McGinn thriving with Colorado


McGinn thriving with Colorado

SAN JOSE Its been quite awhile since 23-year-old Avalanche forward Jamie McGinn has been on this kind of a hot streak. And it took a departure from San Jose for him to do it.

Maybe in junior hockey, McGinn said, when asked the last time he's been on such a run.

The winger has eight goals and four assists in 13 games with Colorado since he was sent East as part of a deal for Daniel Winnik and TJ Galiardi on Feb. 27, playing with skilled center Paul Stastny and David Jones.
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Im not going to think about it too much. Im just going to continue to go out there and take every game like its a new game and continue to work hard. You dont want to jinx anything, you want to continue to work.

McGinn and the Avalanche arrived in San Jose on Sunday, giving him a chance to catch up with his old teammates. He had dinner with Logan Couture, Colin White, Torrey Mitchell, Ryane Clowe and Jason Demers last night.
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On Monday morning, though, he was saying all the right things about a game that is essentially a must-win for his club. The Sharks and Avalanche each have 86 points and are on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoffs, and Colorado has just five games left as opposed to San Joses seven.

Its hockey, trades happen. You can be buddies off the ice, but once youre on the ice youve got to forget about it and worry about whats at hand," McGinn said. "With five games, every night is important, and you cant take a night off.

Whether you believe him or not, McGinn said that he hasnt thought about why the trade occurred in the first place. He was in the midst of a breakout year, and the deadline deal caught many by surprise, including him. Its still early, but its hard not to view it as a sweetheart of a deal for Colorado, even with Winniks improved play in the last week.

Im just forgetting about it. This is kind of a surreal moment, that you are traded and just seeing your old teammates again and being back at the Shark Tank, McGinn said. This was a special building to me, and the fans are energetic. I enjoyed playing here. Hopefully I can continue that in an Avalanche uniform, as well.

I havent thought about it. Its done and over with. Im happy, it worked out for me, and Im just going to continue to play.

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McGinn spent his time in San Jose this season generally on the third line with Mitchell and Michal Handzus. He was playing an average of 12:33 a night with the Sharks, but has seen his ice time jump by more than four minutes to 16:38 since joining Colorado.

Hes also getting a look on the top power play unit. Of his eight goals, three are with a man advantage.

With the ice time comes more confidence and you feel more a part of the game, he said. Im just trying to take it in stride, grab it, and go. Im just going to continue to take the ice time as it comes, continue to work hard, and hope that the success continues.

McGinn is also pleasing his head coach, Joe Sacco.

Jamies been excellent since hes been here, Sacco said. Hes played great for us. Hes been a very consistent player. I know that hes produced a lot offensively for us, hes got eight goals in 12 games, but I think even more than that hes solidified a line with Paul Stastny and David Jones. Hes been a real good fit with that group, and theyve been playing very well together lately.

Finally, McGinn was asked if he wouldnt mind sticking it to his old club tonight.

I mean, yeah, I want to win. We need the points just as bad as they do. Trade or no trade, both teams need the points, and thats all thats in my mind right now tonight is getting this win. We need it to be in the playoffs, so this is huge.

Rewind: Sharks slow, sloppy and undisciplined in loss to Wings

Rewind: Sharks slow, sloppy and undisciplined in loss to Wings

DETROIT – The Sharks had just one scheduled practice on their 10-day road trip, set to take place on Friday in Detroit prior to the fifth and final game against the Red Wings. It was canceled, though, as the coaching staff opted for rest rather than work.

The result was a 3-0 loss to the Red Wings in which the Sharks were sloppy in their own zone, were smoked in the faceoff circle, surrendered a plethora of odd-man rushes, and took eight minor penalties. They just couldn’t keep pace with a Detroit team that was playing its second game in as many nights. 

San Jose looked like a club that has held just a single solitary practice since the season began on Oct. 12.

“Some breakdowns, guys not being above [the puck], some giveaways in our own end, we’re kind of leaving [the defensive zone] early,” Logan Couture said. “We just don’t seem like we’re dedicated to defense like we were at the end [of] last year.”

[KURZ: Instant Replay: Sharks blanked by Wings, end road trip with thud]

“It wasn’t very good tonight,” added Martin Jones, who lost his third in a row in goal. “Too many penalties, too many turnovers. Just wasn’t very good tonight.”

The start was actually a decent one, as the Sharks were attempting to put Thursday’s third period collapse in Pittsburgh behind them, but Detroit eventually took over. Gustav Nyquist broke the scoreless tie four minutes into the second period, and added to the Red Wings’ lead with a second marker about 11 minutes later.

On the first, Paul Martin was caught flat-footed in the offensive zone, leading to a two-on-one rush by Detroit. Nyquist abruptly stopped on the faceoff dot in front of Justin Braun, and rifled a shot though. On the second, Matt Nieto had control of the puck and was headed up the ice before he stumbled and turned it over to Ryan Sproul, who found Nyquist in the slot. 

