NHL Stanley Cup Final podcast with Joe Lami: Joe talks Sharks free agency plus Bruins-Blues, who’s the best?

photo from wbur.org: Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask stops a penalty shot by Columbus Blue Jackets forward Boone Jenner during Game 4 of their second-round series.

On the Stanley Cup Final podcast with Joe:

#1 The San Jose Sharks’ season ended last week as the players cleaned out their lockers the discussion of free agency was turned up as the Sharks might shop or drop free agents, forwards, Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton, Joonas Donskoi, Michael Healy, and Gus Nyquist.

#2 The Sharks are also looking at their defensemen free agents who may not return next season — Erik Karlsson and Tim Heed

#3 Will restricted free agents Timo Meier and Kevin LaBanc be back?

#4 The Boston Bruins swept through the Stanley Cup Playoffs and made it look easy. Joe takes a look how easy it will be against the St. Louis Blues in the Final.

#5 The Bruins have home ice and had plenty much of a flawless postseason, going almost error free.

Listen for Joe Lami on the NHL Stanley Cup Finals podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast with Barbara Mason: Curry’s wife on Jada Pinkett show to talk about lack of attention from men; Kerr says Green’s a wrecking ball; plus more

Photo credit: buzzfeednews.com

On That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast:

#1 On the Facebook Red Table Talk show with Jada Pinkett, NESN.com reported Golden State Warriors wife Ayesha Curry said that while she didn’t like groupies hanging around her husband, she had developed a bit of “an insecurity” and getting “zero male attention.” One writer Bari A Williams tweeted Ayesha might feel this way is because she’s 30, has three kids and might not feel and look the same way she did before she had kids.

#2 Golden State Warriors head coach Steven Kerr said that Draymond Green was a wrecking ball in Game 3 on Saturday with 20 points, 12 rebounds, 13 assists, four steals, and a blocked shot.

#3 St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington said about San Jose Sharks Timo Meier’s one hand pass assist that led to the Sharks’ game-winning goal in Game 4 for the overtime win on Eirk Karlsson’s goal: “It’s just madness. You hope for the best and try to close the door.” The Blues were pretty angry and took it out on Game 5 in San Jose on Sunday for the win 5-0 to take a 3-2 series lead.

#4 The red-hot New York Yankees have won 10 of their last 14 games and Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said of the 17 starters or key players who are on the injured list the replacement by the younger players have come out and done a great job. ”Young guys are stepping up, they realize this is an opportunity that they might not otherwise have had and they’re making the most of it.” said Steinbrenner.

#5 The Oakland A’s, during this current road trip after losing two straight in Seattle, won three straight in Detroit. The A’s regrouped after the pair of losses to the Mariners and are really making a go of it in Detroit.

Barbara Mason is filling in for Amaury Pi Gonzalez on the News and Commentary podcast at http://www.sportsradioservice.com and is a freelance reporter for Area Grande Spanish Newspapers

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs podcast with Joe Lami: Blues look to even series, but Sharks look to move two games up tonight

Photo credit: @NBCSSharks

On the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs podcast with Joe Lami:

#1 Joe explain the overtime goal from San Jose Sharks’ Erik Karlsson that got guided in from teammate Timo Meier with the glove hand to teammate Gustav Nyquist, who stick passed it to Karlsson and shot it past St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington.

#2 The Sharks got the Wednesday night comeback win from a 4-3 deficit as the Sharks’ Logan Couture scored the tying goal in the third period at 18:59. The Sharks, again, played like their playoff lives depended on it and made a comeback.

#3 Couture also leads NHL playoff leaders in goals with 13 goals and 19 points. He’s having a fine offensive postseason.

#4 The Boston Bruins swept the Carolina Panthers in four games with a 4-0 shutout Thursday night. The Bruins didn’t show any lows at all in the series and have been very consistent throughout the playoffs.

#5 The Bruins now wait for the winner of the St. Louis and San Jose series. Joe tells us who he thinks the Bruins prefer to play in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Joe Lami does the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

NHL Stanley Cup Western Conference Finals podcast with Daniel Dullum: Sharks set tone in Game 1 with Meier lighting up the lamp

photo from nbcsports.com: The San Jose Sharks’ Timo Meier can’t contain the thrill of scoring one of his two goals in the Sharks win over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday in game 1 at SAP Center in San Jose.

