Sharks can't solve Quick in 2-0 loss to Kings


Sharks can't solve Quick in 2-0 loss to Kings


LOS ANGELES -- The Sharks showed effort, energy and focus in the third period of Mondays loss to the Kings at Staples Center.Thats what makes it so much harder to figure out where they were in the first two.Jonathan Quick pitched a shutout in net and Ethan Moreau and Mike Richards provided the offense in a 2-0 Kings win over San Jose, in which the visitors were missing in action for most of the first 40 minutes. It was the Kings' first home shutout of the Sharks since March 23, 2002.
All I can say is, there are 82 games. You have to find a way to get up for every game, said Dan Boyle, whose team lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time since Oct. 15-17. Some nights are tougher than others, but at the end of the day you have to find a way.Im going to pick work-ethic, commitment, passion, said an ornery Todd McLellan, when asked what the problem was at the outset. I wanted to know where they went between the second and third to find it. Really disappointing, and probably more disappointing because we came out and played hard in the third. It made it even tougher to swallow.
The Sharks have played a number of physical and fast paced games lately against the likes of Detroit, Dallas, Chicago and Vancouver. Could it be that they were emotionally or physically drained, and looking ahead to a couple days off before hosting Montreal on Thursday?Boyle doesnt want to hear any excuses.Theres no reason why we shouldnt be ready for these guys, he said. Theyre in our division. As well as weve played, we talked about how were one point out of a playoff spot after 20 games. Its that close.He's right. The Sharks entered Mondays action with 27 points and the third seed in the Western Conference, while the ninth-seeded Edmonton Oilers had 26. The Kings, who improved to 6-1-2 in the Pacific while dropping the Sharks to 3-4-0, leapfrogged over three teams to take the division lead with 28 points.Quick, playing in his 200th career NHL game, recorded his 18th career shutout and second against San Jose. He didnt have to do a whole lot until late in the second when the Sharks had back-to-back power plays while trying to cut into the Kings two-goal lead.The 25-year-old goalie got some help on one shot when Boyle blasted it off of the post, and later snagged a wrist shot by a cutting Joe Pavelski late in the frame.In the third, Quick made a chest stop on Jamie McGinn after a bouncing puck ended up on McGinns stick in the slot with about seven minutes left, and shortly after he stoned Patrick Marleau who was alone in front, trying to redirect in a nice feed from Joe Thornton.Thirteen of Quicks 33 saves came in the third period.It didnt matter who was in goal for them, we werent near the net and didnt create anything, said McLellan of the first 40 minutes. In the third period he played very, very well."Hes an elite goaltender. We had our chances, we just couldnt finish, said Thornton.The Kings jumped out to a first period lead for just the third time this season on a pair of Sharks mistakes. After an unfathomable turnover by Justin Braun in the defensive zone, Moreau picked it up on the corner and quickly threw it on net. Antti Niemi misplayed it, and it snuck behind him at 8:37.Same thing as last game, I just have to see the puck and follow the puck, said Niemi, referring to a similar goal he surrendered on Saturday to Vancouvers Manny Malhotra.The goal was Moreaus first in 59 games, with the last coming on Oct. 9, 2010 in San Jose, when he was a member of the Edmonton Oilers.Los Angeles increased that lead to 2-0 during a four-on-four situation with Thornton and Jarret Stoll off on coincidental minors. This time it was Richards, who scored his ninth goal in the last 10 games on a feed from behind the net by Simon Gagne. Gagne patiently waited for Marc-Edouard Vlasic to give him an opening before feeding Richards in front of the net.Despite being down and showing little fight up to that point, the Sharks had a couple of golden opportunities to get back into it before the second period ended, as Stoll and Matt Greene were whistled for infractions at 15:24 and 17:52, respectively.The Sharks finished 0-for-5 on the power play, though, and McLellan chalked up that failure to San Joses general approach to the game.Its typical of these nights, he said. When you dont contribute, you dont give effort early in the game and wait for the power play to come, youre usually not sharp enough to score. You create a number of opportunities, but youre not going to get rewarded for it.The hockey gods dont work that way.Odds and ends: The Sharks were without Michal Handzus (sick) and Colin White (personal). Jason Demers was scratched, while Frazer McLaren made his season debut. There was a long delay in the third period after an apparent goal by the Kings that would have made it 3-0. The ruling came down that Slava Voynov kicked it in, although it appeared to go in off of the heel of Dustin Browns stick. Just before that, Brown made a dazzling move to skate around Braun and feed Voynov. Niemi finished with 31 saves. The Kings were 0-for-3 on the power play. The Sharks won 40 of 69 faceoffs.

Sharks' draft pick Norris possesses 'Logan Couture attributes'


Sharks' draft pick Norris possesses 'Logan Couture attributes'

CHICAGO – Sharks general manager Doug Wilson is typically restrained in his public praise for players in the system. “We don’t like to over promote our prospects” is a phrase he’s used countless times.

That’s what made his instant comparison of Sharks first round pick center Josh Norris to a current core player so unexpected.

