Sharks

Sharks blow lead, fall 4-2 to Blues

562354.jpg

Sharks blow lead, fall 4-2 to Blues

BOX SCORE
SAN JOSE The effort was better. The execution was not.

That according to Sharks head coach Todd McLellan, who saw his team drop its second game in as many nights as San Jose lost at home to the St. Louis Blues, 4-2 on Saturday.

The Sharks led 2-1 entering the third period, but instead of putting the nail in the coffin, they allowed St. Louis to tie the score and then take the lead. Former Shark Kent Huskins, who had just five goals combined in his two seasons with San Jose, managed to sneak one inside the far post through heavy traffic at 4:33 to make it a 2-2 game.

The Blues worked a three-on-two rush to perfection halfway through the period, when Steen fed Kevin Shattenkirk coming up the middle of the ice. Shattenkirk beautifully hesitated, momentarily freezing Brent Burns, before giving the puck back to Steen who slid it underneath a sliding Thomas Greiss.

In the third we made, not a lot of mistakes, but we allowed them to score and we didnt bury any of our opportunities, said McLellan.

Burns was asked what he saw on the game-winner.

They made a good play, went back to the top, and you have to respect that guy there, he said of Shattenkirk. He made a good pass. It would have been nice to get my stick on it, but its a tough play.

It was a bittersweet night for Burns, whose first goal as a Shark in the second period gave his team its first lead of the night, 2-1.

That stuff is nice, but the two points is whats important. Especially with losing last night, its tough to swallow, he said, referring to the 1-0 loss in Anaheim on Friday.

San Jose had its chances to tie the score before the end of regulation, but some brilliant denials by Blues goalie Brian Elliott prevented that from happening.

Elliott stopped Marleau on a two-on-one with Pavelski shortly after St. Louis had taken the lead back, but it was his save on Dan Boyle late that will show up on the highlight reels.

With the Sharks on a power play, Boyle fired on a wide open net from the faceoff circle, but Elliott brilliantly gloved the shot, freezing play.

Ive got to put that away, said Boyle. I think if I would have taken a half more second to look I would have saw that the bottom of the net was open. We had our chances and we had our looks. We let one slip away.

The puck was on the right guys tape at the right time, said McLellan. Patty is looking Elliott in the eyes, Danny Boyle has an open net, Clowey last night had an open net. You have to be sharp throughout the night to bury those. You cant just count on that last moment, and we werent sharp enough again.

While the Sharks outplayed the Blues for most of the game, the first 15 minutes were sloppy from San Joses perspective. St. Louis opened the scoring during four-on-four play, as Jason Demers turnover in his own zone led directly to a goal by St. Louis Matt DAgostini just 2:37 into the game.

Hindsight is 20-20, but for sure Ill be looking at that tomorrow, said Demers.

The first goal we might as well have been wearing St. Louis jerseys. Its unacceptable, said McLellan.

San Jose was fortunate to get out of the first with a 1-1 tie, as Michal Handzus scored a power play goal at 18:44 to knot the score at the first intermission. It was Handzus second of the year.

McLellan was especially irked with the Sharks first period tactics.

We chose to be the Globetrotters in the first seven or eight minutes of the game, and it doesnt work that way. Not when you have a team prepared to play north and south and prepared to get pucks in behind.

Still, San Jose seemingly took control of the game in the second period. The Sharks were outshooting the Blues 23-12 after 40 minutes, and Burns goal was the reward for strong play at both ends of the ice.

The Sharks had a great opportunity at the end of the second to increase their lead to 3-1, but Elliott made saves on Marleau and Joe Pavelski to keep the Blues in the game and give them a chance in the third.

A chance, as it turns out, in which they took full advantage.

