San Jose Sharks podcast with Len Shapiro: Sharks hope to build on Thursday’s win in Vancouver on Tuesday

Minnesota Wild goaltender Filip Gustavsson (32) is unable to stop a shot by San Jose Sharks left wing Oskar Lindblom, foreground, for a goal during the second period at SAP Center on Thu Dec 22, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the Sharks podcast with Len:

#1 Defenseman Erik Karlsson had a goal and three assists for the San Jose Sharks (11-18-6) Thursday, and was one of five different goal scorers for the Sharks in a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild (19-12-2) at SAP Center.

#2 Karlsson, Timo Meier, Kevin Lebanc, Oskar Lindblom and Noah Gregor each tallied for the Sharks, while goaltender James Reimer stopped 24 of 26 Wild shots. Karlsson’s three helpers gives him a team-leading 33 in that category.

#3 Kevin Labanc closed out the scoring with an unassisted power-play empty net goal at 19:46 of the third period. Minnesota’s Matt Boldy was serving a 2-minute minor for slashing at the time of Labanc’s goal.

#4 San Jose, 7th in the Pacific, improved to 11-18-6, 28 points. The Wild, third in the NHL Central, are 19-12-2, 40 points, and tied with Seattle for the fifth-best record in the Western Conference.

#5 The Sharks head to Vancouver to face off with the Canucks who have won five of their last ten games. The Canucks won in a shootout Thursday over the Seattle Kraken in Seattle 6-5. Face off at Rogers Centre in Vancouver on Tue Dec 27 at 7:00pm. Len how do you see this match up?

Join Len Shapiro Fridays for the Sharks podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Big night by Karlsson lifts Sharks past Minnesota 5-2

San Jose Sharks center Noah Gregor is congratulated for his goal against the Minnesota Wild during the first period at SAP Center in San Jose on Thu Dec 22, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Daniel Dullum
Thursday, December 22, 2022

Defenseman Erik Karlsson had a goal and three assists for San Jose Thursday, and was one of seven different goal scorers for the Sharks in a 5-2 win over Minnesota at SAP Center.

Karlsson, Timo Meier, Kevin Lebanc, Oskar Lindblom and Noah Gregor each tallied for the Sharks, while goaltender James Reimer stopped 24 of 26 Wild shots. Karlsson’s three helpers gives him a team-leading 33 in that category.

San Jose, 7th in the Pacific, improved to 11-18-6, 28 points. The Wild, third in the NHL Central, are 19-12-2, 40 points, and tied with Seattle for the fifth-best record in the Western Conference.

The Sharks opened the scoring 44 seconds into the first period on Karlsson’s 13th goal of the season, assisted by Jaycob Megna and Alexander Barabanov.

Joel Eriksson Ek tied the game at 1-1 for Minnesota with his 12th goal, coming at 2:20, Gregor’s second goal of the season at 11:37 gave San Jose a 2-1 lead at the first intermission.

Meier’s 16th goal of the season, a power-play tally, came at 12:47 of the second period, assisted by Karlsson and Nick Bonino. Prior to Meier’s goal, Mason Shaw of the Wild was serving a 5-minute major for kneeing, in addition to receiving a game misconduct penalty.

The Sharks extended their lead to 4-1 five minutes later on Lindblom’s second goal of the season, from Karlsson and Meier.

Mats Zuccarello pulled Minnesota to within 4-2 with his 15th goal, six seconds b3fore the second intermission.

Labanc closed out the scoring with an unassisted power-play empty net goal at 19:46 of the third period. Minnesota’s Matt Boldy was serving a 2-minute minor for slashing at the time of Labanc’s goal.

Filip Gustavsson gave up four of San Jose’s goals while stopping 20 of 24 shots.

After a break for the Christmas holiday, the Sharks return to action on Dec. 27 in Vancouver.

