Sharks notes: Marleau frustrated; Couture amazes


Sharks notes: Marleau frustrated; Couture amazes

Of all the adjectives used to describe Sharks franchise icon Patrick Marleau over the years, outspoken has rarely, if ever, been one of them.

Thats changed in recent days, though, as Marleau has become a vocal critical of the leagues tactics when it comes to the current labor impasse. It began when I spoke with him myself on Thursday at Sharks Ice and he bluntly stated, If the owners cared about the game, we would be playing. (He later clarified that when he refers to the owners, hes talking about what he believes is a small group of hard-liners, of which Gary Bettman needs just eight to veto any CBA proposal).

Marleau continued to voice his disapproval in a text message sent to Josh Rimer of (via on Saturday.

The league had these games canceled already in the summer. They are just releasing that info now, Marleau said, referring to the NHL cancelling the schedule through November.

Its not hard to see why Marleau might jump to that conclusion. The NHLs opening CBA proposal was an early signal of the leagues draconian approach, and its more recent refusal to meet with the players association in the days leading up to their own Oct. 25 deadline to save a full season was peculiar.

Many have suggested that NHL ownership is following the same guidelines used by NBA owners around this time last year. There were several perceived peaks and valleys during those negotiations, which ended with ownership getting a larger percentage of profits as well as a condensed 66-game season starting on Christmas Day.

So, Marleau could be on to something.

For now, though, the enigmatic forward is one of a few Sharks still in the Bay Area. That could change shortly, though, as he told on Thursday that hes spoken to his agent about possibly going abroad.

Its definitely an option, he said.

Couture gets fancy

Speaking of overseas, Sharks stars Logan Couture and Joe Thornton went head-to-head in Switzerland for the second time over the weekend, with Coutures first-place Geneve-Servette team coming away with a 5-4 win over Thorntons HC Davos squad.

In a much-tweeted highlight (courtesy of Puck Daddy), Couture managed to score his fifth goal of the season with an incredible between-the-legs shot. He also has 11 assists on the year, including two in the game against Davos, for a total of 16 points in 12 games.

Thornton had one assist in the loss, and has four goals and nine assists for 13 points in 15 games.

Champs for Charity a success

Adam Burish is still waiting for the chance to don a Sharks jersey after signing with San Jose in the offseason, but hes making the most of his time off.

Burish, a member of the 2010 Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks, helped put together a reunion of that team to benefit local Chicago charities, and it was a resounding success. On Saturday at Allstate Arena, home of the AHLs Chicago Wolves, the game brought in more than 323,000 for the Ronald McDonald House.

The biggest thing for me was all these guys deciding to participate. Guys I won a championship with showed up, guys Ive played against showed up. To me, thats what meant a lot, Burish told They were so giving with their time, doing whatever they could to help, because it wasnt easy. I hope everyone had fun, because I did.

The vocal crowd, presumably desperate for the lockout to end, exceeded 12,000.

It brings you right back to the regular season and playoffs. And its all for a great cause, Patrick Sharp said. Whenever you score a goal you get a good feeling. You play to win and be a part of a team. We were messing around out there but we were still playing hockey. There were a lot of antics going on but it was fun to be a part of a game again.

There were more than just Blackhawks that suited up. Opponents of the former champs included Bobby Ryan, Jordan Staal and Ryan Suter.

Worcester update

After a slow start in which they failed to win any of their first four games, the Worcester Sharks collected four of a possible six points over the weekend. Goaltender Alex Stalock was in net for wins on Friday and Sunday, stopping 51 of 54 shots total in the two games.

A quick look at the stats shows Tim Kennedy leading the Worcester offense with three goals and five assists for eight points, while Sebastian Stalberg (4g, 2a) and Bracken Kearns (1g, 5a) have six points apiece.

James Sheppard, perhaps the most intriguing player on Worcesters roster, has cooled off. After recording three points in the first two games, he has just one assist in the last five.

The Sharks (2-4-0-1, 5 pts.) are in fourth place in the five-team Atlantic Division.

