The Sharks start out the season with a 0-3-0 record. The latest loss comes at the hands of the Anaheim Ducks. You really expected San Jose to come into Anaheim stronger after that embarrassing loss at home the night before, but it was not meant to be...
The Ducks got onto the board first with a goal Michael Del Zotto, less than four minutes into the game. Aaron Dell tried to play the puck behind the net and played it right onto the stick of Ondrej Kase. Kase passed it out front to Del Zotto who easily scored. Dell couldn’t get back in time. It was kind of how the night went.
San Jose looked discombobulated. The power play had very little movement and went for 0-for-4 on the power play. The team hasn’t scored a power play goal all season.
Meanwhile, Dell had some solid saves, but he also had some bonehead giveaways. He finished the night with 30 saves and a .909 save percentage.
The other concern for San Jose, Marcus Sorensen left halfway through the second period after he went hard into the boards and he did not return. No word on if he’ll be available on Tuesday in Nashville.
One of the only bright spots, a goal by Logan Couture. It lasted for about a minute before the Ducks scored again and regained the lead.
Another bright spot, some of the young kids. There were some points where Jonny Brodzinski took over and generated quality scoring chances. He had three shots and three hits tonight.
Mario Ferraro had 18:25 in ice time and two shots. He’s starting to come into his own and may solidify his spot on the bottom pairing.
It’s not time to hit the panic button yet, but there are some guys that need to take a hard look in the mirror because they’re playing below their abilities.
Hello friends, Erika here running the liveblog tonight. I’m not sure what we’re going to see tonight, but I promise to try and keep things fun.
20:00 - Dell starts the game with a 3.00 GAA and .833 SV%. Small sample size, but things that make you go hmmm...
18:06 - Mario Ferraro’s shot from the point saved by John Gibson. It was an easy save, but I’ve liked Ferraro so far in this young season.
18:00 - Almost a disaster, but Dell makes the save.
16:22 - Turnover behind the Sharks’ net and Michael Del Zotto basically gets a gimmie goal. Soft backhanded clear by Dell, right onto the stick of Ondrej Kase, Del Zotto with an easy tap in. Kind of think someone should have talked to Dell and let him know it wasn’t as easy a pass as he thought.
11:05 - Timo Meier with a pretty end-to-end move that he couldn’t finish off. It’s still 1-0 Ducks.
10:10 - Lean Bergmann looked like he was breaking in, but then he, uh, fell.
9:32 - Dell saves an up close chance by Brendan Guhle.
9:24 - Gibson makes a save on Lukas Radil on the other end of the ice.’
9:24 - Stat of the night. Joe Thornton is an entire professional hockey player older than Mario Ferraro. Oh yeah, and Danil Yurtaykin wasn’t even born when Thornton started playing in the NHL.
8:32 - Brenden Dillon drops the gloves with Nicolas Deslauriers after Deslauriers hits Erik Karlsson. Plenty of hard punches thrown. Both will sit for five.
7:51 - Jousting and some extra curriculars between Meier and Ryan Getzlaf. I don’t think Meier would win that battle.
6:52 - Bergmann called for the slash. Ducks on the power play.
5:57 - Dell with a save through traffic.
5:07 - Wow. Ducks basically walked into the Sharks’ zone. Good thing Cam Fowler missed the shot on goal.
4:53 - Sharks kill the penalty...oh, oops. I mean take another penalty. Kevin Labanc caught hooking to stop a scoring chance. Ducks get another shot at it.
3:18 - Dell makes the save, Ferraro makes the clear. Good work boys.
2:23 - Back-to-back penalties killed.
0:00 - Sharks head to the locker room down a goal. Better effort tonight against a worst team.
Dell finishes the period with 11 saves and a .923 SV%. Gibson stopped 7 shots for the Ducks. Sharks won 60% of the faceoffs in the first period.
Trevor Carrick had just 2:49 of ice time. Next lowest was Mario Ferraro with 6:28.
19:20 - Gibson gets the pad in front of a Tomas Hertl shot. That was a quality scoring chance.