NHL podcast with Matt Harrington: Kyrou’s two goals puts Blues past Flames; Zuccarello’s hat trick helps Wild defeat Hawks; plus more NHL news

St. Louis Blues goalie Thomas Greiss, is congratulated by Pavel Buchnevich after defeating the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome in Calgary on Fri Dec 16, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the NHL podcast with Matt:

#1 Jordan Kyrou scored two goals for the St Louis Blues enough to wind up getting a three goal 5-3 win over the Calgary Flames on Friday night at the Saddledome in Calgary.

#2 Matt, Nats Zuccarello scored a hat trick for the Minnesota Wild to help beat the Chicago Blackhawks. Zuccarello also picked up an assist. Wild left winger Kirill Kaprizov scored a goal and two assists for three points to hand the Hawks their fourth straight loss in St Paul.

#3 At the Capital One Center in Washington the Capitals Alex Ovechkin will face off against fellow Russian and Toronto Maple Leaf goaltender Ilya Samsonov tonight who said he’s proud that Ovechkin and wishes him well on his way to tying Gordie Howe’s career goal record at 801 goals which would put Ovechkin in second place on the all time list but Samsonov said but not against the Maple Leafs.

#4 Michael, the NHL is considering increasing the amount of the regular season schedule from 82 to 84 games. The reason would be travel demands of the NHL schedule but mainly it’ll bring more revenue for teams and the league.

#5 The Arizona Coyotes (10-14-4) hung on to beat the New York Islanders (17-13-1) in a see saw game 5-4. The Islanders Mathew Barzal provided a key goal that help defeat the Coyotes as the Islanders improve to 17 season wins. The Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka allowed four goals and stopped 30 shots.

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

NHL podcast with Matt Harrington: CBJs-Predators game postponed in Nashville; Leafs extend point streak to seven; plus more

Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Mitchell Marner (16) and Minnesota Wild left wing Matt Boldy (12) go after the puck during the first period at the Excel Energy Center in St Paul on Fri Nov 25, 2022 (AP News photo)

On NHL podcast with Matt Harrington:

#1 A very unusual NHL occurrence as today’s game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Nashville Predators has been postponed due to a water main break at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. The report says the break had significantly impacted the building and can’t service fans or even the players at the Nashville rink. The Jackets, Predators, or the NHL have not announced a make up date yet.

#2 The Toronto Maple Leafs have extended their point streak to seven games with a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild at the Excel Energy Center in St Paul. The Leafs Mitchell Marner extended his point streak to 15 games with a goal. The Leafs have now won two straight games and got 25 saves from goaltender Matt Murray.

#3 The Montreal Canadiens Kirby Dach has an eye for the backend of the net during shootouts. Dach scored his second consecutive game winning shootout goal getting the Habs a 3-2 win over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center in Chicago.

#4 Can’t hold a good team down as the Boston Bruins won their 12th consecutive game which is a NHL record for home victories getting the win over the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2. The Bruins David Pastrnak scored on a power play goal at 3:19 in the overtime stanza for a one timer after a pass from Brad Marchand.

#5 The Pittsburgh Penguins Ryan Poehling scored scored two goals which help contribute to a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The Pens Teddy Blueger had three assists, Josh Archibald got a goal and an assist, good enough for their fifth straight win.

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

NHL podcast with Matt Harrington: Buffalo suffering from key injuries; NHL teams inquiring about a Karlsson trade with San Jose; plus more news

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (26) checks Ottawa Senators right wing Mathieu Joseph (21) as they skate after the puck through the crease of Sabres goaltender Eric Comrie (31) during the second period at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa on Fri Nov 18, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the NHL podcast with Matt:

#1 The Buffalo Sabers are suffering from key injuries the Sabers report that goaltender Eric Comrie has suffered a lower body injury and is expected to be out for multiple weeks. Buffalo defenseman Rasmus Dahlin rammed Ottawa right winger Mathieu Joseph into Comrie at 9:43 in the second period. Comrie stayed 14 seconds longer and allowed a goal and was pulled after the goal.

