Sharks Lose 4-1 to Maple Leafs; fifth loss out of last eight games for SJ

Right winger Wayne Simmonds hoists his stick and arms after scoring a goal for the Toronto Maple Leafs against San Jose Sharks goaltender James Remier at SAP Center in San Jose on Fri Nov 26, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE– The San Jose Sharks (10-9-1) fell 4-1 to the Toronto Maple Leafs (15-6-1) in San Jose Friday. Toronto goals came from William Nylander, Wayne Simmonds, Auston Matthews and John Tavares. Joseph Woll made 34 saves for the win. Nick Bonino scored for San Jose and James Reimer made 13 saves on 17 shots and Adin Hill made 16 saves in the loss.

Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said: “I just thought that they were the better team, we didn’t look as fresh as we have in the last couple games. I didn’t think we had the same pop. You gotta be at your best to beat one of these teams like this.”

Sharks Captain, Logan Couture said his teams needs to get back to shooting the puck:

“I mean we had success earlier in the season. We shot the puck with traffic and right now maybe we’re looking for seams too early, we’re getting too cute with the puck. I think if we get back to just blasting it from the flanks and from the middle of the ice, we ‘re going to find rebound goals or dirty goals.”

William Nylander started the scoring just 32 seconds into the game. John Tavares made a touch pass at the blue line to catch Nylander on his way into the zone. Nylander carried the puck to the net before taking a shot. Reimer got a toe on it but it bounced over the line. Assists went to Tavares and Morgan Reilly.

Nick Bonino tied tied up at 4:44. Bonino gathered a loose puck up near the hashmarks and took the shot right away. The puck went under Woll and in. Assists went to Noah Gregor and Erik Karlsson.

Wayne Simmonds gave his team the lead back soon after, at 5:16. Simmonds deflected a quick shot over Reimer’s glove and off the cross bar. Assists went to Kampf and Nick Ritchie.

Auston Matthews made it 3-1 at 4:57 of the second period. After a couple of cross-ice passes with Rasmus Sandin, Timothy Liljegren sent the puck to the net where it came loose before Matthews tapped it in. Assists went to Michael Bunting and Timothy Liljegren.

John Tavares scored Toronto’s fourth at 10:44, on the power play. Reimer fought off two shots, but Tavares persisted without much interference from Sharks skaters. He finally got it through, over Reimer’s pad. Assists went to Nylander and Mitchell Marner.

After that goal, Boughner pulled Reimer and put Adin Hill in net. After the game, Boughner said:

“It definitely wasn’t his fault. I told him that much when he came back to the bench. I said the plan was to play him Sunday in Chicago. So I said just get some rest. It was good for Hill to get in there, I think I was trying to spark the team, maybe have a little bit of momentum change there. I thought Hiller played well when he went in there, so that was important to see.”

It was the fifth time in a row that Reimer was pulled against the Mape Leafs, playing for various teams.

The shot count for the game was close, 35-33 Sharks. In the face-off circle, it was not close: the Maple Leafs won 60% of them. The Maple Leafs had six shots on the power play, in two tries. The Sharks power play had two shots in three tries.

The Sharks next play on Sunday in Chicago against the Blackhawks at 4:00 PM PT.

NHL podcast with Matt Harrington: Saturday night’s action saw some great offense for opening weekend

The Philadelphia Flyers Travis Konecny (11) scores his third goal for a hat trick behind Pittsburgh Penguins Marcus Pettersson (28) and goalie Casey DeSmith (1) on Fri Jan 15, 2021 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia  (AP News photo)

On the NHL podcast with Matt Harrington:

#1 The Philadelphia Flyers got a three goal win over the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2. The Flyers got scoring help from Travis Konecny who scored twice in the first period and got the hat trick in the third period at 17:53.

#2  Good back and forth hockey from the Washington Capitals and the Buffalo Sabers in a 2-1 win for the Caps. Washington got goal scoring help from Jakub Vrana his second of the year at 1:34 in the second period. The second Caps goal came from Tom Wilson who scored his first goal of the season at 7:47 in third period.

#3 The Tampa Bay Lighting got a three goal win over the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2. Tampa Bay got goals from five different Bolts, Ondrej Palot, Alex Killorn and Blake Coleman scored in the second period. In the third period Yanni Gourde and Steven Stamkos each had a goal.

#4 The Toronto Maple Leafs were no match for the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night for Hockey Night in Canada. The Sens got goal scoring help in their 5-3 win from Thomas Chabot, Brody Tkachuk, Austin Watson, and Derek Stepan. Leafs goalie Frederik Anderson stopped 19 shots and allowed five goals.

#5 Talk about the NHL Champs St Louis Blues who got blown out by the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night 8-0. Talk about St Louis goaltender Ville Husso who saw a lot shots in net last night.

