Sharks Lose to Jets 4-1; Third loss in four games

Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Schmidt (88) scores the go ahead goal in the second period as Josh Morrissey (44) celebrates with Schmidt against the San Jose Sharks in Winnipeg on Thu Nov 11, 2021 (Canadian Press photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 4-1 to the Jets at Winnipeg Thursday. Kyle Connor, Nate Schmidt, Jansen Harkins and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored for the Jets. Connor Hellebuyck made 26 saves for the win. Andrew Cogliano scored for the Sharks and James Reimer made 30 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks Assistant Coach John MacLean was not willing to attribute the loss to fatigue: “I don’t know if [we] ran out of gas… I thought we had a couple of opportunities, we just weren’t able to bury it. And, you know, it was a close game there for a bit.” He also mentioned the lopsided penalty calls: “They get some power plays, we never really got any special… we never got any power plays. It was just one of those things, guys tried and it just didn’t come our way.”

The roster and the bench will likely look different for the next game, as players and staff will be returning from the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. McLean assessed the performance of the team in the absence of those players:

“After a loss you’re not really pleased, I mean you wish, there’s a couple of opportunities there missed as well in that. So, I will say that I’m pleased with the total effort that these guys showed throughout this, you know, the guys who got called up and the guys who were here. I mean I think overall they all buckled down and gave us an opportunity each night to win.”

The Sharks scored the first goal of the game, at 6:28 of the first period. Brent Burns picked up the puck near the boards and carried it across into the slot, then made a quick pass to Andrew Cogliano who was on the far side of the net. Cogliano lifted it into the short side for his second of the season.

Kyle Connor tied the game at 11:38. As the Jets entered the zone, Evgeny Svechnikov passed the puck from the right wide to Dubois in the middle of the ice. Dubois tok a shot that went off of Reimer’s pads for a short rebound. Connor was right there to shoot it back in behind Reimer.

The Sharks penalty kill gave up one shot on a single penalty for the period. The teams were dead even at ten shots each. It was the Sharks’ best face-off period, at 69%.

The second period started with an early fight, between the Sharks’ Jonah Gadjovich and the Jets’ Adam Lowry. The Sharks took a delay of game penalty at 7:24, and then matching roughing penalties at 10:02 went to Dominic Toninato and Ryan Merkley. Again, the Sharks penalty kill gave up just one shot.

The Jets took the lead at 14:11, with a shot from the blue line by Nate Schmidt. Assists went to Josh Morrissey and Blake Wheeler.

Jansen Harkins made it 3-1 at 19:16 of the second. Harkins and Adam Lowry got behind the Sharks for a two-on-one. From low in the slot, Lowry made a pass to Harkins for a deflection.

The Jets out-shot the Sharks 13-8 in the second, but the Sharks continued to dominate in the face-off circle at 60%. The third period saw the Sharks slip in that area, winning only 44% of the draws. The Sharks penalty kill allowed two shots during the single third-period Jets power play.

Pierre-Luc Dubois scored his eighth of the season into an empty net at 19:27 of the third. Assists went to Andrew Copp and Nikolaj Ehlers.

The Sharks’ next game will be in Colorado against the Avalanche, on Saturday at 6:00 PM PT.

COVID-19 Protocols Purge Roster, Sharks Beat Jets Anyway 2-1

San Jose Sharks left wing Alexander Barabanov (94) and Winnipeg Jets left wing Nikolaj Ehlers (27) make contact while chasing the puck in the third period at the SAP Center in San Jose on Sat Oct 30, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE– The San Jose Sharks defeated the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 in overtime Saturday. Tomas Hertl and Timo Meier scored for the Sharks and James Reimer made 34 saves for the win. Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck made 34 saves in the loss. That could be the result of a Sharks game on most nights, but Saturday was distinctly different from regular regular season Sharks games.

Late Saturday afternoon, the Sharks roster looked a lot like a preseason game. A slew of players, eight in total, were pulled from the lineup at the last minute and seven were replaced by call-ups from the AHL Barracuda. Andrew Cogliano, Jonathan Dahlen, Erik Karlsson, Jacob Middleton, Matt Nieto, Radim Simek, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and Head Coach Bob Boughner were all held out of the game due to NHL COVID-19 protocol. Logan Couture was alsoout due to illness but not in COVID-19 protocol.

Seven players had just hours notice that they would be playing Saturday. Defenseman Santeri Hatakka made his NHL debut, with Ryan Merkley, Nicolas Meloche, and Jaycob Megna making their season debut on the blueline. The forwards making their season debuts were RW Nick Merkley, LW Jonah Gadjovich and LW John Leonard. Mike Ricci stepped in behind the bench to fill out the coaching roster.

Sharks defenseman Brent Burns said that a crazy day like Saturday can be good for a player who is making a debut with an NHL team: “Sometimes that’s the best thing. So those guys got to play their first game with not a lot of time to think about it and they get a good result in it and I think that can just really help all those guys.”

After the game, Sharks assistant coach John Maclean talked about the team’s response to these strange circumstances:

“They had great energy and they all knew that they had to play. Everybody got ice. It was like, the bench was lively, they were pretty much coaching themselves. They were excited to get out there and play. So that’s always fun to see.”

The first period shot count was very close, 14-13 San Jose. The Sharks power play got two shots on net. In the face-off circle the Sharks struggled. Nick Bonino won 60% of his draws and Jasper Weatherby won 50%, but Tomas Hertl was around 20%. As a result, the Sharks won just 25% of their draws in the first.

