The San Jose Sharks have struggled all season with getting pucks to the net, but once they found their footing against the Winnipeg Jets tonight, they put on an impressive offensive show. Holding the Jets to just 35 unblocked shots and attempts, while taking 81 of their own, the Sharks controlled the puck for 69.83 percent of ice time in all situations.
More impressively, that number only slightly dips to 69.27 percent at 5-on-5 when adjusting for score and venue. Controlling play at 5-on-5 has been a massive obstacle for the Sharks so far this year.
However, after allowing one low-danger and two mid-danger goals on just 19 total shots (including only four high danger shots), the game fell on Martin Jones’ shoulders and he failed to secure the win. The defense isn’t faultless, either, but the comparison of Connor Hellebuyck’s 53-save performance on the other end of the ice certainly did him no favors.
This is a tough pill to swallow. Winnipeg isn’t very good, and they got lucky with this win. Is this level of play sustainable or is it just that Winnipeg is that bad? Is goaltending going to continue to rob the Sharks of their few successes? Was it really so awful for DeBoer to play Tim Heed 11 minutes and 25 seconds and give the others a break?
On the other hand, it’s one game after a long series of bad ones. There aren’t going to be answers yet. Maybe we just need to hope they’ll continue building on the fact that they played well.
Hey folks, Sie here to walk you through the action of tonight’s game. Let’s gooooo.
20:00: People booed Erik Karlsson when he was announced as starter? Clowns. All of you.
19:40: Both Karlsson and Brenden Dillon have very intense mustaches right now, oh my god.
18:11: Two players got tangled up and fell by the benches during a change, looks like. Winnipeg is getting early time in the offense zone so far.
16:04: The Sharks spend forever getting the puck into the zone, only to make a terrible turnover and the Jets get it out. Jesus.
13:36: Not to be that guy, but can the Sharks please shoot the puck? Just once?
12:13: Joe Thornton with some wheels, gets the puck through the slot, but no one is there to actually get it past Connor Hellebuyck, who saves the slowly sliding puck.
10:35: Mario Ferraro and Tim Heed just did an excellent job of keeping the puck in the zone and the Logan Couture line helped get it back in the zone after the Jets get it out. Good shift from those five, but again, they cannot be this afraid to shoot.
9:16: Thornton with another shot, this one a little more lively.
8:12: The Sharks’ defensive play is ... bad.
7:12: The good news here is that Winnipeg is also real bad and it’s almost fooled me into believing I’m watching an NHL game because the Sharks don’t look as terrible by comparison.
6:26: Brent Burns misses a pass from Karlsson, the Jets get it back thanks to Kyle Connor, who passes to Gabriel Bourque, who beats Martin Jones. 1-0, Jets.
3:56: Heed genuinely looks pretty decent tonight.
3:16: Marcus Sorensen with a shoot and absolutely nobody was around for a rebound opportunity. Melker Karlsson looks ... bad.
2:29: Martin Jones with a save on Nikolaj Ehlers, after Erik Karlsson kinda shot the puck directly into his chest.
:53.1: Logan Couture with an interference call on Mathieu Perreault that is ........... bullshit. But alright. Sharks to the kill.
END FIRST: Sharks 0, Jets 1
18:52: Sharks start off with killing the rest of the Winnipeg power play.
18:20: Sorensen with a good rush to the net, gets three shots before Dmitry Kulikov knocks him down hard enough that Sorensen loses his helmet. He comes up slowly, clearly in pain.
17:03: Burns with a shot.
16:42: Barclay Goodrow ties it!!! Jonny Brodzinski backhands it to Goodrow in the slot, who gets a quick shot in up close. Beautiful. 1-1.
15:36: Sharks to the power play after Kulikov slashes Tomas Hertl’s stick and breaks it.
15:01: Kyle Connor just got an INSANE shorthanded opportunity. That kid is fast, holy smokes.
14:16: Lot of pressure from the Sharks, but the Jets are limiting quality chances.
13:36: Jets kill the penalty.
12:38: Sharks goal! Evander Kane in an absolute mess in front of the crease gets an opportunity to flip it over Hellebuyck’s left pad.
Winnipeg is challenging for goaltender interference.
Uhhhhhh, what? They’re pulling the goal. What a joke.
12:07: Cool, cool, so Wheeler scores for the Jets. If the correct call would’ve been made, the Jets would be shorthanded right now. Cool cool cool. 2-1, Jets.
