NHL Stanley Cup Conference Finals podcast with Joe Lami: Sharks’ DeBoer didn’t underestimate Avs; Bruins getting it done on the power play

nbcsports.com file photo: San Jose Sharks’ Joe Pavelski (8) and the St. Louis Blues’ Vince Dunn (29) battle for the puck as the two teams meet Saturday night for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals at SAP Center in San Jose.

On the NHL Stanley Cup Conference Finals with Joe Lami:

San Jose Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer, after things settled down after the Sharks’ Game 7 victory on Wednesday night against the Colorado Avalanche, said the Avalanche were a team that handled a tough Calgary Flames team and got through them in the first round and it gave him some concern having to face Colorado.

While it gave DeBoer pause, he said he was proud of the job that the Sharks did in taking the second round against the Avalanche. Winning the second series without team captain Joe Pavelski, how both Brent Burns and Erki Karlsson both contributed with strong offensive performances. Burns and teammate Tomas Hertl combined with nine goals and 14 points.

The Boston Bruins held it together on Thursday night in Game 1 of the third round with a three goal win 5-3 over the Carolina Hurricanes, mostly because of the power play. The Bruins’ Marcus Johansson and Patrice Bergeron scored power play goals in 28 seconds. The Boston Bruins forward Charlie Wagner commented on the NHL Network that the Bruins took advantage of the power play, getting that huge 5-4 advantage gets them in their other end and they found their way to the back end of the net.

The Bruins, with their 5-3 win and having a 1-0 series lead, go to Game 2 on Sunday and the Bruins feel good to be on their home ice for this second game. Joe says the Bruins the huge favorite to take this series in five or six games.

Joe Lami does the NHL Stanley Cup Conference Finals podcast each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs/San Jose Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa and Jerry Feitelberg: Sharks win! It’s off to round 3 with the Blues

Photo credit: @ESPNStatsInfo

On the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs/San Jose Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa and Jerry F:

#1 Getting an early jump in hockey is not such a bad idea, and on Wednesday night at SAP Center, it was a plan that worked together as the Sharks scored twice in the first period and followed up with a goal in the second. It was all they needed to get by the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 to move onto round three.

#2 Joe Pavelski, who missed most of the series due to a concussion from a game 7 crosscheck vs. Vegas, returned and scored a goal in Game 7 and all goals counted in this close one. Did it look like Pavelski never missed a step?

#3 Tomas Hertl has been a Godsend in this series. He had a game where he scored just enough goals for the Sharks win scoring two goals.  In Game 7 on Wednesday, he scored again. He has had a spectacular series against Colorado.

#4 Then there’s Joonas Donskoi, who also contributed with a goal in Game 7. Mary Lisa talks about the kind of series Donskoi had.

#5 It’s onto the third round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, where the Sharks will play host to the St. Louis Blues on May 11th for Game 1. For the Blues, watch for Jaden Schwartz, the St. Louis left winger has scored 11 points and had eight goals in the postseason and Alex Pietrangelo, who leads the Blues in assists with nine.

Mary Lisa covers San Jose Sharks and does the Sharks podcasts each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Sharks Beat Avs 3-2, Advance to Western Conference Final

Photo credit: @NBCSSharks

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — For the fifth time in their history, the San Jose Sharks are going to the Western Conference Final after defeating the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 Wednesday. Sharks goals came from Joe Pavelski, Tomas Hertl, and Joonas Donskoi. Avs goals came from Mikko Rantanen and Tyson Jost. Martin Jones made 27 saves for the win, while Philipp Grubauer made 24 saves in a losing effort.

Sharks captain Joe Pavelski was a game-time decision Wednesday, and the final decision was to play.

After the game, Sharks forward Logan Couture said of Pavelski: “For a guy that missed playoff action for two weeks, to have the injury that he has, to come back, set up a goal, score a goal. I wish I could tell you what he’s gone through, from seeing it first hand, you wouldn’t believe that he’s playing right now, I’ll just say that. He played unbelievable.”

