Goodrow scores, Vlasic injured in Sharks win over Edmonton
Top defenseman was held out for "precautionary reasons" according to head coach Todd McLellan.
Despite blowing a 2-0 lead in the first period, the Sharks managed to avoid the indignity of suffering a second straight loss to the lowly Edmonton Oilers. Barclay Goodrow scored his first NHL goal, with Melker Karlsson picking up an assist on that play for his first big league point, Joe Pavelski added two more and Logan Couture tipped a Scott Hannan point shot for the eventual winner in a 5-2 San Jose victory.
What the Sharks did lose tonight was their best defenseman and arguably most valuable overall player. Marc-Edouard Vlasic left the game after being checked into the boards by Oilers forward Tyler Pitlick late in the first period and never returned. It goes without saying that losing one of the top shutdown blueliners in the NHL for an extended period with an already-thin blueline could be disastrous for the Sharks, but it sounds like Vlasic was kept out of action largely for precautionary reasons.
Regardless let's focus on the positives for San Jose: they beat a crappy team, which has been an inexplicably all-too-rare occurrence over the past two seasons, and got great contributions from youngsters Goodrow and Karlsson in the process. They also moved back into a playoff spot for the first time in over month, leapfrogging the Kings and moving to within four points of the Vancouver Canucks. With five wins in their past six and four more games remaining on this homestand, the Sharks look poised to finally turn this ship around.
[Fancy Stats] - [Oilers Reaction]
[Event Summary] - [PBP Log] - [TOI Log] - [Faceoff Report]
- Antti Niemi was expected to get the start in goal tonight but, according to Todd McLellan, took a shot in warmups and couldn't go. Alex Stalock, making back-to-back starts for the first time all season as a result, stopped 25 of 27 shots in the victory.
- Extremely solid debut for Melker Karlsson who was disruptive on the forecheck, seemed to read the play extremely well in all three zones and developed some nice chemistry with linemates James Sheppard and Barclay Goodrow as the game went along. Was hoping to see Chris Tierney or Daniil Tarasov get the call-up but Karlsson acquitted himself extremely well and was part of perhaps the Sharks' most effective even-strength line.
- Mirco Mueller had his second straight effective outing on defense after sitting out the entirety of the Sharks' four-game winning streak. While he's still having some issues handling the puck on breakouts, his skating ability is such an asset defensively. Several times he closed off options for Oilers wingers coming through the neutral zone, forcing a dump-in or turnover. This may have been one of those rare occasions where a player really did learn a thing or two by watching games from the press box.
- Brent Burns scored on a bomb of an unscreened point shot which will no doubt embolden Sharks management in their belief that he should be a defenseman. Someone should probably strap them to chairs and force them to watch this goal on repeat though:
- Glad the fourth line wasn't a total liability tonight but it should probably be noted that was due in large part to them going up against perhaps the only line in the NHL worse than they are. Luke Gazdic and Steve Pinizzotto would probably have a tough time cracking some AHL teams' fourth lines.
- Speaking of Gazdic, he was absolutely leveled by Andrew Desjardins on a textbook clean hit that somehow merited a response by Gazdic that John Scott ensured he steered clear of. Apparently Drew Remenda on the Oilers broadcast criticized Scott for this which I can't even begin to understand. If it isn't to prevent Desjardins from having to fight Gazdic types for no good reason, why is Scott even here?
- When the Oilers figure out you need to wear skates on both feet they might finally take that next step towards greatness we've all been waiting for.
you need skates to play hockey taylor pic.twitter.com/pTLIVfL72s— Fear The Fin (@fearthefin) December 10, 2014
FTF Three Stars
1st Star: Joe Pavelski
2nd Star: Barclay Goodrow
3rd Star: Melker Karlsson