“We think – I hate doing this, but I’m going to – [Norris has] a lot of the Logan Couture attributes to him,” Wilson said on Friday at United Center, shortly after presenting Norris with a teal sweater.

Wilson also made note of Norris’ confidence, which was evident in the 18-year-old’s media availability. Norris described himself as “a 200-foot player. I think I can give you a little bit of everything: power play, penalty kill, faceoffs, can chip in offensively. I think I kind of do a little bit of everything.” He added that he attempts to pattern his game to Maple Leafs center Tyler Bozak.

Like most players that aren’t top five selections, Norris isn’t likely to make the NHL roster in the fall. He’s set to attend the University of Michigan in the fall.

Still, Wilson suggested that it might not take long for the six-foot, 189-pound Oxford, Michigan native to make the leap.

“He’s a kid, the way he plays and the way he thinks, he potentially could fast track. So, we’ll see,” Wilson said.

Norris had some familial help on his journey to draft day. His father Dwayne had a few cups of coffee in the NHL with the Quebec Nordiques more than two decades ago, playing 20 career games from 1993-96.

Dwayne Norris was right there to congratulate his son, who was no sure thing to go in the first round as the 34th ranked North American skater, according to NHL Central Scouting.

“He just said how proud of me he was, and it was kind of a big moment we had that I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” Norris said about his conversation with his father.

Norris’ stats suggest he has an ability to create offense, as he posted 27 goals and 61 points in 61 games for the U.S. National Under-18 team last season, and added 12 goals and 26 points in 25 games in the USHL.

“I think I’m a little bit of a goal scorer and a playmaker,” Norris said. “I think I’m really good in my defensive zone. I think I have a lot of upside on the offensive side of my game that I’m going to continue to work on.”

Wilson said: “We think he’s a mature player.”

Norris had a strong showing at the NHL combine, leading all 104 draft-eligible players in attendance in five of the 14 fitness tests. Those results, along with a strong interview, made Norris an appealing target for San Jose.

“He’s arguably one of the most athletic guys in the combine,” Wilson said. “His interview was phenomenal. If you go back in his history in big games he’s stepped up in a big way, and that’s the type of guy we’re looking for.”

Norris, who played baseball as a shortstop until age 13, said: “I wasn’t too nervous going to the combine. … I just tried to make good impressions on teams. The physical testing aspect of it, I’ve always been a pretty good athlete.”

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Norris will make his first-ever trip to California in early July to take part in the Sharks’ development camp.

* * *

Just before the Sharks’ contingent made its way to the stage to select Norris, Wilson was spotted talking with Washington general manager Brian MacLellan. After a brief exchange, MacLellan shook his head, and Wilson went back to the San Jose table and gathered his group to head to the podium.

Asked about the chat, Wilson said it was not about the 19th overall pick.

“We were actually looking at some other things, some other picks that we had,” Wilson said. “Some teams had reached out to us, and we’re planting our seeds a little bit for tomorrow already.”

The draft concludes on Saturday, with the second round beginning at 7 a.m. PT.

Sharks select center Josh Norris No. 19 in 2017 NHL Entry Draft

Sharks select center Josh Norris No. 19 in 2017 NHL Entry Draft

CHICAGO – The Sharks used their first round draft selection on Friday night to select Josh Norris, a center from Michigan.
San Jose stayed in the 19th position in the first round, where it was originally slotted, to take Norris. The six-foot, 189-pounder posted 61 points (27g, 34a) in 61 games with the U.S. National Under-18 team last season, and added 26 points (12g, 14a) in 25 games in the USHL. He has committed to the University of Michigan for the 2017-18 season.
Norris became the Sharks’ first North American-born first round pick since Charlie Coyle in 2010. Their previous four first round selections were born in Europe.
Norris’ father, Dwayne, was drafted 127th overall by Quebec in 1990 and played in 20 games with the club from 1990-93.
Just before making the pick, general manager Doug Wilson had a quick chat with Washington general manager Brian MacLellan, but nothing apparently came of it.
The Sharks had never selected a player 19th overall in their history. Notable players around the league selected in that spot include Andrei Vasilevskiy (Tampa Bay, 2012), Oscar Klefbom (Edmonton, 2011), Nick Bjugstad (Florida, 2010), Chris Kreider (Rangers, 2009), Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim, 2003) and Keith Tkachuk (Winnipeg, 1990).
The Sharks have seven more selections on Saturday when the draft resumes at 7 a.m. PT, including the 49th overall pick in the second round, acquired from New Jersey as part of the Mirco Mueller trade earlier in the week. They also own one fourth round pick, two in the sixth round, and three in the seventh round.
Swiss native Nico Hischier went first overall to the New Jersey Devils, while the Philadelphia Flyers selected Nolan Patrick second.
Recent Sharks first round draft picks
2016 – None
2015 – Timo Meier (9th overall)
2014 – Nikolay Goldobin (27th overall)
2013 – Mirco Mueller (18th overall)
2012 – Tomas Hertl (17th overall)
2011 – None 
2010 – Charlie Coyle (28th overall)
2009 – None
2008 – None
2007 – Logan Couture (9th overall), Nick Petrecki (28th overall)