Sharks Offseason: Kane Accused, Jones Bought Out, Reimer Returns

Evander Kane (7) seen here skating against the Arizona Coyotes on March 26, 2021 has said his wife’s accusations that he bet on hockey are false. The NHL taking the charges serious are investigating to see if there is any proof that Kane did bet on hockey. (AP file photo)

By Mary Walsh

San Jose Sharks forward, Evander Kane, has been accused by his wife of betting on hockey games, including those he played in. She made the accusations by way of her Instagram account. Last Saturday, the NHL released a statement saying that they would investigate the charges. They said, in part: “The integrity of our game is paramount and the League takes these allegations very seriously. We intend to conduct a full investigation and will have no further comment at this time.”

The Sharks also responded to the charges, saying that they were in contact with the NHL about the allegations, and that they “support a full and transparent investigation into the situation to maintain the integrity of the game and consistency with our team values.”

Kane released his own statement denying the charges:

“Unfortunately, I would like to address the completely FALSE accusations that my estranged wife and soon to be ex wife has made against me. Even against the advice of my legal team I feel strongly that the public and fans hear this directly from me. I have NEVER gambled/bet on Hockey, NEVER gambled/bet on a Sharks game, NEVER GAMBLED/BET on any of my games and NEVER thrown a hockey game. The facts are I personally had my best season of my career last year and was the most consistent I’ve been throughout any season, I’m proud of that. I love the game of Hockey and would never do any of what was alleged. I look forward to cooperating with the league’s investigation, having my name cleared and looking forward to this upcoming season.”

Earlier in 2021, Kane publicly acknowledged that he had a serious gambling problem, and he filed for bankruptcy. The filing triggered a number of law suits from creditors. Despite those numerous investigations into his financial situation, this is the first time we have heard anyone seriously charge that he was betting on his own games.

In other offseason news from the Sharks, the team bought out goaltender Martin Jones’s contract. Jones quickly signed a one year dealwith the Philadelphia Flyers.

On July 28, the Sharks signed veteran goaltender James Reimer to a two-year contract. Reimer played 22 games with the Carolina Hurricanes last season, posting a 2.66 GAA and .906 save percentage. Reimer was with the Sharks in 2016 for their trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Earlier in the month, San Jose acquired goaltender Adin Hill from Arizona, along with a 2022 seventh-round pick, in exchange for Josef Korenar and a 2022 second-round pick.

The Sharks also added center Nick Bonino on a two-year contract and center Andrew Cogliano on a one-year deal.

On July 26, the Sharks traded defenseman Christian Jaros to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for forward Nicholas Merkley. Merkley signed a one-year, two way contract on July 28.

Forward Alexander True was the Shark selected by the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft.

Sharks Fall 4-3 to Avalanche, Kane scores 500th Point

The San Jose get swept in the two game set with the Colorado Avalanche losing on Thursday 3-0 and on Sat May 1, 2021, 4-3 in Denver (@Avalanche photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost their final road game of the season to the Colorado Avalanche by a score of 4-3. Nathan MacKinnon, Andre Burakovsky, Patrik Nemeth and Mikko Rantanen scored for Colorado. Devan Dubnyk made 22 saves for the win. Alexander Brabanov, Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl scored for San Jose. Josef Korenar made 39 saves in the loss. Evander Kane scored his 500th NHL point in the third period with an assist on Logan Couture’s short-handed goal.

Josef Korenar made 39 saves on 43 shots Saturday. After the game, Sharks captain Logan Couture talked about the goaltender:

“I thought he kept us in the game. He was probably our best player for the majority of the night. I thought it could have been a lot more than the four that they got. So, he battled for us. We made it a game at the end there but wish we’d helped him out a little bit more throughout the game.”

The first period ended scoreless, with Colorado leading in shots 15-10. There was just one penalty, taken by the Sharks. The Avalanche power play got one shot on goal.

The Sharks scored the first goal of the game, on a power play at 4:25 of the second period. It was their first power play goal in 28 power plays. Barabanov caught a rebound out in the face-off circle and shot it by Dubnyk on the blocker side. Assists went to Tomas Hertl and Erik Karlsson.

Nathan MacKinnon tied the game at 13:08 of the second. The teams were playing four-on-four with Brent Burns and Dan Renouf in the box for penalties taken less than 20 seconds apart. Conor Timmins made a pass across the ice to MacKinnon who was closing fast on the net without anyone in his way. Assists went to Timmins and Mikko Rantanen.