Matt takes a look at Friday NHL action each Saturday at

NHL podcast with Joe Lami: Caps Ovechkin just one goal short for 700 club; Knights Martinez gets first goal in first game; plus more

Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals who scored his 699th goal of his career on Thursday night in Washington just one short of the 700 club (photo from

On the NHL podcast with Joe:

#1 The Vegas Golden Knights Alec Martinez had a goal and an assist in his first game with the Knights that help defeat the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3 on Thursday night at T Mobile Center

#2 The Winnipeg Jets Mark Scheifele who went 12 games without a goal made up for lost time with a hat trick scoring three power play goals in the Jets victory over the Ottawa Senators 5-1

#3 The Toronto Maple Leafs shut out the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0 as the Leafs goaltender Frederik Anderson stopped 24 shots. The Leafs Jake Muzzin score a goal with two assists.

#4 The Philadelphia Flyers Kevin Hayes got an overtime goal at 3:51 that was the difference in the Flyers 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Toronto. Stefan Matteau Jr scored his first goal since March 10, 2016.

#5 The St Louis Blues got a 1-0 shutout against the Arizona Coyotes as the Blues Ryan O’Reilly scored the games on goal and goaltender Jordan Binnington made 14 saves  for the shutout.

Joe Lami does the NHL podcasts each Friday at


NHL Stanley Cup Finals podcast with Daniel Dullum: Bruins leave St. Louis singing the Blues in five-goal win

photo from One of seven Boston Bruins goals on Saturday night in St. Louis leaves the Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington laid out in front of the net as the Bruins move ahead 2-1 in the Stanley Cup Finals.

On the NHL Stanley Cup Finals podcast with Daniel Dullum

1 Stanley Cup Finals: Bruins in front 2-1, the Bruins got a 7-2 win in Game 3 on Saturday night. Meanwhile, back in Game 2, the Blues did get a historic win.

2 Blues’ Oskar Sundqvist was suspended for Game 3

3 Report: Maple Leafs discussing a possible trade of Patrick Marleau to Los Angeles

4 Oilers hire Dave Tippett as head coach

Catch Daniel on the NHL Stanley Cup Finals podcasts at

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs podcast with Daniel Dullum: Knights host Sharks for game 3; Could CBJs pull it off?; plus more

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

On the NHL Stanley Cup Playoff podcast with Daniel:

1 Sharks, Knights tied 1-1, headed to Las Vegas for games 3 & 4

2 Blue Jackets, 2nd Wild Card in the East, stun 1-seed Lightning in first two games

3 Leafs’ Nazem Kadri likely facing suspension after cross-check on Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk

4 Lightning star Nikita Kucherov gets one-game suspension for boarding call against Blue Jackets

5 Oilers star McDavid won’t need surgery on injured knee

NHL Stanley Cup Playoff podcast with Daniel Dullum is heard each Sunday at

Sharks Win 7-0 at Home

By Mary Walsh

photo credit: USA Today SJ Sharks Tomas Hertl scores on Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier in Saturday’s Sharks laugher

SAN JOSE– The San Jose Sharks ran over the Toronto Maple Leafs by a score of 7-0 on Saturday. After the game, Sharks defenseman Justin Braun summed it up: “You can’t ask for much more, you know? Scoring, goalie played great. It’s one of those games you don’t drop and it works out that way.”

It would be an understatement to say that the Sharks have lacked depth scoring over the past dozen games, or even throughout the season. Players like Tomas Hertl, Tommy Wingels, Matt Nieto, Melker Karlsson, and Joonas Donskoi have all failed to pull their weight on the scoreboard. Saturday, they seemed hell bent on making up for that. Only time will tell if they can sustain it, but the 7-0 win on Saturday showed that they can do the job.

The Sharks started the game with distinctly different forward lines. They were: Donskoi-Couture-Karlsson, Pavelski-Thornton-Hertl, Ward-Marleau-Nieto, and Wingels-Tierney-Brown. After the game, Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer was asked whether these new forward lines was the key to success for the struggling players. He said:

I don’t think the line shuffles changed it. I think we’ve got a proud group in there, I don’t think… they weren’t happy about where we were sitting. I think they were smart enough to recognize we were doing a lot of good things. But we needed a little bit more out of everybody. And they fixed that themselves. Now again we have to build on that.

Tomas Hertl scored twice and earned an assist. Joonas Donskoi, Matt Nieto and Melker Karlsson each scored a goal, and Wingels earned two assists. Usual suspects, Brent Burns and Joe Pavelski, scored the other two goals. After the game, Tommy Wingels said:

I think when we have four dangerous lines out there you see the potential that this team has. And if we’re going to make a run and string some wins together, that’s what we’re going to need. Certainly a lot of guys feel better about their games today than they have in games past. Myself, other guys– be happy with it, gain some confidence and continue it on to the next game.