On the NHL Stanley Cup Western Conference Finals podcast with Daniel:

1 Timo Meier scores twice, Sharks rout St. Louis in Game 1 of Western Conference Finals

2 Sharks’ Brent Burns has played much more than anyone in this year’s Cup playoffs

3 NHL Odds: Sharks given worst chance among remaining teams to win Stanley Cup

4 NHL explains controversial overturn of goal in San Jose-Colorado Game 7

5 Edmonton fires Ken Hitchcock, names Holland GM

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

Sharks Beat Blues 6-3 in Game 1 of NHL Western Conference Final

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks defeated the St. Louis Blues 6-3 Saturday, taking a 1-0 lead in the Western Conference Final series. Timo Meier and Logan Couture created a stir with two goals each, while forwards Joe Pavelski and Kevin Labanc added goals to complete that hefty score. Blues goals came from Joel Edmundson, Ryan O’Reilly and Tyler Bozak. Sharks goaltender Martin Jones made 28 saves for the win, while Jordan Binnington made 19 saves for the Blues.

After the game, Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer was asked about how his team shut down the Blues’ formidable Tarasenko line, just as they had shut down Colorado’s top line in the previous series. DeBoer said:

St. Louis is built a little different. Obviously, they have that line, but I think they also have a couple other lines that are very good too. Their third line might have been their most dangerous line in the last series and I thought was good again tonight, got a goal in the third period. So they’re built differently. I think this is going to be more of a team effort to shut down their group and if we can get the match ups we want, great. If we can’t, the guys out there are going to have to get the job done.

Series predictions have some trends to rely on. By the end of the second round, the Sharks seemed to have shed their habit of giving up a goal in the first minute of the game, and they had scored the most goals in the 2019 playoffs. They had also given up the most third period goals. St. Louis was second in scoring third period goals and had given up 10 fewer goals per game than the Sharks. Both teams have had formidable penalty kills, but less reliable power plays.

The Sharks started the scoring early in the first after taking the puck away from the Blues in the neutral zone. Logan Couture and Gus Nyquist broke away from the Blues defense at the blue line and ended up 2-on-1 against Joel Edmundson. Nyquist passed across and Couture put it away for his 10th of the playoffs. The time of the goal was 3:31.

That first goal ignited the Blues, at least in terms of hits. Sundry contact was ignored by the officials, including a curious pair of hits on Tomas Hertl and an elbow to Timo Meier’s head.

The Blues tied the game with an end-to-end play by Jaden Schwartz at 9:13. Schwartz took Logan Couture down behind the Blues net without any reaction from the officials. He then skated the puck all the way down and shot it off of Joel Edmundson. It was Edmundson’s first of the playoffs. Assists went to Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko.

Joe Pavelski got the lead back for the Sharks in a 5-on-3 power play at 11:24. Brent Burns sent the puck to him off to the side of the net. Pavelski stopped the hard pass and shot it. Binnington got his pad in the way and Pavelski had to reach in and give the puck a couple of extra taps to get it over the pad. It was Pavelski’s fourth of the playoffs and his second since returning from injury. Assists went to Burns and Erik Karlsson.

Despite having to kill two penalties, the Blues led the Sharks in shots in the first period, 10-9. The Sharks had the edge in face-offs, winning 59%.

Kevin Labanc added to the Sharks’ tally at 7:41 of the second. He skated in down the left boards then took a hard right at the face-off circle. He took the shot as he exited the circle and the puck went through three skaters. The traffic may have even disguised the fact that Labanc was moving to shoot, so the goaltender had no chance. An assist on Labanc’s fourth of the playoffs went to Joe Thornton.

Ryan O’Reilly scored a tricky goal at 8:58 to make it 3-2. He got control of a sluggish rebound near the blue paint, drew it back until Martin Jones came out for the shot, then went around the goaltender and nudged it over the line. Assists went to David Perron and Sammy Blais. It was O’Reilly’s third of the playoffs.

Timo Meier scored at 10:24 after a beautiful poke check by Logan Couture at the blue line, keeping the puck in. Meier was pursuing the checked skater and was ready to turn and take it back to the net. He avoided the pursuing defensemen and waited until Binnington was down, then, while skating left, reached right to guide the puck around the goalie’s outstretched skate and into the net. Couture got the assist. It was Meier’s fourth of the playoffs.

The Blues got their first power play at 13:23. The Sharks did not let any shots get through but one of the attempts sent Goodrow limping to the bench.