Andre Burakovsky gave the Avalanche the leads at 16:06. Burakovsky caught the puck out of an offensive zone face-off, skated toward the slot and took the shot through some traffic to score. An assist went to JT Compher.

The Sharks killed one penalty in the second period, but were out-shot 12-4 in the period. The Colorado power play had four shots in the second. The Sharks power play had the one shot.

Patrik Nemeth made it 3-1 for Colorado at 9:05 of the third period. His slap shot from the blue line zipped through traffic and into the net. Assists went to Cale Makar and Nathan MacKinnon.

Logan Couture cut the lead by one with a short-handed goal at 9:55. Evander Kane snatched up a fumbled puck at the blue line and skated away from Makar to get a shot on goal. Logan Couture followed in a hurry and put the rebound away.

The Avalanche challenged the goal for goaltender interference. Kane did make contact with Dubnyk without actually entering the blue paint. The NHL did not consider it enough to call back the goal.

Colorado took back their two-goal lead with 4:26 left in the period. Mikko Rantanen’s shot from the blue line went through a lot of traffic and in. Assists went to Devon Toews and Conor Timmins.

With the Sharks net empty, Brent Burns took a quick shot from the blue line at 17:47. The puck went off of Tomas Hertl for his 16th of the season. Assists went to Burns and Barabanov.

The Sharks made a good final push at the end but it was not enough. The Sharks finally won the shot battle for the period, 11-8. The Sharks had one power play and a bit in the third, which added two shots to their tally. Colorado had just one shot on their power play before Couture scored and the unsuccessful challenge ended the power play. The Sharks won just 41% of the face-offs in the game.

The Sharks next play on Monday, in San Jose. They will face the Avalanche again at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Lose 6-3 to Wild; Skid extends to 8 games

Minnesota Wild left wing Marcus Foligno (17) puts the puck past San Jose Sharks goaltender Martin Jones (31) in the first period at SAP Center in San Jose (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks celebrated Patrick Marleau’s new record in NHL games played Saturday. It was the team’s first game at home since Marleau played his 1768th NHL game, surpassing Gordie Howe’s record, in Las Vegas last Monday. Family members were able to attend the game for the occasion. The Sharks all wore Marleau Jerseys for warm-ups. A pantheon of Sharks and NHL players and alumni spoke in a video presentation before the game. The only thing missing was an arena full of fans.

The Minnesota Wild won the game 6-3. Ryan Suter, Marcus Foligno, Jared Spurgeon, Kevin Fiala, Kirill Kaprizov and Nick Bonino all scored for the Wild. Kaapo Kahkonen made 27 saves for the win. Logan Couture, Evander Kane and Joachim Blichfeld scored for San Jose. It was Blichfeld’s first NHL goal. Josef Korenar made 15 saves during the second two periods, while Martin Jones made five in the first period. The win clinched a spot in the playoffs for the Wild. The loss was San Jose’s eighth in a row.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said: “The start was a disaster, right from the first shift, the first goal.” Boughner pointed out that there were several “new guys” in the lineup and this may have accounted for missed coverage and other errors during the game. He went on to say: “It’s no secret, you know, look at their lineup, look at our lineup, and, you know, we’re missing a little depth there. And you know, it got us early, let’s be honest, you know, second and third goal, that’s where it got us.”

The Sharks did have some unfamiliar faces on the bench Saturday. Greg Pateryn joined the defense in the absence of injured Radim Simek. It was his first game in teal since coming over from the Colorado Avalanche. He was on the ice for one goal against and one goal for the Sharks. Joachim Blichfeld was in the lineup for his sixth NHL game. He was also on the ice for one goal against and one goal for, which he scored. Neither player seemed to have an out-sized impact on the game. There were plenty of errors to go around.

As Boughner mentioned, the game did not start well for San Jose. Just 19 seconds in, Ryan Suter scored his second goal of the year, on the first shot of the game. Suter skated in with the puck and took a shot from the face-off circle. It whizzed by Martin Jones’s shoulder. An assist went to Jordan Greenway.

Moments later, Timo Meier collided with Kirill Kaprizov, Meier went to the bench but returned to play without missing much time.

Marcus Foligno added another 12 minutes into the first. Joel Eriksson-Ek carried the puck in in a two-on-one with Foligno. Eriksson-Ek made a pass at the last moment for Foligno the take the shot.

Jared Spurgeon made it 3-0 at 17:43 of the first. Spurgeon got by the Sharks defense and took a shot into the far corner. Ryan Hartman and Mats Zuccarello got the assists.