The other guy with a big blinking question mark over his head has been goaltender Martin Jones, who seemed to share his team’s allergy to wins on home ice. His performance Saturday made him look like he was worth the first round draft pick that the Sharks gave up for him. Especially in the first period, while the game was still scoreless, Jones was key. In all, he made 28 saves for the shutout. After the game, he said:

It was a close game before we started scoring in the second there. Obviously we had some timely goals in the second and kind of ran away with it but it was just a solid game from everybody from start to finish.

The Maple Leafs gave the Sharks ample opportunity to score, and the Sharks took advantage. It was the first goal, from Brent Burns, that seemed to open the flood gates for the Sharks. It was a stand out play under any circumstances, but his single-handed incursion early in the second period was pivotal for his team on Saturday. After the game, DeBoer said of the goal:

That was huge, because I thought we were a little tentative, we were almost in that ‘waiting for something to go wrong’ mindset. And he just said **** it and took the puck and that changed the game for us. That play changed the game.

The game did not start off like a high-scoring affair. The Sharks had the first power play, after Jake Gardiner was called for holding Tommy Wingels. The hold resulted in a three-player pile up in the Toronto net at 5:24. Once the officials untangled the players, the Sharks attempted to launch an attack with the man advantage. Their efforts were no real threat to Toronto, and the two minutes elapsed without the Sharks adding a shot on goal.

The Sharks took another swing at the power play with just 2:09 left in the first. Leo Komarov went to the box for boarding Longan Couture. This time, the Sharks did get a shot on goal, one from Brent Burns. The second unit of Ward, Hertl, Donskoi, Burns and Vlasic got another shot in, and another pile up in the goal crease.

At the end of the first period, the shot count was 12-7 Toronto. Five of those San Jose shots were from defensemen, Burns and Justin Braun with two each and Marc-Edouard Vlasic with one. The others were from Matt Nieto and Tommy Wingels.

At 4:18 of the second period, Brent Burns took the game over for a shitf, skated out of the neutral zone and into the offensive zone, fending off defenders most of the way, and put the puck past James Reimer. Assists went to Paul Martin and Joe Pavelski. It was Burns’ 17th of the season.

The Maple Leafs had their turn on the power play at 7:01, when Paul Martin was called for a high stick against Shawn Matthias. The San Jose penalty kill was more effective than their power play had been. Perhaps that is because Matt Nieto and Tommy Wingels don’t get much time on the power play. During the second minute of the penalty kill, Tommy Wingels chased a puck down in the offensive zone. The Maple Leafs seemed to have forgotten about the puck as they made a line change and almost no one went after Wingels. With Nieto darting down the other wing, a lone Toronto defender could not get back in time to prevent Wingels from making a late pass across to Nieto, who put the puck in the open net. Assists went to Wingels and Brent Burns.

The Sharks also killed the penalty.

Dion Phaneuf decided that Wingels was worth a five-minute fighting major, on top of the interference minor he received at the same time. The Sharks power play again lacked inspiration or cohesion.

Ironically, shortly after it expired, the Sharks extended their lead with a Joe Pavelski goal. Hertl’s pass from below the goal line was a thing of beauty, as he threw it behind him while facing the boards, hitting his mark perfectly. Pavelski was where he needed to be, right in front of the blue paint. Assists went to Hertl and Thornton.

Less than two minutes later, Justin Braun took a shot from high in the slot, which Hertl followed to the net. Hertl corralled the rebound and put it lightly over Bernier’s pad for a 4-0 lead. The lone assist went to Braun.

When the period ended, the Sharks were behind on the shot clock 19-21.

22 seconds into the third period, Matt Nieto was called for hooking. Martin Jones had to make several good saves in the first minute, a sign that the penalty killers were not as sharp as earlier in the game. The Toronto power play was also more composed.

A fifth Sharks goal came at 4:10. Chris Tierney caught a pass from Justin Braun at the Toronto blue line and sent it to Melker Karlsson as he darted across the line into the slot. Karlsson put the puck past Bernier and Toronto coach Mike Babcock made a coach’s challenge on the basis of a missed offside call. The challenge was overruled and the goal stood up. While Tierney’s skates were clearly across the line before the puck was, he had full control of it which negated an offside ruling.

Joonas Donskoi extended the lead to six when he took the puck from the half boards, evaded two different Toronto skaters, went behind the net and slid the puck in between skate and post. That was at 9:28 of the third, and assists went to Wingels and Vlasic.

Hertl scored again at 11:22, despite Bernier’s attempts to push him away from the net. Assists went to Braun and Vlasic.

The Sharks next play on Monday in Calgary against the Flames at 6:00 PT.