The Sharks dropped their preseason opener to the Vancouver Canucks in North Saanich, British Columbia, thanks to Adam Cracknell's overtime goal just under two minutes into the extra frame.
Both teams iced young lineups, opting to rest star players such as Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and the Sedin twins. This, coupled with the fact that both teams began training camp just four days ago, meant that we were in for some sloppy play. The Sharks and Canucks largely traded chances throughout the game's opening frame, but neither team was able to establish dominance, or find the back of the net. San Jose needed a couple of big saves from starter Troy Grosenick to keep the score tied at zero.
San Jose had a golden opportunity to win the game in the third. Adam Cracknell hauled down defensemen Gus Young in the offensive zone, giving the Sharks to take the lead on a power play with 5:57 to go in regulation. On the ensuing power play, Canucks goaltender Richard Bachman saved a shot from the point that nearly bounced to Dylan DeMelo in front of the net, but Chris Tanev was able to clear the danger for Vancouver.
No goals in regulation meant we caught our first glimpse of 3-on-3 overtime, and the amount of open space was clear from the get-go. The Canucks needed only 1:39 to take advantage. Jannik Hansen drew a penalty on Nikolay Goldobin in the Sharks' zone, and Adam Cracknell took the ice as the extra attacker. Matt Bartkowski hit Cracknell with a pass in stride as he left the bench, and the forward had plenty of time to rip one over the shoulder of Aaron Dell, and give the Canucks the win.
- The Sharks' lack of familiarity with Coach DeBoer's system was fairly apparent throughout, and best symbolized by their goose egg on the power play. It's hard to say that will continue as the opening night roster starts to take shape.
- A strong performance from the Hertl-Tierney-Wingels line. They were easily the Sharks' best line tonight, and looked very potent together in the offensive zone.
- A defensive zone penalty in overtime certainly won't do him any favors with the coaching staff, but I thought Nikolay Goldobin looked solid. It's clear that his hands are NHL-ready, but he does need to clean up his game defensively.