Due to Pavelski’s return, Joonas Donskoi was bumped down to the fourth line and then he scored the game-winning goal. Thus, the game-winners in both Sharks Game 7s were scored by fourth-liners, which was what Logan Couture said the team needed after Game 6. Couture was asked about that after Wednesday’s game. Couture said of Donskoi:

Donny was great, we needed something, I said it last time. We needed some other guys to step up and score goals and I thought they were very very good tonight. I thought Donny played excellent: he was all over the puck, created chances. They had a really good night when maybe my line, we didn’t create much and have too too many chances. So we needed it.

Nathan MacKinnon went down with a shoulder injury in the first two minutes of play. He returned around the 15-minute mark and appeared to be able-bodied again.

The first goal of the game quieted any concerns about Joe Pavelski’s readiness to play. Tomas Hertl retrieved the puck in the corner and sent it back up the boards to Brent Burns. Burns had time to pick his spot and that spot was right on goal, through the Pavelski tip lane. Pavelski caught the puck with the bottom of his stick blade and sent it bouncing at the net, much lower than Grubauer was ready for. It was Pavelski’s third of the post season. Burns and Hertl got the assists.

The Sharks added another at 11:35. After Evander Kane sent the puck around behind the Avs net, Pavelski retrieved it and then brought it back the way it came. As he passed the net, he passed to an unguarded Hertl, right above the blue paint. Hertl knocked it in quick as a cat. Two defenders, intent on Pavelski’s movements, had not noticed Hertl back there. The one who did notice was not close enough to stop him. Assists went to Pavelski and Kane.

Mikko Rantanen scored with just seven seconds left in the first period, cutting the Sharks’ lead in half. Samuel Girard took a shot right down the slot from the blue line and Rantanen tipped it up into the net. A second assist went to Gabriel Landeskog.

Colin Wilson appeared to have tied the game near the eight minute mark of the second, but the goal was challenged by the Sharks for an offside play. Upon review, the goal was disallowed.

Joonas Donskoi came off the schneid with the Sharks’ third goal of the game. Picking up the puck near the corner, he carried it around behind the net, came out front and took a wrist shot at the near top corner. It was his first goal since January. Assists went to Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson.

The Avs scored again 51 seconds into the third period. Alexander Kerfoot’s shot came out as a rebound that Colin Wilson tried to push back in, but Vlasic got to that. Vlasic’s clearing attempt hit Hertl and bounced back toward the net. Tyson Jost was able to reach it before Jones or Vlasic could. Assists went to Wilson and Kerfoot.

The Avs pulled their goaltender with 2:10 left in regulation, but the Sharks and their goaltender held them off.

Game 1 of the Western Conference Final will be on Saturday the 11th at 5:00 PM PT. The Sharks will host the St. Louis Blues at SAP Center.

Avalanche Force Game 7 with 4-3 OT Win Against Sharks

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The Colorado Avalanche defeated the San Jose Sharks 4-3 in overtime at the Pepsi Center Monday. The win means that the teams will come back to San Jose to play a seventh game in their second round playoffs series. Avs goals came from JT Compher (2), Tyson Jost and Gabriel Landeskog. Sharks goals came from Marc-Edouard Vlasic (2) and Brent Burns. Philipp Grubauer made 19 saves for the win, while Martin Jones made 22 saves in a losing effort.

Although the overtime game-winner was scored by the Avs team captain Gabriel Landeskog, Sharks forward Logan Couture said: “Their depth guys beat us tonight. We got beat by JT Compher, Tyson Jost, their second, third, fourth line.”

Similarly, two of the Sharks’ three goals also came from an unusual suspect, Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

After the game, Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said: “We got three goals from our defensemen. I thought if there was one disappointing area, I thought our forwards could have found a way to do a little bit more. I thought, as a group, they have to be better for us if we’re going to move on here.”

