Timo Meier didn’t score against the Stockton Heat last night. Hell, nobody on the San Jose Barracuda found the back of the net in a 4-0 defeat that stands as one of the worst of the season for the Sharks’ AHL affiliate. But just a day removed from a bout with the flu, the Sharks’ top prospect put a staggering nine shots on goal.
If there was any worry of a carryover from that illness, it should be gone now. Shots aren’t everything of course, but they stand as one of the best measures of talent we have. Meier now has 55 shots in 15 games (3.67 per game) — that’s the most per game for any AHL rookie this season.
Being held scoreless last night ends his point streak and means he’s no longer a point per game player (14 in 15 games isn’t too shabby given how he started the season), but it seems he’s poised for a callup. During a Twitter Q&A yesterday, I said I thought he’d be called up for the first time before the Sharks Eastern Canadian road swing.
I still think that’s the most likely scenario, however now I wouldn’t be shocked to see him called up even sooner. The Barracuda play again on Saturday, which in my mind is the only thing preventing him from being called up before the Sharks play the Hurricanes on the same day. My guess is he makes his NHL debut against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Center on Tuesday. No pressure there, right?
Stockton Heat 4, San Jose Barracuda 0
SAN JOSE — Stockton scored early to beat the Barracuda 4-0 on Thursday night in a complete effort by both the Heat and their goaltender, Jon Gillies, who made 31 saves in a shutout effort.
Mantas Armalis played the first period in net for the Barracuda and allowed all three goals on 17 shots. Troy Grosenick, returning from injury, entered the game in the second and made 23 saves the rest of the way. So that’s the good news for the Barracuda.
The aforementioned Meier took nine freaking shots on goal, which led the team, obviously. Marcus Sorensen put four shots on goal, the only other member of the Barracuda to put a significant number of pucks on net.
Austin Carroll scored his first AHL goal of the season, so it’s good to see the Barracuda are following the lead of the big club. Mark Jankowski, Hunter Smith and Hunter Shinkaruk also potted goals for Stockton.
The Barracuda host the Gulls on Saturday and Sunday.