Canucks 5, Sharks 2: They were never in it

Sharks dominated by Vancouver, better take a hard look in the mirror

If you’re joining us to look at the game thread and find out what you missed, you didn’t miss anything good. The Sharks once again let in the first goal of the game less than five minutes from puck drop. Truthfully, all the blame for that goal should fall on Aaron Dell’s shoulders. It was all downhill from there. Vancouver would score again to close out the first period up 2-0.

The Sharks had the opportunity to come out on fire in the second, the game was within reach. Instead, team teal allowed Vancouver to score twice in the first 5 minutes, 11 seconds of the second period. After that, some of the players seemed to give up.

If you want to talk about positives, Noah Gregor looked good. So did Barclay Goodrow. In fact, the line of Goodrow, Gregor and Lukas Radil looked like the best one for the Sharks. Mario Ferraro thrived in every situation he was placed, including when he was put in at forward on the power play.

Dell’s performance tonight was brutal. He’s playing himself out of a backup goaltender position with each game he starts in net. Josef Korenar is waiting in the wings. He is in the middle of a 158 minute 58 second shutout streak with the Barracuda. Is it time to give the rookie a shot in net at the NHL level?

Good evening everyone. Erika here live blogging tonight and I’m looking for a better result than I saw last night.

First Period

Prior to the game, the Sharks held Hockey Fights Cancer night. Young Grayson, a little girl battling leukemia, dropped the puck. Both her parents both work with the Sharks. She’s adorable.

18:53 - Sharks with the first scoring chance. It’s stopped, but that’s a good way to start things out.

17:50 - Noah Gregor with a shot on goal. He seems to be earning his spot on the fourth line.

16:00 - Stupid giveaway by Aaron Dell gives the Canucks an open net to score. It didn’t go in, but then chaos. Brandon Sutter scored pretty easily. 1-0 Canucks. Dell’s not really doing himself any favors. It’s like he wants a break from the NHL.

14:28 - Vancouver called for icing. Maybe this will give the Sharks some momentum.

13:42 - Dell makes the stop on a couple of up close chances. A clean hit by Brenden Dillon catches Ashton Sautner off guard. He’s on the bench clearly in pain.

12:02 - Dell stops the Sutter shot on a 3-on-1 for Vancouver.

10:19 - Dell makes a stop on Tyler Meyers. Plenty of end-to-end action to start this game.

9:19 - Brent Burns headed to the box for interference after a really hard crosscheck on Brock Boeser.

7:51 - Canucks called offsides as they enter the Sharks zone.

7:19 - Sharks kill off the penalty. Still perfect, but those seconds after not so perfect. A centering pass by Boeser and Elias Petterson slaps the bouncing puck out of the air and past Dell. 2-0 Vancouver.

6:40 - A giveaway in the Sharks zone and another scoring chance for the Canucks. Luck is not on the Sharks side tonight.

5:32 - Dell with a diving save to stop the puck. Some nifty goaltending to keep it 2-0. It’s a shooting gallery in the Sharks zone right now.

4:45 - Disappointing stat of the night. Sharks have not played in a game with a lead since Toronto. They lost that game.

3:35 - Boeser with a point blank shot that missed, though not by much. Sharks are spending a lot of time in their own zone and it seems like every shot is getting through.

1:33 - Hearing Gregor’s name a few times more. This fourth line is trying to get some momentum for the Sharks.

0:00 - Mercifully the end. 2-0 Canucks.

The Sharks have a hole, but it’s not insurmountable yet. They can come out in the second better. Aaron Dell has not been good overall, though he made a few good saves. I’m not sure he has many supporters left in Sharks Territory and he hasn’t done himself any favors. Goaltending isn’t the Sharks only problem, but it’s exposing their other issues a lot more.

Second Period

20:00 - Line blender activated.

19:15 - Jake Virtanen thinks he scores, but Dell might have stopped it and then accidentally shoved it in. Goal is under review. The real question is if the whistle was blown first or not.

Good goal. Figures. Sharks haven’t had a break all season. 3-0 Vancouver. Randy says, “Dell inadvertently kicked it in.”

16:40 - Gregor rewarded with time on a line with Couture and Marleau. Kid is playing better than some of the other Sharks.

14:49 - You don’t need a power play if you score before it’s called. The Canucks with extended time before the penalty on Erik Karlsson is called and it’s 4-0 Canucks. This one banked off a Sharks player. Adam Gaudette credited with the goal. Just the second of his NHL career.

12:47 - Evander Kane with a shot on goal. No rebound.

9:45 - Dell with a glove save. Still no sustained offensive pressure by the Sharks.

7:16 - Alex Edler called for holding. Sharks power play.

6:00 - Mario Ferraro at forward for the power play.

5:32 - Timo Meier shot stopped by Thatcher Demko.

5:13 - Dump in hit the ref. He’s down and there’s a brief stoppage, but he seems to be okay and ready to play. Sharks power play is over. No goal.

3:56 - The Sharks look tired and aren’t doing well. I’d say it’s because they’re on the second night of back to backs, but so are the Canucks and they look a lot better.

2:04 - Tomas Hertl draws a slashing penalty on Virtanen. Another power play for the Sharks. Cross your fingers.

0:20 - Power play not super exciting so far, but at least they have zone time. Cross your toes too.

