NHL Gameday: Jones in net, Haley returns for Sharks vs Arizona

NHL Gameday: Jones in net, Haley returns for Sharks vs Arizona

Programming note – Sharks-Coyotes coverage starts today at 7:00 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California


Sharks: 33-17-2, 68 points, 1st Pacific Division
Coyotes: 16-28-6, 38 points, 7th Pacific Division


***The Sharks and Coyotes played three times in November, with Arizona posting a 2-0-1 mark in the season series so far.

“We know that and we want to change that, for sure,” Patrick Marleau said of the Sharks’ struggles against the Coyotes. “The way we’ve been playing, we’ve got to keep that up. If we do that, the result should be there.”

In the most recent game on Nov. 29 at SAP Center, Brent Burns’ overtime goal gave San Jose a 2-1 win and the extra point in the standings. Mike Smith made 40 saves.

Pete DeBoer said: “They always play well against us and always give us a hard time. … I think you throw out the records, we have to be ready to play. We know we’ve been burned by this team before.”

San Jose has won eight of its last nine, including the first two coming out of the All-Star break. The Coyotes are 3-6-0 in their last nine, and lost a pair at home to the Kings and Blackhawks coming out of the break.

***In a bit of a surprise move, Micheal Haley will get back into the lineup as the fourth line center, while Ryan Carpenter comes out as a healthy scratch. Haley has not played since Jan. 18 at Los Angeles, spending some time on injured reserve with a lower body injury. He has fought the Coyotes’ Ryan White twice this season.

Timo Meier was promoted to the third line, in place of fellow rookie Kevin Labanc, who will be on the fourth line with Haley and Melker Karlsson.

***Martin Jones will start for the fourth straight game, sandwiched around the All-Star Game, in which he also took part. He’s allowed seven goals on 75 shots in three games against Arizona this season (1-1-1, 2.35 GAA, .907 SP).

Today is also the deadline for NHL goalies to be wearing the new streamlined pants. Jones said he’s been wearing them for “three or four weeks,” though, and indicated it hasn’t been much of an adjustment.

***San Jose has 30 games remaining in the regular season, to be played over the next 64 days. Of those, 15 are at home and 15 on the road; 11 are against Pacific Division opponents; and 20 are against the Western Conference.

Sharks: Joe Pavelski. After struggling going into the All-Star break with one assist in five games, the captain has four points in his first two games since (1g, 3a). Pavelski set up Patrick Marleau for his 500th career goal on Thursday, and had three points against Chicago last Tuesday. His 164 shots are second on the team behind only Brent Burns.

Coyotes: Max Domi. The second year forward returned to the lineup on Thursday after missing nearly two months and 23 games with a hand injury. The 21-year-old has 16 points (5g, 11a) after posting 52 points (18, 34a) in 81 games as a rookie last season. In three games against San Jose this season, Domi has scored twice.


Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Mikkel Boedker
Timo Meier – Chris Tierney – Joel Ward
Kevin Labanc – Micheal Haley – Melker Karlsson

Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko

Martin Jones (starter)
Aaron Dell

Tobias Rieder – Martin Hanzal – Radim Vrbata
Brendan Perlini – Christian Dvorak – Shane Doan
Jamie McGinn – Alex Burmistrov – Max Domi
Lawson Crouse – Jordan Martinook – Ryan White

Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Luke Schenn
Alex Goligoski – Michael Stone
Jakob Chychrun – Connor Murphy

Mike Smith
Louis Domingue


Sharks: Joonas Donskoi (upper body) and Dylan DeMelo (broken wrist) are out.

Coyotes: Dave Bolland (lower body) and Brad Richardson (broken leg) are out.


“Just got to get right back into it and keep playing. We still have [30] games here, and a playoff spot to solidify and all that stuff, so there’s still lots to be playing for.” – Patrick Marleau


The anatomy of Jannik Hansen's recently-broken scoring drought after nearly one year


The anatomy of Jannik Hansen's recently-broken scoring drought after nearly one year

Jannik Hansen's game-winning goal against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday marked the first time he scored in 355 days. 

Hansen last scored on Mar. 30, 2017 against the Edmonton Oilers, his second goal with the Sharks following an in-season trade. His scoring drought, in all, lasted 44 regular season games, 50 if you include the postseason. 

