Night to forget for McGinn, Avs

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Night to forget for McGinn, Avs

SAN JOSE Jamie McGinn has already had several memorable nights as a member of the Colorado Avalanche.

Last night in San Jose is one hed like to forget.

McGinn as well as his linemates, Paul Stastny and David Jones finished scoreless with a -4 rating in Colorados playoff bubble-busting 5-1 loss to the Sharks. McGinn had a team-high four shots on goal, tied with rookie Gabriel Landeskog, including one that Antti Niemi was forced to make a good glove save on in the first period when the game was scoreless. But it was all downhill from there.

RECAP: Sharks leap to third in West with win over Avs

His disappointment was evident from his postgame comments.

They jumped on our mistakes. Niemi played good and we had some chances we didnt bury on, McGinn said. Just from our line, we were minus-four; it was a tough night for us. We need to rebound again in Vancouver and just forget about this one."

I was excited. Its a fun building to play in, a lot of energy. The fans are great. Its tough to comment now, after losing 5-1 to an old team. You never want that, you want to be on the winning side, so its pretty frustrating right now.

Avs head coach Joe Sacco didnt hide from criticizing his team.

I dont think we were the better team tonight. I think weve been playing very well lately, but I think tonight, they outplayed us in more periods of the game, Sacco said.

The Avalanche arent quite dead in the water just yet, as losses by Los Angeles and Dallas were just as welcomed by them as they were by the Sharks. Still, checking the latest math, Colorado has just a 12.1 percent chance of making it to the postseason while the Sharks improved to 79.1 percent, according to sportsclubstats.com.

More praise for the vets: Sharks coach Todd McLellan has said numerous times over his teams 6-2-1 stretch that hes pleased with the way his veteran leaders are handling the team. He mentioned it after the Phoenix game, when the Sharks surrendered a late first period goal and one early in the second to fall behind, and again after the win over Colorado last night.

I really liked the poise of our leaders on the bench tonight. They were saying the right things, there was a calmness, and thats a good sign for us, said the coach. Now, weve got to continue to play well and put points in the bank, and that leadership will be important in the next six games.

Keeping an even keel despite re-taking the Pacific Division lead will be paramount.

That doesnt matter right now. We arent going to fall into that trap, said Joe Pavelski, who had two goals against Colorado. The next game is really important for us, and you see how fast it happens. It goes both ways, and weve been on each side of things. Its going to be important guys stay focused and stay in the process of things.

The Sharks visit the Ducks on Wednesday and Coyotes on Thursday.

Boyle reaches 500: Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle recorded his 500th career NHL point with his assist on Joe Pavelskis goal early in the second period. It didnt take long for him to get his 501st, getting another secondary assist on Andrew Desjardins marker less than six minutes later.

The mark is noteworthy in that Boyle is only the fourth undrafted defenseman in league history to reach 500. The others are probably guys youve heard of: Borje Salming (787), Steve Duchesne (752), and Brian Rafalski (515).

Boyle is ninth in the NHL in scoring by a defenseman this season with 44 points (7g, 37a). His 37 assists are tied for fourth among blueliners.

Early empty-netter: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Ryane Clowes empty net goal at 16:23 of the third period to go was the earliest such goal in Sharks franchise history. Sacco pulled Semyon Varlamov with about four minutes to go in regulation and his team down, 4-1.

The previous mark was at 17:38 of the third period by Patrick Marleau on Jan. 24, 2006 vs. the Los Angeles Kings.

Sorensen returns to Sharks after having 'positive impact' last season

Sorensen returns to Sharks after having 'positive impact' last season

Editor's Note: The above video is from March 2, 2017

One of the Sharks’ young forwards expected to challenge for a full time roster spot this season has been re-signed.

Marcus Sorensen, who started the year in the AHL before working his way up to the Sharks, signed a two-year contract extension the team announced on Tuesday. A source told NBC Sports California that the deal is worth $700,000 at the NHL level for each of the next two seasons.

In 19 regular season games with the Sharks, Sorensen, 25, posted one goal and three assists. He appeared in all six playoff games against Edmonton, posting one goal and one assist.

In 43 games with the AHL Barracuda, Sorensen had 17 goals and 17 assists for 34 points.

"The time he spent with the Sharks this season, and the positive impact he had, proved that he can be an effective player at the highest level,” assistant general manager Joe Will said in a statement.

Sorensen originally signed with the Sharks as a free agent on May 13, 2016. He was originally drafted by Ottawa in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, but spent six seasons playing in Sweden before joining San Jose.

Sorensen was a restriced free agent. The Sharks have just one RFA left to sign in forward Barclay Goodrow.

https://twitter.com/sorensenmarcus/status/887412566447628288

Mailbag: Will Sharks miss Marleau's leadership? Thornton to be bumped?

Mailbag: Will Sharks miss Marleau's leadership? Thornton to be bumped?

Now that the dust has settled on the draft and free agency, here’s a meaty offseason Sharks mailbag before my vacation…

Who will replace Patty's leadership? (philip malan‏ @pmalan1979)

Patrick Marleau was a good example for other players in that he always came to camp in great shape and took care of himself between games, allowing him to be very productive into his later years. 

But let’s not overblow it. From what I understand, Marleau preferred to avoid confrontation, and was never the guy in the dressing room challenging other players to step up. That was left more to guys like Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski, with Logan Couture growing into that role in recent years, too. When it comes to veteran leadership there are other guys still in the dressing room of more value than Marleau. His leaving town shouldn’t change the dynamic.

