NHL podcast with Matt Harrington: Ovechkin close to winning Hart Trophy; Wild’s Kaprizov out for tonight vs. Washington; plus more

The Washington Capitals Alexander Ovechkin a three time MVP winner is up for the Hart Trophy Award (NHL.com file photo)

On the NHL podcast with Matt Harrington:

#1 The Washington Capitals Alexander Ovechkin who has won the MVP three times is up for the Hart Trophy so far with 24 goals, 50 points, and has helped the Capitals to get to first place in the Metropolitan Division.

#2 The Boston Bruins Trent Fredric hit the Minnesota Wild’s Kirill Kaprizov hitting him into the boards and Kaprizov’s skates got caught up with his teammate Matt Grzelcyk receiving an upper body injury at 10:09 of the second period in the 3-2 Wild win on Thursday night. Kaprizov will not play against the Washington Capitals tonight.

#3 The St Louis Blues dropped their odds a bit losing right winger Vladimir Tarasenko, defensemen Scott Perunovich, and Jake Walman to Coronavirus protocols. Each will miss two games after testing positive for Coronavirus.

#4 The Vegas Golden Knights know how to spoil a reunion as they defeated the New York Rangers 5-1 in the return of former Knights head coach Gerrard Gallant. Gallant was the Knights first coach in their franchise history before being replace by Peter DeBoer on Jan 15, 2020.

#5 Three games were canceled in Canadian cities due to attendance restrictions New Jersey had two games postponed @ Montreal Jan 15 and at Toronto Jan 17th. The Chicago Blackhawks at Edmonton Oilers were postponed for Jan 18. The Ottawa Senators had three games postponed.

#6 The San Jose Sharks gave Evander Kane his unconditional release today because of a fake Covid 19 card and he will no longer be skating for the Sharks minor league team the San Jose Barracuda. Kane has ability but because of off ice issues is no longer with San Jose.

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

NHL podcast with Matt Harrington: Froze out outdoor game will set NHL cold record; Ovechkin sets power play goals record; Knights win on Pacioretty’s first game back since surgery

They can see their breath as workers at Target Field in Minneapolis prepare the ice surface and stands for fans and players as the St Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild face off on Sat Jan 1, 2022 for the Winter Classic which is expected to the coldest outdoor game on record (AP News photo)

On the NHL podcast with Matt Harrington:

#1 It wouldn’t be a show without opening it up about the power play goal king Alexander Ovechkin who mailed home the NHL record most power play goals in history on Friday night with number 275 against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars in Detroit.

#2 Look out Matt for those full of fired up Vegas Golden Knights as they defeat the Anaheim Ducks in Las Vegas 3-1. This was the Knights tenth win in 12 games in a 3-1 win. The Knights Max Pacioretty enjoyed the victory the Pacioretty’s first since coming back from wrist surgery on Thursday.

#3 You knew the New Jersey Devils (12-15-5) Jack Hughes wouldn’t disappoint scoring two goals and an assist for three points on Friday night with a game winning goal at 2:55 in the third period against the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers Conner McDavid scored two goals. The Devils edged the Oilers 6-5.

#4 In the coldest outdoor game record low of three degrees the Winter Classic between the visiting St Louis Blues and the Minnesota Wild at Target Field in Minnesota was the coldest on record. The NHL has ordered 40,000 hand warmers for fans for today’s outdoor game.

#5 Matt, nine games postponed means 90 games scratched due to Covid 19 protocols. The New York Islanders have games in Seattle on Tue, at Vancouver on Wed, in Edmonton on Jan 8, and at Calgary on Jan 11th all postponed. The games will be made up later.

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

NHL podcast with Matt Harrington: NHL action returns on Tuesday; Winter Classic is game on for New Years Day; plus more

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) gets in between Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) and guard Cameron Payne at Footprint Center in Phoenix on Christmas Dec 25, 2021 (AP News photo)

On the NHL podcast with Matt:

#1 Matt, how important was it to delay the Holiday shutdown one more day as NHL action returns on Tuesday night instead of Monday night.

#2 The NHL Discover Winter Classic is on target to be played between St Louis Blues (17-9-5) and Minnesota Wild (9-19-2) at Target Field is still scheduled to be played on Sat Jan 1 barring no further Covid interruptions.

#3 According to former NHL great Wayne Gretzky said that Washington Capitals (18-6-7) Alexander Ovechkin will pass him up for most goals scored. Ovechkin could do it with 143 goals remaining. Ovechkin has 22 goals in 31 games this season. Gretzky said he’s on his way to 40-50 goals this season there is no he will break the record.