18:05 - Ferraro might have gotten a stick on the Del Zotto shot. Puck goes out of play.
17:38 - Sharks get their first power play of the night. Troy Terry called for a hook. Not sure if I’m excited or scared.
17:09 - Logan Couture with a hard shot on net that Gibson had a tough time handling. Hertl tried to jump on the rebound, but Gibson got there first.
16:57 - Dell with another giveaway, this one right in front of the net. Luckily, he made it back to make the stop. It was almost 2-0 Ducks.
15:38 - Power play over. No goal.
14:16 - Sigh of relief. Couture gets on the board. Erik Karlsson picks up the puck in front of the net, takes it to the top of the zone and passes it to Dillon. Dillon passes it back to Karlsson who passes it to Couture. All that left Couture with plenty of room to work and he put it past Gibson. All tied up at 1.
13:09 - Kase hits Getzlaf on the breakaway and Getzlaf beats Dell. Dell came out to challenge and Getzlaf just over powers him. Brent Burns was late to the party. 2-1 Ducks.
12:20 - Isac Lundestrom almost makes it 3-1 Ducks.
11:10 - Hampus Lindholm hits the post.
10:22 - Terry with an up close chance. Dell saves it but it slips through his legs. That was a close one.
9:40 - Marcus Sorensen went hard into the boards after a shot on goal. Full speed into the end boards and he’s off to the dressing room. The depth may be tested further in the next game.
7:06 - Dell makes the save and it’s a good thing he stopped the puck. The Ducks were swarming with plenty of chances. Sharks need to push back, the Ducks are taking over the period.
4:14 - Sharks’ power play gets another shot after Josh Manson is called for cross checking Yurtaykin in the head.
3:34 - With Burns and E. Karlsson together on the point, the power play has a lot more movement.
2:50 - Barclay Goodrow just prevented a Ducks shortie.
2:32 - Yurtaykin just missed a gimmie goal set up by Thornton. Kid probably has never played with a passer as good as Thornton.
1:34 - Power play is over. Ducks are back on the attack.
1:12 - Adam Henrique just made it 3-1. Hertl lost the puck in the leutral zone, Labanc did absolutely nothing to stop Henrique, basically let him skate in uncontested. Hang that one on Labanc.
0:00 - Ducks lead 3-1.
It really feels like the team has lost it’s way. There’s a disconnect on the ice and they need to find a new path. I’d like to see some fire in the third period. At some point, pride has to take over.
18:30 - Gibson with a save on Ferraro.
17:35 - Two Ducks fall on top of Dell. No call by the ref. Jamie Baker is calling it a missed call by the ref, but is it a missed call if you stand right there, watch it happen, skate over and watch from above the goal and choose not to call it?
17:20 - Dell stops a great chance by Terry.
16:33 - Meier with a shot on goal.
14:00 Jonny Brodzinski with a couple of great chances.
12:40 - Dell just stopped a 3-on-1.
11:25 - Jakob Silfverberg just called for tripping. Sharks power play.
10:54 - Chance by the top unit and the Sharks attack the net. The net comes off and there’s a scrum. Couture goes after Manson, who basically jumped on top of Meier who fell in the net. Randy Hahn says “mass of humanity”, take a drink if you’re playing along.
9:24 - Another power play dies without a goal. 0-for-3 tonight.
8:15 - Dell with a save on Kase.
6:12 - Another shot on goal by Kase. He has six shots and two assists tonight.
4:10 - Clock is ticking.
2:09 - Dell’s still in net. Sharks are still losing by two goals.
2:09 - Brain fart by Anaheim. Too many men on the ice. Sharks power play and Dell is on the bench.
1:25 - Ducks just tossing the clears down the ice to see if they can hit the net.
1:17 - Wow. All six Sharks standing on the blueline trying to figure out how to enter the Ducks’ zone. They go offsides.
0:42 - Sharks still trying to figure out how to gain control in the Ducks zone while on the power play.
0:00 - Sharks lose 3-1.
I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad.