That first period saw the Wild out-shoot the Sharks 8-4. There was just one penalty called, a too many men on the ice call against San Jose. The Sharks penalty kill gave up no shots.

Josef Korenar was in the Sharks net to start the second period.

The score did not change again until the final minute of the middle frame. Marcus Johansson took a shot from the boards and created a rebound. Kevin Fiala was at the net to knock the bouncing puck in. Assists went to Johansson and Jared Spurgeon.

There were no penalties in the second period, and the Sharks led in shots 13-7.

Logan Couture got the Sharks on the board 1:19 into the third period. Couture passed the puck to Timo Meier as the skated to the net. Just as his pass got away, Couture was knocked down. As he slid, face-first, to the net, Meier’s rebound landed in front of him. He swept it into the net. Assists went to Meier and Rudolfs Balcers.

Kirill Kaprizov scored a power play goal to make it 5-1 at 4:28. Fiala swept the puck off the boards to the slot, where Kaprizov was ready for the shot. Assists went to Fiala and Nick Bonino.

Evander Kane scored for the Sharks at 4:47, when Nikolai Knyzhov took a shot from the blue line. Tomas Hertl knocked it out of the air and Kane cleaned it up for his 18th of the season.

Joachim Blichfeld scored his first NHL goal at 6:06. He took the shot from below the face-off dot. The puck went over Kahkonen’s glove and into the top corner.

Nick Bonino scored into an empty net at 19:38. An assist went to Ian Cole.

The Sharks took two penalties in the third period. The Wild’s power play got one shot on net during the period.

The Sharks next play on Monday against the Arizona Coyotes in San Jose at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Fall to Wild 3-2

The Minnesota Wild Nick Bonino (3) goes for victory skate after scoring a goal in the first period against the San Jose Sharks at the Target Center in St Paul on Fri Apr 16, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh.

The San Jose Sharks lost 3-2 to the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center Friday. Nick Bonino, Mats Zuccarello and Zach Parise scored for Minnesota, and goaltender Cam Talbot made 20 saves for the win. Tomas Hertl and Evander Kane scored for the Sharks and Martin Jones made 15 saves in the loss.

The Sharks did not play a terrible game, but a loss at this point in the season is disheartening. After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said: “Tough to break down that game and say that we didn’t come out, we didn’t respond and we didn’t play well. I thought all those things happened.”

Sharks captain Logan Couture said:

I thought defensively we were pretty good. We didn’t give up much but there wasn’t much out there offensively. But we gotta find a way to do more. We only scored two, three goals over the last two games, or three games, so we need to find some more offense.

Evander Kane had a penalty-free game as well as a goal, despite several tense scrums throughout the night. After the game, Boughner said, of Kane:

“He plays hard, he kills penalties, he’s on the power play, he’s playing against the top lines, he’s been a good player for us all year. He’s still involved, he’s still trash-talking a little bit, he’s still throwing the body around but he’s staying within himself and I think that’s helped his five-on-five game for sure.”

The Sharks were on the board first, at 3:32. Tomas Hertl skated through the neutral zone and in the Wild zone, with some help from a stick lift by Patrick Marleau near the blue line. Hertl took the shot from the face-off dot and beat Talbot on the short side. Assists went to Radim Simek and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

Nick Bonino tied it up at 9:30. A turnover right in the slot gave him a clear line to the net and he took it. It was unassisted.

The first period was penalty-free. The Sharks outshot the Wild 8-4 but won just 33% of the face-offs.

The Wild took the lead 2:15 into the second period with Mats Zuccarello’s goal. Right off an offensive-zone face-off, Zuccarello shot it under Jones. Viktor Rask got the assist.

Zach Parise scored what would be the game-winner just over a minute later. Matt Dumba made a pass across the slot to a waiting Parise at the net corner. Assists went to Matt Dumba and Nick Bonino.

The Wild outshot the Sharks 7-4 in the second. Each team had a power play. The Wild had three shots on theirs and the Sharks had one. The Sharks won just 31% of the second period face-offs.

Evander Kane scored a short-handed goal at 13:43 of the third period, bringing the Sharks to withing one. Kane knocked the puck free from Kevin Fiala at the point, then chased it down and shot it by Talbot on the glove side.

The Sharks had two penalties to kill in the third period, and out-shot the Wild 10-7. The Sharks penalty kill had two shots on goal and the Wild power play had two as well. The Sharks improved in the face-off circle to 50% for the third.

The Sharks next play on Saturday at 5:00 PM PT against the Wild, again in Minnesota.

