The San Jose Sharks lost last night, but it was one of the team’s better games of the season. For me, it’s the kind of loss you can accept when you know there’s a draft around the corner and a potential team changing player in your future. It makes you feel like the team’s not as far away from being competitive as it looks.
The 2-1 overtime loss to the Seattle Kraken helps San Jose hang on to 31st in the league.
Tank for Bedard Update
The number of games remaining for the Sharks (i.e. the opportunities to gain points) are dwindling and that’s good news.
San Jose gained one point last night and now leads the 32nd place Columbus Blue Jackets by three points. Columbus lost to the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 last night. The Blue Jackets still have those two games in hand.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes both gained two points in the race. Chicago beat the Nashville Predators 2-1, while the Coyotes beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2.
The Anaheim Ducks play Columbus today in Anaheim. While the Philadelphia Flyers host the Buffalo Sabres.
Jabber Jaws after 2-1 OT loss to the Kraken
Let’s start with the good. William Eklund has looked great. He scored the lone goal for the Sharks on a penalty shot of all things. Eklund has a small goal streak going, two goals in two games.
✨ A moment for Eklund’s FIRST penalty shot goal plz ✨@Williameklund72 | #SJSharks pic.twitter.com/ngDCnjjdbl— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) March 17, 2023
After the game, there was nothing but praise for the 20-year-old forward.
James Reimer on Eklund
“Honestly, ever since I saw him for the first time, you know, I thought, you know, this kid is special. And so, you know, just the way he plays, the way he sees the ice, you know, the way he can move. He’s just a little waterbug out there...and I think he’s just going to get better as he gains confidence and gains an understanding of the game and how to play the game and when there’s opportunities and when there’s not, and when to, you know, more and more to trust his instincts. You know, he’s got some incredible talent, God-given talent and so, the more experience he gets, the better he’s gonna be. So, you know, really, really happy with his game and you know, hopefully, he keeps going here through the end of the year.”
“He keeps playing the way he’s plays...he deserves to be here right now and I have no reason to believe that that’s going to change.”
Quinn on the Eklund-Couture-Labanc line
“That was a good line. I thought they did a good job. And you know wanted to see how Ekie [Eklund] would look with Logan and I liked what I saw.”
Quinn on Eklund’s brief penalty kill time
“I think he’s smart and quick and feels like I’m running those four forwards into the ground. So, to give Cooch [Couture], those guys and Lorentz and Sturm and Oscar a little bit of a breather, and I think Greggie [Gregor] can kill too, so it just gives us a little more depth and gives him more responsibility and gives those guys a little bit more of a breather.”
Quinn on Eklund’s improvement
“You can see his growth not only since he’s been up here, but throughout the season. You know, certainly from last year, so, 20 years old, just really happy and impressed with the way he’s played.”
Quinn on whether Eklund will remain with the team
“That’s a question for above me. Certainly making the case for it. Whether it will happen or not is out of my hands.”
Quinn on the response after Tuesday’s loss
“They responded the right way. And, you know, that game the other night looked like an NHL pond hockey game from both ends of it. You know, I really liked our performance against Minnesota too. We had a tight game against Minny and another tight one tonight. So, you know, again, listen, it’s been hard. We have 14 games left or 13 games up or whatever we have. We haven’t let our record get in the way of our compete and our effort. And that’s a testament to our locker room and our leadership group. Especially guys that have been around a long time. It’s easy to kind of go through the motions and they haven’t. That bodes well for the future here.”
Reimer on the loss
“I thought it was a good response game. Obviously, that’s a good team over there and they’re scratching and clawing for a playoff spot. So, you know, I thought we played a really good game again and like you said, a good response. You know, obviously, just disappointing losing in the end, but you know our battle, our compete, I mean these boys battled hard and just a really good team game so I’m really proud of them.”
“We know we’re capable of it, right? You know, sometimes there’s just lulls in your game throughout the year and I thought on Tuesday that was just the case. You know, but I thought tonight we battled the way, you know, we can battle and like I said, every guy in here, you know, worked their butt off and you know, should be able to put their head on their pillow, you know, with the good feeling knowing that, you know, they laid it all out there. So yeah, like I said, broken record, but we’re really proud of them.”
Quinn on the loss
“I think it’s our 10th lost shootout-overtime here at home. I thought it was a good hockey game; it was a hard game. There wasn’t a lot of room out there. I really liked...we did a lot of good things just weren’t able to capitalize on some of our chances. However, we defended a lot better tonight. I liked a lot about our game and it’s unfortunate that, you know, again, we give up such an easy goal. We did so many good things and then give up a breakaway of that magnitude, it’s just...those breakdowns have been hurting us all year. You know, we don’t do it all game and then boom, one big breakdown ends up in the back of our night and that really, in a lot of ways, has been the story of our season.”
Eklund on the loss
“I think everybody in here hates losing, to get these losses, you know, we don’t expect them. I think we played a good game today and, you know, Rimes [Reimer] was standing on his head sometimes...getting us a chance to win, so we gotta get better next game.”