If you missed out on this early afternoon game, you’re going to want to go back and watch it, because it’s the most fun a San Jose Sharks game has been in recent memory, and the win coming against the Los Angeles Kings only makes it that much better. Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving team.
You might be able to skate by on highlights, as the Sharks — or let’s be real, Timo Meier — got to an early 4-0 lead and much of the game was spent being conservative with that lead.
But the chances the team did get were quality and because the Kings are hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning tomorrow, head coach Todd McLellan kept Jonathan Quick in net all game, despite allowing 5 goals on 9 shots early in the second period.
The real story is Timo Meier, who was a one-man wrecking ball, setting a franchise record with 5 total goals on the night. Two of those came on the power play, an area the Sharks have been desperate to improve.
Overall, this looked like a game with two young rosters, with a lot of messy neutral zone play. The Kings stuck to their basics, and played a technically sound game. The Sharks got impeccable goaltending in Reimer’s return, as well as incredible accuracy from Timo Meier, but their game wasn’t nearly as clean. That said, playing to protect a lead early can get exhausting, and I can’t fault the strategy after the last few games the team has had.
I’m pretty happy with this one. All hail our king, Timo Meier.
Comment of the Game
In honor of Timo’s hat trick (and then some), I’m pulling three stars of the game. It’s my blog and I can do what I want.
Second star is a beautiful bit of wordplay. Y’all know I love wordplay.
And Timo was his name-o.
Finally, our first star of the night, our own Rooster Trick scorer, the comment of the game:
I’m laughing because if I stop laughing I’ll start crying.
Howdy folks! Let’s do this afternoon hockey.
18:56: I’m watching the Kings broadcast and 1. I did not realize Samuel Fagemo’s name was pronounced like that and 2. I forgot how awful the Bally Sports scorebug is. Absolutely awful. Let’s just block the play with ads. Smart.
17:25: Arthur Kaliyev called for interfering on Jeffrey Viel at the blue line on a zone entry. Sharks, uh ... flexing ... the power play early.
17:02: Okay, there’s Brent Burns with a breakaway, very nice.
16:58: And that quick, the power play strikes! Timo Meier beats an over-committed Jonathan Quick. Sharks up 1-0.
16:30: The Kings are getting an extended look in the offensive zone now.
15:04: Everyone looks a little bit disjointed right now. Afternoon games, am I right?
14:06: Rudolfs Balcers with a wide shot that goes out of play. He’s really proven that the Sharks are better when he’s on the ice, he generates a lot of chances.
12:47: Now it’s the Kings’ turn for a deflection to go out of play, as Alex Turcotte takes a soft shot from the high slot.
12:04: James Reimer will a couple of crucial saves, starting with a shot from the top of the circle from Drew Doughty, and Fagemo coming in on the rebound up close.
11:31: Burns up the middle with Matt Nieto leading a 2-on-1 zone entry. Burns has been pretty good at breaking out of the neutral zone with speed, they just need to get extended time in the offensive zone.
10:31: Alright, a little bit of offensive zone pressure, Kaliyev eventually breaks it out.
10:00: Reimer with a huge save. Glad to see him looking good on his toes in his return.
8:29: Mikey Anderson just pushed his way through to Reimer, tried to pull a nifty backhander, but nothing going. He pushed his way through some Sharks, they can’t give him that space.
6:50: Kings leading shots 9 to 3 right now. Neither team is getting a ton of extended zone time, but the Sharks are looking especially chaotic so far.
4:20: Meier tried to backhand pass to Marc-Edouard Vlasic and he was too slow to the puck and it breaks out of the zone. Shocking.
3:54: Tomas Hertl at the blueline throws the puck toward the net, Balcers is ready in the slot to settle the puck and send it in. You don’t need quantity if you get quality, I suppose. 2-0, Sharks.
1:24: The Kings aren’t great in the neutral zone, but they definitely have a cleaner, more technical game so far this afternoon.
1:12: ARE YOU JOKING, TIMO MEIER? A faceoff in the left circle, the puck gets out and across the ice, Meier is able to beat Quick. 3-0, Sharks.
:50.6: TIMO WITH A THE HAT TRICK. HOLY SMOKES????????? They have 4 goals on 8 shots. This is bonkers. Quick made a save (with his face) on Meier, but he cleans up the rebound and snaps it in. 4-0, Sharks.
:15.8: Oh man. Reimer didn’t seal the gap between himself and the post and a bad angle shot beats him short-side. Anze Kopitar keeps the Kings in it after a turnover goes their way. 4-1, Sharks.
Still have to imagine Quick is on the bench in the second, yeah?
END FIRST: Sharks 4, Kings 1
18:30: Technical difficulties and apparently I missed ANOTHER TIMO MEIER POWER PLAY GOAL. 5-1, Sharks. You know what we call that in San Jose!!!!! The Kings are still sticking with Quick.
18:29: Brendan Lemieux decides it’s time to fight Jeffrey Viel. Stooge behavior. Five for fighting each. Lemieux’s nose is bloodied, poor Viel’s face is just a smattering of aging bruises.
17:25: Lane Pederson called for high-sticking Anderson. Kings to the power play.
15:25: And killed. Sharks kept them from getting anything going.
13:21: Sharks still at 9 shots, to the Kings’ 22. Would be nice to see some offensive zone time.