Sharks Tame Wild 4-2

The Minnesota Wild forward Nico Sturm (7) tries to reach for the puck as the San Jose Sharks center Patrick Marleau (12) and defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) defend during Wed Mar 31, 2021 at SAP Center in San Jose (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks beat the Minnesota Wild 4-2 in San Jose Wednesday. Rudolfs Balcers, Ryan Donato, Nikolai Knyzhov and Evander Kane Scored for the Sharks, while Martin Jones made 26 saves for the win. The Sharks defense generated five points in the game. Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello scored for the Wild, and Kaapo Kahkonen made 29 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked about the Sharks defensive game:

“I liked how aggressive we were in the d-zone, jump in and check. We didn’t give much, you know, we blocked shots. I thought we were really physical tonight, you know, and yeah, we played a lot in the o-zone. That is the blueprint for how we want to play on most nights and every night.”

Sharks Captain Logan Couture talked about what they need to do to carry this success forward:

“We’ve just got to keep playing the way we are. I thought we defended pretty hard and we created a lot of offense. We could have had more than the three we scored, or the fourth with the empty-netter, but a lot of good looks, I think our game’s in a good spot right now.”

In a scoreless first period, the teams each got credit for 10 shots. Evander Kane took three of those shots for the Sharks. Each team had one power play. The Wild had one shot on their power play and the Sharks had two on theirs. The Wild won 60% of the first period face-offs.

The Sharks got the scoring started in the second period, at 4:41. Rudolfs Balcers caught a pass from Tomas Hertl just as he arrived in front of the blue paint. He did not slow down as he stopped the puck on his backhand, then swept it around Kahkonen’s skate. Assists went to Hertl and Brent Burns.

The Sharks made it 2-0 at 9:22 with a power play goal. Brent Burns shot the puck right up the middle. Kahkonen stopped it but left a rebound. Ryan Donato was there to gather it up and tuck it under the goaltender. Assists went to Burns and Mario Ferraro.

That was the only power play for the second period. The Sharks outshot the Wild 14-9. The Sharks improved in the face-of circle, winning 55% of them.
Kirill Kaprizov cut the Sharks lead to 2-1 at 8:23. He carried the puck at speed from below the goal line, past one point to the other before taking the shot, which went past Jones on the far side. Carson Soucy got the assist.

The Sharks’ third goal started when Rudolfs Balcers carried the puck onto the zone. It was knocked off of his stick but Tomas Hertl was right there to get it back and pass it to Erik Karlsson. Karlsson found Nikolai Knyzhov just coming across the blue line, Knyzhov let the traffic settle into place in front of the net before shooting it past Kahkonen’s glove. Assists on Knyzhov’s first NHL goal went to Karlsson and Hertl.

Kaprizov knocked Logan Couture off the puck at 12:18. While Evander Kane was giving Kaprizov a piece of his mind about the hit, Ryan Hartman went after Kane. All the skaters on the ice converged after that but the result was just two minor penalties: cross-checking to Hartman and roughing to Kane.

The Wild made it 3-2 with their net empty and 12.1 seconds left in the game. Kevin Fiala took a shot from the point with three skaters blocking Jones’ view. The puck went off of Mats Zuccarello and in. Assists went to Fiala and Jared Spurgeon.

Evander Kane scored from just outside the Sharks’ blue line, into an empty net with one second left in the game. It was his sixth shot of the night.

The Sharks won the third period face-off battle 9-6. Each team had a power play in the period, with the Sharks taking three shots and the Wild taking two. In overall third period shots, the teams were tied at 9 each.

The Sharks next play on Friday against the Kings in Los Angeles at 7:00 PM PT.

Sharks Fall 5-4 to Golden Knights

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks fell 5-4 to the Golden Knights at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Wednesday. Vegas goals came from Shea Theodore, Cody Glass, Nicolas Hague, Ryan Reaves and Alec Martinez. Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 saves for the win. Matt Nieto, Mario Ferraro, Kevin Labanc and Evander Kane scored for the Sharks. Devan Dubnyk made 32 saves in the loss.

The Sharks went into the third period with a 3-1 lead, but gave up four goals in the final frame. After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked about how the game came undone:

“I think we pissed away a couple points. You know, the game got emotional and intense and physical, and I didn’t mind that at all. I think we did a good job sticking up for each other, those are things we want to keep doing. A little tough there when we lost [Couture], Hertl and Timo got called off the bench for concussion protocol after that hit all at the same time so we started juggling lines.”

Boughner did not consider that the real turning point. Rather, it came before that: “They didn’t have much going on the first six, seven minutes of that period and we had a horrible, horrible too many men call.”

