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Red Wings 2, Sharks 3 (OT): Octopus antics in overtime

“We’re making sure the octopus wasn’t part of the play” — a real thing I guess the league can review for now.

Logan Couture #39 of the San Jose Sharks celebrates scoring the game-winning goal in overtime against the Detroit Red Wings at SAP Center on January 11, 2022 in San Jose, California. Photo by Kavin Mistry/NHLI via Getty Images

That was certainly dramatic!

The Sharks played a complete and disciplined game, and the Red Wings should consider themselves lucky to be leaving SAP Center with a point. Though a massive miscue by goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic is what cost Detroit the win in overtime, he’s also darn near the only reason the game made it to the extra frame, as the Sharks came out hard and fast after Dahlen’s slick backhand deke to Timo Meier, who tallied a power play goal near the end of the first to give the Sharks the lead.

Though I could tell you about Timo Meier’s penchant for posts, or Jeffrey’s Viel lack of quit that earned him an ugly goal, but truth be told, someone threw an octopus onto the ice during overtime and it’s all I can think about. Play didn’t stop and the way the puck got lost behind Nedeljkovic and slowly drifted into the net was both hilarious and sad. The play went under review — officially for offsides, but Logan Couture said on live television that the referee told him they were “making sure the octopus wasn’t part of the play,” and I will choose to believe that version of events no matter what.

It was a fun game and the kids looked hungry for their roster spots, which is encouraging. As the team continues to get healthy, and if the changes to the defense are more than just a smoke screen to “inspire” the under-performing veterans, the Sharks might just be cooking with gas.

Comment of the Game

Sure, it’s the inaugural Comment of the Game and I should probably set some kind of standard here, but instead, I’m cheating and doing this exchange, which killed me before all of the stuff with the octopus happened:

If I believed in jinxes, I’d ban you all (I would never). Go give those folks their recs.


Hey folks! We’re bringing back the liveblog in 2022 and I’m here to offer insights and opinions on tonight’s match-up. Who better than my hometown team to break in the column? Let’s do that hockey, y’all.

First Period

19:26: First shift goes to the Red Wings, putting pressure on Hill out of the gate.

18:57: Erik Karlsson with a nice zone entry and quick shot.

18:19: The Sharks have looked alright in terms of their awareness of each other, but can’t get a good breakout.

17:39: Pius Suter with a nasty, nasty shot that pings off the post. Filip Zadina tries again with the rebound.

16:14: Gotta give Brent Burns some credit for settling down a puck that seemed bound and determined to get away from him, resulting in a shot attempt.

15:19: Logan Couture with a quick shot, but the Wings get the puck right back every time. The Sharks can’t sustain in the offensive zone.

14:32: And just as pressure starts, Alex Nedeljkovic covers the puck.

14:21: Givani Smith and Jeffrey Viel started slugging it out after the whistle. Five for fighting each. Smith injured Jacob Middleton the last time these two team met. Glad that’s over with, I guess.

12:11: Noah Gregor and Jonathan Dahlen are putting on a clinic real quick.

11:37: Red Wings draw the first power play, as Dahlen gets called for hooking.

9:37: Power play ends without a shot on goal by the Red Wings. Excellent kill by the Sharks.

8:49: Marc Staal called for cross-checking Adam Raska — in his NHL debut, no less — in the ribs against the boards. That did not look fun. Sharks power play coming up.

First unit is Timo Meier, Tomas Hertl, Couture, Dahlen and Burns.

8:00: Suter tried to get a short-handed breakaway, but pumped the breaks too soon and Burns catches up to him as he throw a weak shot toward Hill.

7:46: Dahlen with a speedy break and a chance, Couture snags the rebound, but no dice.

6:49: Power play expires with Sharks taking two shots.

6:12: Mario Ferarro single-handedly just broke up a 2-on-1 and made it look so easy. How???

5:58: Robby Fabbri sends Ferarro into the crease with a shove and a roughing penalty is called. Sharks back up a man.

5:36: Burns feeds the puck to Dahlen, who looked to be deking, but upon replay, might be attempting a pass, when the puck slips to his backhand, and he’s still able to quickly adjust to backhand it to Meier too fast for Nedeljkovic to track. Whether intentional or a quick reaction, it still goes in over his leg and the Sharks are first on the board with a power play tally. 1-0, Sharks.

