Despite aggressiveness, same issues plague Sharks in loss to Golden Knights


Despite aggressiveness, same issues plague Sharks in loss to Golden Knights

SAN JOSE -- Two trends that have plagued the Sharks for much of the season once again reared their ugly heads and worked in concert during Thursday night’s loss to the Golden Knights: A lack of five-on-five finishing, and an inability to limit scoring chances.

San Jose opened its first-ever home game against Pacific Division-leading Vegas as the aggressor. The Sharks outshot the Golden Knights 12-4 in five-on-five situations, and 16-4 at all strengths.

Naturally, San Jose, the league’s sixth-worst five-on-five shooting team according to Natural Stat Trick, scored only once. The problem? So did Vegas.

“It’s a little more complicated than that, but you play like that in the first period, you should come out up,” head coach Peter DeBoer said. “And we didn’t, so that hurts.”

“Is that the story of the game? No, but it hurts.”

Ah, but for those pesky complications. The game changed after the Golden Knights escaped the first period with a tie scoreline.

What Vegas initially lacked in quantity, they certainly made up for in quality. The Golden Knights out-chanced the Sharks 31-28 in five-on-five play, including 25-18 over the game’s final 40 minutes.

They ultimately won the overall puck possession battle, too, out-attempting San Jose 40-22 in the second and third period. Immediately, they made the Sharks pay in the second period, scoring just 36 seconds into the middle frame.

San Jose eventually allowed four goals in the final two periods. The three non-empty netters could all be attributed to defensive breakdowns, according to Logan Couture.

“You’re up 3-2 with 10 minutes left,” Couture said. “You don’t need any more goals after.”

Yes, for an all-too-brief 101 seconds, the Sharks held a third period lead, thanks to a power play that has been red-hot since December. The power play has bumped San Jose to a respectable 2.83 goals per game, but has masked their poor five-on-five scoring rate (2.08 goals per 60 minutes, 27th in the league).

On Thursday, the Sharks didn’t finish, which gave the Golden Knights a chance. The defensive breakdowns over the last 40 minutes, then, gave their newest division rival the edge.

“I think we didn’t play our game for 60 minutes,” Timo Meier said. “I think at some times we were playing in their zone, we were dominating, but we gotta do it over 60 minutes.”

Add it all together, and San Jose has a major missed opportunity on its hands. The Sharks dropped into third in the Pacific Division standings, and they could (briefly) fall out of the playoff picture depending on Friday’s results.

If so, Thursday night’s turning point would be one in the standings as well.

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.