A bad line change resulted in Andreas Athanasiou powering a slap shot to Jones’ far side six minutes into the third period, giving Detroit a commanding three-goal lead. 

“We were late everywhere tonight,” Pete DeBoer said. “When you’re a step behind a good team they expose you, and I think that was the story. We’ll have to go back and figure out why, and get our game back in a better place.”

“We played into their hands. They’re a transition team, a speed team, and if you’re going to play east-west and turn the puck over they’re going to make you pay for it. We talked about it, but we still fell into that trap. Obviously the penalties didn’t help, and we’re playing catch up all night.”

Among those penalties was a double minor to Joe Pavelski for spearing Steve Ott, just a few seconds after Athanasiou’s goal. The captain seemed agitated for much of the night.

Pavelski said he didn’t think he got a whole lot of Ott with his stick, but “it’s a play you don’t want to make.”

DeBoer didn’t take issue with the play which nullified what would have been a Sharks power play after a Drew Miller interference.

“Pav is a competitor. He was probably our best player tonight. He’s competing right until the final buzzer,” DeBoer said. “I don’t have a problem with that. It doesn’t bother me.”

The power play, though, is one area that the coach may need to focus on when the Sharks finally get a practice in on Monday at home. Despite being together for so many years, the top unit seems tentative with the puck and is misfiring on passes that are typically routine.

On one power play in the second period when the game was still scoreless, Pavelski was open in front of the net, but Patrick Marleau missed him on what would have been a tap-in goal. The Sharks finished 0-for-4 with a man advantage and have just one goal in a manned net this season during five-on-four play.

What has to change?

“Quite a few things,” Couture said. “We’re breaking in fine, [but] we’re too stationary, I think. I don’t know if we’re moving the puck well enough. Not attacking holes, not shooting the puck and getting it back.”

The Sharks will open up a three-game homestand on Tuesday with the Ducks. There is work to do before that.

“We’re 3-3. That’s the good news,” DeBoer said. “I think we’ve played some good hockey, but we have a lot of things we’ve got to clean up, too.”

Jones said: “Obviously it wasn’t the way we wanted to end the road trip. We’ll bounce back, and we’ve got a lot of games left.”

Instant Replay: Sharks blanked by Wings, end road trip with thud

Instant Replay: Sharks blanked by Wings, end road trip with thud


DETROIT – The Sharks organization made some good memories over the years at Joe Louis Arena. Saturday’s game, their final regular season game ever in the storied Detroit arena, wasn’t one of them.

Gustav Nyquist scored twice and Jimmy Howard made 30 saves in leading the Red Wings to a 3-0 blanking of the Sharks. San Jose’s record stands at an even 3-3-0 after it lost three of five games on its road trip, including the final two.

The Sharks open a three-game homestand with the Ducks on Tuesday.

Both of Nyquist’s goals came in the second period as Detroit opened up a 2-0 edge.

His first came on a two-on-one rush. Nyquist skated the puck into the Sharks’ zone, slammed on the breaks in the faceoff circle, and buzzed a wrist shot past Martin Jones at 4:14 of the middle frame.

On his second score, Nyquist squeezed a wrist shot through Jones from the slot at 15:10 shortly after Matt Nieto lost his footing – and the puck – in the Sharks’ defensive zone.

The Red Wings put the game out of reach when Andreas Athanasiou teed off on a slap shot from the circle at 6:05 of the third period, beating the Sharks’ starting goalie high to the far side.

San Jose was unable to score despite pulling Jones for an extra attacker with more than three minutes to go.

The Sharks again struggled on the power play taking an 0-for-4, and are 0-for-8 over the last three games.

Detroit will open Little Ceasar’s Arena at the start of next season. The Sharks finished with a 12-28-4 record all-time at The Joe.

Special teams

If there was one bright spot for the Sharks it was their penalty kill, which fought off all seven Red Wings power plays.

The power play, though, remains ice cold, as San Jose has scored just one power play goal this season during a standard five-on-four advantage. Overall, the Sharks are 3-for-20 on the season, including an empty net goal and another on a two-man advantage.

A bit of nastiness ensued shortly after the Red Wings’ third goal, as Joe Pavelski was given a double-minor for “attempting to spear” Steve Ott, who got an unsportsmanlike conduct minor.

In goal

Jones dropped to 2-3 on the season, losing his third straight start after beginning the season with a pair of wins. He allowed three goals on 32 shots.

Howard won for the second time in as many starts. He improved to 5-7-4 all-time against San Jose.


Brent Burns, who entered the game tied for the league lead in scoring with nine points, saw his five-game point streak to start the season come to an end.

Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader was scratched, so Athanasiou was inserted back into the lineup.

San Jose reassigned forward Ryan Carpenter to the Barracuda on Friday. He did not play at all on the trip.

Up next

The Sharks will play just their second home game on Tuesday against Anaheim. The Blue Jackets visit SAP Center on Thursday, and the Predators next Saturday.

Overall, five of the Sharks’ next six games are in San Jose.