Sharks fall to Oilers in shootout 2-1


Sharks fall to Oilers in shootout 2-1


EDMONTON Its debatable which is more deflating that the Sharks lost to the lowly Edmonton Oilers in a shootout on Monday night, 2-1, or that defenseman Brent Burns may be out for an extended period after what looked to be a potentially serious right knee injury.

Either way, the Sharks fell for the fourth time in five games against a team that has been among the NHLs worst in the last three months.

San Jose poured 45 shots on net compared with just 18 for Edmonton through regulation and overtime. It was a quiet 45, though, as the Sharks controlled play in the Edmonton zone for long stretches but didnt challenge goaltender Devan Dubnyk as much as the shot total would suggest.

Joe Pavelski explained.

We got the shots, and I guess sometimes it felt dangerous, but there wasnt a whole lot of desperation or second or third opportunities where Dubnyk is really scrambling. With 45 shots, you think he would be," he said.

Its a game weve got to win, and find a way to be better.

Burns left at 5:37 of the third period after a knee-on-knee collision with Ales Hemsky, and was unable to put any weight on his right leg as he left the ice. He was limping badly in the dressing room when he met with reporters, and his immediate status is unknown.

I dont know, its still pretty early, said Burns, regarding the extent of his injury.
KURZ: Burns thought he was going to 'throw up'

The Sharks went to the power play because of the hit, though, on a five-minute major for kneeing to Hemsky, who also received a game misconduct. Logan Coutures deflection of a low Dan Boyle pass tied the game at 1-1 less than a minute into the power play.

From there, San Jose managed to hit a post on another deflection, but didnt really sustain any pressure during a golden opportunity to take its first lead in the game. In fact, the Sharks had trouble even entering the zone, and were whistled for numerous offsides infractions despite Todd McLellan using his timeout with about two minutes to go in order to get his top line on the ice.

Timing wasnt good. Entering the zone wasnt good. Decisions at the blue line obviously werent very good, Couture said. On our goal, Joe Thornton made a great pass on the entry to Boyler and he found me back door. We maybe had one more good entry, but we didnt get any chances in the zone because we didnt enter well enough.

Overtime came and went without any markers, and the Oilers took the extra point in the standings when Sam Gagner and Taylor Hall converted on two of four chances against Thomas Greiss, while Pavelski was the only one to get it by Dubnyk for the Sharks.

For the last place Oilers, it was just their second win in the last 10 games.

San Jose has one game remaining before the NHL All-Star break, on Tuesday night in Calgary.

The Sharks had some decent scoring chances in the first period, taking advantage of 10 Oilers turnovers and outshooting Edmonton 13-5 in the process. An open Burns one-timer from the slot was blocked, and Dubnyk swallowed up a turnaround wrist shot from Pavelski, skating around from behind the net.

After a Shawn Horcoff turnover in the offensive zone, Torrey Mitchell found Jamie McGinn for a blast from the faceoff circle that hit the post with 8:30 remaining.

I liked the way our team played the first period, McLellan said. I thought we were very quick on changes, we kept our shifts short, we didnt give up many odd-numbered rushes, if any. We created the bulk of the scoring chances. I liked the way our group responded.

The Oilers broke through with the games first goal in the second period. Jeff Petrys shot bounced off of Douglas Murray to an open Jordan Eberle on the other side of the ice, and the Edmonton All-Star slid in his 18th goal of the year at 6:50.

I picked it up too late, Greiss said. It bounced off of the skate right to Eberle, and until I saw it, it was already coming to me.

Murray said: Theres not much you can do about it. Things happen, bounces.

That was all the Sharks surrendered, though, as the puck was at the other end for most of the night.

We cleaned up our defensive play, thought we controlled the puck and had it most of the night, a lot of zone time, McLellan said. Felt good about our game, yet we only leave with one point. Thats the disappointing thing.

Greiss, who fell to 2-1 in his career in shootouts, said: I think we played great defensively today. Tough for me, not playing much and not getting many shots, but it was great defense and I didnt have many odd man rushes or anything like that. That helped a lot.

Not enough to beat one of the lowliest clubs in the NHL, though.
Odds and ends: The reserved crowd, which at times was virtually silent, got a rare jolt late in the second when Andy Sutton flattened Jamie McGinn with a clean hit in the neutral zone with 5:30 to go. Dan Boyles nine shots were a season high for the Sharks. Thomas Greiss has allowed just one goal in each of his last three starts. Logan Coutures third period goal was his 100th career NHL point. The Sharks won 52 percent of the games faceoffs. The Sharks had 20 missed shots and had 12 blocked, for a total of 77 attempts at the net.

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.