play in the second period, but half way through it, Valeri Nichushkin snatched the puck in the neutral zone and took it the other way for a short-handed goal.

Samuel Girard scored a few minutes later with a shot through what looked like all available skaters on the ice. Assists went to Tyson Jost and Kiefer Sherwood.

Devan Dubnyk came in to relieve Martin Jones in the Sharks net. After the game, Bob Boughner said: “I think both goalies were left out to dry multiple times tonight. It’s tough to make a goalie evaluation, I think that, you know, some of the plays that they made through the seam, and we actually made some saves on it, they scored on I think it was the second or third one. But you can’t allow seam plays.”

The Sharks’ third line showed some jump and scored one at 7:44. Some quick passes got the puck to the net just as Noah Gregor got there to tuck it in with a backhand. Assists went to Dylan Gambrell and Timo Meier.

Near the 13:00 mark, Devan Dubnyk got tangled up with J.T. Compher. He took some time to recover but did not leave the game.

The Avalanche resumed scoring at 13:30 when Devon Toews scored Colorado’s sixth of the night. Towes took a shot from the blue line that did not go in. Toews took another shot, this time into an empty net while Dubnyk was tangled up with another Colorado forward. Assists went to Gabriel Landeskog and Cale Makar.

Brandon Saad scored his second of the night at 15:01. Johnson, Kadri and Saad entered the zone and got around everyone but Vlasic and in a brief two-on-one, scored the team’s seventh.

The Sharks were outshot in the second 13-6.

Logan Couture got one back for San Jose at 12:43 of the third period. Kevin Labanc made a cross-ice pass to Donato as they entered the zone with Couture between them. Donato moved it back to the middle as they closed on the net and Couture tipped it in. Assists went to Donato and Labanc.

The only stat that favored the Sharks Tuesday was their face-off win percentage, finishing with 53%.

The Sharks next play on Thursday at 6:00 PM PT, against the Avalanche in Colorado again.

San Jose Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa Walsh: San Jose faces Aves for two in Colorado starts tonite

Gabriel Landeskog (92) scores for the Colorado Avalanche in overtime against Anaheim for the game winner over the Ducks. The Avalanche will host the San Jose Sharks tonight at Ball Arena in Denver (AP News photo0

On the Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa Walsh:

#1 The San Jose Sharks defenceman Brent Burns got a key goal in the third period that broke a 3-3 tie against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday. The Sharks Matt Nieto also added an empty netter to an eventual 5-3 win in Minnesota.

#2 The Sharks also got scoring contribution during the back and forth game from Ryan Danato, Evander Kane, and Noah Gregor. It was an all team effort to get the win on Sunday.

#3 The Wild’s Kevin Fiala tied the game up in the third period four seconds into a power play at 7:20. The Wild who were down 3-1 saw Zach Parise and Nick Bjugstad add a goal each as the Wild came back to tie the game.

#4 Brent Burns made some NHL history scoring his 40th game winning goal making him the eighth defenceman in NHL history to do it.

#5 Coming up the Sharks play tonight in Colorado against the Avalanche and again on Thursday night both games are 6pm face offs.

Join Mary Lisa for the Sharks podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

NHL podcast with Matt Harrington: Saturday night’s action saw some great offense for opening weekend

The Philadelphia Flyers Travis Konecny (11) scores his third goal for a hat trick behind Pittsburgh Penguins Marcus Pettersson (28) and goalie Casey DeSmith (1) on Fri Jan 15, 2021 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia  (AP News photo)

On the NHL podcast with Matt Harrington:

#1 The Philadelphia Flyers got a three goal win over the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2. The Flyers got scoring help from Travis Konecny who scored twice in the first period and got the hat trick in the third period at 17:53.

#2  Good back and forth hockey from the Washington Capitals and the Buffalo Sabers in a 2-1 win for the Caps. Washington got goal scoring help from Jakub Vrana his second of the year at 1:34 in the second period. The second Caps goal came from Tom Wilson who scored his first goal of the season at 7:47 in third period.

#3 The Tampa Bay Lighting got a three goal win over the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2. Tampa Bay got goals from five different Bolts, Ondrej Palot, Alex Killorn and Blake Coleman scored in the second period. In the third period Yanni Gourde and Steven Stamkos each had a goal.

#4 The Toronto Maple Leafs were no match for the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night for Hockey Night in Canada. The Sens got goal scoring help in their 5-3 win from Thomas Chabot, Brody Tkachuk, Austin Watson, and Derek Stepan. Leafs goalie Frederik Anderson stopped 19 shots and allowed five goals.

#5 Talk about the NHL Champs St Louis Blues who got blown out by the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night 8-0. Talk about St Louis goaltender Ville Husso who saw a lot shots in net last night.

Matt takes a look at Friday NHL action each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

NHL Shutdown podcast with Joe Lami: If it’s over it was a great year for Ovechkin, Draisatl, and McDavid

photo from anchoragedailynews.com : The Capital Center in Washington DC sits empty on Thu Mar 12th the day that the NHL announced suspending all games due to the Coronavirus outbreak

NHL podcast with Joe Lami:

#1 How shocked were you to learn of the suspension of the NHL season?

#2 Some key players of note who were having such a great year Alexander Ovechkin, Leon Draisatl, and Connor McDavid

#3 NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says that he hopes to resume the season after the Coronavirus epidemic is over

#4 There were so many exciting things happening in the NHL before the season was suspended the St Louis Blues and the Colorado Avalanche were sitting at the top of the Western Conference standings

Joe Lami does the NHL podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com