Will Thornton be bumped from the top line center role? Who do you think will replace Marleau on the PP? (Elle‏ @LikeShiningOil)

The whole “top line” designation is something that us writers and broadcasters like to use, and I’m going to keep using it for Thornton so long as he and Pavelski are on the same line. That said, there will be plenty of games where the Couture line gets more even-strength ice time than the Thornton line. I guess my point here is don’t read too much into the labels. I don’t expect Thornton’s ice time to go down from what it was last season. He’s averaged 18 minutes and change in each of the past five seasons, and probably will again.

As for replacing Marleau on the power play, I would tab Tomas Hertl as the frontrunner, but I’m sure the Sharks will try a number of different looks there in training camp. After finishing 25th in the NHL last season they pretty much have to, right?

How will the lines roll this season, if you were to prognosticate now? (Erik Kuhre @Puckguy14)

It seems like we say this every year, but it depends on where the Sharks see Hertl slotting in. Last season Hertl started out on the wing of the top line after offseason knee surgery before moving to center fairly quickly. I know he battled through yet another knee injury during the season, but Hertl’s 22 points in 49 games was a disappointing total.

If the season were starting today, I’d put Hertl on the wing of the Thornton line again with, of course, Pavelski on the other side. Here’s what I’ve got in that scenario:

Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Timo Meier – Logan Couture – Joonas Donskoi
Jannik Hansen – Chris Tierney – Mikkel Boedker
Melker Karlsson – Ryan Carpenter – Joel Ward

Extras: Marcus Sorensen, Kevin Labanc, Barclay Goodrow

(One guy who is really going to have to fight to keep his spot is Ward. I could see him getting pushed out, but for now I’m leaving him in).

Will there be a tough guy in the lineup to protect the kids? (Jim Kelley)

The Sharks signed free agent Brandon Bollig a couple weeks ago to replace Micheal Haley, but I don’t seem him as a regular in the NHL lineup. Bollig could be a guy they recall if they think it’s necessary to dress a pugilist, like when Pete DeBoer brought up Haley late in the 2015-16 season for the sole reason of fighting Darnell Nurse, who had jumped Sharks defenseman Roman Polak just two weeks earlier for no real reason.

Do you think Chris Tierney is capable of more point production at this point in his career? (Ian Stephenson)

Count me among those that thought Tierney was ready to have a better season last year after his strong performance in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Still, he’s just 23 years old, and his line in the series against Edmonton with Meier and Sorensen was a very effective one for long stretches of play. This is a huge year for Tierney, who had to settle for the Sharks’ one-year, $735,000 qualifying offer. Perform, and he’ll get paid. Struggle, and he could be on the move.

Do you think the Sharks will trade either Grosenick or Dell? Doesn't seem Grosenick has much more to prove in AHL. (Chris Greni)

No, they’ll hold on to all three for the time being. Getting Troy Grosenick re-signed to a one-year deal was a nice move on the Sharks’ part, considering Aaron Dell still has just 20 games of NHL experience. Perhaps if they both continue to play well the Sharks could dangle one as trade bait later in the year, but it wouldn’t make sense at this point. 

Any thoughts on DW using the offer sheet to bring in scoring help? There’s several serviceable RFAs out there still waiting for contracts. (Tony Martinico)

Keep in mind that some of those high end RFAs, like Colton Parayko, Nino Niederreiter and Tomas Tatar are currently headed for arbitration, which takes the offer sheet off the table.

Purely speculation here, but I have to wonder if the Sharks have at least kicked around trying to ink Leon Draisaitl to an offer sheet. You have to think Berlin native Hasso Plattner would love to add the “German Gretzky” to the roster. I know we're settling into the part of the NHL offseason where typically nothing happens, but it was July 19 when the Flyers signed Shea Weber to a monster offer sheet five years ago.

And, of course, Doug Wilson has used the power of the offer sheet in the past, signing Niklas Hjalmarsson in 2010 and then using the threat of an offer sheet with Boston to acquire Martin Jones.

Which Cuda player, aside from Meier, Labanc and Sorensen, would you expect to be a dark horse and could make the big team out of camp? (olin @sleepymofo)

Keep in mind that the sixth and defensemen spots are open, too. I would presume that Dylan DeMelo is the frontrunner to replace David Schlemko, but Tim Heed and Joakim Ryan are coming off of strong seasons in the AHL. Perhaps one of them overtakes DeMelo in training camp.

As for other forwards than those you mentioned, Goodrow could end challenging for a spot on the fourth line. I get plenty of questions about Danny O’Regan, too, and perhaps he makes a push. The issue with O’Regan is that although he’s a skilled player in the minors, he’s probably not quite skilled enough to make up for his small frame at the NHL level. I view him more as a fill-in guy.

Any word on [Barclay] Goodrow and [Marcus] Sorenson? I'm assuming they didn't sign their QO's? (DaveBPilot‏ @DaveBPilot)

Yes, that’s safe to assume, since the deadline was Saturday. They remain RFAs, and negotiations will surely continue.

Still, it’s worth mentioning what happened last year with Matt Nieto. The forward didn’t sign his qualifying offer, as he was pushing for a multi-year deal, and ended up signing for one year for less than he would have made had he accepted the original offer. He was waived and claimed by Colorado.