3:23: I’m not hating the Sharks’ fourth line tonight. Raska is playing for keeps.

Okay, I’m not gonna lie, I wasn’t totally paying attention during those final few minutes because I got distracted by the Kodak Black story on Twitter. IYKYK. I also had to watch that period on my phone while my laptop went through updates, so glad to switch to a normal screen.

END FIRST: Sharks 1, Red Wings 0

Second Period

18:42: Much better jump from the Sharks here. Hertl gets a great shot on net, Nedeljkovic with the body save. Sharks gets a couple extra whacks at it before it’s covered.

18:22: Hertl with a gorgeous wraparound attempt. The top line is buzzing.

16:49: I think the Sharks have learned they can’t give Suter any space. They’ve done a much better job at containing that line this game.

16:08: Nieto with a breakaway, but the shot is soft and to the chest of Nedeljkovic.

Rookie Moritz Seider heads to the dressing room. Looks like he took a puck to the face off a clearing attempt from Ferraro. Might’ve got him in the chin or ear. Hope that’s not too bad, he’s been having a heck of a season.

14:31: Joe Veleno got a lucky quick shot on net. Good thing Hill was in position, because it was a real blink-and-you-miss-it snap.

13:06: Ryan Merkley just used his body to strip a Wings player of the puck right outside of the offensive zone, leading to a quick opportunity. It wasn’t the best look and Detroit was able to get the puck back the other way immediately, but that’s the kind of big boy play we like to see.

9:33: Break ups are going so well, but break outs? Not so much.

8:01: The Hertl line putting in work and Meier gets tripped by , putting the Sharks on the power play, after a little bit of delayed time in the offensive zone.

7:25: Karlsson on the second unit —sent out first, as the top unit was out when the penalty was drawn — gets a shot in the slot.

6:28: Burns with a bomb from the blue line, still nothing getting in.

6:01: Power play over.

4:39: The Sharks’ fourth line out against the Red Wings’ top line is working out well because these kids can skate. They’ve used their bodies to box out the Red Wings and break out of the zone, keeping the gaps tight. Impressive stuff.

4:38: Moritz Seider has returned to the bench. Really glad to see it.

2:30: The Sharks are looking a little gassed, and the Red Wings have dialed things up.

2:21: Ferraro gets called for holding on Bertuzzi. Red Wings to the power play.

Hertl gets called for goaltender interference. Nedeljkovic was out of the crease to play the puck and as Hertl extended his stick to reach for the puck, he pushed Nedeljkovic’s skate from under him. Huge kill coming up on this 5-ion-3.

San Jose manages a couple of clears.

0:20.8: There’s the break. Just before the Sharks were about to get Ferarro back, Filip Hronek sends in it from the slot. Bertuzzi may have gotten a piece of it. Tied, 1-1.

The referees had a little conference and some times goes back on the clock. It was close, like within a half of a second of the first penalty expiring, so it’s a question of going back to 5-on-5, or 20 seconds of 5-on-4.

They rule to give the Red Wings the rest of the second power play.

The clock winds down.

END SECOND: Sharks 1, Red Wings 1

Third Period

19:07: I really, really like this Dahlen, Couture and Gregor second line. They’ve opened up this period strong. Nedeljkovic is just too good.

18:12: Oh man, Nick Leddy with a snipe. He walked it the full length of the ice and despite both Meier and Ryan Merkley on him, he took a clean shot that surprised everyone. 2-1, Red Wings.

16:42: Sharks get one right back! Burns sends a stretch pass to Jeffrey Viel, who stays with the puck as he drives the net. Despite going down and (incidentally) making contact with Nedeljkovic, the puck goes in and Detroit doesn’t challenge. Tied, 2-2.

Broadcast confirms Toronto says contact was incidental and puck entered the net legally.

That’s a big goal, regardless.

15:47: Detroit’s transition game is so smooth. The skating talent on that team is real. Definitely the Yzerman Effect.

15:06: I didn’t see who did it, but Fabbri nearly got a turnover and was quickly separated from the puck by a Sharks skater. Really heads up move.

13:00: Gregor comes through with speed and a hard shot. Let the kid score a dang goal already.