#2 San Jose Sharks general manager Mike Grier said that he is entertaining offers from other NHL clubs who would be interested in defenseman Erik Karlsson’s services. Karlsson right now leads all NHL defenseman in goals scored with 11 goals. Grier says that Karlsson and his family is happy in San Jose and Grier would speak with Karlsson before anything is decided.

#3 For the Dallas Stars goaltender Scott Wedgewood a scary moment when he was carted off the ice with an upperbody injury during Thursday night’s game against the Florida Panthers at FLA Arena in Sunrise. Wedgewood ended up holding the Panthers center Anton Lundell on a breakaway Wedgewood’s back locked up and he was laid out only to get stretched off. Stars head coach Peter DeBoer said that Wedgewood later was walking around in the dressing room after the game and that he should be fine.

#4 The Minnesota Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is out with a upper body injury. Fleury has an upper body injury the report says that Fluery had contact in net likewise his counter Nashville goaltender was bumped around quite a bit. Fleury is listed day to day. Fluery is getting treatment from the doctors.

#5 Matt it’s been a very special week as the NHL and NHLPA are in joint initiative to raise cancer awareness for Hockey Fights Cancer. This is the 24th season the NHL and NHLPA are doing Hockey Fights Cancer. It’s been a humbling but yet special week for the players all that have been involved.

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

Sharks Rally to Erase 2 Goal Deficit, Beat Wild 3-2 in Shootout for First Back-to-back Wins of Season

Minnesota Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek is stopped by San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer (47) with Sharks’ Jaycob Megna and Nico Sturm (7) looking on in the first period at the Excel Energy Arena in St Paul Minn on Sun Nov 13, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Matthew Harrington

The San Jose Sharks scored two goals in the final seven minutes to erase a two-goal deficit and finished off the Minnesota Wild in a shootout for their first set of consecutive wins. Steven Lorentz scored his second goal of the year for San Jose (59-3), Nico Sturm scored his sixth and James Reimer made 28 saves for the win.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic had a pair of assists and Erik Karlsson added a helper for his team-leading 22nd point of the season. Connor Dewar and Frederick Gaudreau tallied the goals for Minnesota (7-6-2) while Filip Gustavsson made 35 saves.

Kirill Kaprizov had the lone goal of the shootout when Nick Bonino hit the ice for the Sharks third do-or-die shot. He beat Gustavsson then Reimer made a toe save on Joel Eriksson Ek to give San Jose a shot to win in the fourth round. Alexander Barabanov went five-hole on Gustavsson to seal the deal for the two points.

With the Sharks Trailing 2-0, Lorentz started the comeback after grazing the net front and picking up a rebound off Vlasic’s point shot. His first backhander wasn’t successful but he got a second opportunity and buried it at the 13:56 mark.

Sturm, a member of the Minnesota Wild from 2018 to a mid-season trade last year, created the tying goal out of nothing. He picked the puck off the Sharks end boards while Minnesota were transitioning back to defense. He fed it to Vlasic in the Sharks end and Vlasic dished it to Karlsson coming down the center lane.

Karlsson backhanded it to Sturm before crossing the defensive blue line and Sturm skated it all the way into the offensive zone, snapping a wrist shot before the faceoff circle that beat Gustavsson stick side for a 2-2 tie with 4:11 left.

Gaudreau’s goal 6:45 into the first period was a thing of beauty both for the goal and Kaprizov’s assist. Kaprizov was able to thread a puck through three Sharks defenders on the boards in an inexplicable angle. Gaudreau was turned with his back to the end wall, but he turned and waited out Reimer skating across the crease for the 1-0 lead.

The other Wild goal came on a Sharks gaffe with Karlsson manning the point on the power play. The defenseman was back skating butay have hit a divot and took a tumble, giving Mason Shaw a breakaway chance. Dewar joined Jim for a 2-on-0, Shaw did the unselfish thing and made the pass and Dewar buried the easy goal 3:37 into the third.