12:11: Kings getting a flurry of chances in the crease, eventually leading to Hertl getting called for hooking. Not much that could be done there. They’re giving LA too many looks at Reimer at 5-on-5. Penalty kill coming up.
10:11: Successful kill, but Kings still in the zone.
9:07: I think that was Ryan Merkley breaking up a play in the defensive zone that kept the Kings from setting up after an entry.
7:35: Dustin Brown with a very loud post. San Jose has got to clean up defensively.
7:09: Whoops, Reimer lost his helmet after taking a puck to the clasp. Backing it up for a defensive zone faceoff.
6:39: Kings draw another penalty here, hooking from Noah Gregor on Blake Lizotte. Reimer is putting in the work this afternoon.
5:01: Sharks are lucky that one didn’t go in. Reimer clamps down, but the puck slides out from under his pads and the Kings knock the net off its hinges and play stops. Could’ve easily been a goal.
4:39: Penalty killed.
2:36: The Sharks are still sitting at 11 shots. Playing to protect the lead for two periods is just a slog.
1:10: Anderson with a shot on Reimer that he smothers.
Clock winds down, shots are 29-12, Kings leading.
:27.6: Timo Meier is putting on a goddamn clinic. Holy smokes. 6-1, Sharks.
That’s a franchise record for goals per game.
END SECOND: Sharks 6, Kings 1
16:28: Sorry y’all, I can’t stop scrolling Twitter for reactions to this game. Does this period even matter? Shots are 31-14, Kings.
This feels like the complete opposite of that Sunday afternoon game in Pittsburgh. I’m having a great time.
14:34: Something about Ryan Merkley is that he makes the defense so much more mobile. Mario Ferraro has some speed, and Karlsson and Burns have big strides, but Merkley is really quick and agile in a way the defense has lacked. Comparing him to Vlasic in that regard is a quick way to start feeling sad.
12:26: Meier with a 1-on-1 breakaway, goes in alone on Quick and doesn’t sink a sixth goal. Bummer.
11:50: Sharks getting some extended offensive zone time.
11:02: Andrew Cogliano with a shot on net. We’re seeing more of a team effort here in the third, though the team is also trying to get the puck to Meier. Not a terrible strategy.
9:25: Doughty with a bad angle shot, but Anderson up close tips it in over Reimer’s extended leg. A rough sequence for San Jose there. 6-2, Sharks.
8:29: Sharks right back in the offensive zone, with a shot from Meier. The Tank is so loud when he has the puck.
6:53: I’m sorry, I just can’t get over the fact that the Sharks have 15 shots and are going to win this game 6-2.
6:04: Jonathan Dahlen puts a shot on Quick. There’s number 16.
3:05: Kaliyev with a high hit on Noah Gregor along the boards. Sharks are going to get a skater-advantage in the final few minutes here.
1:44: Jasper Weatherby got separated from the puck way too easily just outside of the offensive zone and play quickly breaks the other way. That’s an old habit that they can’t forget to clean up.
1:05: That’s it for the power play.
:7.4: Reimer with a save and cover. That’s going to be all she wrote. Would’ve loved to see Meier get six, but god, what a game. Shots 41-17.
FINAL SCORE: Sharks 6, Kings 2
It’s an early afternoon game, as part of a full slate of NHL games (and maybe because the Los Angeles Kings need to be back in LA to host the Tampa Bay Lightning tomorrow night) on the holiday. The San Jose Sharks need to jump on this opportunity to pull ahead in the divisional race.
Read about the questions and concerns ahead of today’s game in our game preview here.
Here’s everything you need to know to tune in:
SAN JOSE SHARKS
Rudolfs Balcers — Tomas Hertl — Timo Meier
Jonathan Dahlen — Logan Couture — Noah Gregor
Andrew Cogliano — Nick Bonino — Matt Nieto
Jeffrey Viel — Jasper Weatherby — Lane Pederson
Mario Ferraro — Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic — Ryan Merkley
Jaycob Megna — Erik Karlsson
Expected Scratches: Radim Simek, Nicholas Meloche, Zach Sawchenko, Adam Raska
Injured Reserve: Jacob Middleton (upper body), Kevin Labanc (upper body),Nikolai Knyzhov (upper body), Jonah Gadjovich (upper body)
COVID-19 Protocol: Alexander Barabanov
LOS ANGELES KINGS
Alex Turcotte — Anze Kopitar — Alex Iafallo
Trevor Moore — Phillip Danault — Viktor Arvidsson
Brendan Lemieux — Rasmus Kupari — Dustin Brown
Samuel Fagemo— Blake Lizotte — Arthur Kaliyev
Mikey Anderson — Drew Doughty
Olli Maatta — Matt Roy
Tobias Bjornfot — Sean Durzi
Expected Scratches: None
Injured Reserve: Lias Andersson (undisclosed), Andreas Athanasiou (lower body), Alexander Edler (ankle)
COVID-19 Protocol: Carl Grundstrom, Adrian Kempe
How to Watch
Tonight’s game will be broadcast regionally on NBCSCA and BSW. Streaming is available with a subscription to ESPN+ (blackout restrictions do apply). The radio call will be streamed through the Sharks Audio Network. Puck drop is at 1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET at SAP Center in San Jose, California.