Sharks maintain dominance over Dallas, win 5-2

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Sharks maintain dominance over Dallas, win 5-2

BOX SCORE
SAN JOSE A common theme when the Sharks and Stars meet is that the games tend to be nasty, physical, and intense.Theres another theme emerging, too, now that San Jose has defeated Dallas for the third straight time in convincing fashion, this one coming on Thursday night at HP Pavilion, 5-2. The Sharks have the Stars number.
Sometimes you play teams well, and for whatever reason we play them real well, said Joe Thornton, who scored for the second straight game and added an assist. We like playing that feisty game like they play, and they kind of bring the best out of us. It was the fifth straight win overall for San Jose head-to-head, and in the three games this season, the Sharks have outscored the Stars 14-5. All three wins have come by a comfortable three-goal margin.

It was San Joses third straight victory, as the Stars fell 10 points behind the Sharks, who continue to lead the Pacific Division with 64 points (29-14-6).Ryane Clowe, who returned after a six-game absence due to a facial fracture, said: We play the way were supposed to play against them, and we get our chances. We forced some turnovers tonight and capitalized on them. I think it was more how we played, than what Dallas did.San Jose managed to set a franchise record in the game, too, increasing its shutout streak to 190 minutes and 51 seconds before Steve Otts second period power play goal at 12:41. That broke the old mark of 171:18, set in 2009.Even though Ott got credit for the goal, it was actually defenseman Dan Boyle who put it past goaltender Thomas Greiss. The Sharks defenseman was trying to tie up Otts stick when he accidentally slid it in his own net.The goal was a big one at the time, as it cut San Joses lead to 2-1 despite thoroughly outplaying Dallas up to that point.No matter, though. A pass from Brent Burns on the power play deflected in off of Patrick Marleau at 14:59 of the second period, and Thornton gave the Sharks a three-goal cushion before the second intermission with his 11th goal of the year at 16:43 after Joe Pavelski forced a turnover.It was huge, said Thornton, of the teams ability to respond after Boyles own-goal. Weird one by Danny, weve seen him do that before (laughs).Thorntons marker came off of a terrible turnover by the Stars Nicklas Grossman. The defenseman tried sending a pass up ice from behind his own net when Pavelski picked it off in San Jose's offensive zone. Pavelski faked a shot, getting goaltender Richard Bachman to commit, and passed to Thornton at the side of the net for an easy forehand-to-backhand tap in for the captain to make it 4-1.The Sharks seemed to get the bounces all night, really, including their first two goals in jumping out to a 2-0 lead on markers from Michal Handzus and Pavelski. Handzus got credit for his fifth goal of the season when a wrister from the point by Burns deflected off of his leg and past Bachman just 4:42 into the game.Pavelski took advantage of a fortunate deflection on his goal, too, when his slap shot from the point bounced off of Vernon Fiddlers stick and trickled in at 16:32 of the first period on the power play.It was nice to see even the turnovers they had, that we created, we capitalized on right away, Clowe said.The teams traded goals in the third period. Jamie Benn managed to put in a rebound at 6:22, but Clowe flipped in a loose puck after Couture threw it softly towards the net at 11:34 to cap the scoring.Burns registered an assist on three of the Sharks five goals in playing perhaps his best game of the season at least on the scoresheet, where he had his first three-point game as a Shark and first multiple-assist night, too.He looks like the player we thought we were getting. He looked very powerful on the ice tonight, I thought, Todd McLellan said. Jumping to loose pucks and winning races to five or six foot areas. And, hes got that dangerous shot. When he uses it, theres a big reward for a lot of other people in and around the blue paint.Greiss finished with 19 saves to win his seventh game of the year, and improve to 3-0-1 in his last four starts. Antti Niemi missed the game after getting dinged up in practice on Wednesday, but the injury is not expected to sideline him for very long.Greiss starts were sandwiched around Niemis shutouts in the previous two wins against Calgary and Columbus, so the goaltenders will share the franchise shutout streak.Its pretty cool. Im happy about that, said Greiss.There were long stretches of time where Greiss didnt have a whole lot of action, as the Sharks dominated territorially and didnt give up many prime scoring chances.Not much to do, Greiss said. A lot of their shots were like, off-speed, half-blocked and just trickling to the net. Weird game to play.Another positive development for the Sharks is that their power play scored two goals for just the second time in the last 32 games. After two months of relative ineptitude, San Jose is 5-for-13 with a man advantage in its last five games.Has it turned the corner?I think our power play is starting to look more like it should, McLellan said. There is some motion, and were shooting it a little bit more. We sense a more confident group when they go on the ice.We played well, really, from start to finish. It was just a good, competitive game, Thornton said. We always play them tough. We know its going to be a mans game out there. Big win, keep them behind us in the standings, and a real good effort.Odds and ends: The Sharks won 77 percent of the games faceoffs the fourth best mark by any NHL team since the beginning of the 2005-06 season. ... Jason Demers remains out with a lower body injury, and was placed on injured reserve earlier in the day. ... Andrew Murray and Benn Ferriero were the healthy scratches. ... Dallas was 1-for-2 on the power play, while the Sharks were 2-for-5. ... San Jose had 73 attempts at the net: 37 shots, 21 blocked by Dallas, and 15 missed shots. ... The Stars fell to 0-8-1 in the second game of back-to-backs.