After winning back-to-back games where they weren’t their best, the Sharks will need their A-game for the win in their next game. They travel to Sin City to face the Western Conference leader Golden Knights Tuesday night.

NHL podcast with Matt Harrington: Montreal Legend Lafleur passes at 70; Wild’s Kaprizov passes 100 points for the season; plus more

Former Montreal Canadien Guy LaFleur was a staple in Montreal sports, LaFleur was a five time Stanley Cup Champion and scored 50 or more points for six consecutive seasons (file photo from nhl.com)

On the NHL podcast with Matt:

#1 He was called the cornerstone of the Montreal Canadiens dynasty, scoring at least 50 goals for six straight seasons for the Habs superstar Guy Lafleur died at age 70 after a three year battle with cancer. LaFleur played from 1971 to 1985 and returned to playing from 1988-91 and was a five time Stanley Cup Champion.

#2 The Minnesota Wild’s Kirill Kaprizov scored his 100th point and then eclipsed it on Friday against the Seattle Kraken at the Xcel Energy Center in St Paul in a 6-3 win. Kevin Fiala set a Wild record with five assists for points in nine consecutive games.

#3 The Ottawa Senators goaltender Filip Gustavsson stopped 33 shots enough to hold back the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Friday night in Columbus. The Senators won in a shootout 2-1. The Sens Tim Stutzle scored the only goal in the shootout enough for Ottawa to get by Columbus.

#4 The Toronto Maple Leafs Wayne Simmonds was fined $2250 for charging the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Mikhail Sergachev at 15:21 of the third period of Thursday’s game in Tampa Bay. The money goes to the Players Emergency Assistance Fund.

#5 The Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks are at SAP Center in San Jose. The Blackhawks have won two of their last 11 games, more recently winning two of their last five games. The Sharks come into tonight’s game winning one of their last 11 games.

Matt does the Sharks podcasts each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Sharks Lose 5-4 in OT to Wild, Bordeleau Has Assist in NHL Debut


San Jose Sharks’ Ryan Merkley (6) skates past Minnesota Wild’s Kevin Fiala, center, and Jared Spurgeon (46) after Spurgeon scored the game winning goal in overtime at Xcel Energy Arena in St Paul on Sun Apr 17, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks finished their road trip with an overtime loss, 5-4 to the Minnesota Wild. Dmitry Kulikov, Jared Spurgeon, Matt Boldy, and Kevin Fiala scored for the Wild, with two goals from Spurgeon. Marc-Andre Fleury made 26 saves for the win. Rudolfs Balcers, Matt Nieto, Noah Gregor and Nick Bonino scored for the Sharks. James Reimer made 23 saves in the loss. With this win, the Wild clinched their playoff berth.

In this ten game losing streak, the Sharks lost six games by one goal. Two of their losses by two goals included empty net goals. That is a lot of close games. After this game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said:

“It’s crazy how close we are on a lot of nights. You know, I’ve never been through anything like this as a coach or as a player, you know, losing this many games. And I’m not sure some of those guys in the room have either, the veterans, and certainly my staff. So it’s our job to try and draw on the positives, especially with nine rookies in the lineup tonight, is trying to you know, provide a lot of teaching at this point of the season. There’s a lot of good going on and you’ll never see it in the wins a losses column right now.”

Sharks added a couple more rookies to the mix on Sunday, for a total of seven in the lineup. Forward Thomas Bordeleau had an assist, a shot and was 40% in face-offs. He had 13:14 TOI, skating at center with Noah Gregor and Rudolfs Balcers. Defenseman Santeri Hatakka had a shot, a hit and two blocked shots in 11:44 TOI, skating with Nicolas Meloche.

Of Bordeleau’s first game, Boughner said: “I thought he did a lot of good things. You know, I talked to him after the first. Of course, he was nervous and, you know, he said to me: ‘I’ll be better in the second period,’ but I thought he actually had a pretty good first period.” He went on with the analysis to say “I liked his game, I thought pretty responsible, and for a first game I thought he handled himself very well.”

