SAN JOSE — Jonathan Bernier held the Sharks scoreless, as San Jose lost its first game of the preseason 2-0 on Wednesday night.
Despite missing six players you’d pencil in for the opening roster, the Sharks iced their strongest lineup of the preseason. They faced off against the best one they’d seen so far, too, with Corey Perry, Ryans Kesler and Getzlaf, and Jakob Silfverberg all suiting up for the Ducks.
That didn’t matter much in the first period, as the two teams combined for 14 shots on goal and 25 shot attempts. Matt Nieto sprung Joel Ward in alone on Jonathan Bernier, but Ward was too patient with the puck and the Sharks didn’t even attempt a shot.
Anaheim took control of the game in the second, opening the scoring 7:42 in to the period. With Nikolay Goldobin in the box for a hooking penalty, Ryan Kesler corralled Cam Fowler’s point shot, and dropped a pass at the side of the net that Corey Perry buried.
1:33 later, the Ducks doubled their lead, thanks to Joseph Cramarossa’s incredible individual effort. Cramarossa toe-dragged the puck through Tim Heed’s legs, then slipped the puck through Martin Jones’ five hole. Kevin Labanc nearly got the Sharks on the board with a tipped shot in front of the net as the second period was winding down, but Jonathan Bernier’s save kept the Sharks scoreless.
Goldobin and Labanc set up two of the Sharks’ best chances early in the third period. Goldobin dished to Joel Ward on a two-on-one, while Labanc outletted to Melker Karlsson on an odd man rush with Chris Tierney. In both cases, Bernier shut the door, looking particularly flexible on Tierney’s backdoor attempt.
Pete DeBoer pulled Jones with about a minute-and-a-half left. With the extra attacker on the ice, Joonas Donskoi nearly cut the Ducks’ lead in half on a cross-ice feed from Kevin Labanc, but the shot was blocked.
- Goldobin’s hooking penalty was inopportune for the team, and inopportune for his chances to make the team. Pete DeBoer has spoken about the need for Goldobin to improve his two-way game, and this likely won’t help the young forward in DeBoer’s eyes. He looked good offensively, demonstrating strong instincts on a pair of odd-man rushes. The instincts are there when his team has the puck, but still need seasoning when they don’t have the puck.
- A (comparatively) quiet night for Kevin Labanc. After starting the game alongside Micheal Haley and Barclay Goodrow, Labanc played with Chris Tierney and Goodrow. The trio looked strong together, and cycled the puck well. Goodrow has been good in that area in particular, as DeBoer has previously mentioned that as one of his strengths. Still, Labanc looked good offensively, and played well overall.
- Mikkel Boedker’s preseason debut was....not great. He used his speed well at times, but his line didn’t have much of the puck. Hertl, Donskoi, and Boedker posted some of the worst possession numbers of any Sharks. They got better after the second (each player was below 30% CF% through two periods), but Boedker still carried the rear in terms of possession. It’s a very, very small sample size, and Boedker is still learning the Sharks system. He looked better as the game went on, but his adjustment is something to keep an eye on.
- I’ll have a story with postgame quotes up tomorrow morning, and Jake and I will discuss the game AND training camp on another podcast tomorrow morning. Keep your eyes peeled for both of those.
Fear the Fin Three Stars
- Jonathan Bernier
- Corey Perry
- Joseph Cramarossa