How exactly does a goal-scoring drought last nearly a year? The right (wrong?) circumstances all need to come together, and that was certainly the case for Hansen for much of the last year.

For one, the Danish forward was in and out of the lineup. San Jose played 83 regular season and postseason games between Hansen's second and third goals, and he did not play in 33 of those games. Plenty of players have had rough 50-game stretches, and that's often without not playing for weeks at a time, as Hansen has done a couple of times this season. 

When Hansen did draw into the lineup this year, however, he wasn't generating offense at the same rate he had in the past. This season, Hansen's five-on-five shot rate (6.19 shots per 60 minutes), shot attempt rate (10.53 individual corsi per 60), and unblocked shot attempt rate (8.95 individual fenwick per 60) were all down from his career averages, according to Corsica Hockey. 

That decline is natural, considering Hansen turned 32 just six days ago. Those rates were not down enough, however, to expect him to fail to score in his first 39 appearances this season. Naturally, a long run of bad luck played a big role in Hansen's dry spell.

Hansen went 0-for-66 in shots over the 50 consecutive regular season and playoff games in which he did not score. He's a career 11-percent shooter, and had he shot at his career average, he would have scored seven goals during that time. That feels about right for a bottom-six forward. 

In many ways, all of these factors fed into one another. Hansen wasn't generating shots or scoring, then was scratched, then couldn't find the back of the net when he returned and was scratched again. All the while, fellow fourth-liners Marcus Sorensen (26.7 percent shooting percentage this season), Joel Ward (14.3 percent) and Barclay Goodrow (13.2 percent) were converting on their chances, forcing Peter DeBoer's hand. 

His possession play has been solid all season (50.74 percent corsi-for, per Natural Stat Trick), but the offense hasn't followed. When it does, as was the case Tuesday night, he can be an effective fourth-line forward, and the goal on Tuesday bought him more time to prove it. 

Sharks blow out Devils for season-high fifth straight win

Sharks blow out Devils for season-high fifth straight win


SAN JOSE -- Jannik Hansen scored his first goal of the season and fellow fourth-liners Eric Fehr and Barclay Goodrow also scored to help the San Jose Sharks win their season-high fifth straight game, 6-2 over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.

Logan Couture added his 30th goal of the season, and Joe Pavelski and Mikkel Boedker also scored to give the Sharks a four-point lead over third-place Los Angeles in the Pacific Division with one game in hand.

Brent Burns added three assists and Martin Jones made 26 saves.

The scoring barrage by San Jose spoiled Cory Schneider's return to net for the Devils. Schneider allowed four goals on 14 shots before getting pulled midway through the second period of his first start since March 8. Schneider has lost 11 starts in a row since his last win for the Devils on Dec. 27.

Taylor Hall scored his 32nd goal of the season and Blake Coleman also scored for the Devils, who lead Florida by just one point in the race for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Panthers have two games in hand.

After Hansen and Fehr scored in the first period, Goodrow chipped one in midway through the second period on a surprising night of scoring from the fourth line when he beat Schneider on a 2-on-1.

Couture then scored 40 seconds later on San Jose's first shot against Keith Kinkaid for his third career 30-goal season. Boedker added San Jose's second power-play goal of the night late in the second and the rout was on.

The Sharks got off to a fast start in their first game back from a 3-0 Canadian road trip, scoring three goals in the first period and killing 1:20 of a two-man advantage for New Jersey.

The teams traded goals to start with Fehr beating Schneider over the shoulder from a bad angle and Hall answering when he stole a bouncing puck from Justin Braunand beat Jones with a quick shot.

San Jose then scored twice in a span of less than three minutes to take the lead. Pavelski tipped in a shot from Kevin Labanc on the power play to give the Sharks the lead.

Then after Jones denied Damon Severson from in close at one end, Dylan DeMelo sent a long pass that Hansen chased down and then beat Schneider on a breakaway for his first goal since March 30, 2017.

NOTES: DeMelo has 10 assists this month. ... San Jose D Brenden Dillon has a five-game point streak. ... Devils F Miles Wood (upper body) was scratched and Jesper Bratt played in his place.


Devils: Visit Pittsburgh on Friday.

Sharks: Host Vegas on Thursday.