Let’s start with the good news. The Sharks held the third best power play in the league to zero goals on five chances.
Now to the bad news. In 5-on-5 play, they let in four goals and scored zero. Not exactly a recipe for success.
“We’re a better team than what we showed the last two games,” said Captain Joe Pavelski in the locker room after the game.
I hope so. San Jose has been outscored 8-3 in the last 24 hours, walking away with back-to-back regulation losses for the first time this season. They head home from the two-game road trip with a grand total of zero points.
The score pretty much tells the story, but let’s look at the heat map too.
The Blues scored in tight, getting shots on goal in the paint. The Sharks barely got close to Johnson and took most of their shots from between the dots. It’s a sign of a lot of initial chances, not a lot of second and third ones.
As for the players, they’re not pleased with their play recently. The always vocal Logan Couture had a lot to say about what went wrong these last two games.
“Every aspect of the game—except for goaltending,” said Couture. “It’s been horrible. It’s not just the d-men, it’s the forwards. It’s not good. It’s not good enough at an American League level. It’s ugly right now.”
He also didn’t buy the excuse that new players were causing a chemistry issue on the ice.
“We’re 17 games in. It’s a quarter of a season,” said Couture. “You can use that excuse for one or two or maybe even three, can’t use it for 17, so, we’re going to figure it out.”
Another issue for the Sharks in this game. Faceoffs. The Blues won 67% of the faceoffs in tonight’s game. That would explain the Corsi chart.
And to sum up the road trip, Head Coach Pete DeBoer probably said it best.
“Last two games haven’t been good,” said DeBoer after the game. “We’ve got to get it figured out. I think yesterday, we were reckless, but we had energy. Today we were reckless without energy. We’ve got to fix all those things.”
On a side note, DeBoer didn’t blame Tim Heed for tonight’s poor play. This was Heed’s first game since February of last season. DeBoer says it was time for Joakim Ryan to take a step back.
Defense will likely be a focus when the Sharks return home. The team has allowed three or more goals against in each of its last nine games.
San Jose returns home for a six game homestand, the longest of the season. Their next game is Sunday at 6 p.m. against the Calgary Flames, a team that is above them in the Pacific Division standings.
Head Coach Pete DeBoer is changing up the lineup, trying to make sure the team stays fresh on this second night of back-to-back games. Goalie Martin Jones will take a seat, allowing Aaron Dell to occupy tonight’s crease.
This is the lineup we have so far...
...but we’re hearing Tim Heed might get his first start of the season tonight. Heed has watched from the press box since the start of the season. Joakim Ryan has played in all the Sharks’ games this season to date and has a grand total of two assists.
I’m watching and it’s cofirmed that Ryan is out and Heed is in.
If you haven’t watched Timo Meier Mic’d Up, you really should. At one point you get the following face-off exchange between Meier and the Philadelphia Flyers Claude Giroux.
Meier: You know I’m tougher than you.
Giroux: Oh yeah?
Meier: Maybe not. Maybe not.
20:00 - Time to go!
18:28 - Heed just broke up a 3-on-1. Dell followed it up with a great save.
Dell gets an early test and aces it! pic.twitter.com/rwl277SLek— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) November 10, 2018
12:11 - Heading to the first commercial break tied at 0. Aside from that save Dell made early on, nothing really happening.
9:22 - Johnson with two or three big saves after Colton Parayko accidentally gave the puck up to Kevin Labanc. Erik Karlsson’s shot on net causes more trouble than it should have. Johnson was forced to freeze the puck.
7:52 - Antti Suomela takes a quick shot on net thanks to a great pass from Joonas Donskoi. Johnson is up to the task.
Something happened to Barclay Goodrow. He’s holding the bridge of his nose and possibly bleeding. Guess he took a stick to the face. No call.
5:45 - Penalty. Looks like off-setting ones. Joe Pavelski and Vince Dunn getting into it with each other. Two each for slashing.
5:10 - Minutes after high-sticking Goodrow with no call, Alex Pietrangelo gets the puck in the slot and basically gets to stand there all alone lining up his shot. He had so much time and no one seemed to challenge him. He beats Dell and it’s 1-0 Blues. Worse yet, still 4-on-4.
2:55 - Melker Karlsson takes a slashing call as he tries to stop Robby Fabbri from moving in on Dell. 3rd strongest power play in the league goes to work. Thanks Brodie Brazil for a better look at that slash.
This was called a slash.— Brodie Brazil (@BrodieNBCS) November 10, 2018
2:05 - Meier and Marcus Sorensen had the opportunity for a shorty, but Meier’s pass was just a little bit too far ahead of Sorensen.
0:50 - Sharks kill the penalty, then Blues get called for an interference penalty. Now the Sharks get the power play.
0:00 - First period ends with a 1-0 score in favor of the Blues. Sharks will have about 1:11 left on the power play when they return from the locker room.
Thoughts: It was a sloppy first period for the Sharks, who had very little sustained pressure.
18:59 - Brent Burns one-timer the best scoring chance so far for the Sharks on this power play.
17:39 - Jumbo Joe Thornton charged with tripping. Another weak call by the refs.
17:30 - Logan Couture with a short-handed breakaway. He can’t put it home, but Johnson can’t freeze the puck either. Justin Braun could not put the rebound past Johnson.
15:39 - Plenty of chances for the Blues, but no goal. The Sharks manage to stave off the Blues power play again.
14:32 - Too many chances for the Blues. Ryan O’Reilly makes the Sharks pay. It’s 2-0 Blues. Bret Hedican says, “This is what happens when you switch defensive pairs too many times.”
7:50ish - The Blues Jaden Schwartz just hit the post. It was almost 3-0 Blues and they’re not letting up.
6:20 - Sharks ice the puck and now really tired players are stuck in their own zone.
6:03 - Schwartz doesn’t miss this time. A failure to clear leads to a Schwartz goal. The Blues now lead 3-0.
4:25 - Thornton and Marc-Edouard Vlasic both robbed by Johnson. It’s going to be that kind of night.
3:04 - Evander Kane draws a tripping penalty. Tyler Bozak heads to the box. Sharks on the power play.
0:53 - Sharks power play ends poorly (no goal). Blues immediately go back on the attack and Erik Karlsson heads to the box for a slash.
0:33 - To quote my husband, “Aaron Dell is not the problem tonight.” An awesome save on O’Reilly.
0:03 - Brenden Dillon gives up the puck in the neutral zone. (Bone head play.) O’Reilly breaks in, trying to right a wrong. He hits the post. Sharks head to the locker room down 3-0.
20:00 - Puck drops. About a minute of PK before the comeback effort begins.
18:50 - Penalty has been killed.
14:13 - Randy Hahn just tried to jinx Johnson’s shutout. We’ll see if it works.
11:49 - Evander Kane draws another penalty. Joel Edmundson crosschecks Kane in the back and Kane goes down. Power play Sharks.
10:05 - Heed loses the puck at the blue line and the Tyler Bozak gets a breakaway. Good thing Dell is there to make the stop. The power play ends with no goal for either side.
7:39 - Alex Steen is the latest Blues player to find the back of the net. He finds his way behind the defense and scores.
7:08 - Brent Burns heads to the box for tripping. Blues back on the power play.
5:58 - Dell with an impressive glove save. Poor kid deserved better tonight.
5:09 - Another Blues power play killed off. Burns comes out of the box and puts a shot on goal. He can’t solve Johnson either.
0:51 - Blues called for too many men on the ice. Sharks on the power play. Too little, too late.
0:27 - Johnson stonewalls Timo Meier again.
0:00 - Johnson with 31 saves. He takes the shutout. Final score 4-0.