NHL Gameday: Sharks visit Calgary, down another defenseman

NHL Gameday: Sharks visit Calgary, down another defenseman

Programming note – Sharks-Flames coverage starts today at 6:00 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California


Sharks: 25-14-2, 52 points, 1st Pacific Division
Flames: 22-19-2, 46 points, 4th Pacific Division


***The Sharks will be down at least one player from Tuesday’s win in Edmonton, as Dylan DeMelo was immediately ruled out by coach Pete DeBoer after taking what looked to be an inadvertent slash on the wrist by Zack Kassian in the second period. That means either Mirco Mueller or Tim Heed will play, likely paired with Brenden Dillon on the third pair.

San Jose welcomed Marc-Edouard Vlasic back into the lineup against the Oilers, after Mueller had played in the previous three games, getting a goal and an assist against Detroit on Saturday.

***The Sharks concluded the first half of the season on Tuesday night in Edmonton with 52 points. That’s eight points ahead of where they were this time last season (21-18-2, 44 points).

The Sharks have scored nine fewer goals over the first half than they did last season (117-108), but they’ve allowed 20 fewer (113-93).

***San Jose is 4-2 in the second of back-to-backs this season. Calgary, which has not played since a 2-0 loss in Winnipeg on Monday, is 4-3-0 since the Christmas break.

***This is the third of five games between the Sharks and Flames. The first two were both at SAP Center, with the Flames winning on Nov. 3, 3-2, and the Sharks exacting some revenge on Dec. 20, 4-1.


Sharks: Melker Karlsson. The Sharks’ fourth line generated three goals last night, all from Mikkel Boedker, with Karlsson getting an assist on Boedker’s second score and finishing with a plus-three rating. It was the second straight game where the fourth line had an impact, and Karlsson seems to be gaining chemistry with Boedker, too.

Flames: Johnny Gaudreau. The Flames’ only All-Star is tied for the team lead with 27 points (10g, 17a), despite missing 10 games with a broken finger. He’s averaged a point-per game since returning on Dec. 4, with five goals and 11 assists in his last 16 games.


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

Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Mirco Mueller – Brenden Dillon

Martin Jones
Aaron Dell (starter)

Johnny Gaudreau – Sean Monahan – Alex Chiasson
Matt Tkachuk – Mikael Backlund – Michael Frolik
Kris Versteeg – Sam Bennett – Michael Ferland
Lance Bouma – Matt Stajan – Garnet Hathaway

Mark Giordano – Dougie Hamilton
T.J. Brodie – Dennis Wideman
Jyrki Jokipakka – Deryk Engelland

Chad Johnson (starter)
Brian Elliott


Sharks: Dylan DeMelo (wrist), David Schlemko (upper body) and Tomas Hertl (right knee sprain) are out.

Flames: Ladislav Smid (neck) and Troy Brouwer (hand) are out.


“Now you’ve got to expect to go out and – not score a hat trick every night, because nobody can do that – but play well, do what’s expected of me, and just make sure that I do the things that I’m relied on to do and relied on from the other guys to do.” – Mikkel Boedker

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.