Game 4 notes: Sharks need Game 7 approach


Game 4 notes: Sharks need Game 7 approach

BOX SCORETim Panaccio

SAN JOSE -- Throughout the playoffs, the Sharks have talked about playing better hockey when pressed.

They often come off bad defeats with more inspired play. The adrenalin kicks in when faced with elimination, like they were in the previous playoff series against Detroit.

Well, now Todd McLellans Sharks have to win three games in succession or their playoffs are over. Tuesdays Game 5 is really a Game 7.

At least, a Game 7 approach.

Probably not a lot I have to tell them, McLellan said. Their backs are against the wall as close as they can be. We kind of laid it on the line in the third period tonight, that third phase, if you will, that's what we'll be looking to do in Vancouver.

We know we've got a tough task ahead of us. Vancouver knows, we know, Detroit knows, Chicago knows that anything can happen.

Changes will be made.

We've got to clean some parts of our game up, McLellan said. Obviously the powerplay has to be better. When you get those opportunities, you have to take at least advantage of one, maybe two of them. It has to be better, so we'll look at that.

But we've got a little bit of time here over the next day or two to regroup and to get ready to play.

Patrick Marleau, who had an assist in the game, says the Sharks can come back.

We need more and we can do better, he said. We have another chance to go in there to Vancouver and do it.

Unprepared and dull: McLellan said his team wasnt sharp in most any aspect of its game right from the start.

So, was that a mental or physical issue with his club?

I wish I had the answer, McLellan said. You could see it. We got what we wanted. We got some energy. We got the crowd into it. We earned opportunities on the power play. You could see the passes.

We watched a couple of them. The passing was off. The receiving was off. The timing was off. There wasn't much rhythm. I have to believe some of that's mental, some of it's physical, a combination of both.

Old, Finnish flash: Sami Salo missed the first four and a half months of this past NHL season with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

On Sunday, the 36-year-old Finnish defenseman, playing on a repaired, aging ankle, had a major impact in the Sharks 4-2 Game 4 Western Conference finals loss that gave the Canucks a 3-1 series choke hold.

Salo scored on two of the three playoff-record consecutive Vancouver 5-on-3 power plays that gave the Canucks a stunning 3-0 lead in the second period, and pretty much iced the game.

In his entire 12 years in the NHL, this was the biggest impact hes ever had in a conference final.

McLellan admitted that Vancouvers subtle change of using Salo on those 5-on-3 units represented a completely different look that the Sharks were unprepared for.

For sure it's been a long journey this year, having a tough offseason, Salo said. But we worked really hard to get to this point. Now, it's really exciting.

First time in my long career that I have a chance to play in the Western Conference Finals. Playing against a great team, it couldn't be any better.

It also helped having Henrik Sedin tee it up for the point during those two-man advantages.

I don't think it matters who is playing the point when he has the puck, Salo said.

Loose pucks: With both Christian Ehrhoff and Aaron Rome injured, Cancuks coach Alain Vigneault went with Keith Ballard and rookie Chrisopher Tanev as a defensive pair. Surprise than Tanev got the nod over veteran Andrew Alberts, but Tanev gave Vancouver a right-handed shot, too. Jamie McGinn, who personally took out Ehrhoff and Rome in this series with hit, came barreling down the side boards on Ballard in the second period. Ballard saw him, ducked and timed a perfect hip check to send McGinn sprawling. He then gave him a glove to the mouth at the net, too. By the end of the second period, 8 of the last 10 goals in the series had been scored on the power play.
Tim Panaccio is the NHL Insider for E-mail him at

Report: 49ers seek first-round pick for Staley

Report: 49ers seek first-round pick for Staley

If the 49ers are active at the NFL trade deadline on Nov. 1, the organization figures to be sellers.

With a 1-6 record, mired in a six-game losing streak and seemingly fielding a less-competitive team every week, the 49ers do not figure to be in the buying market with the trade deadline approaching.

