Notes: 'Big fan' DeBoer reflects on meeting Snoop; Sharks recall rookies

Notes: 'Big fan' DeBoer reflects on meeting Snoop; Sharks recall rookies

SAN JOSE – Sharks coach Pete DeBoer didn’t expect to be coaching against NHL legend Wayne Gretzky in the All-Star Game’s final round on Sunday in Los Angeles. Gretzky was a late fill-in for John Tortorella, who was unable to coach the Metropolitan Division to tend to his family’s ailing pit bull.

Gretzky’s stars downed DeBoer’s Pacific Division stars, 4-3, to capture the mini-tournament.

“I knew I was in trouble as soon as I saw [Gretzky] and [assistant coach] Paul Coffey back there,” said DeBoer, who was an All-Star coach for the first time in his career as a result of his Sharks being in first place at the midway point. “It was a thrill. It was a great weekend. Real honored to be a part of it.”

It wasn’t the first time DeBoer had met Gretzky, the former head coach of the Coyotes and current Oilers executive.

“I actually played junior hockey with his brother, Keith,” DeBoer said. “It’s always an honor being around him. He’s a classy guy.”

One popular picture that made its way through social media was DeBoer and fellow Sharks Brent Burns, Joe Pavelski and Martin Jones with rap legend Snoop Dogg, who served as the Staples Center DJ for the event.

While he had some history with Gretzky, DeBoer had never met Tha Doggfather before.

“I hadn’t met Snoop before, no. That was interesting (laughs). I’m a big fan, though. He’s genuinely an athletic guy, his son is a wide receiver [formerly at UCLA], and I think he appreciates athletics, every kind – hockey, football, whatever. It was really cool having him around. He was in the dressing room around our guys. It was interesting.”

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The Sharks resumed practice on Monday without their three All-Star representatives, who presumably had the day off. The Chicago Blackhawks are at SAP Center on Tuesday night.

Joonas Donskoi remains out with an upper body injury and won't play, but Micheal Haley, who has missed the past five games with a lower body injury, could be an option.

“He got through practice today, felt really good, so we’ll see how he feels tomorrow morning,” DeBoer said of Haley, who is no longer listed on injured reserve, according to the official team website.

Rookies Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc were also back from a two-game stint with the AHL Barracuda, who played in Grand Rapids, MI on Friday and Milwaukee, WI on Saturday. Each played in one of the two games.

Labanc, who had a goal and an assist on Saturday in the Barracuda’s 4-2 win, felt it was a valuable experience.

“You just see the pace of the game – it doesn’t compare to the NHL,” he said. ”Definitely a little bit of a confidence booster, holding on to the puck that extra couple seconds feels a lot better.”

After his first 37 NHL games Labanc has seven goals and 14 points, but will bring a 13-game goal drought into Tuesday’s meeting with Chicago.

“Team is winning. That’s what counts,” he said. “The goals will come, you just have to be patient. That’s what I’ve been doing, and it’s going to come sooner or later.”

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Sharks forward Patrick Marleau was named as the NHL’s Second Star of the Week after posting five goals and six points in three games before the All-Star break, including four goals in the third period in Colorado last Monday.

All-Star Game MVP Wayne Simmonds of the Flyers was named as the First Star, while Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen was third.


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.