Sharks

Cancelled season could hurt several Sharks

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Cancelled season could hurt several Sharks

The 2012-13 NHL season is on life support, and the cord will likely be pulled some time in the middle of January if the league and players’ association can’t agree on a new collective bargaining agreement by then.

A lost season would be beneficial to absolutely no one, but there are certain players that it would damage more than others. That includes several on the San Jose Sharks’ roster.

Here, in no particular order, are the five Sharks with the most to lose should the league lose its second season in nine years.

Ryane Clowe - In his seven years in a Sharks sweater, Ryane Clowe has developed into one of the better power forwards in the league while also leading in the locker room. Still, it was a down year for the rugged forward in 2011-12. Clowe saw his point total go from 62 in 2010-11 to just 45 in 2011-12, as he battled through a number of injuries, including a concussion that was only revealed by the club after the season. The 30-year-old was due to make $4 million in 2012-13, and is an unrestricted free agent next summer. It would be hard to imagine him making that kind of money on a multiple-year deal considering his performance last year, injury history, and fearless warrior mentality – even if he is such an important locker room presence.

Michal Handzus - A lost season would likely mean that veteran center Michal Handzus, set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, has played his last game in the NHL. The Sharks erred when they signed him to a two-year deal in the summer of 2011, as Handzus never found his groove and was benched at the end of the season and in the playoffs, although it was later revealed that he had been battling a hip injury throughout the season. Even if a shortened NHL season begins in mid-January, Handzus may not be in the team’s plans, depending on the progression of James Sheppard in Worcester.

Jason Demers - After he showed such promise in 2010-11, Jason Demers’ development took a step backwards last season. This year, Demers seems to be having a solid season in Finland, where he has five goals and 16 assists for 21 points in 30 games for Karpat in the competitive SM-liiga. He’s still just 24 years old, so Demers could very well rebound and become a solid NHL blueliner going into restricted free agency this summer. But, he’ll need a season to show that last year was just a bump in the road.

Dan Boyle - Forget for a second that Dan Boyle was set to make nearly $7 million this season, after already losing a year of his prime in 2004-05 – preventing him from defending his Stanley Cup championship with Tampa Bay. The 36-year-old knows time is not on his side if he wants to make a run at another championship, which is likely the reason he has been among the more outspoken players throughout the work stoppage. Boyle is signed through 2013-14, but a full no-trade clause last season is now just a limited no-trade clause and Boyle’s name was tossed around in a few trade rumors this summer.

Thomas Greiss - The Sharks like both of their young goaltenders currently playing for Worcester, in 25-year-old Alex Stalock and 22-year-old Harri Sateri. Stalock, in particular, could be NHL-ready in 2013-14 to at least be Antti Niemi’s backup. Thomas Greiss had a decent season in 2011-12, but it was not enough for him to be considered a surefire future starter in the NHL. This season would have been a great opportunity for Greiss to show if he belongs in the league for good, especially if Niemi, who had an inconsistent 2011-12, got off to a slow start. Instead, a lost season could mean the Sharks would move on from Greiss and allow him to leave via unrestricted free agency while promoting Stalock.

Thornton leaves game vs Jets in final minute with apparent knee injury

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AP

Thornton leaves game vs Jets in final minute with apparent knee injury

The San Jose Sharks not only lost in overtime to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, but also lost their second-leading scorer to injury. 

Joe Thornton left the final minute of the game with an apparent injury to his right knee. With Jets forward Andrew Copp backchecking, Mikkel Boedker collided into Thornton's knee in front of the Sharks bench. 

Thornton took a stride on each leg as he skated gingerly to the bench, and did not return to the game. 

The 38-year-old underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee this summer. He missed the final three games of the regular season last year, but returned to play in San Jose's final four postseason games in a first round, six-game loss to the Edmonton Oilers. 

Thornton is second on the Sharks with 36 points (13 goals, 23 assists), and has scored nine points in his last seven games. He is second among forwards in average ice time, and is playing 18:20 per night in his 20th NHL season. 

Sharks can't chase down Jets in topsy-turvy OT loss

Sharks can't chase down Jets in topsy-turvy OT loss

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE -- Bryan Little scored his second goal of the game 18 seconds into overtime, lifting the Winnipeg Jets to a 5-4 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night.

Joel Armia also scored twice and Mathieu Perreault had one goal to help the Jets win their third straight and fifth in the last seven. Connor Hellebuyck finished with 29 saves.

Joe PavelskiLogan CoutureChris Tierney and Timo Meier scored for San Jose, which lost for the second time in seven games. Aaron Dell had 18 saves.

Armia's second goal put the Jets ahead 4-3 with 8:22 remaining to play but Meier responded less than four minutes later for the Sharks. Marc-Edouard Vlasic's shot was blocked by Dustin Byfuglien, and Meier won the battle to the puck and slipped it past Hellebuyck.

The Jets, who scored a goal apiece in each of its last four games, found the net three times in the first 12 minutes.

Perreault set the tone, scoring 18 seconds into the game with an assist from Nikolaj Ehlers.

Andrew Copp set up Armia's first goal with a terrific pass from the blue line less than five minutes into the game.

Little scored on a power play, redirecting Tyler Myers shot past Dell to make it 3-0 with just over just over eight minutes left in the opening period.

A heads up play from Pavelski put the Sharks on the scoreboard in the final minute of the first. Brenden Dillon's shot bounced hard off Hellebuyck's pads and Pavelski got to the rebound and fired in from 20 feet away.

The Sharks tied the score with two goals within a four-minute stretch of the second period.

Couture was trying to pass the puck midway through the period and flared on it. The puck floated between a pair of Jets' defenders as Couture spun around 360 degrees and found it sitting on open ice. He struck quickly, before the puck was located by anyone else.

Tierney's power-play goal came after a sharp left-to-right pass across the ice by Joe Thornton.

NOTES: The Jets improved to 23-1-4 when scoring first and 17-1-1 when leading after the first period. ... Tierney recorded his career-high 12th goal of the season. ... Perreault has three goals in his last four games. ... Pavelski has nine points in his last eight games. ... Thornton has nine points in his last seven games.

UP NEXT

Jets: At the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday.

Sharks: Host the New York Rangers on Thursday.