The Sharks added another at 17:34 of the second, this one attributed to Timo Meier. Meier was behind the net and trying to move the puck forward.  Blues defenseman Vince Dunn got in the way. His skate was in the perfect position to redirect the puck in behind his own goaltender. Assists went to Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Gus Nyquist.

The second period shots were again very close, this time 11-9 Sharks. The Sharks won 58% of the second period face-offs.

Their third period scoring success in these playoffs made it all the less surprising when the Blues made it 5-3 at 13:01 of the third.

After several attempts to Jones’ right, the puck got across to the other side where Tyler Bozak was waiting to put it in. It was Bozak’s third of the playoffs. Assists went to Pat Maroon and Vince Dunn.

The Blues pulled their goaltender with 4:39 left in the game. The Sharks had their hands full defending those six skaters, but managed a couple of shots at the empty net. Logan Couture finally got one of them in the net at 17:39. Assists went to Joe Pavelski and Evander Kane.

Fisticuffs followed at the Sharks end. Barclay Goodrow was sent off after intervening in someone else’s dispute, for roughing against Robert Bortuzzo. Goodrow also got a misconduct against Bortuzzo. Bortuzzo was sent off for roughing against Goodrow and received an additional misconduct. They each got five minutes. Brenden Dillon and Oskar Sundqvist got two minutes each for roughing. All of that went down at 17:55.

For a clue to what the Blues will be working on before Game 2, here is what Blues head coach Craig Berube had to say after Game 1:

I thought that third period we got to our game, we were aggressive, we’re on the forecheck, controlled the puck in the offensive zone. We didn’t get there enough tonight. In the first period it was ok, I thought it was a pretty good first period other than the penalties. But second period we just got caught in that three-quarter ice game by them, they did a good job checking, forced some things on us and we got caught in some turnovers and they capitalized on them.

Game 2 will be on Monday in San Jose at the SAP Center at 6:00 PM PT.

Sharks Take Game 3, Beat Avs 4-2 with Couture Hat Trick

Photo credit:

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks took a 2-1 series lead over the Colorado Avalanche, winning 4-2 in Denver Tuesday. Three of the Sharks’ goals came from Logan Couture, and one from Timo Meier. Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Nieto scored for Colorado. Martin Jones made 25 saves for the win, and Philipp Grubauer made 27 saves in the loss.

After the game, Martin Jones said of Logan Couture: “He’s clutch, I mean big games, big moments in games, he’s the guy that, every time, you can rely on. So, he was huge again tonight.”

The Sharks took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission, but then saw the game tied 2-2 in the third period. Of the team’s response to this situation, Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said:

I loved our response, it was even-keeled, there was no panic, you know, it was just ‘get out there and let’s get back at this.’ I think we knew, at that point it was 2-2, but, you know, we deserved to be in a different spot than that. We knew what was working for us and we just needed to get back to that.

Power plays were remarkably unproductive in the game. None scored and only one power play in the game generated more than one shot, Colorado’s in the second period. That one only got two shots.

Sharks defenseman Justin Braun said, of his team’s defensive success in the game: “I think it came down to the pk. You know, we did a really good job, they had a lot of good chances but we kept it out of the net.”

The Sharks had two power plays by the time the middle of the first period had gone by. They had few shots on those power plays that looked dangerous, but hit a lot of metal. The Avs had their first power play abbreviated as it overlapped with the Sharks’ second one. The power plays and the four-on-four added to the speed of the period, which didn’t generate any scoring until the last five minutes.

Logan Couture was able to score after a prolonged attack on the Colorado net, at 15:24. Grubauer made several saves before Couture put the puck past him with a reaching swipe at his own rebound. Assists went to Gus Nyquist and Timo Meier.

Timo Meier added another in the final minute of the period. Rushing in after intercepting the puck in the neutral zone, Meier blew past the unsuspecting defense and took the shot without slowing down. The puck rang the bar on its way in.

The shot count for the first period was 13-7 Sharks. The Sharks jumped right into the second with four shots in the first 90 seconds of the period. The Avs had two in those 90.

The Sharks had a great shift from the Couture-Meier-Kane line around the 3:20 mark. While the forwards kept the Avs locked in the defensive zone, defensemen Vlasic and Burns got some shots in to stir things up. A shot from Vlasic bounced up and over Grubauer, but managed to stay out. Before the 10-minute mark, the Sharks were on the power play and already had eleven shots to Colorado’s three.