Coyle impressing in AHL

In other minor league news, former Sharks first round pick Charlie Coyle is impressing for Minnesotas farm team in Houston. Coyle was part of the package the Sharks sent to the Wild in order to acquire defenseman Brent Burns.

Coyle, drafted 28th overall by San Jose in 2010, leads all rookie forwards in the AHL with five goals, prompting this tweet from Wild beat writer Michael Russo. He could very well be a part of the Wilds roster if the NHL and NHLPA get their act together to salvage a season.

Minnesotas roster already has a number of former Sharks, including Devin Setoguchi and Torrey Mitchell, the latter of whom signed there this past offseason.

NHL Gameday: Sharks 'champing at the bit' to play Red Wings


NHL Gameday: Sharks 'champing at the bit' to play Red Wings

Programming note: Sharks-Red Wings coverage starts today at 3:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California


Sharks: 3-2-0, 6 points, 3rd Pacific Division
Red Wings: 3-2-0, 6 points, 5th Atlantic Division


***The Sharks will be trying to rebound from a crushing defeat on Thursday. In a Stanley Cup rematch in Pittsburgh, the Penguins erased 2-0 hole after two to beat the Sharks, 3-2, in regulation.

“We know we let one slip away the other night,” Logan Couture said. “That’s the main focus for us right now, get out, have a good first period and try to rebound from that.”

Patrick Marleau said: “Everybody is champing at the bit to get back out there and right that wrong by having a good, strong game.”

***At 2-2 through the first four games of their road trip, the Sharks have a chance conclude it with a winning record. San Jose had the best road record in the NHL last season at 28-10-3.

“Our group understands the importance of a good road record,” Pete DeBoer said. “We’ve got a veteran group that really prepares themselves properly. I don’t know if there’s any secret to it. They take a lot of pride in showing up and playing the right way on the road. We want to continue to do that.”

The Sharks open up a three-game homestand with Anaheim on Tuesday. After tonight, five of their next six games are at SAP Center.

***The Sharks will not make any lineup changes against the Red Wings. Matt Nieto remains in on the fourth line, while Martin Jones will start his fifth game out of six in net.

Detroit beat Nashville at home on Friday night, 5-3, in its “best game of the season” according to Tomas Tatar, via the Detroit Free Press. The Red Wings will likely go with Jimmy Howard after it was Petr Mrazek who got the win against the Predators. Howard is coming off of a brilliant 32-save performance at the Rangers on Wednesday in which he essentially stole the game for the Red Wings.

It could be a good opportunity for the Sharks to get their scuffling power play going, as Detroit gave up three power play goals against to Nashville. San Jose is just 2-for-13 in its last four games on the power play, with one an empty-netter and another on a two-man advantage.


Sharks: Tomas Hertl. The Sharks forward has one goal in each of the last two games, including the opening score against Pittsburgh on Thursday, and brings a three-game point streak (2g, 1a) into Detroit. After a slow start, the Sharks’ top line with Hertl, Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton seems to be heating up.

Red Wings: Thomas Vanek. The 32-year-old forward joined Detroit in the offseason on a one-year deal, and is its leading scorer among forwards with six points (3g, 3a). He’s had some success against the Sharks in his career, too, with six goals (and eight points) in 14 games.


Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Mikkel Boedker – Logan Couture – Joonas Donskoi
Patrick Marleau – Chris Tierney – Joel Ward
Matt Nieto – Tommy Wingels – Melker Karlsson

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko

Martin Jones (confirmed starter)
Aaron Dell

Red Wings
Tomas Tatar – Henrik Zetterberg – Riley Sheahan
Justin Abdelkader – Frans Nielsen – Dylan Larkin
Thomas Vanek – Darren Helm – Gustav Nyquist
Drew Miller – Luke Glendening – Steve Ott

Dan DeKeyser – Mike Green
Jonathan Ericsson – Alexey Marchenko
Brendan Smith – Ryan Sproul

Jimmy Howard (expected starter)
Petr Mrazek


Sharks: None.