#4 It’s really no surprise that the NHL called off it’s players from participating in the Beijing 2020 Winter Olympics due to the surge in positive tests for Covid 19. The Feb 6-22 Olympic schedule now scratched the league will use those dates to make up games that were postponed.

#5 The Boston Bruins (14-10-2) surprisingly are in fifth place in the Atlantic Division three points out of a playoff spot. The Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy said that there is a lot of hockey to be played yet and their looking for some consistency to get right back in the hunt again.

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

Sharks Fall 5-2 to Wild, Wild Win Streak at Eight

Minnesota Wild center Victor Rask (49) tries to get control of the puck against San Jose Sharks center Noah Gregor (73) in the first period at the SAP Center in San Jose on Thu Dec 9, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE– The Sharks fell 5-2 to the Minnesota Wild Thursday. It was the Wild’s eight win in a row. Wild goals were scored by Kevin Fiala, Joel Eriksson Ek, Jordan Greenway (2) and Kirill Kaprizov. Cam Talbot made 33 saves for the win. Sharks goals were scored by Jonathan Dahlen and Tomas Hertl. Adin Hill made 22 saves in the loss.

To start the third period, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner juggled his lines a bit. The result was positive but not enough, as he explained after the game:

“We switched up the lines a little bit, sometimes it’s good to put them in the blender when things aren’t going your way. We did that and the team reacted but, it’s just, you know, it’s a good team and in order to beat those good teams you have to be good for sixty minutes, especially our team and it I think that it took too long to find our game tonight.”

Minnesota’s Kevin Fiala scored the lone goal of the first period, 6:22 in. Jon Merrill’s shot was blocked by Mario Ferraro right in front of the net. The puck dropped in front of an open net for Fiala’s shot. Assists went to Merrill and Brandon Duhaime.

Joel Eriksson Ek scored the the Wild’s first power play goal at 7:04 of the second period. Jacob Middleton was in the box for tripping Mats Zuccarello. Zuccarello sent the puck into a crowd in front of the net and it went off of Eriksson Ek’s stick for a perfect deflection past Hill. Assists went to Zuccarello and Kirill Kaprizov.

Jordan Greenway scored Minnesota’s second power play goal at 15:20. Jacob Middleton was in the box for holding Nick Bjugstad. Kevin Fiala brought the puck into the slot, then made a pass out to Greenway in the face-off circle. Greenway took a quick shot and beat Hill on the far side. Assists went to Fiala and Alex Goligoski.

Jonathan Dahlen scored for San Jose 3:29 into the third period. Tomas Hertl won an offensive zone face-off and sent the puck up to Erik Karlsson at the point. Karlsson brought the puck down the boards a bit before taking a shot that went off of Dahlen in front of the net. Assists went to Karlsson and Hertl.

Tomas Hertl cut the Wild lead to one with a power play goal at 13:26. Jonathan Dahlen took a shot that created a rebound. The puck fell to Hertl at the side of the net and he lifted it in behind Talbot. Jonathan Dahlen and Logan Couture got the assists.

The Sharks pulled Adin Hill for the extra skater with more than to minutes left. The Wild got the puck out and Jordan Greenway raced Brent Burns for the puck. As they reached the net, Greenway was able to nudge the puck in to make it 4-2. Moments later, with the net still empty, Kirill Kaprizov broke away to make it 5-2.

The Sharks had a good night in the face-off circle, winning 57% of them. The shots were close in the first to periods, but in the third, the Sharks outshot the Wild 19-9. the Sharks penalty kill gave up four shots along with the two goals, and the Wild penalty kill gave up four shots and one goal. Jacob Middleton took three penalties in the game.

The Sharks next play on Saturday at 7:30 PM PT, against the visiting Dallas Stars.

NHL podcast with Matt Harrington: Canes get convincing win against Flyers 6-3; Rangers score 3 third period goals in win; plus more

Carolina Hurricanes’ Ian Cole, left, and Philadelphia Flyers’ Nate Thompson (right) rumble in the second period of Fri Nov 26, 2021 in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center (AP News photo)

On the NHL podcast with Matt Harrington:

#1 After the Carolina Hurricanes (15-3-1) lost a rare game on Wednesday to the San Jose Sharks (10-8-1) 2-1 but quickly as they lost that game came back and won convincingly against the Philadelphia Flyers (8-7-4) 6-3 on Friday. The Hurricanes did a bulk of their scoring in the second period with four goals.