The first period was marked by three penalties called in a bunch between 12:06 and 17:34. Two went against the Sharks, one on Kevin Labanc for holding, another on Joe Thornton for tripping Matt Nieto. A penalty against Colorado roughly 30 seconds into the second Colorado power play gave the teams 90 seconds of four-on-four. The Sharks only allowed one shot in those penalty kills, but got no shots during their very short power play. The Sharks only got credit for five shots in the first period, while Colorado got 11.

The second period made up for the lack of scoring in the first. The teams traded goals back and forth for four goals period.

Starting with a cross-ice pass in the neutral zone from Ian Cole to JT Compher, the Avalanche moved up the ice fast. Compher sent the puck back across the ice to Jost who was almost to the net, setting him up to shoot before Jones could get across. Assists went to Compher and Cole. The time of the goal was 6:04.

The Avs kept the pressure on for some shifts after that. A minute or so later, Brent Burns caught Mikko Rantanen with a hip check in open ice, sending Rantanen to the dressing room for a spell. The Sharks finally responded with some offensive zone time and after a couple of false starts, sustained pressure on the Colorado net.

They were rewarded with a goal at 14:36 from Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Timo Meier had just brought the puck in and tried to get a shot away as he fended off Cale Makar. The puck bounced harmlessly off of Grubauer, but Vlasic was trailing the play and time to lift the puck over the goalie’s pad. Colorado challenged the goal for goaltender interference, after Meier’s skate touched Grubauer’s pad. The goal stood up. Assists went to Meier and Gus Nyquist.

Colorado took the lead back at 18:44. A clearing attempt was thwarted by Alexander Kerfoot on the blue line. While Carl Soderberg carried the puck around the boards, Kerfoot moved to the net to provide a screen. With Vlasic pressuring him, Soderberg made a short pass to Compher, who was at the blue line. Compher’s shot whizzed by Jones unseen by the goalie. Assists went to Soderberg and Kerfoot.

The Sharks tied it again just over a minute later, with 10 seconds left in the period. Tmo Meier fought his way into the zone before losing the puck. Erik Karlsson was there to find it and make a pass to Brent Burns, who was just coming off of the bench. Burns skated in for the shot and beat Grubauer on the right side. Karlsson got the assist.

Through the second period, the teams were tied in shots as well as goals, with eight each.

JT Compher gave the Avs yet another lead four minutes into the third period. Colin Wilson got the puck across the line before he ran into the Sharks defense. Derick Brassard was coming into the zone too fast for the Sharks to adjust. He took the puck below the face-off dot for a bad angle shot that bounced off of Jones. Meanwhile, Compher had come down the other side and skated across in front of the net for a back hand shot over Jones’ pads. Assists went to Brassard and Wilson.

The Sharks had an astonishingly long offensive zone late in the period. A broken stick for Mikko Rantanen helped them out there. Rantanen got a new stick, but not before the Sharks had worn the Colorado defense to a frazzle. Finally, a shot from Marc-Edouard Vlasic tied it for the third time, at 17:32. Logan Couture made a short pass form behind the net to Vlasic. Vlasic didn’t have a shot, but he sent it through the blue paint, where Meier might have been able to knock it in. Instead, it went off of Nikita Zadorov’s skate and in. Assists went to Couture and Nyquist.

In the third period, the Sharks out-shot the Avalanche 8-5, and killed one more penalty during which they allowed not shots. Colorado dominated the face-off battle in the first period, winning 72% of them. As the game went on, the Sharks improved there, winning 52% in the second and 58% in the third.

Overtime did not last long. Colorado started the period with early pressure. The Sharks had a couple of good shifts in the second minute, but Colorado’s top line finally got on the board with the winner at 2:32. After the Sharks almost cleared the puck out of a battle in the corner, Cale Makar kept it in at the blue line and sent it back down. Gabriel Landeskog, who had dumped the puck in, then fought for it in the corner, was there in the slot to get the pass. The puck tried to bounce off of his stick but he reached for it and nudged it under Jones. Makar got the only assist.

Neither team has won two games in a row in this series. The last time the Sharks played in back-to-back seven-game series was 1994. Their next Game 7 will be on Wednesday at SAP Center in San Jose at 6:00 PM PT.