Sharks Captain Logan Couture explained how it felt to let the game get away from them in the third:

“We played better. Should have won tonight, gave away points, so I mean it sucks to take away the moral victory in a game like this when you need to win and should have won. We’re in a position to win in the third period so, shitty feeling right now.”

Shea Theodore started the scoring at 3:45. Max Pacioretty gathered up an offensive zone turnover and passed it to Theodore at the point. Theodore’s slapshot sailed by Dubnyk, who may have been screened by some traffic.

San Jose took three penalties in the first period and their penalty kill allowed four shots. On the power play, they had three shots. For the period, the Sharks led in shots 11-10.

Matt Nieto got the Sharks on the board at 6:21. Timo Meier sent a pass from the goal line right onto Nieto’s stick by the blue paint. Assists went to Meier and Tomas Hertl.

The Sharks took a lead at with a goal from Mario Ferraro at 7:57. John Leonard’s shot went off of the post before Ferraro coraaled it behind the net and wrapped it around behind Fleury. Assists went to Leonard and Evander Kane.

Ryan Reaves put the puck in the net for Vegas at 11:00, but William Carrier was on top of Dubnyk when the puck went in. The Sharks challenged the goal and, after a review, it was called back for goaltender interference.

Kevin Labanc scored the Sharks’ third of the night at 15:07. Evander Kane attempted to deflect a shot from Ferraro on the blue line. When that didn’t go, he found it again and swept it in front of the net for Labanc to put away. Assists went to Kane and Ferraro.

The Sharks achieved their second period goal of avoiding penalties and the only one went to the Golden Knights. They outshot the Golden Knights 16-11 in the period, but did not get any shots on their power play.

Cody Glass scored for Vegas on the power play at 6:43 of the third period. John Leonard was in the box because his team was caught with too many men on the ice. The puck actually went off of Mario Ferraro’s skate. Assists went to Shea Theodore and Mark Stone.

Tomas Hertl and Mark Stone came to blows in front of the Sharks net moments later. Stone had delivered a hit on Timo Meier in the neutral zone. Meier was called away form the game for concussion protocol. That was Hertl’s first NHL fight.

Nicolas Hague tied the game at 10:03 with a shot right down the slot from the blue line. The assists went to Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson.

Logan Couture and Jonathan Marchessault fought shortly after that goal. That left the Sharks without Meier, Hertl of Couture for several minutes.

Ryan Reaves gave Vegas the lead at 12:27 with a deflection that bounced past Dubnyk. Assists went to Tomas Nosek and Zach Whitecloud.

Alec Martinez scored what would be the game winner at 14:46, on another power play. Labanc was in the box for tripping. the Sharks were just eight seconds away from killing the penalty when Tomas Nosek made a pass across the ice to Martinez. Assists went to Nosek and Theodore.

Evander Kane brought the Sharks back within on goal at 15:54 with a power play goal. Erik Karlsson took a shot from the point. Kane was there to battle for the rebound and tuck it in.

Vegas outshot San Jose 16-6 in the third period. The Sharks got two shots in on their one power play and the Golden Knights got seven shots in two power plays.

The Sharks won just 45% of the face-offs in the game. Of skaters to take more than five draws, only Logan Couture won more than 50%.

The Sharks next play on Friday against the St. Louis Blues at 6:00 PM PT, back in San Jose.

Sharks Win 3rd in a Row, Beat Ducks 3-1

The San Jose Sharks goaltender Martin Jones (31) allowed only one goal against the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Sat Mar 13, 2021 (@SanJoseSharks photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks won their third in a row on Saturday, a 3-1 win against the Ducks in Anaheim. This is the first win streak for the Sharks this season. Sharks goals came from Evander Kane, Kevin Labanc and Dylan Gambrell. Martin Jones made 26 saves for the win. Max Jones scored for the Ducks and Ryan Miller made 30 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said: “It feels good to have a first little winning streak I guess you can call it, three games in a row. You know, especially on the road. The guys played well, it was a tight game.”

The first Sharks goal came just after an Anaheim power play in the first period. Taking advantage of a turnover in the Sharks’ zone, Kane went the other way in a hurry, with Tomas Hertl and Mario Ferraro just a step behind. Kane carried it all the way to the face-off circle before taking the shot and beating Ryan Miller on the blocker side.

The first period shot count was close, at 8-7 Sharks. There were five penalties called in the first, three to Anaheim and two to San Jose. The Sharks had four shots i their power plays and allowed just one powr play shot to Anaheim. In the face-off circle, the Sharks prevailed 58% of the time.

