Big win in Anaheim comes at a cost for Sharks


Big win in Anaheim comes at a cost for Sharks

Sunday’s win over the Ducks ended in a familiar place for the Sharks: A shootout. Three of four games against Anaheim this season required the skills competition, and San Jose won two of those games.

The point earned thanks to Timo Meier tying the game with 53 seconds remaining in regulation sealed sole possession of second place in the Pacific Division, while the shootout win gave the Sharks a two-point cushion. San Jose will certainly take those points without complaint, especially on the second night of a back-to-back and while Joe Thornton remains out indefinitely.

But, shootout victories carry a fairly substantial cost: The winner doesn’t earn any progress towards a critical postseason tiebreaker. At the end of the regular season, the first tiebreaker used is the sum of a team’s regulation and overtime victories, or ROW for short.  

The Sharks have as many or more wins as all of the teams chasing them in the Pacific Division, but have the fewest ROW (26) of any team currently in playoff position in the Western Conference.

The Calgary Flames (27), whom San Jose leads by all of two points, have more. The Los Angeles Kings (28) also have more ROW than the Sharks, despite trailing by three points with a game in hand in the standings.

The Ducks (24) do not, even though they are also three points back of the team in teal. But the Colorado Avalanche, who are only two points back of the final Wild Card spot, do have more ROW (29) than San Jose.

No team in the Pacific has relied upon shootout wins more than the Sharks this season, as they’ve won a division-leading four games after the extra frame this season. The ensuing four-point swing resulting from those wins is currently the difference between home ice advantage in the first round, and being two points out of the playoffs entirely.

By contrast, the Flames have played in an identical number of shootouts as the Sharks (seven), and have only won twice. If they had the same number of wins, Calgary would hold the tiebreaker over San Jose for second place in the division.

Considering shootout results are largely random from year-to-year, that’s not much of a stretch. All told, the Sharks have been a bit too reliant on shootout victories this season, as they wouldn’t be in playoff position without them.

That’s not meant to take away from Sunday’s victory, as San Jose was surely happy to earn any points in Anaheim, and two points are always better than one. But of the 15 times the Sharks have gone to overtime, they’ve only won three times during the extra period.

As they continue to balance on a tightrope towards the postseason, they may come to regret their inability to put teams away in overtime.


Sharks pick up first win of homestand as Burns moves back to blueline


Sharks pick up first win of homestand as Burns moves back to blueline


SAN JOSE --Brent Burns and Chris Tierney each had a goal and an assist, and the San Jose Sharks beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 on Thursday for their third win in four games.

Mikkel Boedker and Marcus Sorensen also scored for the Sharks, who improved to 3-0-1 against the Canucks this season. Martin Jones stopped 29 shots.

Daniel Sedin scored for the Canucks, who lost their sixth in seven games. Anders Nilsson made 40 stops.

Boedker scored at 8:41 of the first period, picking up a soft rebound from Tierney's shot.

Burns scored his 10th goal, tops among NHL defensemen, taking a pass from Joakim Ryan and sending a laser shot into the net just under five minutes into the second.

Sorensen scored his first goal since Dec. 23, punching it in with an assist from Justin Braun at 3:06 into the third. Marc-Edouard Vlasic had an assist in his third straight game, getting the second assist on Sorensen's goal.

Sedin scored at 6:43, taking a nice pass from Thomas Vanek that gave him clear shot into the net. It was Sedin's 14th goal, one shy of his total last season.

Tierney made it 4-1 after taking a nice pass from Burns with 7 1/2 minutes remaining.

NOTES:Tim Heed was recalled from the AHL and joined a makeshift Sharks lineup, allowing Burns to play up front at times. ... Sharks C Logan Couture has points in four of his last five games. ... Boedker recorded games in consecutive games for the second time this season, and the first since Jan. 15-16. ... Sedin has five points against the Sharks this season and 45 in 69 games. He's recorded points in three straight.


Canucks: Host Boston on Saturday.

Sharks: Host Dallas on Sunday.

Sharks co-prez: Original fin logo to 'start showing back up again'


Sharks co-prez: Original fin logo to 'start showing back up again'

Fans of the original set of San Jose Sharks logos can rejoice: The fin is coming back in a yet-to-be-announced capacity. 

The original secondary logo, a gray fin atop a teal background enclosed by a black circle, "will start showing back up again in a special surprise appearance next year," Sharks co-president Jonathan Becher told NBC Sports California in an interview with Brodie Brazil and alongside co-president John Tortora on Sharks Pregame Live. The logo appeared as a shoulder patch on the team's home and away jerseys from 1991-98, and on its black alternate jersey from 2001-07.

Becher did not elaborate what form that 'special surprise appearance' will take, but it's possible it will appear on an alternate jersey. In Adidas' first season as the league's jersey manufacturer, no teams have alternate jerseys this year, aside from the teams that played in the league's various outdoor games. 

That's reportedly set to change next season. 24-26 teams will have alternate jerseys, the league told Greg Wyshynski in June, and some teams will utilize previous designs. The Sharks wore a version of their original teal jersey as a 25th anniversary alternate during the 2015-16 season -- perhaps it will return next season? 

Becher also told NBC Sports California that the team's newest alternate logo, the 'yelling shark' featured on the shoulders of their current teal jerseys, will begin making more appearances. It will not replace the current logo, Becher said.