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Logan CoutureAnother solid win. Once again all the guys chipped in. Just wanna say take a bow Sammy G. What a performance. 8points
Feb 03 via Twitter for BlackBerry Favorite Retweet Reply

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Brent BurnsBig W tonight, gr8 to have dads in town for that, can't wait to see them on the road! morechocolateontheplane latenightsundaes
Feb 03 via web Favorite Retweet Reply

Sharks have bevy of young defensemen to replace Schlemko

Sharks have bevy of young defensemen to replace Schlemko

CHICAGO – If there were a best-case scenario for the Sharks regarding the expansion draft, it probably would have been the Vegas Golden Knights selecting Mikkel Boedker, and the three years and $12 million remaining on his contract.

Instead, the Golden Knights swiped David Schlemko. While the 30-year-old was a nice third pair defenseman in his only year with the Sharks, it was probably the second-best case from San Jose’s perspective. The team should be able to fill the vacancy internally without too much difficulty. Schlemko had two goals and 18 points in 62 games last season, and has three years left on his contract at $2.1 million annually.

“I think it’s worked out well for all parties involved,” said general manager Doug Wilson. “You go into expansion, you know you’re going to lose a player. David came in and played well for us. We signed him as a free agent, so we didn’t have to give up an asset to get him. So, we think we moved through the expansion phase with the good young players coming in that are ready to play and compete for that spot. That’s probably as good as we could have expected to come out of expansion, in that position.”

If there are no other major moves on the Sharks’ blue line this offseason, the spot to play alongside Brenden Dillon will be there for the taking in training camp. There’s no reason, of course, to break up the top four of Marc-Edouard Vlasic-Justin Braun, and Brent Burns-Paul Martin.

Dylan DeMelo would figure to have the inside track on the job, but there are others like Tim Heed and Joakim Ryan, each of whom signed two-year contract extensions on June 17. They served as the AHL Barracuda’s top defense pair for most of the season.

The 24-year-old Ryan, a sixth round pick in 2012, posted 10 goals and 49 points in 65 games last season in the AHL. He was recalled once by the Sharks but did not play. Heed, 26, is an offensive defenseman that tallied 14 goals and 56 points in 55 games with the Barracuda and played in one game with the Sharks on Jan. 11 in Calgary. Ryan is a left-handed shot; Heed, like Schlemko and DeMelo, shoots right.

Regarding Ryan, Wilson said: “He’s right on track. He’s the type of guy that – if you look around the league at the number of young defensemen that are making an impact – he thinks and plays the game the right way.”

“Watching [Ryan and Heed] play together, I would say they were arguably the best defense pair in the AHL last year.”

There are other defensemen to monitor, too. The Sharks signed soon-to-be 25-year-old Czech Radim Simek to a one-year contract on May 23, beating out several of other NHL teams to acquire his services. 