The power play came from a high stick to Micheal Haley’s face. The Sharks did not score but the power play time kept the Avs on their heels. The teams traded penalties again as the period wore on but penalty killers were perfect in the second, technically.

Less than a second after the second Sharks power play expired, Ian Cole intercepted a stretch pass from Brent Burns. He got the puck right to Nathan MacKinnon as he flew off the bench and through the neutral zone. Burns was caught flat-footed as MacKinnon went around him and beat Jones with a quick shot. It was MacKinnon’s fifth of the playoffs. Cole got the lone assist.

The Sharks again outshot the Avs, 13-9 in the second. The Avs came out energized for the third, and got six shots in to the Sharks’ two in the first half of the period. The Sharks also took a too many men penalty at 6:02. Colorado got one shot in that power play, but there were signs of fatigue from the Sharks.

Erik Karlsson’s attempt to move the puck up the boards from behind the net was blocked by Tyson Jost and bounced harmlessly to the corner. That led to an extended attack from Colorado against Sharks, who had already been on the ice for too long. Samuel Girard’s shot came down from the blue line into traffic and went off of Matt Nieto, into the net at 11:45. It was Nieto’s fourth of the playoffs. Assists went to Girard and Cale Makar.

Despite appearances, the Sharks were not completely gassed yet, and they made their first significant push of the third into the offensive zone. After Gus Nyquist forced a turnover just inside the Colorado blue line, Logan Couture, who had been dawdling before leaving the zone, got the puck and had a clear lane to the net. With a couple of little moves, he avoided a defender’s stick and got Grubauer moving just enough to let the puck get by on the short side. It was Couture’s eighth of the playoffs. Nyquist got the assist.

Colorado finished the game on a power play, but they pulled their goaltender to add a sixth skater. Colorado could not really hold the zone and, after a few tries, the Sharks got an empty net goal. It was Couture’s for the hat trick.

Gus Nyquist was able to make it to the game even though he did not travel with the team. He stayed behind with his wife while she delivered their first child, a daughter named Charlotte.

After the game, Nyquist said: “It’ll be nice to lay down in bed tonight and think about a few good days.”

Game 4 will be Thursday at the Pepsi Center in Denver at 7:00 PM PT.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2019: Golden Knights Take 2-1 Series Lead with 6-3 Win Over Sharks

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The Vegas Golden Knights defeated the San Jose Sharks 6-3, scoring a first-minute goal in all three periods. Three Vegas goals came from Mark Stone, two from Paul Stastny and one from Max Pacioretty. For the Sharks, goals came from Kevin Labanc, Logan Couture and Timo Meier. Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves for the Vegas win, while Martin Jones made 34 saves in the Sharks loss.

After the game, Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer talked about the high-scoring line of Stastny, Stone and Pacioretty:

They’ve eaten us up here this series so far, so, we haven’t had an answer for them. What do they do well? I mean you’ve got three very good players that are playing at a really high level right now. So, you know, that is part of the issue. We’ve got to find an answer to slow those guys down.

Sharks captain Joe Pavelski talked about the impact of early goals against, summarizing it as: “It’s tough to keep it going or get it back when you do that at the start.” Forward Logan Couture also talked those period starts, saying “they made some nice plays but we’ve got to be ready to start periods.”

On his goaltender’s performance, Couture said: “I think he made a lot of saves. I mean, you look at that game, their power play chances, their chances in the slot, he made a lot of big saves. They could have had eight tonight. Some of their goals, you can’t give up breakaways, two on ones, and let a guy walk past the half way mark in the crease. You’re just asking for trouble.”

Yet again, Vegas scored early the game, putting the Sharks down by one just 18 seconds in. Right off of the opening face-off, Erik Karlsson’s pass missed its mark and ended up on Mark Stone’s stick. Stone charged into the zone, pursued by Sharks, and scored with a back hand. Assists went to Nate Schmidt and Deryk Engellund.

Max Pacioretty gave Vegas a 2-0 lead at 12:16 with a power play goal. Evander Kane was in the box for a four-minute high-sticking penalty. Pacioretty’s shot was the first of the power play and only took five seconds. The face-off was still dispersing when Pacioretty shot from near the point. His shot went through some traffic and between Justin Braun’s legs. Assists went to Shea Theodore and Paul Stastny.

