In his ongoing bid to be named the Sharks' next captain, John Scott fired his most significant salvo yet, scoring his second goal of the season to notch the first multi-goal campaign of his career since 2008-09...when he was in the AHL.
Also the Sharks lost to the Calgary Flames, falling to third place in the Pacific Division and putting them in jeopardy of dropping out of the top three all together with a loss tomorrow. But Scott scoring into an empty net off a cross-ice pass from none other than Scott Hannan, along with the Flames win pushing Los Angeles seven points away from a playoff spot, almost made a disappointing San Jose loss worth it. Almost.
In what was a fairly evenly-played, largely uneventful game, the 3-1 final score was ultimately a factor of the Sharks getting burned on their defensive errors while the Flames got away with theirs. Hannan taking far too long to read a defensive switch with Brenden Dillon left Jiri Hudler all alone in front of the net to convert a power play feed from Johnny Gaudreau. Dillon later left Mason Raymond unguarded at the right faceoff circle, allowing the former Canuck to blast a one-timer past Alex Stalock to put the Flames up 3-0 in the second period. Those mistakes added up while San Jose failed to make the Flames pay on three power play opportunities. The loss adds even greater playoff implications to an already-crucial game tomorrow night in Vancouver.
- It seems unlikely Andrew Desjardins was a truly healthy scratch, as he appeared to hurt his hand midway through the second period of the Sharks' shootout loss to Edmonton and Monday and didn't return to that game. Regardless, Chris Tierney made it to the game from Worcester in time to center the fourth line and looked effective doing it, even getting rewarded with a few minutes on the penalty kill.
- John Scott now has more goals on the season than Ryan Suter. For about $10.3 million less in salary too.
- Todd McLellan confirmed after the game that Marc-Edouard Vlasic missing much of the second period was due to an equipment issue and not an injury.
- I'd really only fault Stalock on the Kris Russell goal but for those who wonder why he doesn't see the net more often, now having a .903 SV% over 14 appearances (much closer to the .907 level he displayed over ~4000 AHL shots than his backup performance last season) certainly isn't helping his case.
- Granted, it makes sense to keep feeding him starts to get a larger sample size by which to judge him at the NHL level but it seems pretty unlikely Stalock will ever be starter-caliber. The Sharks need to think long and hard about what their plan is in net next season unless they plan on punting the year.
FTF Three Stars
1st Star: John Scott
2nd Star: Jonas Hiller
3rd Star: Paul Byron