Sportstalk podcast at Rosa Mexicano in downtown San Francisco Monday May 6, 2019

photo by Rosa Mexicano Restaurant San Francisco

Cast: Michael Duca (host), David Zizmor, Bill Gould, Morris Phillips, Jeremy Kahn, and Lee Leonard (producer) podcasting from beautiful Rosa Mexicano Restaurant at 30 Mission Street downtown San Francisco. Our special thanks to our hosts at Rosa Mexicano Dan Munteanu (General Manager) and Ornin Gosuwin (Manager) and server Connie.

Some of the items we would recommend when you dine at Rosa Mexicano: Guacamole. Rosa Mexicano has been preparing this special guacamole grinded up in a stone charcoal bowl since 1984. The authentic taste of Rosa Mexicano’s signature appetizer will have you going for more.

Some of the main courses of the house we would like to recommend to you from the dinner menu: Chile Poblano Relleno, Carnitas, Budin de Pollo, Pescado a la Veracruzana, Pollo Pibil, Salmon Poblano, Tampiquena de Carne Asada, and Alambre de Camarones.

On the sports headline discussions: Sharks and Avalanche as well as Columbus Blue Jackets and Boston Bruins in the second round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets as well as Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics in the second round of the NBA Playoffs plus San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs podcast with Daniel Dullum: Sharks make push with win on home ice; Tortorella says Jackets will extend series to 7; plus more

nbcsports.com photo: San Jose Sharks’ Tomas Hertl (48) celebrates after scoring a goal in the second period, Hertl scored both San Jose goals in the Sharks’ win on Saturday night at SAP Center in Game 5.

On the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs podcast with Daniel:

1 Shark Tank gets loud as San Jose takes Game 5 from Avs

2 Tortorella guarantees Blue Jackets will extend series with Boston to seven games

3 Hurricanes complete sweep of Isles; Stars take lead over St. Louis

4 Don Cherry blasts Hurricanes fans again

Daniel Dullum does the NHL Playoffs podcasts each Sunday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Sharks Beat Avs 2-1, Retake Series Lead 3-2

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks defeated the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 Saturday. With the win, the Sharks took a 3-2 lead in the second round playoff series. Four Sharks (Logan Couture, Evander Kane, Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns) had four shots on goal in the game, but Tomas Hertl had eight. It was hardly surprising that he had both goals for San Jose. Tyson Jost scored for the Avs. Sharks goaltender Martin Jones made 21 saves in the win, while Philipp Grubauer made 37 saves for the Avs.

The Sharks held Nathan MacKinnon to a single shot in the game. After the game, Sharks forward Logan Couture was asked what the team’s game plan was against MacKinnon: “Our game plan against him is try and not to let him play in the offensive zone. It’s pretty difficult to do. He’s such a good player, he’s going to get his looks, he’s going to get the puck in the neutral zone. But I thought for the most part we limited, you know, maybe, his chances to the outside. He still gets looks, he’s such a good player.”

The Sharks put the puck in the net during the first period, a nice shot to the top corner from Kevin Labanc off a Joe Thornton feed. But it was called back because Timo Meier had his stick lifted near Mikko Rantanen’s face. It did not seem to make contact but the officials called it a penalty worthy of a disallowed goal. That was the second time in these playoffs that a Sharks goal was called back for a questionable penalty, but this time, the Sharks killed the penalty. They did not allow a shot in that power play.

Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer was asked about the team’s reaction to that non-goal after the game: “I liked how we were playing. I loved how we started, I liked our first period I thought we were putting a lot of pressure on them. I thought, I could tell we were ready to play and committed to what we wanted to do. So it’s not as frustrating when that happens when your team is playing the way it is, because we knew that we were going to get opportunities for some more.”

At the end of the first period, the Sharks had won 59% of the face-offs and led in shots 12-6.

