NHL Gameday: Sharks can distance themselves from Ducks

NHL Gameday: Sharks can distance themselves from Ducks

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


Sharks: 42-21-7, 91 points, 1st Pacific Division
Ducks: 37-23-11, 85 points, 2nd Pacific Division


***The Sharks and Ducks will get together for the fifth and final time tonight. San Jose has two wins in overtime, while Anaheim has gained a point in all four meetings (2-0-2).

The Ducks could draw to within four points of the Sharks in the Pacific Division with a regulation win (San Jose would still have one game in hand). They are playing the second of a back-to-back, losing in a shootout at home to Buffalo on Friday, 2-1. 

Pete DeBoer said: “They always give us a hard time and a hard game. They're physical. What are you going to say? We know what these games are.”

Anaheim is 4-1-1 in its last six games, and 5-2-1 since its bye week.

***The Sharks are closing out a six-game homestand, having won three of the first five (3-2-0), but coming off of a disappointing 4-1 loss to St. Louis on Thursday in which they managed a season-low 20 shots.

“Any time you get beat in your own rink like that it's a little bit of a wakeup call for the next game,” DeBoer said. “At the same time, we didn't have our A game. It happens at this level with the number of games you're playing.”

Paul Martin said: “I think after [Thursday’s] performance we’re going to want to make sure that we tighten things up and have a better effort and fix some things we should be able to correct.”

San Jose opens a four-game road trip on Monday in Dallas.

“We’ve got one more big game here before we head out on the road, and it will be important for us to play our game,” Joe Pavelski said.

***It’s been more than two months since the Sharks lost back-to-back games in regulation (Jan. 11-14). It's happened just once at home all season (Nov. 3-5).

What has allowed this team to routinely rebound from a poor performance?

“I just think that the guys we have in the room, we have a lot of character, and it’s real good leadership,” Martin said. “I think we push each other to make sure that we’re giving that effort. If we come up short in one game we have to make sure we deliver that effort and the expectations that we have to bounce back, just like that.”


Sharks: Brent Burns. The NHL’s leading scorer among defenseman with 70 points, Burns hasn’t scored a goal in his last 11 games despite 43 shots (and 14 in his last two games combined). Burns has failed to find the scoresheet in six of the past seven games, with a minus-two rating over than span. He has three points (2g, 1a) in four games against Anaheim this season.

Ducks: Patrick Eaves. The Ducks acquired the forward from Dallas just before the trade deadline, and in nine games with Anaheim, Eaves has posted two goals and two assists for four points and a plus-two rating. He’s gotten time on the top power play unit, too, and is tied for seventh in the NHL with 11 power play goals.


Jannik Hansen – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Joel Ward
Joonas Donskoi – Tomas Hertl – Mikkel Boedker
Micheal Haley – Chris Tierney – Marcus Sorensen

Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – Dylan DeMelo

Martin Jones (starter)
Aaron Dell

Rickard Rakell – Ryan Getzlaf – Patrick Eaves
Andrew Cogliano – Ryan Kesler – Jakob Silfverberg
Nick Ritchie – Antoine Vermette – Corey Perry
Chris Wagner – Nate Thompson – Jared Boll

Cam Fowler – Sami Vatanen
Hampus Lindholm – Josh Manson
Korbinian Holzer – Kevin Bieksa

Jonathan Bernier
Jhonas Enroth


Sharks: David Schlemko (right knee) and Melker Karlsson (lower body) are out.

Ducks: John Gibson (lower body) is day-to-day. Simon Despres (concussion) and Clayton Stoner (abdominal surgery) are out.

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.