DeBoer excited to add Shaw to staff

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DeBoer excited to add Shaw to staff

While the Sharks organization is thrilled to add a coach to its staff with the credentials of a Larry Robinson, New Jersey Devils head coach Peter DeBoer seems equally excited that former San Jose assistant Matt Shaw has joined the Devils.

The Sharks fired Shaw after they added Robinson, as well as former Capitals and Lightning assistant Jim Johnson, to Todd McLellans staff. Jay Woodcroft, who will enter his fifth season with the Sharks, remains.

It isn't often you're able to add someone like a Matt Shaw, who had one of the top three power plays in the League the last three or four years, DeBoer told Mike Morreale of NHL.com. San Jose led the League in shots for on the power play the last three or four seasons and we feel fortunate that he's joining the staff."

In his three seasons helping to coach the power play, the Sharks finished second in 2011-12 (21.1 percent); second in 2010-11 (23.5 percent); and fourth in 2009-10 (21.0 percent). The Devils were 14th on the power play last season (17.2 percent).

The Devils also had to replace assistant coach Adam Oates, who is now the head coach of the Washington Capitals. Legendary defenseman Scott Stevens has signed on as DeBoers other assistant, along with Shaw.

As the schedule stands right now (get used to hearing that phrase while CBA negotiations continue), the Devils, Stanley Cup finalists in June, are one of just three Eastern Conference teams the Sharks will play twice next year Feb. 18 in New Jersey, and March 28 at HP Pavilion.

Sharks clinch playoff spot with LA Kings' loss in Edmonton

Sharks clinch playoff spot with LA Kings' loss in Edmonton

BOX SCORE

Although it hasn’t been a smooth ride lately, the Sharks officially punched their ticket to the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Tuesday night by virtue of the Kings’ 2-1 regulation loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

The Sharks are currently hosting the New York Rangers, looking to snap a six-game losing streak in regulation.

The Kings’ loss gives the Sharks back-to-back appearances in the playoffs after a rare miss in 2015. Last season San Jose advanced to its first-ever Stanley Cup Final, losing to the Penguins in six games.

Since 1997-98 the Sharks have made the playoffs in 17 seasons. Only Detroit, which has been officially eliminated from playoff contention this season, has more (18).

San Jose is aiming for its first Pacific Division title since 2011.

 

NHL Gameday: Karlsson, Labanc return as fading Sharks host Rangers

NHL Gameday: Karlsson, Labanc return as fading Sharks host Rangers

Programming note – Sharks-Rangers coverage starts today at 7:00 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California

WHERE THEY STAND

Sharks: 42-26-7, 91 points, 2nd Pacific Division
Rangers: 46-26-4, 96 points, 4th Metropolitan Division

PREGAME NEWS AND NOTES

***There are several different scenarios that would clinch a playoff spot for San Jose tonight, but the simpliset would be the Sharks beating the Rangers in regulation or overtime, or the Kings losing in regulation to the Oilers.

***The New York Rangers make their only visit of the season to SAP Center, where they will see a Sharks team that has reached its season nadir. San Jose has lost its last six games, all in regulation, and has been outscored 13-3 in a pair of blowout defeats to Dallas and Nashville.

Coach Pete DeBoer did his best to put lipstick on the pig that is the last two performances, both five-goal losses.

“A loss is a loss. Sometimes you’re better getting beat by five than one,” he said. “We lost, we’ve got to figure out a way to win. I don’t look at the numbers on the board, or the difference – a loss is a loss. A lot of times it’s better to get soundly beaten. [You don’t] fool yourself and lose a one-goal game that maybe you didn’t deserve to win.”

***DeBoer offered the following update on Logan Couture on Tuesday morning, after the center underwent a medical procedure on Monday.

“Status quo. It was dental work, and I don’t have a timeframe for when he’ll be back, but I’m confident he’s going to be back,” DeBoer said.

The Sharks are 1-0-1 in the two games without Couture this season.

***New York won the only other meeting between the Sharks and Rangers on Oct. 17 at Madison Square Garden, 7-4. They are 2-3-2 in their last seven games, including a 6-3 loss in Anaheim on Sunday.

The Rangers have the NHL’s fourth-ranked offense, at 3.13 goals-per game.

“If we play the top end teams like that that have speed, we’re able to shut them down if we manage the puck and we’re not turning it over, and keep that good gap through the neutral zone,” Paul Martin said. 

Marc-Edouard Vlasic said: “We’ve just got to get back to good breakouts and good forechecking.”

The Sharks will try to end a streak of seven straight games allowing the first goal.

***Kevin Labanc was recalled from the Barracuda. DeBoer wouldn’t confirm any lineup decisions, but it appears that Marcus Sorensen will come out. Melker Karlsson (out the last eight games with a lower body injury), Vlasic and Chris Tierney and will all play, too.

Labanc was reassigned to the AHL on Feb. 20, having not scored a goal in his previous 25 NHL games. He has 19 points (6g, 13a) in 49 games with the Sharks this season, and another 19 points (6g, 13a) in 19 games with the Barracuda.

KEEP AN EYE ON...

Sharks: Patrick Marleau. The forward has been one of the only Sharks players lately that’s actually doing something positive, with three goals in the last five games. Marleau will be playing center for the fifth time this season, and probably the foreseeable future, too, with Logan Couture out indefinitely. Whether he can handle the added responsibility could determine where the Sharks finish in the Pacific Division.

Rangers: Mats Zuccarello. The shifty Rangers forward has a three-game point streak, at least one point in seven of his last eight games, with nine points (3g, 6a) over that span. The 29-year-old Norway native also led the way in New York’s win over the Sharks way back on Oct. 17, with one goal and two assists.

PROBABLE LINES

Sharks
Jannik Hansen – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Melker Karlsson – Patrick Marleau – Mikkel Boedker
Kevin Labanc – Tomas Hertl – Joel Ward
Timo Meier – Chris Tierney – Joonas Donskoi

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

Martin Jones (starter)
Aaron Dell

Rangers
Chris Kreider – Derek Stepan – Mats Zuccarello
Jimmy Vesey – Mika Zibanejad – Rick Nash
Michael Grabner – Kevin Hayes – Jesper Fast
Matt Puempel – Oscar Lindberg – J.T. Miller

Ryan McDonagh – Dan Girardi
Marc Staal – Brady Skjei
Brendan Smith – Nick Holden

Henrik Lundqvist
Antti Raanta

INJURIES/SCRATCHES

Sharks: Logan Couture (face) and Micheal Haley (suspension) are out.

Rangers: None.

QUOTEABLE

“You’re not always going to start with the lead, and if you don’t, you’ve still got to stick with it. There’s two teams out there. It’s 50 percent chance you score the first goal, and if you don’t, you’ve got to stick with your game plan. If you get away from it, that’s when things go bad.” – Marc-Edouard Vlasic