The San Jose Sharks (0-2-0, 8th Pacific) head south to face the Anaheim Ducks (1-0-0, 3rd Pacific) after dropping a humiliating pair of contests to the Vegas Golden Knights to open the season winless.
There are two main ways to react to this kind of start to the season:
The first way, and probably the most fun way, is to lose our collective minds. We can conclude that the youth movement has failed, that the losses of Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi have crippled this team on and off the ice, that the window is closed, we should punt the whole season, draft Alexis Lafreniere, and start the whole thing over.
That’s probably an overreaction. The other way, and probably the healthiest way, is to avoid putting too much stock in those first two losses, embarrassing though they may have been. The Sharks are opening their season with a home-and-home against a team many (myself included) have pegged as the best team on paper in the Western Conference, and a back-to-back with travel in their first three games. The team as it stands lacks a single line that has played together for more than six weeks, spent a full half of the season so far (such as it is) without their best and most expensive player, and will spend still one more game missing a 30 goal scorer up front.
It will probably take a few more games for the Sharks’ young crop of new forwards to gel and create chemistry, a task that will probably be made much easier without the constant of Ryan Reaves’ inexplicable penchant for infanticide.
The last time the Sharks lost their first three games in a season was back in 1993-94, when their 0-8-1 start didn’t seem to matter much in April, as the Sharks snuck into the playoffs with 82 points, and won a thrilling seven-game series with the Detroit Red Wings before bowing out in seven in round two against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
On the other side of the pond, the Ducks scratched two points out of their season opener on Thursday in a surprisingly (ha!) boring affair at home against the Arizona Coyotes. The 2-1 win came mostly on the back of John Gibson’s (again, big surprise) 32 saves, as the Ducks were outplayed everywhere except on the scoreboard, you know, the important bit.
While Anaheim is a big step down in competitive quality from the absurdity of Vegas’ forward depth, the Sharks will be in tough to get many pucks past Gibson, especially if they can’t figure out that power play. They’ve started 0-for-10 on man advantage opportunities this infant season, and allowed three shorthanded goals. That’s not likely to be quite so absurd a trend going forward, as few teams have as much speed and aggression up front as the Knights, but there’s really no excuse for allowing three shorties in two games.
This is not all to say that tonight’s contest in Anaheim doesn’t matter, on the contrary, it matters even more. We’re often told that it’s impossible to know what a team truly is before they’ve played ten games, but by then it might be too late. The Sharks will need to get it together sooner rather than later: nobody makes the playoffs in October, but hockey history is littered with teams that have missed them.
It’s only two games. It’s only four points. In the last three years, seven teams have missed the playoffs by four points or fewer, so, while overreacting to a slow start is probably not the best approach, regular reacting seems fair.
Evander Kane will serve the third of his three-game suspension for very wisely and calmly abusing an official in the Sharks’ last preseason game. Trevor Carrick has been called up from the AHL Barracuda to cover for the injured Jacob Middleton (that Reaves sure is a tough fellow, shame he only injures rookies, what a wild coincidence), and while all sense and reason would dictate that Carrick sit in favor of the more experienced Tim Heed, the Heeds and the DeBoers appear to be acting out the latest chapter in what can only be a multi-generational blood feud, so who knows?
Nicolas Deslauriers — Ryan Getzlaf — Ondrej Kase
Rickard Rakell — Sam Steel — Jakob Silfverberg
Max Jones — Adam Henrique — Troy Terry
Devin Shore — Derek Grant — Carter Rowney
Hampus Lindholm — Josh Manson
Brendan Guhle — Cam Fowler
Jacob Larsson — Michael Del Zotto
Expected scratches: Korbinian Holzer, Nick Ritchie
Ritchie was alive and well at optional practice this morning, if he’s ready to go, he’ll probably draw in for Deslauriers, or Steel, who missed practice with a middle-body injury yesterday.
Where to watch
As usual, San Jose residents will be able to tune in to all the action on NBC Sports California, in Anaheim the game will be broadcast on the Prime Sports Network, and it will stream through NHL.tv. Those of you away from your hypnotizing zombie screen of choice can tune in at 98.5 KFOX or through the Sharks + SAP Center app.