10:19: Kane off for hooking, Jets to the power play.
9:11: Sharks with a couple shorthanded chances, not too shabby.
8:19: Penalty killed, still pressure on the the defensive zone.
5:10: Real nifty stickwork from Tomas Hertl, but doesn’t end in a goal.
4:37: Heed and Ferraro are killing it, but the follow-through from other players isn’t there to generate second and third chances.
2:49: Sharks to the power play after a late hit by Perreault on Erik Karlsson.
2:14: Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Kane almost scored a power play goal.
2:02: How are the Sharks this good on the power play but an absolute dumpster fire at 5-on-5?
:38.9: Sharks just couldn’t get past Hellebuyck, but an excellent power play effort that immediately gets turned over as soon as they’re back to 5-on-5.
END SECOND: Sharks 1, Jets 2
19:11: After an extended look in the offensive zone and a delayed penalty, Tomas Hertl scores to tie it at 2.
16:40: Hertl is wearing a dark orange undershirt, who allowed this?
15:20: Things have gotten a little more physical as the Sharks put a ton of pressure on Hellebuyck.
14:29: Whistle finally blows, ending a huge look at the net from the Sharks.
13:50: Martin Jones just ventured way out of the crease and about gave me a heart attack making a surprisingly good play.
12:14: Guaranteed this goes to overtime.
11:00: God damn, Kevin Labanc with a quick chance.
9:45: Shots and attempts now 73-28, Sharks. Holy shit.
9:07: It would be very Sharks of them to lose this game.
6:52: Joe Thornton ALMOST had a breakaway.
4:55: Kane with a breakaway and an excellent follow through on the rebound, but no luck, as the puck is stopped by Hellebuyck’s helmet.
2:11: Burns isn’t having a great night, but with the score this tight, of course he’s out.
1:24: And of course he’s still out when Ehlers scores. 3-2, Jets.
1:01: Empty net for Sharks.
:36.1: Jets keeping out very speedy Connor, which seems smart.
FINAL SCORE: Sharks 2, Jets 3
The San Jose Sharks and the Winnipeg Jets both need a win tonight. Last season’s playoff contenders find themselves playoff doubtfuls less than a quarter of the way in. Winnipeg is 6-7-0 on the season, while San Jose is a less promising 4-8-1.
The Jets are coming off a 7-4 loss to the Anaheim Ducks and will be looking to add a little shutdown defense to their game tonight. Meanwhile, the Sharks are still smarting from that 5-1 loss in Boston. If the loss in Ottawa was rock bottom, then the team got out the shovels in Boston and started digging deeper.
Expected Scratches: Trevor Carrick, Lukas Radil
Injured Reserve: Jacob Middleton (left shoulder), Dalton Prout (upper body), Dylan Gambrell (upper body)
Note that Jonny Brodzinski is back in after some time on the injured reserve. He’ll add some skill, but won’t be the savior the Sharks need.
On the back end, no changes. Martin Jones is in goal. He wasn’t horrible in Boston, so there’s no need to punish him tonight with a benching.
As for the Jets, there’s plenty of juggling going on, so this is what we think will happen, though we might be wrong.
Kyle Connor — Mark Scheifele — Blake Wheeler
Nikolaj Ehlers — Andrew Copp — Jack Roslovic
Mathieu Perreault — David Gustafsson — Logan Shaw
Gabriel Bourque — CJ Suess
Josh Morrissey — Tucker Poolman
Dmitry Kulikov — Neal Pionk
Carl Dahlstrom — Anthony Bitetto
Expected Scratches: Luca Sbisa
Injured Reserve: Mark Letestu (heart), Patrik Laine (lower body), Mason Appleton (foot), Nathan Beaulieu (upper body)
Suspended: Adam Lowry, Dustin Byfuglien
Patrik Laine is injured. Adam Lowry was suspended two games for boarding after a hit during the Calgary Flames game. This is game one of his suspension. Prospect CJ Suess was called up from the minors and flew into the Bay Area from Minnesota, so expect the young winger to suit up for his first NHL game and likely his first NHL goal, given the Sharks’ track record.
Where to watch
Tonight’s game is at SAP Center. Puck drop is expected for 7:30 p.m. / 10 p.m. Eastern. It will be broadcast on NBCSCA and TSN3. Streaming is available via NHLtv. The radio broadcast will be on 98.5 KFOX in the Bay Area, and available on the NHL app or the Sharks + SAP app.