“He’s a puck-moving guy,” Wilson said. “He’s got a little bite to him, too. Not tall, but thick and strong. We think he’s a guy that has the skill set to step right in and play. We’ll see how much time it takes him to adjust to the smaller rink.”

And don’t forget about Jeremy Roy, either. The first pick of the second round in the deep 2015 draft (31st overall), Roy is expected to join the organization next season, likely starting his pro career with the Barracuda after recovering from a significant knee injury that ended his junior season in late October.

“He had a major repair, but he’s back healthy,” Wilson said. “We’ll see him this summer, and he’s a puck-moving guy. … Injuries you can’t control, but we have high expectations for Jeremy.”

* * *

Vegas shipped Schlemko to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday for a fifth round pick in the 2019 draft.

Sharks prepare for 2017 NHL Draft with eight picks in hand

Sharks prepare for 2017 NHL Draft with eight picks in hand

CHICAGO – The glass-half-full observer looks at Sharks’ recent draft record and sees some late round picks that could be on the cusp of making the NHL on a full time basis. 

Defenseman Joakim Ryan (7th round, 2012), center Danny O’Regan (5th round, 2012) and forward Kevin Labanc (6th round, 2014) have all exceeded expectations so far. Dylan DeMelo (6th round, 2011) could also be included in that group.

The glass-half-empty observer, though, sees that the Sharks have traded away a pair of recent first rounders that didn’t pan out. Nikolay Goldobin (27th overall, 2014) was dealt to Vancouver in late February for Jannik Hansen and a fourth round pick, while Mirco Mueller (18th overall, 2013) is off to New Jersey for a pair of picks in this year’s draft.

It’s all part of the uncertainty of selecting what are mostly teenagers in the annual NHL Entry Draft, which takes place at Chicago’s United Center this weekend. The Sharks’ first pick during Friday night’s first round sits at 19th overall, and they have seven more selections on Saturday when rounds two-through-seven take place.

Doug Wilson is used to picking in the mid-to-late first round, as the Sharks have missed the playoffs just once under his 14-year watch.

“I think we always take the best player available,” he said. “I think it’s a good draft. … We feel pretty comfortable at 19 we’ll get a pretty good player.”

The Sharks have never selected 19th, and Wilson left open the possibility that they could move up or down.

“People move up and down all the time. We’ve got a history of doing that so teams do reach out to us,” he said.

The Sharks moved up to pick Mueller in 2013, sending a second round pick to Detroit to jump ahead two places in a deal that now looks regrettable. The next year, they moved down seven spots before selecting Goldobin.

Less than a week ago, the Sharks didn’t have any picks in the second, third or fourth rounds. But in dealing Mueller (and a fifth rounder this year) to the Devils, they acquired second and fourth round picks from New Jersey (49 and 123 overall). They also have a pair of sixth round picks and three in the seventh round.

While this year’s draft isn’t thought to be especially strong, Wilson still expects there to be some good players available after the first round. Getting some assets in exchange for Mueller, who had been passed over in the organization, was critical.

“I think it was important for us to fill in the grid like we did. I think it’s a good draft,” Wilson said. “Realistically, it’s probably not a Connor McDavid-Auston Matthews type draft, but there are some very good players in this draft that will go on and have very good careers.”

As for losing Mueller and Goldobin recently, the general manager seemed to say that that those are the breaks when you’re a team doesn’t make one of the first few selections.

“First of all, you’ve got to clarify where we pick and have picked. You’re not talking about top five picks or lottery picks, so often – and this is not to take away from Mirco and Goldie, because they’re really good players and good kids – you move players when you’re trying to win or trying to make things happen,” he said. 

“Historically, our scouts have done an outstanding job, one of the best records for a scouting staff in the league, since 2003 in particular. But, you can’t be afraid to be bold and move things.”

* * *

Although the Sharks have never made a pick in the 19th overall spot, they’ve been around it. Players include Tomas Hertl (17th overall, 2012), Marcel Goc (20th overall, 2001) and Marco Sturm (21st overall, 1996). 

Some notable players around the league taken 19th overall 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 will hold their annual development camp from July 3-7 at their practice facility. It includes a scrimmage at SAP Center on Thursday, July 6.