Anaheim tied it up at 5:38 of the second period. Max Jones skated around Radim Simek with the puck on his backhand. As he cut away from the wall he switched to his forehand for a quick shot into the far side of the net. Assists went to Kevin Shattenkirk and Isac Lundestrom.

Kevin Labanc grabbed the lead back for the Sharks just under a minute later. Tomas Hertl came around behind the net and, while losing his footing, passed the puck around the post to the front for Labanc to take the shot. Assists went to Hertl and Mario Ferraro.

The Sharks outshot the Ducks 14-9 in the second period, and out drew them in the face-off circle, winning 16 of 21 draws. There was just one penalty in the period, going to Anaheim. The Sharks did not get any shots on that power play.

Dylan Gambrell gave the Sharks a 3-1 lead at 2:07 of the third. Ryan Donato gathered the puck up behind the net after it came loose in the corner. Donato tried for a wrap around but was thwarted by traffic. Gambrell was in the thick of that traffic on his knees when he managed to push the puck in. Assists went to Donato and John Leonard. It was Gambrell’s first goal of the season, and his first in over a year.

The Ducks pulled their goaltender for an extra skater, with almost three minutes left in the game.

The third period shots were dead even at 11 each. The Sharks took the only penalty in the period, but allowed just one shot to the Ducks’ power play. Additionally, the Sharks took four short-handed shots during that penalty kill. The Sharks slipped badly in the face-off circle, dropping to 30% for the period. Overall, Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl won more draws than they lost, and, through the first two periods, Dylan Gambrell won more than 50%.

The Sharks next play on Monday against the Golden Knights in Las Vegas at 7:00 PM PT.

Sharks Shut-Out Ducks 6-0

The San Jose Sharks celebrate one of their six goals against the Anaheim Ducks on Fri Mar 12, 2021 at the Honda Center in Anaheim (photo by AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks shut out the Anaheim Ducks 6-0 in Anaheim Friday. Sharks goals came from Tomas Hertl, Evander Kane, Erik Karlsson, Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc and Fredrik Handemark. Sharks goaltender Devan Dubnyk made 34 saves for the shut-out win. Friday was Devan Dubnyk’s third start in a row for the Sharks. Ducks goaltender John Gibson made 19 saves on 24 shots before being relieved by Ryan Miller, who made 2 saves on 3 shots.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said:

“It was good to see the guys at the end of the game, still with the lead, playing hard and blocking shots and doing the things that we talk about. It was a great team win and Duby was our best player when we needed him.”

The Sharks scored the only goal in the first period. Just back from a COVID-19 protocol absence, Tomas Hertl scored on the power play at 7:57. Brent Burns faked a shot just below the blue line, then passed to Hertl at the side of the net. Hertl’s shot went off of a defender and in. Assists went to Brent Burns and Timo Meier, also just back from injury. Cam Fowler limped off the ice mid-penalty kill after blocking an Evander Kane shot with his skate. He did return to play.

The Sharks had just 5 shots in the period, to the Ducks’ 11. Each team had one power play in the period and just one power play shot each. In the face-off circle, the Sharks won 53% of the time. Just past the mid-point of the period, Kurtis Gabriel and Nicolas Deslauriers fought, evidently as a response to Gabriel’s hit on Jacob Larsson.

The second Sharks goal came early in the second period, from Evander Kane 37 seconds in. Brent Burns carried the puck through the neutral zone and down almost to the goal line before making a pass across to Kane as the forward skated to the net. Assists went to Burns and Kevin Labanc.

The Ducks out-shot the Sharks in the second period as well, 16-11. There was only one penalty called in the second, against Anaheim. The Sharks had no shots during that power play. In the face-off circle, the Ducks won 65% of them.

The third period was busier than the previous two with the Sharks scoring three more times. The first of those came on the power play at 5:58, from Erik Karlsson. His shot came right down the slot from the blue line about half-way into the power play. Assists went to Labanc and Logan Couture.

Timo Meier scored at 8:03. About half way up the boards, Meier dragged the puck around the Ducks defender and let the shot fly before Gibson could adjust. Assists went to Kane and Mario Ferraro.

Kevin Labanc scored his sixth of the season just over a minute later. The play looked a lot like Kane’s goal earlier, but this time with Kane carrying the puck deep into the zone and finding Labanc on the other side of the net. Assists went to Kane and Ferraro.

The Ducks pulled Gibson after that goal and put Ryan Miller in net to finish the game.