The Sharks scored the first goal of the game, 54 seconds into the second period. Barabanov carried the puck down the wall to the goal line, where he spun and threw it at the net. The puck went off of Timo Meier’s stick and across the goal mouth to Tomas Hertl, who was able to put it away. Meier and Barabanov got the assists.

The Sharks out-shot the Jets 13-7 in the second period. The Sharks improved in the face-off circle to 54%, but Hertl still seemed outmatched, especially against Pierre-Luc DuBois, who he drew against 7 times in the first two periods, and won only once.

Sharks Defenseman Santeri Hatakka did something about that at 3:43 of the third period, drawing a high-stick from DuBois. DuBois earned a double-minor and Hatakka went to the box for cross-checking. Still, the Sharks did not get credit for a single shot during that power play, and their face-off numbers did not improve.

The Jets tied the game at 16:48 of the third. DuBois drew the Sharks defense to himself as he drove the net. His shot bounced into the slot, where Nikolaj Ehlers picked it up for another try. Reimer stopped that too but Kyle Connor found the puck and put it in the net before Reimer could get across. Assists went to Ehlers and DuBois.

By the end of regulation, the only Shark with a better than even win percentage was Jasper Weatherby, who only took nine draws. He won six (67%) of those. Bonino had dropped from a high of 60% to 41% and Hertl went from 20% to 21%. All around, it was not a good night for the Sharks in the face-off circle. In shots, the Jets out-shot the Sharks 15-6 in the third.

Thirty seconds into overtime, Nikolaj Ehlers was called for interference on Brent Burns and Timo Meier scored the game winner 1:07. Burns sent the puck to Labanc near a face-off dot. Labanc skated with it to the top of the slot and then made a subtle touch-pass to Meier for the winning shot.

The Sharks next play on Tuesday, in San Jose against the St. Louis Blues at 7:30 PM PT.

Jets Sink Sharks 3-2

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks fell to the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 on Friday at the SAP Center in San Jose. Jets goals came from Gabriel Bourque, Blake Wheeler and Nikolaj Ehlers, with goaltender Connor Hellebuyck making a heroic 51 saves in the win. Sharks goals came from Barclay Goodrow and Tomas Hertl with Martin Jones making 16 saves in the loss.

“It’s probably up there with our best game of the season. Disappointing to lose,” said Sharks captain Logan Couture, after a game in which the Sharks grossly outshot the Jets, 53-19.

The game might have gone to overtime with the teams tied 3-3 but for a disallowed goal in the second period.

“At the same time, we had a lot of other opportunities to put the puck in the net and we didn’t,” said Sharks forward Evander Kane, who had 7 shots on goal in the game and scored the disallowed goal.

Winnipeg struck first with a goal at 13:34 of the first period. Kyle Connor took advantage of a bouncing puck that eluded Brent Burns in the Sharks’ zone. He got control of it along the boards and then found Gabriel Bourque coming into the zone. Bourque skated up the middle and beat Jones on the glove side. Connor got the assist.

The Sharks too the first penalty of the game, an interference minor to Logan Couture at 19:06. The Sharks successfully killed the penalty for the rest of the first and the beginning of the second period. The Jets got three shots on goal during the power play.

They followed that up with a goal at 3:18 of the second. A pass from Marc-Edouard Vlasic found Jonny Brodzinsky in the neutral zone. He made a pass at the Jets’ blue line, finding Barclay Goodrow in the slot. Goodrow skated to the net and shot the puck by Hellebuyck on the short side. Assists went to Brodzinsky and Vlasic.

The Sharks’ first power play came just over a minute later. They got credit for two shots on goal

Evander Kane put the puck in the net at 7:22 of the second. He started by carrying the puck into the zone and around behind the net. He gave it to a defender, who sent it back around and to the point. the puck came back to Kane behind the net and he got it out in front for Labanc and Hertl to shoot, but Labanc was taken down in the crease and the puck came back to Kane as he emerged form behind the net. He quickly lifted it over the now-prone Hellebuyck and into the net.

The Jets challenged for goaltender interference and the goal was overturned.

Moments later, Blake Wheeler scored off a pass from Mark Scheifele at 7:53. Scheifele and Kyle Connor got the assists.

The Jets had a second power play at 9:41, in which they got one shot on goal.

The Sharks had a second power play starting at 17:11 when Mathieu Perrault was called for tripping Erik Karlsson. The Sharks tallied eight shots on goal and still could not score.

During the second period, the Sharks outshot the Jets 28-9.

The Sharks did finally tie it with a deflection from Tomas Hertl 49 seconds into the third period. Kane took the initial shot with a second assist going to Kevin Labanc.

With three minutes left in the third, the Jets only had 3 shots to the Sharks’ 12. The shot count for the game was 51-18 Sharks.

Nevertheless, the Jets scored next, taking a 3-2 lead at 18:36. Nikolaj Ehlers . Assists went to Jack Roslovic and Bryan Little.

The Sharks pulled their goaltender right after that, but couldn’t get by Hellebuyck again.

The Sharks next play on Saturday at 7:00 PM PT against the Vancouver Canucks in San Jose.

Jonny Brodzinsky was in the lineup for the first time since October 8, with Dylan Gambrell and Lukas Radil out as healthy scratches.