#2 Artemi Panarin scored a crucial tiebreaking goal for the New York Rangers (13-4-3) in the third period one of three goals as the Rangers defeated the Boston Bruins (10-7-0) in a three goal win. Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin saved 34 shots in the Friday contest.

#3 The Minnesota Wild (13-6-1) just tore it up on Friday against the Winnipeg Jets (9-7-4) with a six goal win 7-1. Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and three assists and Wild goaltender Cam Talbot allowed a goal saved 31 shots.

#4. One of the original San Jose Sharks Doug Wilson who is team general manager is taking time off from his duties for medical leave to convalesce from a constant cough which is believed not to be Covid related. Wilson will be recovering in Arizona until further notice. Assistant general manager Joe Will will be acting general manager. Wilson 64 has been the team general manager since 2003-04 season.

#5 The Ottawa Senators (4-13-1) continued their losing ways bowing to the Anaheim Ducks (11-7-3) at the Honda Center in Anaheim in a 4-0 shutout. The loss was the Senators fourth straight loss. The last time the Sens won a game was back on Nov 13th against the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3. For the Ducks goaltender Anthony Stolarz stopped 34 shots for the shutout.

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

San Jose Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa Walsh: Sharks face off with struggling Blues in St Louis on Thursday night

Minnesota Wild goalie Cam Talbot can’t stop San Jose Sharks’ Mario Ferraro (not pictured) from scoring in the first period on Tue Nov 16, 2021 in Minnesota (AP News photo)

On the San Jose Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa:

#1 Mary Lisa the San Jose Sharks (8-6-1) Timo Meier has had a strong start getting a goal and an assist against the Minnesota Wild (10-5-0) he had a good outing against the Wild and he’s been coming on strong offensively.

#2 James Reimer was key in goal with 26 saves holding the Wild to just one goal in the 4-1 win how would you evaluate him in goal he’s had the hot hand of late.

#3 Sharks team captain Logan Couture said the effort against the Wild was great and that their now playing their style of hockey.

#4 Mary Lisa talk about the Sharks jumping right out of the gate in that first period opening up the period with two goals which is crucial when your jumping on top of a good team like the Wild who have won of late.

#5 Sharks are in St Louis to face the St Louis Blues (8-5-2) the Blues are on a four game losing streak and just recently lost to a struggling Arizona Coyotes (2-13-1) have the Blues had injuries and might have their hands full when they get to San Jose on Thursday night at SAP.

Join Mary Lisa for exclusive San Jose Sharks podcasts Wednesdays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Sharks Beat Wild 4-1; Reimer keeps pucks out of the nets with 26 saves

The Minnesota Wild’s Marco Sturm (7) takes a shot on net as San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer (47) gets a pad save on Tue Nov 16, 2021 in Minneapolis (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks won 4-1 on the road, against the Minnesota Wild Tuesday. The win was a nice follow-up to Monday’s induction of Sharks GM, Doug Wilson, into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Mario Ferraro, Timo Meier, Erik Karlsson and Tomas Hertl scored for San Jose. James Reimer made 26 saves for the win. Joel Eriksson Ek scored for the Wild and Cam Talbot made 17 saves in the loss.

Sharks Captain Logan Couture, said, of the win: “Great effort. We played more of our style of hockey. Kind of frustrated them at times.” He also mentioned the upcoming game as a chance to show that the team is back on track: “St. Louis is a big game for us too, to finish off this trip on a good note. A three and two trip, with what we’ve gone through, would be pretty good.”

Mario Ferraro opened the scoring at 5:55 of the first. Timo Meier made a neat pass off the boards to Logan Couture, who was on his way to the net. Instead of taking the shot, Couture made a pass across to Ferraro by the opposite goal post. The puck landed right on Ferraro’s stick for the shot. It was his second goal of the season.

Timo Meier scored the next one. Coming out of the corner, he slipped between the Wild defenders to get the rebound from Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s shot. He had one knee on the ice as he took the shot for his sixth goal of the season. Assists went to Vlasic and Couture.

At the end of the first period, the Sharks led in shots 9-7. The Sharks power play got only one shot on goal, a power play that bled into the start of the second period.

Joel Eriksson Ek scored for the Wild at 5:25 of the second. Though two Sharks were right with him as he entered the zone, his shot went by them and over James Reimer’s glove. It was Eriksson Ek’s sixth of the season. Assists went to Kevin Fiala and Jonas Brodin.

At 8:42 of the second, Matt Dumba threw a hit on Alexander Barabanov that looked ugly. Tomas Hertl took issue with it and went after Dumba. Hertl went to the box for roughing. Soon after, Jonah Gadjovich tried to revisit the matter with Dumba, but Marcus Foligno wound up being his fight partner.