Fredrik Handemark scored his first NHL goal in his second NHL game at 14:59. No assists were awarded on the goal but Patrick Marleau skated in with Handemark, helping out by pressuring the nearest Ducks defender, Sam Steel.

The Sharks bounced back in the face-off circle for the third period, winning 53% again. They also out-shot the Ducks in the third, 11-7. They had just the one shot on their power play, the only one of the period.

The Sharks next play on Saturday, again in Anaheim against the Ducks at 7:00 PM PT.

Blues Beat Sharks 7-6 in 13 Goal Barn-Burner

Photo credit: @StLouisBlues

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 7-6 to the St. Louis Blues Saturday. Blues goals came from Marco Scandella (2), Sammy Blais, Brayden Schenn, Zach Sanford, Mackenzie MacEachern and Ryan O’Reilly. Jordan Binnington made 15 saves in 30:34 of ice time, and Ville Husso made 19 saves for the win. Sharks goals came from Timo Meier (2), Evander Kane (2), Logan Couture, and Kevin Labanc. Devan Dubnyk made 24 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks forward Evander Kane said:

“Any time you score six goals you usually feel you should win the hockey game. I think we gave them a lot, I’d say probably four of those seven goals, we literally gave them the puck. So that was disappointing. And when you make that many mistakes through the course of a game, you know, sometimes scoring six isn’t going to get the job done.”

Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked about the four leads the Sharks earned and lost again in the game: “We couldn’t get any momentum going, after we got up, after we got those leads. So.. I mean it’s tough to build momentum when the next shots goes in the net every time.”

Timo Meier scored with the first shot of the game seven seconds in. Meier caught a puck just as it came of the boards and took the shot without hesitation. It deflected off of a defenseman and bounced past Jordan Binnington for Meier’s third of the year. Assists went to Rudolfs Balcers and Dylan Gambrell.

Marco Scandella tied the game at 6:08 with a shot from the middle of the blue line. The puck went past three skaters and into the net on Devan Dubnyk’s glove side.

Evander Kane took the lead back for the Sharks with a power play goal at 10:11. Logan Couture tried to get a shot off from close in but the puck rolled away. Binnington could not corral it and it ended up on Kane’s stick for a tight angle shot. Assists went to Couture and Brent Burns.

At the end of the second, the shots were 12-6 Sharks, with three of those Sharks shots coming on the power play. The face-offs heavily favored the Blues at 63%.

Sammy Blais tied it again 3:34 into the second period. A failed clear by Kevin Labanc ended up on Vince Dunn’s stick for a quick shot from the blue line. Blais collected the puck before it got to the goaltender and swept it around and in with a backhand. Assists went to Dunn and Ryan O’Reilly.

Meier scored again to give the Sharks their third lead of the game at 6:43. With the Sharks on the power play, Meier kept the puck in at the line, carried it down the boards as far as the face-off circle, and shot the puck into the top corner. Kevin Labanc got the assist.

The Blues came right back with another tying goal at 7:28. David Perron had the puck up high in the slot. With a number of skaters to choose from, he found Brayden Schenn coming in late and wide open. Schenn’s shot beat Dubnyk on the glove side.

Kane scored his second of the game at 10:34. Kane got control of the puck in the neutral zone and carried it in with one defenseman to contend with. He took a shot from the top of the face-off circle. the Blues made a goaltending change and put Ville Husso in the game. Binnington made a stop at the Sharks bench and then another to give Dubnyk a shove on his way off the ice.

Zach Sanford tied it up again with 1:44 left in the period. Sanford came up with the puck below the goal line, skated to the net and poked it past Dubnyk. Assists went to Jordan Kyrou and Torey Krug.

The Sharks led in shots again in the second, 20-16, with six shots coming on the power play. They had three power plays in the period and one penalty kill. The Sharks lost ground on already bad numbers in the face-off circle, winning only 21% of them.

The third period saw three goals in the first 3:20. Mackenzie MacEachern gave the Blues their first lead of the game 1:17 into the third period. The Sharks were on the power play when MacEachern and Zach Sanford broke away in a two-on-one for a short handed goal.

Kevin Labanc tied it back up at 2:13. John Leonard made a nice back-hand pass from almost behind the net to set up Labanc for the shot. Assists went to Leonard and Meier.

Ryan O’Reilly scored the eleventh goal of the game at 3:20. Justin Faulk’s hard shot from the top of the circle created a rebound through traffic for O’Reilly to nudge in, reaching through a thicket of bodies.

Logan Couture tied it up again at 6:31. Brent Burns took a shot from the blue line and it deflected off of Couture half way down the slot. It bounced and spun over Husso. Assists went to Burns and Mario Ferraro.

