Sharks can't complete comeback, fall to Ducks


Sharks can't complete comeback, fall to Ducks


SAN JOSE -- Eventually, they are going to start going in. At least, thats what theyre telling us.The San Jose Sharks outshot and outchanced their opponent again but came out on the wrong end of a 3-2 loss to Anaheim at HP Pavilion on Monday night. It was their second loss to the Ducks in four nights, and third straight overall. They are now 1-3 and in last place in the Pacific Division.Listening to the postgame quotes is starting to sound like a broken record.

We got another 40-plus shots, we just have to bear down when the chances are there. Were getting good, quality scoring chances, were just not scoring, Joe Thornton said.Dan Boyle said: I dont know that were giving up that much defensively. Just offensively its not clicking or going in for us.Once again, it was early mistakes that cost the Sharks. The team committed three straight minor penalties in the first period, leading to the ageless Teemu Selanne putting the Ducks on the board with a power play goal at 9:42, when he tapped in a pass through the slot by Saku Koivu. We said before the game, stay out of the penalty box. We made a parade to the box early on and it flattened us out for the whole first period, Thornton said.Selanne added a second goal less than five minutes later when he snuck behind Colin White and got the rebound of Koivus bad-angle shot to make it 2-0.Todd McLellan switched up his top two lines to start the second period, putting Logan Couture with Thornton and Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau with Ryane Clowe and Torrey Mitchell. It seemed to jump start his club, which outplayed the Ducks the rest of the way. By the time it was over, the Sharks had 43 shots to Anaheims 22.San Jose finally found the scoreboard with a fortunate bounce. Marc-Edouard Vlasic lifted a backhander on net that deflected off of goaltender Dan Ellis, hit Bobby Ryan in the shin, and redirected back into the net. Marleau was in the crease at the time hindering Ellis vision, and Vlasic got credit for his first of the season at 6:39 of the second period.The Sharks applied good pressure to start the third, trailing 2-1, but suffered a back-breaking goal to last seasons league MVP when Corey Perry wheeled around and fired a wrist shot through Dan Boyle into the top corner of the net.Antti Niemi, making his first start of the season, explained the goal from his perspective.I obviously saw it at some point, but should have seen it maybe earlier and made the save there, he said.Niemi may be being a little hard on himself, as Perry, in the faceoff circle, used Boyle as a screen and put the puck where few players in the league can.Perry spun and fired it where he needed to fire it. It was as simple as that, McLellan said.Brent Burns power play goal in the third brought the Sharks back to within one, but that was as close as they got. Ellis, starting his first game of the season to give starter Jonas Hiller a break, stopped a turnaround shot by Couture late in the period and Burns hit the side of the net with a bouncing puck with 23 seconds remaining.It just kind of handcuffed me. If I was a lefty I would have been good, but I cant shoot left, said Burns of his late opportunity.As for the Sharks' line changes, McLellan was cryptic after the game as to which players he was trying to send a message to.It was our way of telling a number of players we werent very happy with them, he said. Quite frankly, were still missing some key people, and they arent injured. They are dressed, and they are people that we count on. Its probably a pretty good weekend for them to take stock of their own games and figure out what they need to do to find it.Well save the speculation for another day as to which players McLellan is talking about, but should point out that Thornton, Couture and Marleau are still looking for their first goals of the young season.The Sharks will regroup with a practice tomorrow before flying to Newark, New Jersey on Wednesday. They open up a six-game road trip on Friday night against the Devils.We go on the road now, so just have a good road trip, Thornton said. Weve had a pretty good road record in the past, so just look forward to it and just keep working at it.Odds and ends The Sharks finished 1-for-6 on the power play, and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill. ... Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller, who shut out the Sharks 1-0 on Friday, got his first night off after playing the first four games of the season. Thorntons assist on Burns goal was his first point of the season. It ties him with Sergei Fedorov for 53rd place on the all-time assist list with 696. Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin took a scary looking slap shot to the head in the third period, but was apparently saved by his visor. He later returned.

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.

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.