The Sharks got one back late in the period at 15:16. Joe Thornton got to the puck behind the net and made a quick back hand pass up to Kevin Labanc as Labanc skated to the net. Labanc took the shot some feet from the blue paint, then collided with Colin Miller in front of Marc-Andre Fleury. The Golden Knights challenged the goal for goaltender interference but the goal was upheld. Assists went to Thornton and Marcus Sorensen.

The Golden Knights outshot the Sharks 20-12 in the first period, and won 59% of the face-offs.

Paul Stastny restored the Golden Knights’ two-goal lead 21 seconds into the second period. Pacioretty took a shot from the slot and the rebound went to Stastny out beyond the traffic around the net. He took a shot from above the face-off dot and it went by two Sharks defenders and under their goaltender. Assists went to Pacioretty and Stone.

The Sharks got their first power play at 10:02 of the second period. The Golden Knights had already had three.

Stastny added another goal at 16:04, on the sixth Vegas power play. This time, it was Kevin Labanc in the box for interference against Ryan Reaves. The Sharks had killed off most of the penalty when Mark Stone made an impressive pass across the slot, evading skates and sticks, right to Stastny for the shot. Jones was still trying to get across when the puck went in. Assists went to Stone and Theodore.

Las Vegas outshot San Jose 10-7 in the second period, but only won 40% of the face-offs.

The Sharks made some line changes for the third. Gus Nyquist moved to Logan Couture’s line with Timo Meier. Joe Pavelski moved to Tomas Hertl’s line with Evander Kane.

The Golden Knights scored a third first-minute goal in the third, this time 36 seconds in. Mark Stone’s pass to Jonathan Marchessault became a rebound that Stone was in a perfect spot to tap in. Assists went to Marchessault and Stastny.

At 4:57, the Sharks scored on their third power play. William Karlsson was in the box for slashing Tomas Hertl. Early in the power play, Marc-Andre Fleury lost his glove while on his back after a shot almost went in. The whistle went and the delay allowed conflict to erupt, resulting in matching roughing penalties for Brent Burns and Tomas Nosek.

Erik Karlsson’s neutral zone pass found Logan Couture just above the blue line. Couture carried it down the side past the face-off dot and sent the puck to the net where Pavelski was arriving for a deflection. The puck never reached Pavelski as Brayden McNabb’s stick got in the way and directed the puck past his own goaltender. The goal went to Couture with assists to Karlsson and Martin Jones.

Timo Meier scored a third goal for the Sharks at 5:51. Gus Nyquist took a shot from in close created a rebound that went right to Meier in the slot. Meier’s shot was just too quick for Fleury to catch. Nyquist got the assist.

Those two quick goals were followed by a lull in scoring, until Mark Stone got his third of the game at 13:57, restoring the three-goal lead for Vegas. A neutral zone interception sent Stone and Stastny into the Sharks zone. Stastny sent the puck off the boards to Stone, who skated to the net, faked to the right and shot to left with a backhand. Assists went to Stastny and Theodore.

Vegas outshot the Sharks 40-28 in the game and won 53% of the face-offs.

Sharks forward Micheal Haley was injured blocking a shot in the second period and did not return. Marc-Edouard Vlasic, injured the same way in Friday’s game, was not in the lineup Sunday and was replaced by Tim Heed.

Game four will be on Tuesday in Las Vegas at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Beat Avalanche 5-2, Erik Karlsson Returns

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks finished the 2018-19 regular season with a 5-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche at SAP Center on Saturday night. The win was Peter DeBoer’s 400th as an NHL Head Coach and Gus Nyquist’s 500th NHL game. Evander Kane scored his 30th of the season bringing the Sharks tally to four players with 30 or more goals this season. The Sharks’ 101 points earned them second place in the Western Conference. It was a good final game of the regular season. Sharks goals came from Brent Burns, Evander Kane, Kevin Labanc, Gus Nyquist and Micheal Haley. Martin Jones made 28 saves in the win, while Colorado’s Semyon Varlamov made 25 saves in the loss. Colorado goals came from Tyson Jost and Nathan MacKinnon.

After the game, Sharks forward Evander Kane said: “It was good to close the season out with a win, and have another 100 point season here. I think it’s nice to have a victory like that and to have everybody feeling good about their games heading into next week.”

Sharks fans got some good news on the injury front Saturday. Erik Karlsson was back in the lineup though Timo Meier was not, after an injury sustained in Thursday’s game against Edmonton. Meier is expected back for the playoffs and Karlsson had the second highest ice time Saturday.

