Sharks blanked by Ducks 1-0

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Sharks blanked by Ducks 1-0

BOX SCORE

ANAHEIM A virtual unknown and an old nemesis teamed up to give the Sharks their first loss of the season.

Jonas Hiller made rookie Maxime Macenauers first period goal stand up, as the Anaheim Ducks beat the Sharks at the Honda Center on Friday night. Hiller stopped all 31 shots the Sharks threw his way in what was a sloppy game at times, as both clubs had not played since last Saturday.

Hes a world class goalie, but we have some world class players here that can score, said Joe Thornton. Im disappointed we couldnt score on him.

Hillers biggest save came early in the game. Joe Pavelski, who had two goals in the season opening 6-3 win against Phoenix, beautifully skated the puck through Ducks defenseman Toni Lydman and fired a wrist shot on net. Hiller snagged it with his quick glove hand halfway through the first period.

Pavelski blamed himself for the failed opportunity, which could have led to an entirely different outcome.

I believe the corner was there, I just didnt get it up, he said. You get a chance like that you want to finish, especially early in the game. It changes the whole dynamic.

Still, it would have been hard to imagine Hiller would have been any less spectacular even if he had given up that goal. The All-Star goalie was strong from start to finish, especially in the third period, when the Sharks applied good pressure on a late power play.

Ryane Clowe had a great opportunity to tie it at 1-1, but couldnt get a handle on a bouncing puck.

I think if I get that on net, its in. It just hit the side of the net, he said.

Clowe was asked if he was discouraged to get blanked so early in the season. The Sharks are now 1-1 after two games.

I dont think its real discouraging, to be honest, he said. I think if we felt like we played a bit better and controlled most of the game it would be discouraging. The second period they completely outworked us and in the third it was back and forth. Its discouraging we didnt play better, but not so much about the shutout.

The Sharks came out of the gate strong, winning the puck possession game as well as most of the first period faceoffs. The problem was they didnt generate enough when they had the puck.

We were one-and-done in their end, said Logan Couture. We didnt really create second chances. Thats why they beat us.

Too much one-and-out tonight, agreed Todd McLellan.

On the other end, it was Macenauer taking advantage of what McLellan categorized as a missed assignment. Hes likely referring to Andrew Desjardins, who failed to pick up Macenauer in front of the crease.

You have a simple assignment and youve got to accomplish it, said McLellan. Thats the difference between winning and losing at this level. There is so much parity that you have to be sharp all the time.

Among the 36 skaters dressed for the game, Macenauer was as unlikely a name as any to score the games lone goal. A 2007 third round pick by the Ducks, the 22-year-old was playing in just his third career NHL game.

Its always a lift when those guys can contribute, said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. We had a short side play on and they executed it to a tee.

On a positive note for the Sharks, goaltender Thomas Greiss was outstanding. After allowing the goal to Macenauer, the German native held his ground and kept the Sharks within reach, especially in the second period when Anaheim controlled the pace.

Hiller played an exceptional game tonight, but I guess the good news for us is that I thought our goalie matched it, said McLellan.

Greiss finished with 22 saves.

It was tough for him to not get the win, said Clowe.

The Sharks return Saturday night to face the St. Louis Blues at HP Pavilion. Theyll get another shot at Hiller and the Ducks on home ice on Monday night a fine opportunity to put tonights frustration behind them.

We have to play them Monday so its a good chance to improve, said Clowe.
Notes

Ducks winger Jason Blake was taken to the hospital after being cut by Brent Burns' skate in the third period. ... Antti Niemi served as Greiss backup, and will likely play in one of the two upcoming home games. Jim Vandermeer was the healthy scratch, but look for him to play Saturday, probably in place of White. ... The Sharks were 0-for-4 on the power play, and killed off both Ducks chances. ... San Jose won 28 of 44 faceoffs (64 percent).

Boedker tops list of disappointing Sharks depth forwards

Boedker tops list of disappointing Sharks depth forwards

SAN JOSE – The Sharks didn’t make any blockbuster moves last summer, content to make another run in 2016-17 with largely the same group that came within two wins of capturing the Stanley Cup.

They still acquired a notable player, though, when Mikkel Boedker was signed on July 1 to add an element that the Sharks knew they needed more of moving forward – speed. Boedker was expected to make the team faster, after the Sharks were exposed for not having enough of that against Pittsburgh in the NHL’s final round, as well as play in a top six role. 

At the time, it was hailed as a slick, under-the-radar move that wasn’t going to change the dynamic of the club but could help push it over the top.