Notes: The Sharks were 1-for-2 on the power play and killed off all three Blues chances. The Sharks skated with seven defensemen, as Jim Vandermeer made his Sharks debut. Tommy Wingels was a healthy scratch. Vandermeer spent a team-low 9:23 on the ice Torrey Mitchell skated on the second line with Clowe and Logan Couture in place of Wingels. Goaltender Harri Sateri was reassigned to Stockton (ECHL) before the game.

Sharks start training camp with familiar face elsewhere: ‘It’s kind of strange’

patty-ap.jpg
AP

Sharks start training camp with familiar face elsewhere: ‘It’s kind of strange’

SAN JOSE — There was something familiar missing in San Jose when the Sharks opened training camp.

For the first time since 1996, the Sharks took the ice for their first training camp practice without Patrick Marleau on the team as the franchise's career leader in games and scoring left as a free agent for Toronto this summer.

"I've spent a lot of years with him. It is kind of strange," said Joe Thornton, who came to San Jose in 2005. "It's his birthday today too. It's a little weird, but he's going to do great up in Toronto."

Marleau had been with San Jose since being picked second overall in 1997 but left the Sharks to sign an $18.75 million, three-year deal with the Maple Leafs in July.

Marleau has 508 goals and 574 assists for 1,082 points. He had 46 points in playing all 82 games last season as he rebounded from a disappointing 2015-16 season by scoring 27 goals, including the 500th of his career. He ranks first in San Jose in career goals, games and points.

Only six players in NHL history have played more games with one team than Marleau's 1,493 in San Jose. The Sharks haven't played a game without him on the ice since April 7, 2009.

"Obviously Patty has meant so much to this organization and this group," captain Joe Pavelski said. "Everyone in this room has pretty much played with him and Patty has done something to help them out. He'll be missed. ... Just by committee somebody will step in and fill that kind of hole. That's what we'll need."

The Sharks made no major additions this offseason so will need to replace Marleau's 27 goals by getting development from younger players like Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc and Danny O'Regan, as well as bounce-back seasons from veterans like Thornton, Mikkel Boedker and Joonas Donskoi.

Only Pavelski, Logan Couture and Brent Burns are back after scoring more than 12 goals last season.

"When I look back at last year we had key people either have down years or miss significant time with injuries or coming off injuries," coach Peter DeBoer said. "I think if we can stay healthy I think we've got a large group of guys that can really take a step this year and I expect a step out of them."

While the Sharks lost Marleau in free agency, they did manage to keep Thornton by giving him a one-year, $8 million contract despite dwindling production last season and offseason knee surgery.

He scored just seven goals — his fewest in an 82-game season since his rookie year in 1997-98 — and was a key part of a power-play unit that uncharacteristically struggled last season. But he still managed 43 assists, teaming with captain Joe Pavelski on San Jose's top line.

Thornton missed the final week of the regular season and the first two playoff games with a left knee injury before returning for the final four games of a first-round loss to Edmonton. Thornton then underwent surgery to repair his MCL and ACL after the season but was back skating in August and started ramping it up for training camp two weeks ago. Thornton believes the lower-body work he did in rehab this offseason will pay dividends on the ice.

"They feel real strong," he said of his legs. "I feel a lot of pop out there. They're probably as strong as they've ever been just because I had to rehab that knee so much."

Sharks Media Day highlights: Beards, smiles & cup checks

joe-pavelski-sharks.jpg

Sharks Media Day highlights: Beards, smiles & cup checks

The boys were back together in San Jose on Thursday for Sharks Media Day, with plenty of smiles and moments of levity. Check out the highlights...

Hey Jumbo, you dropped something. 👖🤷‍♂️

A post shared by San Jose Sharks (@sanjosesharks) on

Martin Jones is pretty good at photobombs 📸💣

A post shared by San Jose Sharks (@sanjosesharks) on

🤳 Media Day #SJSharks

A post shared by San Jose Sharks (@sanjosesharks) on

New season. New commercials. 🕉🚌📺 #ComingSoon #SharksForLife

A post shared by San Jose Sharks (@sanjosesharks) on