After the game, Pete DeBoer said of Karlsson’s performance Saturday: “We went into the game and we didn’t really have a plan other than we wanted to play him normally until there was either red flags or he started to fatigue or the trainers thought that was enough. Really, he felt good, you know, deep into the third period so that was good.”

Colorado struck first, just 2:56 into the game. A Colorado shot was blocked high in the slot and the puck wandered in a crowd before being controlled again, by Tyson Jost. The shot went past a number of skaters before getting by Jones. Assists went to Samuel Girard and Erik Johnson.

Evander Kane had a nice breakaway chance, which led to an offensive zone face-off for the Sharks. Right off of that face-off, Brent Burns scored with a blast from the blue line. Tomas Hertl got the assist.

A few minutes later, Evander Kane gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead at 11:15. Kane was in front of the net battling two Colorado defenders when Gus Nyquist got the puck to the net with a spinning pass. Kane shrugged off the two defenders to find the puck and nudge it under Semyon Varlamov. Assists went to Nyquist and Brenden Dillon.

The Sharks were out-shot by the Avalanche 12-10 in the first period, but overwhelmed them in the face-off circle, winning 74% of them. The bulk of those face-offs were taken by Thornton, Goodrow and Hertl.

The Avalanche scored another early goal in the second period, this one at 1:29. Nathan MacKinnon scooted between Sharks defenders while catching a pass from Gabriel Landeskog. He stayed ahead of the Sharks just long enough to get a quick shot off, beating Jones on the glove side. Assists went to Landeskog and Samuel Girard.

Kevin Labanc scored at 6:57, giving the Sharks their lead back. Joe Thornton brought the puck into the zone and then waited for his line-mates to get into position. Labanc received the pass and seemed to be trying to pass it to Sorensen who was almost at the blue paint. Instead, the puck went off of an Avalanche stick and up and over Ian Cole and Sorensen, landing behind Varlamov. Assists went to Thornton and Sorensen.

The shot count tilted slightly in the Sharks’ favor in the second, ending up 12-9 for the Sharks. San Jose maintained their face-off success, still at 73% by the end of the second.

The Sharks did not give up a goal in the first five minutes of the third period. Instead, they scored again at 14:15. Evander Kane retrieved the puck in the corner and sent it away from the boards, where Nyquist picked it up on his way through the face-off circle. He picked the near corner of the net and sent the puck over Varlamov’s shoulder. It was Nyquist’s 22nd of the season. Assists went to Kane and Tomas Hertl.

The Avalanche pulled their goaltender with over three minutes to go. Joe Pavelski put the puck into that empty net with 3:01 left in the game, but it was challenged as off-side. Joonas Donskoi tried to straddle the blue line while the puck crept across but he couldn’t keep his back skate on the ice. The goal was called back.

A little over a minute later, Micheal Haley was able to break away and score in the empty net to make it 5-2. Brent Burns got the assists on that one.

The final shot count was 30-30, and the Sharks won 69% of the face-offs. Barclay Goodrow took 14 of the face-offs and won 86% of them.

The playoff schedule will be announced shortly. The Sharks will start at home next week, against the Vegas Golden Knights.

San Jose Sharks podcast with Len Shapiro: Forget the Sharks’ recent funk, playoffs a whole new kind of season

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

On the Sharks podcast with Len Shapiro:

#1 The Edmonton Oilers fell on top of the San Jose Sharks’ Timo Meier on Thursday night at Rogers Place, the Old Rexall building. Meier went in the x-ray room after the game to take a look at his left wrist. Meier most likely will be in tonight’s game at SAP against the Colorado Avalanche.

#2 The Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl was working on a hat trick as he got goals 48 and 49 for the season, but the Sharks covered him well for the rest of the game as the Sharks got away with a close 3-2 win.

#3 The Sharks, with the win over the Oilers, picked up their second win in four games after a nasty seven-game skid. Are they beginning to show some signs of coming out of it?

#4 Joe Pavelski said the Oilers are a team who can get to another level of play and the Sharks need to commit to coming back when they get behind. Melker Karlsson is scheduled to come back and Erik Karlsson is day-to-day.

#5 After tonight’s final regular season game against the Colorado Avalanche, the Sharks will open with home ice for the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Vegas Golden Knights. Len sets this first round up for us.