Dmitry Kulikov scored the first goal of the game at 6:04 of the first period. Kevin Fiala dropped the puck to Kulikov high in the slot. Kulikov’s shot went through some traffic and past Reimer’s glove. Assists went to Fiala and Matt Boldy.

Jared Spurgeon made it 2-0 at 7:29 with a shot from the point that went through traffic and in. It seemed to change direction off of Brent Burns’ stick. Marcus Foligno got the assist.

Rudolfs Balcers got the Sharks on the board at 9:38. Thomas Bordeleau knocked the puck lose below the goal line and Balcers gathered it up and moved up high for a shot from just below the blue line. The puck went under Fleury and in. Assists went to Bordeleau and Noah Gregor.

Matt Nieto tied the game at 1:19 of the second period. Nick Bonino caught the puck after Burns knocked it away from the Wild in the Sharks’ zone. Bonino passed it across the neutral zone to a speeding Nieto who carried it the other way. He got as far as the face-off circle before taking the shot for his sixth of the season.

Matt Boldy got the lead back for the Wild at 6:37, cleaning up a rebound. Assists went to Kevin Fiala and Frederick Gaudreau.

Noah Gregor tied it back up at 11:11. Bordeleau helped out again, this time picking off a pass and getting the puck to Balcers to start the play. Burns took the shot from the point and Gregor knocked in the rebound. Burns and Balcers got the assists.

Nick Bonino scored a short-handed goal at 1:37 of the third to give the Sharks a 4-3 lead. Tomas Herlt broke the puck out and then turned to skate backwards just over the Wild blue line. Bonino went down the boards and Hertl made a pass across the ice to him. Bonino took the shot from bad angle and beat Fleury. Assists went to Hertl and Nicolas Meloche.

Keivn Fiala tied it for the Wild, redirecting a Jordie Benn shot from the point. There was some discussion of goaltender interference, as a Wild player did bump Reimer’s glove. After the game, Boughner explained that the Sharks considered challenging it but, with Reimer outside the blue paint, the call might go against them. Assists went to Benn and Gaudreau.

Jared Spurgeon scored the game winner at 1:05 of overtime with a wrist shot from just above the circle. Assists went to Fiala and Gaudreau.

The Sharks next play on Tuesday at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets at 7:30 PM PT.

San Jose Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa: Reviewing this week’s trades and how it benefits Sharks

Anthony Bitetto joins the San Jose Sharks in a deal that Nick Merkley to the New York Rangers. Sharks assistant general manager Joe Will said Bitetto will strengthen the Sharks blue line (photo from New York Rangers Twitter)

On the San Jose Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa:

#1 Mary Lisa let’s take a look at some of the moves that the San Jose Sharks made this week before the trade deadline they traded defenseman Jake Middleton to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen and a 2022 fifth-round draft pick. The Sharks are looking to strengthen their position in goal do you see Kahkonen getting many starts out of the gate.

#2 Forward Nick Merkley went to the New York Rangers in exchange for defenseman Anthony Bitteto. Merkley was a mainstay for the Sharks AHL club the Barracuda developed and came up to the Sharks for Merkley to get the Rangers attention and join them Merkley did some impressive work on the ice.

#3 The Sharks sent forward Andrew Cogliano to the Colorado Avalanche for a 2024 fifth round draft pick. San Jose also traded goaltender Alexei Melnichuk to the Tampa Bay Lightning for center Antoine Morand.

#4 There is no secret that the Sharks are excited about obtaining Kahkonen, “Kaapo is a quick, athletic goaltender who has shown the ability to win consistently at every level he has played,” San Jose assistant general manager Joe Will said. 

#5 Anthony Bitteto is a plus as he joins the Sharks, Sharks assistant general manager Joe Will said that Bitteto gives the Sharks physical, additional depth on San Jose’s blueline. Bitteto has played in 39 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL with 15 points, four goals and 11 asissts.