11:39: A cross-ice pass set Hertl up for a breakaway and the shot is nice, but Nedeljkovic gets the save. My heart jumped at that one, I thought he was going to sink it.

9:58: Couture with another chance — going five-hole up close — that I thought would beat Nedeljkovic and didn’t.

9:24: The Couture line is killing it. The captain takes a couple of shots at the Mack Truck parked in Detroit’s net and it goes as well as you’d expect.

7:16: Very few whistles in this game. It’s nice to see the Sharks driving the pace of play versus reacting to it.

5:58: Ryan Merkley knocked down and boos come pouring in when it isn’t called.

3:54: HUGE sequence from the Sharks, with extended time in the offensive zone. I was honestly holding my breath the whole time. Fantastic hockey right there.

2:59: OFF THE INSIDE IRON OH MY GOD??? I think that was Meier. Holy shit. ANOTHER POST??? How did that not go in????? Awful, awful luck.

2:16: The Red Wings have gotten it back into their zone and if they would’ve scored there after the Hockey Gods just robbed the Sharks, I would have thrown up.

0:38.6: This is absolutely going to overtime. Neutral zone faceoff coming up.

Wings win it and hang back.

Sharks give it another try, but that’s it for regulation.

END REGULATION: Sharks 2, Red Wings 2

Overtime

5:00: Sharks starting with Meier, Hertl and Karlsson, as expected. Red Wings going with Rasmussen, Bertuzzi and Seider.

Wings lose the first draw, win a second and Rasmussen is replaced by Lucas Raymond. A literal 50/50 shot on that play working.

4:16: Someone just threw a damn octopus on the ice. What the hell? Play hasn’t stopped.

4:03: AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH WHAT

Burns took a shot, it got lost in Nedeljkovic’s skates behind him and then just gets pushed into the net in slow-motion, I swear to god.

Toronto is reviewing the goal. I guess too much was happening all at once. The league is monitoring for offsides.

Very dramatic ending, but the call stands. That’s how you do it.

FINAL SCORE: Sharks 3, Red Wings 2 (OT)


Pregame

The Detroit Red Wings are in town for a visit and the San Jose Sharks are opening up a four-game homestand with three consecutive Eastern Conference opponents. Read about the questions and concerns ahead of tonight’s game in our game preview here.

Here’s everything you need to know to tune in:

Lines

SAN JOSE SHARKS

Timo Meier — Tomas Hertl — Alexander Barabanov
Noah Gregor — Logan Couture — Jonathan Dahlen
Andrew Cogliano — Jasper Weatherby — Matt Nieto
Jeffrey Viel — Nick Merkley — Adam Raska

Mario Ferraro — Brent Burns
Jaycob Megna — Erik Karlsson
Radim Simek — Ryan Merkley

Adin Hill
Zachary Sawchenko

Expected Scratches: Jayden Halbgewachs, Nicholas Meloche, Scott Reedy, Lane Pederson, Marc-Edouard Vlasic

Injured Reserve: James Reimer (lower body), Jacob Middleton (upper body), Kevin Labanc (upper body), Nikolai Knyzhov (upper body), Rudolfs Balcers (lower body), Jonah Gadjovich (upper body)

COVID-19 Protocol: Nick Bonino

DETROIT RED WINGS

Tyler Bertuzzi — Robby Fabbri — Lucas Raymond
Filip Zadina — Pius Suter — Givani Smith
Vladislav Namestnikov — Michael Rasmussen — Adam Erne
Riley Barber — Joe Veleno — Sam Gagner

Jordan Oesterle — Moritz Seider
Nick Leddy — Filip Hronek
Marc Staal — Gustav Lindstrom

Alex Nedeljkovic
Thomas Greiss

Expected Scratches: Carter Rowney, Danny DeKeyser

Injured Reserve: Dylan Larkin (upper body), Troy Stecher (wrist), Mitchell Stephens (lower body)

How to Watch

Important to note that tonight’s game will not be broadcast on television. It will be exclusively available to stream with a subscription to ESPN+ or Hulu. The radio call will be streamed through the Sharks Audio Network. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET at SAP Center in San Jose, California.

Check back to this post to follow along with all the action at puck drop!