Sharks podcasts are heard weekly with Len Shapiro Saturdays and Mary Lisa Walsh Thursdays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Flames Roast Sharks 5-3, Sharks to Face Las Vegas in First Round

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks fell 5-3 to the Calgary Flames at SAP Center Sunday. The win clinched the Western Conference for Calgary, while the loss cemented San Jose’s playoff position at second in the Pacific Division. They are now certain to face the Vegas Golden Knights in the first round. Calgary goals came from Sean Monahan, Mark Jankowski, Dalton Prout, Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik. Sharks goals came from Timo Meier, Logan Couture and Kevin Labanc. Flames goalie Mike Smith made 12 saves in the win, while Sharks goalie Aaron Dell made 23 saves in the loss.

The Sharks are still without Joe Pavelski, Erik Karlsson and Radim Simek. Pavelski and Karlsson are expected to return for the playoffs if not before. Asked about what he hopes the team will accomplish before playoffs, Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer said:

I want to get healthy. I think that’s probably the biggest thing. I think it catches up to you. You know, you can go to the well so many times with guys but I think we’re missing some of our key people here. And it shows in a game like that, against a team that is healthy at this time of year that’s one of the top teams in the league and we had a hard time with it.

After the game, Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon was also asked about how the injury list changes the game. He said:

I don’t think defense is one guy or one D-pair or one forward or one goalie, to be honest. I think for us, over the years that’s kind of been our brand of hockey, is defensive style, and you definitely see the result when we get away from that. I think all around we’re trying to be a little more aggressive but I think we’ve got to kind of find that happy medium for it.

Timo Meier gave the Sharks an early lead 12:01 into the first period. Logan Couture and Joonas Donskoi were in the corner competing for the puck against two Flames. They got the puck out of the corner to the face-off circle, where Meier had just arrived. He got control of the puck while reversing direction just enough to use a defenseman as a screen and shoot the puck past Smith on the far side. It was Meier’s 30th of the season, a career high. Donskoi and Couture got the assists.

The Sharks made it through the first 10 minutes of the opening period without giving up a goal but the Flames heated up in the second half. At 14:58, Sean Monahan tied the game with a quick shot off a feed from Johnny Gaudreau. While Marc-Edouard Vlasic harried Gaudreau and Justin Braun guarded the passing lane, no one was really on Monahan as he slid up to the blue paint. Assists went to Gaudreau and Rasmus Andersson.

At 15:29, Mark Jankowski gave Calgary the lead, pulling the puck out of a crowd that was moving across the slot. His quick shot went under Dell to the back of the net. Assists went to James Neal and Austin Czarnik.

Less than a minute later, again, the Flames scored to make it 3-1. Dalton Prout, with his first goal since 2016, snuck by Vlasic and Couture in the neutral zone to chase the 1-on-1 between Tim Heed and Andrew Mangiapane. Mangiapane passed to Prout as they approached the net and Prout’s shot beat Dell. Assists went to Mangiapane and Garnet Hathaway.

During the first period, the Flames had 11 shots to the Sharks’ 6, and Calgary own 67% of the face-offs.

The only goal in the second period went to the Flames when Mikael Backlund made it 4-1 at 7:27. Receiving Noah Hanifin’s pass from the boards, Backlund stopped it with his skate and tried to get control of it but failed. Instead, it pinballed across the goal mouth and the off of Joakim Ryan’s skate and into the net. Assists went to Hanifin and Gaudreau.

The Flames out-shot the Sharks 14-3 and won 56% of the face-offs in the second period. The Sharks took two penalties to Calgary’s one.

The Sharks had a little more than a minute of power play time to start the third period, and got another power play at 2:01 but did not score on either of those.

At 5:23, the Sharks finally got one back. Tomas Hertl made a big zone entry, pushing through and dancing around defenders. He carried the puck down below the face-off dot before passing it across the ice to Timo Meier. Meier sent it back across the ice to Logan Couture, who had just arrived in the slot. His shot went in before Mike Smith could get across. It was Couture’s 27th goal of the season. Meier and Hertl got the assists.

Calgary took that one back about three minutes later. Sharks and Flames converged behind the Sharks net and when the puck came back out, Mark Giordano and Michael Frolik were set up on either side of the ice with a clear view of Dell. Giordano passed it to Frolik for the shot and Dell could not get across in time. Assists went to Giordano and Matthew Tkachuk.

Kevin Labanc got one more for the Sharks at 16:34 of the third. He had just passed the puck to Tim Heed in the slot and Tim Heed tapped it right back to him for the shot from the right side. It was Labanc’s 15th of the season. Assists went to Heed and Joakim Ryan.

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