0:05 - Power play ends with no goal. Joe Thornton jousting with Jay Beagle behind the play. According to Randy Hahn, Kevin Labanc came along and slashed Beagle. Someone on the Sharks is getting a penalty. It’s Thornton.

0:00 - Period ends 4-0 Vancouver. Two early and it’s pretty much game over for the Sharks.

There’s been a lot of talk and not a lot of action by the Sharks. At some point soon, there needs to be a change or the season is basically over. Things have not looked good and even worse than that it doesn’t look like the boys are trying.

Third Period

20:00 - Sharks start the period down a man. Joe Thornton is in the box for crosschecking.

18:00 - Penalty killed.

17:22 - Loui Eriksson headed to the box for tripping.

15:22 - A few good looks, but nothing doing. Eriksson gets a scoring chance out of the box.

13:11 - Just checking in. Nothing good happening yet.

9:44 - Another ’Nucks power play. Erik Karlsson called for interference.

9:09 - Holy cow another shortie. Barclay Goodrow to Marc-Edouard Vlasic and it’s 4-1. No shutout tonight!

8:40 - Sharks wondering why the Canucks didn’t get called for interference as Logan Couture went for the puck. Maybe the refs thought they were doing us a favor because we’re better shorthanded.

8:24 - Joe Thornton called for unsportsmanlike conduct. Gotta wonder what he said. Bret Hedican says Thornton was jawing at the ref for not calling that interference, ref didn’t like it.

7:44 - Erik Karlsson out of the box. But Petterson knocks it in for number 5. Power play goal for the Canucks.

5:35 - Couture just blocked a shot that had to sting. I know the Sharks have looked bad this season, but he still has heart and you have to give him credit for that.

1:16 - Burns with a scoring chance. Demko with the stop.

0:22 - Well at least they played to the end. Evander Kane on a two on one with Hertl, scores to make it 5-2.

0:00 - Now it’s final. Sharks lose 5-2.

Holy moly! Fifty-three shots on goal. What a performance by the San Jose Sharks last night against the Winnipeg Jets. A similar dismantling of the Vancouver Canucks would go a long way toward convincing this writer that the 2019-20 San Jose Sharks have a lot more in them than they’ve shown so far.

Standing in the home team’s way is the fact Vancouver has been a much better team at 5-on-5 during the first month of the season.

See the “VAN” rectangle off in the distance? That’s firmly in the “good” quadrant of this chart, an image that shows every team’s 5-on-5 shot share so far this season. Vancouver boasts the second-best mark in the league this season, and they’ve converted many of those shots into high-probability shots on goal, as well. This team has also generated the sixth-highest share of expected goals this year.

The team is led, somewhat surprisingly, by off-season addition J.T. Miller. Tyler Myers very surprisingly falls in line behind him, and Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, Tanner Pearson, Brock Boeser and Alex Edler fill in the rest of the shot-driving roles on this team. That same group is generally responsible for driving the team’s expected goal share, as well.

After injuring his ankle during last night’s game, it appears Quinn Hughes will miss tonight’s contest. That likely means the Canucks lean heavily into Alex Edler and Tyler Myers minutes to fill the void. Hughes has been Vancouver’s best defensive defenseman so far, so his absence could open up more opportunities than usual in the team’s typically stout team defensive structure. Joe Thornton’s line must make the most of the opportunity it’s being afforded tonight.

San Jose’s defense corps must contend with a top line of Petterson, Boeser and Miller, while reminding itself that the group of Bo Horvat, Tanner Pearson and Jake Virtanen is one to take seriously, as well.

In the Sharks’ favor is the fact this Canucks team is pretty top heavy. Though they play sound team defense, depth lines centered by Joe Thornton and Barclay Goodrow should be able to help the team out-shoot their counterparts. San Jose will likely need contributions from its bottom-six group in order to prop up the struggling Couture line.


San Jose Sharks (projected)

Expected Scratches: Trevor Carrick, Jonny Brodzinski

Injured Reserve: Jacob Middleton (left shoulder), Dalton Prout (upper body), Dylan Gambrell (upper body)

Vancouver Canucks (projected)

J.T. Miller — Elias Pettersson — Brock Boeser
Tanner Pearson — Bo Horvat — Jake Virtanen
Josh Leivo — Adam Gaudette — Brandon Sutter
Tim Schaller — Jay Beagle — Loui Eriksson

Alexander Edler — Tyler Myers
Jordie Benn — Christopher Tanev
Oscar Fantenberg — Troy Stecher

Thatcher Demko
Jacob Markstrom

Expected Scratches: Sven Baertschi, Ashton Sautner

Injured Reserve: Quinn Hughes (lower body), Tyler Motte (foot), Antoine Roussel (knee), Micheal Ferland (concussion protocol)

Where to watch

The puck will drop at about 7 p.m. Pacific/10 Eastern from the SAP Center in downtown San Jose, California. It will be available on television on the following channels, depending on your geographic location: CBC, SN1, SNP, NBCSCA. Bay Area listeners can catch the game on the radio on 98.5 KFOX, and outside of the Bay Area, the radio stream is available on the NHL app or Sharks + SAP Center App.

Be sure to check back in here during the game to chit chat in the comments and/or follow along for the liveblog.