Sharks

Rewind: Sharks hit midway point of preseason

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Rewind: Sharks hit midway point of preseason

SAN JOSE – At the official midway point of the preseason schedule the Sharks’ decision-makers are still likely in evaluation mode much more than they are concerned with wins and losses. The result of Saturday’s affair with the Ducks was a 2-1 loss that wasn’t overly stimulating to the average spectator.

To those who are tasked with evaluating how the various pieces will fall into place by Oct. 7, though, the game provided more time for appraisal.

What was learned?

[RECAP: Instant Replay: Sharks take early lead, but fall to Ducks]

On defense, Dylan DeMelo seems to be outplaying both Matt Tennyson and Mirco Mueller, and would be the odds-on favorite to skate on opening night with Brenden Dillon against the Kings. Tomas Hertl, with a slimmer and more powerful frame, seems like a different player compared to this time last year and got another look at center. Although his faceoffs need work (he was just 2-for-9 in the circle), Hertl looked comfortable and showed some flashes of being the player he was before the unfortunate collision with Dustin Brown.

The Brent Burns and Paul Martin duo is trending the right direction. Burns attempted a whopping 13 shots on goal, with six making to the net. Each assisted on Joel Ward’s first period marker, when the new forward redirected Martin’s point shot.

Ward is seemingly cemented into the right wing spot on a line with Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau, and has impressed coach Pete DeBoer.

[KURZ: Sharks notes: DeBoer impressed with Meier's 'power game']

“What I’ve seen of Wardo is I’ve felt that every game that he’s played and every day he’s practiced, he’s looked better and better,” DeBoer said. “I think a lot of the vets have been the same.”

“Just learning every day, trying to get better and gain as much chemistry as possible,” Ward said.

DeBoer was tight-lipped when it came to publicly evaluating some of his young players. Regarding DeMelo, he would only comment that the 22-year-old is “in the mix” with the others vying for that position, and that “it’s too close to call to be giving anybody the job right now.”

DeMelo is pleased with how his camp has been going.

"I know my game and I think I’m playing really well," he said. "I think I’m showing kind of what’s advertised with me and my game.”

Hertl as a centerman was a point of contention between Todd McLellan and Doug Wilson last year, but Saturday marked the second preseason game that DeBoer had the affable young Czech native in the middle.

“We’re considering him there. We’re considering him in some other places, too,” DeBoer said.

As for the game, the coach thought his club deserved to be ahead more than 1-0 after two periods. The Sharks were outshooting a veteran Anaheim lineup 17-11, and were perfect on the penalty kill including fighting off a first period boarding major to Frazer McLaren.

In net, Martin Jones extended his preseason shutout streak to 100 minutes before it was broken shortly after by the Ducks’ Chris Wagner three minutes into the third. Corey Perry’s power play goal with seven-and-a-half minutes left was the difference.

“I didn’t think we gave up a whole lot tonight,” Jones said. “I thought we did a really good job defensively. A couple bounces at the end and that was the game.”

The Sharks will likely trim some of the fat from their roster on Sunday, when the players have a day off. After that, a fairer evaluation of the team will begin on Tuesday when San Jose hosts Vancouver.

“We still haven’t dressed close to our opening full roster,” DeBoer said. “We’ve basically been in a split-squad mode here in the last week. Hopefully this week we’ll get more semblance of our group and get some guys in some slotted spots.”

Sharks lose in Vancouver for first time since 2012

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USATSI

Sharks lose in Vancouver for first time since 2012

BOX SCORE

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Sam Gagner scored at 4:34 of overtime and the Vancouver Canucks snapped a four-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Friday night.

Gagner beat Martin Jones with a nice backhand move on a breakaway for his fourth of the season after a feed from Alexander Edler. It was Gagner's first goal in nine games.

Markus Granlund scored twice and Brock Boeser also had a goal in regulation for Vancouver (15-14-4). Henrik Sedin and brother Daniel Sedin each added three assists. Jacob Markstrom made 34 saves.

Brent Burns scored two goals and Marcus Sorenson had one for San Jose (17-10-4). Martin Jones stopped 36 shots for the Sharks, who were playing their second game in two nights after Thursday's 3-2 road victory over the Calgary Flames.

San Jose had won 11 straight at Rogers Arena dating back to the Canucks' last victory on home ice over their Pacific Division rivals all the way back on Jan. 21, 2012. Vancouver was 0-9-2 over that stretch while getting outscored 41-14.

Leading 3-2 through 40 minutes, the Canucks nearly restored their two-goal lead four minutes into the third, but Jones stretched to make a great pad save on Thomas Vanek.

The Sharks mustered only one shot through the first 13 minutes of the final period, but got the equalizer with 5:49 left in regulation when Burns' point shot went off the skate of Canucks defenseman Alex Biega in front and beat Markstrom for his second of the night, sixth of the season and fifth in five games.

Coming off Wednesday's embarrassing 7-1 loss at home to Nashville, the Canucks stormed out of the gate against the Sharks and led 2-1 after the first period before Boeser stretched the lead to two.

The NHL's rookie scoring leader ripped a shot over Jones' shoulder on the power play at 11:56 of the second for his 17th, moments after slicing through the Sharks' defense and ringing a shot off the post.

San Jose got that one back with 1:44 left in the period when former Canucks forward Jannik Hansen started a sequence that ended with Sorenson netting his first past Markstrom.

Already minus five regulars, including two-thirds of their top line with Bo Horvat (broken foot) and Sven Baertschi (broken jaw) out long-term, the Canucks announced Friday morning that shutdown defenseman Christopher Tanev will miss two to three weeks with a groin strain.

Granlund, who came in with one goal in his last 12 games, opened the scoring 44 seconds in on the power play. Daniel Sedin redirected a slap pass in the slot from Henrik Sedin right to Granlund at the side of the net, and he beat Jones between the legs for his fifth.

Vancouver could have easily been up by two or three moments later as the Canucks led 10-0 in shots after just five minutes.

San Jose, which came in 7 for 21 on the power play over its last four games to climb from tied for 24th overall to tied for 11th, tested Markstrom five times on its first man-advantage opportunity before finally breaking through after Vancouver took another penalty.

The Sharks won an offensive-zone faceoff back to Burns, who snapped his fifth past Markstrom at 10:45.

Markstrom stopped San Jose's Chris Tierney on a short-handed breakaway later in the period before Granlund scored his second of the night seconds after the penalty expired. Daniel Sedin's initial shot fell at the top of the crease to Henrik Sedin, who tapped it over for Granlund to put into a wide-open net at 14:27.

NOTES: Canucks center Brandon Sutter and defenseman Erik Gudbranson remain sidelined with upper-body injuries. Vancouver is also without wing Derek Dorsett, who ended his playing career late last month due to spinal problems. ... San Jose forward Joel Ward got an assist on Burns' second goal of the night for his 300th career point in his 700th NHL game.

UP NEXT

Sharks: Monday night at Edmonton.

Canucks: Sunday at home against Calgary.

Check out this hilarious Sharks Christmas music video

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Check out this hilarious Sharks Christmas music video

Everyone knows the classic Christmas songs. Your family probably plays the same tunes year in and year out. 

It's time for the something fresh. 

The San Jose Sharks are here to bring some new flavor to Christmas spirit. On Friday, the team re-released the music video you all need to see, with their song "Holiday Sweater." Turn the volume up for this one.

Merry Christmas and good luck getting that jingle out of your head.