When Boedker was a healthy scratch in games three and four of the first round against Edmonton, the evidence became clear, though, that this was a decision that fell flat on its face. 

Frankly, Boedker – who is signed for three more years with a $4 million salary cap hit – brings back visions of Sharks bust Marty Havlat. You know the skill is there, but the desire to use it on a nightly basis while showing any semblance of a battle level is lacking. 

Should the Sharks give Boedker another chance next season, or should they do everything in their power to try and move him? That’s a question that will likely be debated in the front office over the next several weeks.

On get-away day on Monday, indications were that the Sharks were planning on sticking with the 27-year-old, who finished with 26 points in the regular season (10g, 16a) and added one goal and one assist in four games in the playoffs.

“He has the things we’re looking for: his career scoring average, his speed, [penalty killing] ability,” general manager Doug Wilson said. “Did he meet the expectations that he had for himself [or] that we had for him? No. Can we get that out of him? Pete [DeBoer] believes we can.”

DeBoer has known Boedker since he played for him in 2007-08 in Kitchener (OHL). Despite scratching him in the playoffs, DeBoer said he saw “huge improvement” in Boedker throughout the course of the season after the forward spent nearly all of his NHL career in Arizona.

“There was an adjustment. He’s played 6-7 years a certain way in the NHL,” DeBoer said. “We’ve asked him to play differently here, and there was an adjustment.”

Boedker still believes that he can be a fit in San Jose.

“I think it will be and it can be,” he said. “It’s learning period, but you’ve also got to look in the mirror yourself and see what you can change and what assets you need to bring. I’ve learned a lot, and I’m ready to do that.”

The list of Sharks depth forwads that had frustrating seasons hardly begins and ends with Boedker, though.

Veteran Joel Ward’s production dipped from 43 points last season to 29 in 2016-17, although that probably isn’t too surprising considering he’s 36. Tomas Hertl is proving to be a streaky player, too, although his season was interrupted by another a knee injury.

The bigger disappointment came from players like Chris Tierney and Joonas Donskoi, who both made big impressions in the 2016 playoffs but struggled to produce consistent offense this year. Both were mentioned by name by DeBoer on Monday.

There are some promising youngsters in the pipeline like Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc and Marcus Sorensen, but it’s still too early to project any of them as can’t-miss scorers at the NHL level.

“I think we’ve got a large group of guys that I like, but need to step up,” DeBoer said. “Is Sorensen [like] Donskoi next year, where he takes a step back, or [does he take a] step forward? We’ve got a lot of guys that there’s a lot of potential there – Chris Tierney. 

“There’s a lot of those guys, but they need to have big summers and take a step, and show that they’re not just one season or one month players.”

Facial fractures for Couture; Thornton undergoes surgery

Facial fractures for Couture; Thornton undergoes surgery

SAN JOSE – Just in case there was any question as to the grisly nature of Logan Couture’s mouth injury, the Sharks forward shared a picture on his personal Instagram account on Monday.

If you haven’t seen it yet, proceed with caution.

The photo was taken the night of his injury on March 25 in Nashville, showing several top teeth missing in a mouth that can accurately be described as a bloody mess, after he was hit with a defected puck while standing in front of the net in a game against the Predators.

Couture revealed on Tuesday in a conference call that there was more to his injury that just damaged teeth. He also has some facial fractures, including one above his upper lip that extends to his nasal area, and another that is under the bottom row of his teeth.

The one that’s higher in his face is still painful. 

“Still struggle to eat and sleep. … It’s not a comfortable state to be in,” said Couture, who missed the final seven games of the regular season before returning for the six-game first round series loss to Edmonton.

As for the next step, Couture has yet to sit down with his dentist, although further work is on the horizon.

“There’s going to be some implants to get the teeth fixed,” he said. “Hopefully get it done in the next few weeks, and then I’ll head back to Canada.”

Couture doesn’t yet know how many teeth need to be replaced.

“All depends on how the teeth respond,” he said.

* * *

Joe Thornton had successful surgery on his left knee on Monday afternoon, NBC Sports California has learned, and according to a team statement released later on Tuesday he is expected to "make a complete recovery and be ready for the start of the 2017-18 season." 

According to a source, the damage to Thornton’s MCL was more significant than his ACL. The team declined to give any details about the surgery in its statement, including who performed it and where it was done. 

Thornton played four playoff games against Edmonton despite damaged knee ligaments, head coach Pete DeBoer revealed on Monday, when he said Thornton was dealing with a “torn MCL and ACL” after getting hurt in Vancouver on April 2.