If Timo Meier opened his case for an NHL call up in Saturday’s two-goal performance, he closed it by scoring another pair of tallies in Sunday’s win against the San Antonio Rampage. I’m using hyperbole, of course, but Meier scored four goals on 15 shots in two games against the Rampage to bring his goal total to eight and his point total to 14 in as many games.
He is now a point-per-game player in the AHL and all 14 of those points came in his last 12 games. His eight goals have come in nine games and Meier continues to grow as a player both on and off the puck. Penalties remain an issue — he leads the Barracuda regulars with 1.57 PIM per game; and that’s a guy who doesn’t take fighting majors. That’s far too many.
Meier hasn’t taken a penalty in the past six games, so perhaps he’s starting to clean up that area of his game. It’s still so early in his professional career that it’s tough to know anything, but based on both his numbers and his play it seems Meier has at least earned a shot in the NHL. The Sharks’ putrid depth only bolsters his case.
His shot numbers are as encouraging as his goals. Meier has taken five shots on goal or more in four of his last six games after doing so just once in his first eight. He’s starting to realize the potential Sharks fans hoped he had and while leaving him in the Barracuda certainly won’t hurt him, he may be at a point where he can help the Sharks.
Regardless of what San Jose decides to do with Meier, he’s a player Sharks fans can be very, very excited about seeing in the NHL. Now it’s just a waiting game.
Barracuda 4, Rampage 0
SAN ANTONIO — Mantas Armalis made 29 saves and the Barracuda shut down the Rampage a day after losing in a seven-round shootout. This wasn’t the dominant possession performance San Jose put forth on Saturday, but Timo Meier scored twice and the Barracuda (8-5-0-2) jumped ahead 2-0 after the first period.
Tim Heed scored his fifth goal of the season and John McCarthy potted his second in as many games. The veteran now has three goals on the season while the defender Heed has 14 points in 16 contests. He’s tied with Nikolay Goldobin and Timo Meier for second on the team in points behind Daniel O’Regan’s 18.
The Barracuda scored on their first two power plays and ended up going 2-5 on the man-advantage. Both special team’s goals came in the first period on shots from Heed and Meier. San Jose raised its power-play percentage to 23.9, behind both the Tucson Roadrunners and Ontario Reign in the Pacific.
Armalis’ shutout is his first of the season and brings his save percentage up to .912 on the season. He’s played in the last five games; an inevitability since Troy Grosenick was injured. It’s been a tough transition for Armalis this season, but there’s still time for him to adjust.
San Jose heads back to SAP Center on Thursday to host the first-place Stockton Heat (11-5-1-1). The Barracuda currently sit in fifth place in the Pacific, narrowly behind Texas, San Diego and Tucson.