McGinn trade derailed Sharks offense


McGinn trade derailed Sharks offense

CALGARY The San Jose Sharks season wasnt going all that swimmingly even before general manager Doug Wilson sent winger Jamie McGinn to Colorado as part of a trade for Daniel Winnik and TJ Galiardi at the NHL trade deadline on Feb. 27.

But in the eight games that the Sharks have played since the deal, to say that the team is having trouble putting the puck in the net is an understatement.

The Sharks have just 12 goals since the trade, or 1.50 per game. Compare that to the eight previous games with McGinn still in the lineup, and San Jose had 24, or 3.0 per game.

Simply put, this is a team that, as it stands right now, doesnt have enough scorers. If it misses the postseason tournament for the first time since 2003, the McGinn trade will end up being a big reason why.

While McGinn wasnt one of the most prolific point producers on the Sharks, the 23-year-old was in the midst of his best season as a pro. He had 12 goals and 12 assists for 24 points, and coach Todd McLellan was complimentary of his improving game for virtually the entire season when asked about his rugged winger.

His presence and steady game also allowed McLellan to keep his top two scoring lines generally intact, give or take some tinkering here and there. Everything was in place.

But in the last eight games, the numbers speak for themselves. Ryane Clowe has a single goal; Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau have a goal and an assist; and Tommy Wingels, who was playing on the second line before he was hurt in Edmonton, has one assist in seven games.

McGinn was part of the Sharks second power play unit at the time of the trade, and his absence is noticeable there, too. The team is a combined 3-for-21 in the since the trade with a man advantage, and all three of those goals have come from the top unit, as Logan Couture has two and Joe Thornton has one.

Players like Brad Winchester, Dominic Moore and Benn Ferriero all saw shifts on the power play against the Flames on Tuesday, and the second power play unit has generated absolutely nothing, regardless of who skates there.

RECAP: Sharks take overtime loss to Flames, 3-2

As for Winnik and Galiardi, theyve now gone a combined 53 games without a single goal, and Winniks assist on March 3 is the only point between the two new players. Granted, Winnik sees time on the penalty kill, something McGinn didnt do while with the Sharks, but thats not enough to justify the scoring discrepancy.

In seven games with his new club, McGinn is a point-per-game player with five goals and two assists for seven points. Hes also seen his ice time increase by almost three minutes a game with the Avalanche.

The Sharks were already thin on offense to start the year, with Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi in Minnesota. Marty Havlat is still on the shelf, but was generally ineffective even before he suffered a partially torn hamstring in mid-December. Theres no guarantee Havlat will have an impact when he makes his return, either.

McGinns uptick in production, even while playing on a line with free-agent disappointment Michal Handzus, helped to replace some of the goals lost in the offseason.

McLellan, who saw his big guns Couture and Thornton combine for four points in the 3-2 overtime loss to Calgary, was asked about the lack of secondary scoring after the game.

You get two goals from Coutch, you need one or two a night from some guys that havent scored in a long time, he said. You look at Torrey Mitchell, hes been able to hit the scoreboard. Jim Vandermeer hit the scoreboard awhile ago, but other than that, there hasnt been much from anybody else.

For us to be successful, there has to be some depth of scoring.

Before the Sharks traded McGinn, there was.

In push for playoffs, LA Kings acquire goalie Bishop from Tampa Bay

In push for playoffs, LA Kings acquire goalie Bishop from Tampa Bay

The Los Angeles Kings have acquired goaltender Ben Bishop in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Los Angeles sent Peter Budaj, defensive prospect Erik Cernak, a 2017 seventh-round pick and a conditional pick to Tampa Bay for Bishop and a 2017 fifth-round pick.

Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman announced the trade Sunday night, less than four days before the trade deadline.

Bishop, a pending unrestricted free agent, helped the Lightning reach the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. The Kings now have Bishop and 2012 and 2014 Cup winner Jonathan Quick, who returned Saturday from a long-term lower-body injury that had sidelined him since October.

The 6-foot-7 Bishop, 30, is 16-12-3 with a 2.55 goals-against average and .911 save percentage.

Three takeaways: Sharks stand up for Karlsson; avoiding the mumps

Three takeaways: Sharks stand up for Karlsson; avoiding the mumps

VANCOUVER – It was a successful first game coming out of the bye week for the Sharks, as they won going away against the Canucks at Rogers Arena on Saturday, 4-1. Here are our three takeaways from the evening in British Columbia…

1 – Slow start, strong finish

The league-wide trend of starting slow coming out of the NHL’s newly instituted bye week was on display in the first period, as the Sharks and Canucks played one of the uglier frames of NHL hockey you’ll ever see. San Jose was on its heels early, surrendering the first six shots of the game and looking particularly confused. They didn’t register a single hit in the period, either, which is hard to do.

The Sharks were lucky that Vancouver wasn’t much better, and that Martin Jones – whose performance we focused on in primary the game recap – was looking sharp and well rested.

The message after the scoreless first period, according to coach Pete DeBoer, was just to “try and get better.” That’s what happened.

“We knew it would be a little messy, and it was,” DeBoer said. “Jonesy thankfully was our best player, and gave us a chance to get our legs under us. I thought as the game wore on we got better and better. It wasn’t a pretty win, by any means.”

Chris Tierney said: “After the first 10 minutes [we] started to feel good and then kind of felt back to normal in the second there. It definitely took a little bit. Joner bailed us out in the beginning a couple times. I thought we started to get going in the second and third.”

2 – Standing up for Karlsson

Melker Karlsson was lucky to return in the third period after he took a heavy hit from Joseph Labate. Karlsson had to be helped to the dressing room after the blow, when his head violently snapped back as Labate ran him into the boards in front of the bench.

Micheal Haley pounced on Labate immediately after the incident, earning a two-minute minor that the team was probably happy to kill off. Labate, to his credit, answered the bell in the third period when he was challenged by and fought Brenden Dillon. The Sharks will face the Canucks three more times this season, including on Thursday, so a response to the hit was particularly necessary even if it was clean.

“That sends a good message to the team that everybody has each other’s back,” Mikkel Boedker said of Haley and Dillon’s efforts. “Those guys are real standup guys, and they’ve done it so many times. Every time they do it, it means something special to all of us.”

DeBoer said: “That’s a huge part of our team and our team identity. We’ve got a group that you’re not going to be able to push to of games, and I think we’ve shown that over the last two years here. You don’t even have to say anything, that’s just automatic.”

3 – Avoiding the mumps

Some eyebrows were raised in the press box midway through the game when the Canucks tweeted that defenseman Luca Sbisa would not return with the stomach flu. That’s one of the early warning signs of the mumps, meaning Sbisa could have exposed some Sharks to the virus, which is making its way through the Vancouver dressing room.

“What are you going to do? We’ve just got to cross our fingers and get outta here and hope that he didn’t rub up against anybody,” DeBoer said.

The Sharks coach said after the game that he thought “most of our guys” have had vaccinations, but “I believe there’s a couple that haven’t.”

After the virus invaded several NHL dressing rooms two seasons ago, the Sharks’ training staff will likely be on the lookout for symptoms when the team reconvenes on Monday. Hopefully, the outbreak will begin and end in Vancouver this time.

“Definitely, you want to make sure that you stay away from all that stuff,” Boedker said.