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

Sharks Trade Middleton, Cogliano, Merkley, Acquire Kahkonen, Bitteto, Picks

The San Jose Sharks in a trade acquired goaltender Kappo Kahkonnen from the Minnesota Wild seen in photo file on Mon Mar 21, 2022 (file photo from Hockey Wilderness)

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE– On Monday, the trade deadline, the San Jose Sharks moved three players to playoff contenders. They traded defenseman Jake Middleton to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen and a 2022 fifth-round draft pick. Forward Nick Merkley went to the New York Rangers in exchange for defenseman Anthony Bitteto. The Sharks sent forward Andrew Cogliano to the Colorado Avalanche for a 2024 fifth round draft pick. San Jose also traded goaltender Alexei Melnichuk to the Tampa Bay Lightning for center Antoine Morand.

Jake Middleton has been with the Sharks organization since 2017, when he was signed as a free agent. He played in 59 games with the Sharks, scored nine points and had 82 penalty minutes.

Last season, Kaapo Kahkonen set a Wild rookie record, posting nine consecutive wins. He played 25 games with the Wild this season, posting a record of 12-8-3, a 2.87 GAA and a .910 save percentage. In his 54-game NHL career, his record is 31-17-4, a 2.89 GAA and a .907 save percentage. He will become a restricted free agent next season.

After the trade, Kahkonen talked about the trade and what he knows about the Sharks:

A good team. You know, the games I played against San Jose, I remember there’s a lot of good players there. I think it’s going to be, for sure we’re going to be a team that’s going to be able to compete in the near future and it’s going to be a great opportunity.

Kahkonen was asked whether he expected to be traded by the Wild. He said:

“I had no idea. I was actually on the ice, they pulled me out of there from the morning skate and just told me I had to leave the ice. At first I was kind of thinking that something happened to someone in my family or something but… so I was scared but then I heard I was getting traded.”

In a press release Monday, the Sharks said: “Kaapo is a quick, athletic goaltender who has shown the ability to win consistently at every level he has played,” San Jose assistant general manager Joe Will said. “He provides our club additional depth at the goaltending position this season and in the coming years.”

The Sharks acquired Nick Merkley last summer from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for defenseman Christian Jaros. Merkley played nine games with the Sharks and earned one goal and two assists.

Of Anthony Bitteto, a Sharks press release said:

“‘Anthony is a physical, veteran defenseman who gives us additional depth on our blueline,’ said Sharks Assistant General Manager Joe Will.

“This season, Bitetto has appeared in 39 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League, posting 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) and 26 penalty minutes in 39 games. He ranks second among team defensemen in goals and third in both assists and points.

“Bitetto has appeared in 197 NHL games with Nashville, Minnesota, Winnipeg, and the Rangers, posting 31 points (three goals, 28 assists) and 142 penalty minutes.”

Bitteto will be a free agent this summer.

Andrew Cogliano played 56 games with the Sharks this season, scored four goals and earned eleven assists. He will be a free agent this summer. In a press release, the Sharks said:

“Andrew was an important leader and a respected veteran in our dressing room this season,” said Sharks Assistant General Manager Joe Will. “Our players will be better pros for having had Andrew as a teammate.”

Antoine Morand has yet to play in the NHL. In their press release, the Sharks said:

In 138 AHL games with San Diego and Syracuse, Morand has posted 44 points (15 goals, 29 assists).

The five-foot-eleven, 190-pound native of Chateauguay, Quebec was originally selected by Anaheim in the second round (60th overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft.

Melnichuk appeared in three games with the Sharks last season. In their press release, the Sharks said:

Melnichuk appeared in 31 games with the Barracuda this season, posting a 10-14-2 record with a 3.92 goals-against average and an .867 save percentage.

Tomas Hertl is staying put with an eight-year contract extension, as the Sharks announced last week. The Sharks also did not move goaltender James Reimer, or forward Alexander Barabanov. Both players made the trade rumor mill before the deadline. Barabanov will be a free agent this summer and Reimer has one more season under contract with the Sharks.