Left tackle Joe Staley, 32, one of the team’s few players who would be attractive to a contender, is available for a first-round draft pick, according to Pro Football Talk. The report cited a “source with knowledge of the dynamics.”

Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas is also on the trade market for a second-round pick, according to the report. The teams mentioned with potential interest in acquiring Staley or Thomas are the Vikings, Giants, Cardinals, Seahawks and Patriots, reports PFT.

Staley has a base salary of $5.4 million this season. His pay increases to $8.95 million next season, including $8.25 million in base salary. He is signed through the 2019 season.

Staley, a first-round draft pick in 2007, has been selected to five consecutive Pro Bowls.

If the 49ers trade Staley, it could open the way for right tackle Trent Brown to move to the left side. The only other tackle on the roster is rookie John Theus. Veteran guard Zane Beadles is also capable of playing tackle.

The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 1 p.m. (PT). The 49ers enter their bye week after Sunday's 34-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The team’s next game is Nov. 6 against the New Orleans Saints.

Kickers miss short field goals in OT; Seahawks, Cardinals tie


Kickers miss short field goals in OT; Seahawks, Cardinals tie

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Seattle's Stephen Hauschka and Arizona's Chandler Catanzaro missed short field goals that would have won the game in overtime and the Seahawks and Cardinals settled for a 6-6 tie Sunday night.

Hauschka's 27-yard field goal was wide left with seven seconds left after Catanzaro's 24-yarder bounced off the left upright.

The tie was the Cardinals' first since Dec. 7, 1986, a 10-10 draw at Philadelphia when the franchise was based in St. Louis. It was the first for the Seattle since entering the NFL in 1976.

The last tie in the NFL came in 2014, when Carolina and Cincinnati tied 37-37.

The Cardinals (3-3-1) dominated the game statistically and looked to be in shape to win it after Carson Palmer's 40-yard pass to J.J. Nelson set up Catanzaro's short kick.

The Seahawks (4-1-1), stuffed throughout regulation by the Arizona defense, took over and Russell Wilson completed passes of 31 yards to Jermaine Kearse and 27 yards to Doug Baldwin to give Houschka his short attempt.

Both kickers made field goals on their teams' first possession of overtime.

Catanzaro, who kicked field goals of 46 and 45 yards, also had a 39-yard field goal blocked by a stunning play by Bobby Wagner.

Until the overtime, the only time the Seahawks crossed midfield came when Tanner McEnvoy blocked Ryan Quigley's punt with 4:33 to play. That gave Seattle the ball on the Arizona 27 and led to Hauschka's 40-yard field goal that tied it at 3 with four minutes to play.

Catanzaro's 46-yard field goal put Arizona up 3-0 with 3:11 left in the first half and the Cardinals nursed that lead until the blocked punt.

On a bruising night, Arizona's David Johnson had a career-high 41 touches. He carried the ball 33 times for 113 yards and caught eight passes for 58 yards. Russell Wilson, obviously slowed by leg problems, complelted 24 of 37 passes for 225 yards, most of the damage coming in the overtime. He carried the ball once for minus-two yards.

Arizona's defense nearly scored halfway through the fourth quarter when Chandler Jones hit Wilson as he was about to pass and the ball bounced toward the Seattle goal line, but Michael Glowinski jumped on it for Seattle and the 4-yard line, a 20-yard loss.


The Cardinals had the first scoring threat. Catanzaro lined up for a 39-yard field goal but 245-pound linebacker Wagner jumped over Arizona long snapper Aaron Brewer like an Olympic hurdler and blocked it. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians argued loudly for a penalty and was charged with a timeout when he challenged a play that is not reviewable. That proved significant when the Cardinals couldn't stop the clock to get off a short field goal attempt as the first half ended.


The Cardinals were without speedster John Brown after doctors diagnosed sickle cell traits that were causing leg pain. The other wide receiver named Brown, Jaron, left the game early with a knee injury, depleting is usually one of the league's deeper wide receiver corps.