The Sharks were out-shooting the Avalanche consistently, despite suffering back-to-back penalties in the second period. The Avalanche still scored first, late in the second period. JT Compher took a shot off the rush and Jones kicked out a rebound. Brent Burns got to it first but he didn’t get all of it when he tried to clear it to the corner. It went into Tyson Jost’s skates and ended up behind Jones. It was Tyson Jost’s first of the playoffs. Assists went to Compher and Samuel Girard.

With the second period ticking away, the Sharks tied it up with a power play goal. At 19:40, Logan Couture took a shot from the slot off an Erik Karlsson feed. Tomas Hertl, lower down in the slot, deflected the shot past Grubauer to tie the game. The goal was not called back. It was Hertl’s seventh of the playoffs. Assists went to Couture and Karlsson.

In the second period, the Sharks won 63% of the face-offs, and had a shot lead of 29-15. Nine Avs players had shots on goal, while 13 Sharks had at least one shot.

The Sharks got an early power play in the third, courtesy of a high stick from Nikita Zadorov 31 seconds in. The Sharks got just one shot on that power play. After that, the Sharks did an excellent job of kicking Colorado out of their zone, but could not get themselves set up at the other end.

When they finally did get some extended zone time, the Sharks scored. Marc-Edouard Vlasic took a quick shot that hit the goaltender and dropped into the blue paint next to him. Tomas Hertl was battling for space in front of the net. Despite being pushed over the goaltender at the last second, he got a stick on the puck and pushed it over the line at 6:26. Assists went to Vlasiuc and Joonas Donskoi.

The Sharks went back on the power play at 7:31, when Zadorov went back to the box, this time for roughing. The Sharks got four shots on that power play.

The Avalanche pulled their goaltender with over two minutes left in the game, but did not score again. The Sharks tried to score in the empty net a few times but missed.

Game 6 will be on Monday night at the Pepsi Center in Denver at 7:00 PM PT.

Injury notes: Joonas Donskoi was back in the lineup, and Joe Pavelski made an appearance Saturday, waving to the fans from the tunnel. Pavelski is skating again, but there is still no timetable for his return to play.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs/San Jose Sharks podcast with Len Shapiro: Jones, a huge instrument in shutting down Avalanche for Game 5 tonight

Photo credit: @BayAreaSportsHQ

On the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs/SJ Sharks podcast with Len:

#1 Judging from the San Jose Sharks and the Colorado Avalanche, does Len see this series going to seven games?

#2 How much of a difference in goal has Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer made in this series he’s been 93% average in league? His big game was game four when he shutout the Sharks 3-0 saved 32 shots in game four.

#3 Also, not to take anything away from Sharks goalie Martin Jones, whose save percentage is .910 in the postseason, which is up from his regular season save percentage of .896.

#4 Although the series is tied at 2-2, it’s important to note the Sharks won two of the first three games of this series and can lend into Game 5.

#5 The Avalanche’s Nathan McKinnon has six goals and seven assists in eight playoff games. How important is it for the Sharks defense to key in on him in Game 5?

#6 The Sharks have not been able to put a decent power play together in this series going 1-11.

#7 Thornton, Sorenson, LeBanc have combined for one assist in the last three games

#8 Hertl and Kane do not have a point in the last two games, Pavelski is a no show and will not play

Len Shapiro is covering the San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche Stanley Cup Playoffs series and podcasts each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

Avalanche Win 3-0, Tie Series with Sharks

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The Colorado Avalanche tied their second round series with the San Jose Sharks by winning in 3-0 in Denver on Thursday. Their goal scorers were Nathan MacKinnon, Colin Wilson and Erik Johnson. It was MacKinnon’s sixth of the playoffs, and his second in this round against the Sharks. Philipp Grubauer made 32 saves for the shutout win, while Martin Jones made 25 saves in the loss.

Sharks forward Logan Couture blamed turnovers for the loss: “I thought we turned way too many pucks over. Way too many, handed them goals off turnovers inside of our blue line, and just bad decisions with the puck.”

Couture also pointed to missed opportunities: “It seems like it’s been the story of this series where we’ve had some good looks, we don’t score, and it costs us. The amount of times where we’ve had, you know, breakaways or good looks in the slot and we don’t score, and they come back and they score soon after.”