After the game, Boughner described these events as turning points in the game and said:

“Tommy Jumping in for Barabanov and then later on [Gadjovich] going out and, you know, looking to get physical. I think our team feeds off of that, we need that element and I think it’s very very important.”

At 9:32, Erik Karlsson scored his third of the season to make it 3-1. With the teams playing four-on-four between abbreviated power plays, Karlsson let loose a blast from the top of the circle. The shot went off of the bar and in. Assists went to Jacob Middleton and Rudolfs Balcers.

The Wild took the shot lead in the second, 13-8. Four different players spent time in the penalty box during the second, but neither team had a full power play out of it because penalties overlapped. The Sharks got two shots during their abbreviated power play and the Sharks penalty kill allowed no shots to the Wild.

Tomas Hertl scored the only goal of the third period at 9:25. The Sharks moved the puck from the goal line to above the circle and back down to Hertl who was just above the goal line. Assists went to Barabanov and Balcers. It was Hertl’s seventh goal of the season.

Late in the period, Mario Ferraro blocked a shot and seemed to sustain an upper body injury. He went down the tunnel but returned and was on the ice when the final buzzer sounded.

The Sharks made a good showing in the face-off circle, winning 59% of the draws. The Sharks penalty kill allowed just one shot in the game.

The Sharks next play on Thursday, in St. Louis against the Blues at 5:00 PM PT.

NHL podcast with Matt Harrington: Kraken Fluery gets first two goal game; Canes Andersen gets first shutout; Panthers Quenneville may never coach again; plue more

The Seattle Karken’s defenseman Haydn Fluery (4) takes the puck down ice against the Minnesota Wild on Thu Oct 28, 2021 at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle (AP News photo)

On the NHL podcast with Matt Harrington:

#1 The Seattle Kraken’s Haydn Fleury picked up his first two goal game of his career as Seattle won it’s third game of the season against the Minnesota Wild 4-1.

#2 Carolina Hurricanes get a 3-0 shutout and win their first six games the best start in their team history at 6-0-0. The Canes goaltender Frederik Andersen stopped 33 shots by the Boston Bruins. The Hurricanes are doing so well that Andersen became the seventh goaltender in NHL history to win each of the Hurricanes first six games to start the year.

#3 The Colorado Avalanche edged the St Louis Blues 4-3 at the Enterprise Center in St Louis. The Aves got help from J.T. Compher who scored two goals. It was the first time the Blues have lost a game this season.

#4 The Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom saved 45 shots against the Pittsburgh Penguins for a shutout at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh for the Flames fifth win of the season. The Flames are in first place in the Pacific division getting a 4-0 win.

#5 The resignation of former Florida Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville sent shockwaves throughout the NHL. Quenneville was head coach in 2010 of the Chicago Blackhawks when Kyle Beach made claims of being sexually assaulted by assistant coach Brad Aldrich. Aldrich threatened Beach that if he reported the assault his NHL career would be over. Beach went ahead and made the complaints and nothing really was done about it as the Blackhawks were focusing on winning the Stanley Cup at the time.

Matt Harrington does the NHL podcasts Fridays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Knights advance to next round; Habs stay alive tie series with Leafs; Bruins waste no time with win over Isles 5-2;

Mattias Janmark the Vegas Golden Knights center holds up the hockey stick who scored a hat trick on Fri May 28, 2021 at the T Mobile Center in Las Vegas against the visiting Minnesota Wild in game 7 (AP News photo)

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs podcast with Marko:

#1 The Vegas Golden Knights (4-3) advanced by beating the Minnesota Wild (3-4) convincingly on Friday night 6-2. The Knights opened up the flood gates with three goals in the second period to run away with the game 7 win.

#2 Marko, talk about the Knights Mattias Janmark who scored two goals in the third period for a hat trick that added insurance goals for Vegas’ victory.

#3 On Saturday night with the their backs to the wall 3-2 the Montreal Canadiens pulled off a close shave with a victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Belle Centre in Montreal to stay alive and tie the series at 3-3 in over time.

#4 It all boils down to game 7 on Monday night at the Maple Leaf Garden as the Canadiens and Maple Leafs face off to decide who goes to the next round as the Leafs have the advantage of having home ice.

#5 The Boston Bruins wasted no time with a 5-2 win over the New York Islanders at TD Garden in Boston to open the best of seven series. The Bruins one of the most potent offensive teams in the NHL proved that with this three goal win on Saturday night.

Marko Ukalovic filled in for Matt Harrington this Saturday for the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs podcast at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

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.