Red Wings: Niklas Kronwall (knee), Tomas Jurco (back), Johan Franzen (concussion) and Joe Vitale (concussion) are out.


“I thought we played a pretty solid game (in Pittsburgh) for most of the game. Obviously we had a couple breakdowns, but I liked our effort and the way we controlled the game for most of it. We’ve just got to put together a full 60, and we’ll be fine.” – Chris Tierney

Rewind: Shorthanded Penguins stun Sharks in late comeback

Rewind: Shorthanded Penguins stun Sharks in late comeback

PITTSBURGH – The primary reason the Sharks made the additions and subtractions they did in the offseason was to match up better against a swift-skating team like Pittsburgh, which won last June’s Stanley Cup Final by playing a game based on speed.

If the first rematch is any indication, even a dramatically shorthanded Penguins team can still get the job done against San Jose.

Despite no Sidney Crosby, no Kris Letang, no Matt Murray, no Conor Sheary, and no third defense pair of Olli Maatta and Derrick Poulliot for the third period, the Penguins stormed from behind to give the Sharks a 3-2 loss on Thursday night at PPG Paints Arena. All of the Penguins’ goals came in the third period after they trailed 2-0 to start the final frame.

For the second time in four games on their road trip, the Sharks controlled play through two periods. That was enough against lowly Columbus last Saturday, but not against the Penguins, who got goals from Evgeni Malkin, Scott Wilson and Patric Hornqvist in span of eight minutes and 15 seconds in the third.

“Let them hang around a little bit, which is something we’ve done lately,” Pete DeBoer said. “Had some opportunities to extend it, and didn’t. Probably deserved to be up by more, but we weren’t. That’s what happens.”

San Jose got goals from Tomas Hertl and Patrick Marleau in the second period, a period that saw them outshoot the Penguins, 17-4. Shots were 27-10 overall through 40 minutes.

They started well in the third, too, when Mikkel Boedker drew a trip on Malkin at 4:10. Just after the ensuing power play had expired, Boedker was staring at a wide open net after slick seam pass from Joonas Donskoi, but fired wide.

Malkin scored 30 seconds later, and the comeback was on.

“Just missed it. It’s a tough shot when it comes from the other way, but [Donskoi] made a good pass,” Boedker said. “It’s one of those you want to put in, and when things are going the right way, they come in bunches. … Obviously it sucks, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

After Malkin’s goal, and another by Wilson tied it, the Sharks took a pair of minor penalties. Paul Martin was called for a delay of game that was killed off, but Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s slash on Bryan Rust resulted in Hornqvist’s winner with less than six minutes to go in regulation.

Joe Pavelski didn’t seem to like either call, indicating that Martin’s errant clearing attempt hit a Penguins stick on its way out, and the Vlasic slash late a tie game is a call “that you don’t always see.”

Hornqvist got a couple fortunate bounces on his goal, too. He took control of the puck in front of the net after it hit Joel Ward’s foot, and his shot attempt deflected in off of Martin’s skate.

“They got a bounce or two more, but the position we were in, it shouldn’t matter how many bounces they get,” Pavelski said. “We’ve got to seal that game.”

The captain expressed disappointment over the fact that the Sharks squandered a chance to move to 4-1-0 on the season, which would be an accomplishment considering their early peripatetic schedule in which they played just one home game before traveling east.

That outweighed any sort of revenge factor that might have been on the minds of the players that were defeated by Pittsburgh in the Final last spring.

“The biggest thing is we were playing for a 4-1 record going into that third [period]. Not because it was the Penguins,” Pavelski said. “It’s early in the year and it’s not easy to start coming on the road with all these games. Now we’re staring at 3-2, and we move on. It would have been nice to beat them, for sure, but the best thing would have been for that record.”

The Sharks can still conclude their five-game trip with a winning mark by beating Detroit on Saturday.

DeBoer said: “We’re not going to overreact. We played very good hockey for large amounts of this game. Learn from it, and move forward.”