Five Sharks had three or more shots on goal, and they had more than one breakaway Thursday.

The game was remarkably even for the first half. Shot counts were within two in each period, there were no penalties in the first and two per team in the second. The Sharks won 53% of the face-offs in both of the first two periods.

After the game, Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said: “It was one of those games I thought, half way through, you know, I kind of had the feeling whoever was going to score first was probably going to win. And you know they got the goal, they got the energy they started to grab some momentum, win a few more battles than we were winning from that point on. But I really felt the game was right there at least up until that point.”

The Sharks’ first power play was cut short by an overlapping penalty to Kevin Labanc. That raised some eyebrows since Erik Karlsson had been conspicuously tripped while he carried the puck through the neutral zone, in full view of most observers. That was not called, which would have given the Sharks a two-man advantage.

The first goal came in the middle of the second period. It was scored by Nathan MacKinnon on a second effort, after Jones had already stopped a nice attempt. Cale Makar shot the puck for a deflection by Mikko Rantanen, and Jones stopped that with his mask, but the rebound went off of Burns in front of the net. Burns tried to knock it away from the net, but didn’t get all of it, so it started to fall down to the blue paint. MacKinnon was close enough to knock it past Jones.

The second Colorado goal came on a power play that saw Justin Braun in the box for tripping Alexander Kerfoot. A clearing attempt by Brent Burns was cut short by Colin Wilson and fell to Gabriel Landeskog to carry back in. The Sharks’ penalty killers were caught a little off kilter and, in a scramble by the net, none of them could get control of the puck again. It trickled out of traffic to Wilson, who had an open net by then. Assists went to Rantanen and Landeskog.

At 8:05 of the third, Braun went to the box again after a careless high stick that caught Colin Wilson in the face. Seconds before that penalty was to expire, Brent Burns joined Braun in the box for hooking Samuel Girard. The Sharks were doing a great job killing the first penalty, were in fact all south of the center line attempting some short-handed offense. Girard got past Burns and Burns got his stick up around Girard’s arms as Girard closed on the Sharks net. That gave the Sharks 14 seconds of five-on-three to kill.

The Sharks did kill it off. In the last two minutes of the period, they pulled Jones for an extra skater. Two goals in two minutes was unlikely even with six skaters. Instead, Colorado got their third of the night, put into the empty net by Erik Johnson. Assists went to Matt Calvert and Matt Nieto.

Game 5 will be in San Jose on Saturday at 7:00 PM PT.

Around the nine-minute mark of the third, Nyquist went down in a collision with MacKinnon and required some attention from the trainer. He did not miss much game time, if any, for that. The Sharks shortened their bench once again in the third period. Joakim Ryan did not skate in the third and Lukas Radil only had one shift. Micheal Haley and Marcus Sorensen also had their shifts cut down.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs/San Jose Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa Walsh: A win by the Sharks in Game 4 almost assures team to advance

Photo credit: ftw.usatoday.com

On the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs/San Jose Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa:

#1 The San Jose Sharks hold a 2-1 series lead on the Colorado Avalanche with Game 4 slated for Thursday night. The Sharks look like they have bead on things after they beat the Avs 4-2 in Game 3 at the Pepsi Center.

#2 The Sharks’ Logan Couture, who scored a hat trick, just couldn’t be contained. Once he got the puck, he never hesitated on throwing it on net.

#3 Sharks goaltender Martin Jones is thankful for the offensive help of Couture, saying his performance was clutch and he was all the difference in a game like that.

#4 To demonstrate how purposeful the Sharks were, they wasted no time in the first period, taking a 2-0 lead and taking the wind out of the Avs’ sails.

#5 Game 4 tonight this is a must win situation for the Avs or their season could end very soon. They have home ice and need a win to tie the series up. A win by the Sharks, taking a 3-1 series lead back to San Jose, could almost assure the Sharks a great chance to advance to the next round.

Join Mary Lisa for the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs/San Jose Sharks podcast each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com