Oskar Sundqvist gathered the puck up behind the net and sent it past two Sharks to Marco Scandella coming in on the other side of the blue paint. Scandella directed it in by the post for the seventh Blues goal at 7:14.

The Sharks pulled their goaltender at the end but could not tie it up again. The Sharks improved somewhat in the face-off circle during the third period, winning 47% which still put the Blues ahead. The Blues had two shots through two power plays and led in shots for the period 9-8.

The Sharks next play on Monday in San Jose, against the Colorado Avalanche at 7:30 PM PT.

Tomas Hertl was out for COVID-19 quarantine, which triggered the rescheduling of Thursday’s game. Erik Karlsson and Radim Simek both returned from injury for Saturday’s game. Karlsson had six shots on goal and Simek had one. The team wore throwback jerseys from the 90s, with the wide grey stripe.

Sharks Beat Blues 5-4

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks beat the Blues 5-4 in St.Louis on Saturday. Sharks goals came from Evander Kane, Logan Couture (2), Rudolfs Balcers, and Patrick Marleau. Sharks goaltender Devan Dubnyk made 28 saves for the win. The Blues goals were scored by Brayden Schenn, Zach Sanford, Ryan O’Reilly and Jordan Kyrou. Jordan Binnington made 22 saves in the loss.

Despite allowing another four-goal second period to the Blues, the Sharks persisted for the win. After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked about coping with penalties and questionable calls: “We stuck with it and we had some great kills, character kills, and we found a way to get three points out of these two games. It could have easily been four.”

Evander Kane ended a four-game goal drought at 7:24 of the first, giving the Sharks the first lead of the game. Logan Couture tried to move the puck from the boards to Kane but it went to Zach Sanford instead. Sanford turned it right over to Kane, with some help from Kevin Labanc. Kane was ready to spin, settle the puck and shoot before Binnington could get set.

Couture doubled the lead at 10:10. Kane chased the puck down behind the net and sent it up ice to Kevin Labanc, who found Couture in front of the net with a quick pass. Couture tapped it right in.

The first period ended with the Sharks leading in shots 10-9, and in the face-off circle at 54%. The Sharks took one penalty in the first, and the Blues had one shot on that power-play.

The second period was much busier than the first. The Sharks added to their tally at 3:48. Rudolfs Balcers scored his first as a Shark by stopping above the blue paint and waiting for a pass from Tomas Hertl, who was below the goal line. Despite the Blues defense around him, Hertl got the pass cleanly to Balcers for a one-timer past Binnington.

The Blues scored at 4:45. Jordan Kyrou, with Marc-Edouard Vlasic blocking his path, bounced the puck off of the post from below the goal line. It went right to Brayden Schenn for a shot past Devan Dubnyk on the blocker side. Assists went to Jordan Kyrou and Mike Hoffman.

Patrick Marleau gave the Sharks a three-goal lead at 8:18. Evander Kane sent the puck under a leaping Matt Nieto to Marleau on the far side of the net. Marleau tapped it in behind Binnington.

The Blues came right back with their second goal at 8:37. Torey Krug took a shot from the Blue line that went off of Zach Sanford. The goal was reviewed for a high stick but was allowed. Assists went to Krug and Schenn.

Ryan O’Reilly’s one-timer from just above the goal line cut the Sharks lead to one at 15:30. The Sharks were short-handed as Mario Ferraro left the ice abruptly after losing his helmet. Assists went to Hoffman and Kyrou.

Kyrou tied it up ith just 1:19 left in the second. Kyrou skated in, two-on-one with David Perron. Perron drew the defensive attention so Kyrou took the shot and beat Dubnyk on the glove side. Assists went to Perron and O’Reilly.

The Blues led on the second-period shot clock, 15-10, and in the face-off circle, at 54%. As in the first, the Sharks took one penalty but the Blues didn’t get any shots out of it.

Couture, just on the ice after a line change, gave the Sharks a new lead at 11:51 of the third. His shot from the face-off circle slipped through traffic at the net before Binnington could find it.

The Blues pulled their goaltender with just over a minute left but the Sharks held on. The Blues took their first penalty in the third period, but it was offset by a penalty to the Sharks as well, for some four-on-four play. The Sharks took a second penalty in the third, but their penalty kill did not allow any shots. The final shot count was 32-27 Blues, and the face-offs went to the Blues 52% of the time.

The Sharks next play on Monday, back in San Jose, against the Minnesota Wild at 7:30 PM PT.