Highlights: Sharks 4, Canucks 1
San Jose's best power play was its first one, and included Joe Thornton ripping a wrist shot off of the cross bar less than five minutes into the game. (AP)
Programming note: Coyotes-Sharks coverage kicks off Saturday night at 7 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California
SAN JOSE – No, the Sharks aren’t gnawing on their fingernails just yet when it comes to the power play, after taking an 0-for-7 on Thursday night against Vancouver and failing to score on a full two minute, two man advantage.
But they don't want to make that power outage a habit.
“I thought we had some really good looks,” Dan Boyle said. “Obviously, at the end of the day it’s all about the result, and I guess it was [0-for-7]. I thought we looked dangerous on a couple of them. The five-on-three, obviously you want to score there."
Todd McLellan said: “The [0-for-7] is not a good thing, yet when we looked at it today, there were some really good looks. A couple posts and that kind of stuff, but the puck still has to find its way in.”
The Sharks’ best power play was its first one, and included captain Joe Thornton ripping a wrist shot off of the cross bar less than five minutes into the game. San Jose’s top unit of Thornton, Boyle, Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau has been together long enough that there is no reason to think it won’t get its fair amount of goals with a man advantage.
The second unit, which struggled to produce last season, is of much more concern and will be a work in progress. On Thursday, Jason Demers, Matt Irwin, Tyler Kennedy, Tomas Hertl and Brent Burns that made up the Sharks’ second five-some.
That unit got about half the time as the top unit, though. In fact, on the lengthy five-on-three, when a line change could have been made midway through, the Sharks’ coaches opted to keep the top unit out there for all but 14 seconds.
McLellan talked on Friday about his power play philosophy. While the first unit will remain unchanged for the foreseeable future, the head coach could mix and match on the second unit if need be.
“The first unit has a good idea of where everybody’s going to be and what they’re going to do. I thought there were times they got a little too cute, to tell you the truth. They had chances to be a little more meat and potatoes, and they weren’t, and we can fix that. And they know they can fix that.”
“We’ll try and establish a second unit, but if we feel we have to move guys in, we definitely will. There was talk on the bench. We’re in night one, and they haven’t even gotten to play through the exhibition season, and maybe we should do this or do that. But, no, it was let them work through it. Give them some time. They have to get familiar with each other and understand what each other’s tendencies may be.”
The Sharks would like to continue to get goals from different sources, no matter how they come. Defenseman Justin Braun broke an 85-game goalless drought with what turned out to be the game-winner late in the second period, while third-liner Tommy Wingels put the game away with a late score in the third.
Boyle said: “We got some goals from a couple guys, Brauner and Tommy, you don’t see on the scoresheet every night. That’s what it takes to win, so overall, a pretty good start.”