Sharks notes: Rookie camp schedule; Wilson honored


Sharks notes: Rookie camp schedule; Wilson honored

The Sharks’ annual rookie camp leading up to the start of NHL training camp next week will begin on Thursday at the club’s practice facility in San Jose.

The camp will be broken up into two groups – the rookies, and another group comprised of players with fewer than 50 games of NHL experience. The rookies will compete in a round-robin tournament against Ducks and Avalanche prospects in Westminster, Colorado from Sept. 17-19.

Practices at Sharks Ice are open to the public. The schedule – subject to chance on late notice – is as follows:

Sept. 15
12 p.m. - U50/Rookie Skates (North/South rinks)

Sept 16
8:30 a.m. - Rookie Practice (South)
10 a.m. - U50 Practice (North)

Sept. 17
10 a.m. - U50 Practice (South)

Sept. 18
10 a.m. - U50 Practice (South)

Sept. 19
10 a.m. - U50 Practice (South)

Sept. 20
10 a.m. - U50 Practice (North)
11 a.m. - Rookie Practice (South)

Sept. 21
9:30 a.m. - Rookie/U50 Practice (South/North)
10:30 a.m. - Rookie/U50 Scrimmage (South)

The Sharks open NHL training camp on Friday, Sept. 23.

* * *

Sharks general manager Doug Wilson will be inducted into the San Jose Hall Sports Hall of Fame at an enshrinement banquet at SAP Center on Nov. 2. He will become the fourth member of the organization to be so honored, joining goalie Arturs Irbe, forward Owen Nolan and original owner George Gund III.

Wilson served as the Sharks’ first captain for two seasons from 1991-93, and has been the general manager since 2003. He oversaw the organization’s most successful season in 2015-16 as San Jose captured the Western Conference and made its first-ever appearance in the Stanley Cup Final.

The 59-year-old Ottawa, Ontario native and longtime defenseman for the Blackhawks is also a member of the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame and Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame.

* * *

Former Sharks forward James Sheppard has been offered a tryout with the Vancouver Canucks, according to a report. Sheppard spent last season in Switzerland.

The 28-year-old last played for the Sharks in 2014-15, and was traded to New York late that year. He tried out for the Columbus Blue Jackets last season, but didn't make it.

The cap-strapped Sharks are not expected to bring anyone to training camp on a tryout basis.

* * *

The AHL San Jose Barracuda have a new play-by-play man, as well as a new training and equipment staff.

Nick Nollenberger will take over as the voice of the Barracuda, and handle their media relations. The Santa Cruz native most recently served as the director of broadcasting and media relations for the Odessa Jackalopes of the NAHL.

Also joining the Barracuda are Nick Gialdini (video coach/hockey ops coordinator), Quentin Higgins (head trainer), Adam Dexter (head equipment manager), Marcello Martinelli (strength and conditioning coordinator) and John Peters (assistant equipment manager).

Jones strong in goal, contains Coyotes to snap Sharks' three-game skid


Jones strong in goal, contains Coyotes to snap Sharks' three-game skid


GLENDALE, Ariz. — Logan Couture scored another goal for San Jose but was happier to see the Sharks' top line get untracked.

"We've got to get those guys going to help us offensively," Couture said of teammates Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski and Timo Meier after the Sharks' 3-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday night. "We need them to produce."

Thornton opened the scoring for the Sharks, with Pavelski adding an assist, the pair's first points since November 8, a span of five games.

"I think with Timo with us last game it brought us a lot of energy and a lot of chances," said Thornton, who scored his first goal since October 26. "Me and Pavs really like playing with him."

Joel Ward added an empty-net goal with 47.8 to play for the Sharks, who snapped a three-game losing streak.

"We got enough offense to win," said Sharks coach Peter DeBoer. "That's all that matters. I thought we played a good road game. I don't care how it looks."

Brendan Perlini scored with 7:37 to go, ruining Sharks goalie Martin Jones' bid for his second shutout of the season. The Coyotes saw their season-high three-game winning streak snapped and lost for the eighth time in nine home games (1-7-1).

Jones finished with 26 saves.

"We defended really well," said Jones, who was tested seriously only twice in the first two periods. "The first 10 minutes they had a lot of jump and were buzzing around our zone, but after that not as much."

Coyotes goalie Antti Raanta left at 14:37 of the first period with an upper-body injury. Couture had collided with Raanta more than four minutes earlier, earning an interference penalty. Raanta skated to the bench during a stoppage in play and retreated to the locker room.

Scott Wedgewood took Raanta's place and was in net for only five seconds before the Sharks broke through. Wedgewood stopped Brent Burns' long shot from the top of the right circle even after it deflected off San Jose right wing Timo Meier. But the rebound kicked to the bottom of the right circle, where Thornton swept in and beat the goalie with a quick wrist shot.

"He (coach Rick Tocchet) looked at me and said go," Wedgewood. "I was like, alright. That's the tough part. Then shot, top, goal. That was tough."

San Jose made it 2-0 at 4:56 of the second, taking advantage of Arizona's inability to clear the zone while the Sharks were on a line change.

Justin Braun fought three Coyotes for the puck along the right boards before Joonas Donskoi swooped in, skated to the goal line then sent a pass across to Couture. Couture deked Wedgewood to the ice with a forehand fake, then scored on the backhand.

Perlini cut the lead to 2-1 when he redirected Derek Stepan's shot from the top of the right circle past Jones.

"We had some costly mistakes," Perlini said. "We got back within a goal but there were too many mistakes."

NOTES: Thornton has 22 goals and 83 points in 82 career games against Arizona. ... The Coyotes, who had played seven of their past eight on the road, opened a three-game homestand. ... Raanta made eight saves before leaving and has stopped 98 of the past 105 shots he's faced. ... Couture's goal was his first in five games.


Sharks: visit Las Vegas on Friday

Coyotes: host Los Angeles on Friday.

Don't blame Joakim Ryan for Brent Burns' struggles


Don't blame Joakim Ryan for Brent Burns' struggles

Over the last three years, Brent Burns played with only one defensive partner more in a single season than he has with Joakim Ryan in 2017-18.

That partner, of course, is Paul Martin, who’s missed all but two games this season due to complications from offseason ankle surgery. Martin is set to miss yet more time after experiencing a setback in his recovery, although the injury is not related to his ailing ankle, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Martin’s absence, combined with the fact that Burns has gone 20 games without a goal this season, has naturally led to questions about whether their separation is causing Burns to struggle.

That’s not the case.

Burns is actually playing a bit better alongside Ryan than he was with Martin. In just over 257 minutes together at even strength, the Sharks have controlled 55.74 percent of the shot attempts with Burns and Ryan on the ice, according to Corsica Hockey, up from Burns and Martin’s 52.13 percent mark together.

The Sharks are attempting more shots than their opponents when Burns and Ryan play, they’re doing so at a higher rate. With Burns and Ryan on the ice, the Sharks are attempting nearly nine more shots per 60 minutes than when Burns and Martin together, and just over two more shots per 60 minutes are hitting the net.

As we’ve written about previously, Burns’ scoring struggles date back to the stretch run last season, when he was playing alongside Martin. It wasn’t Martin’s fault then, just as it’s not Ryan’s fault now.

The puck simply isn’t going in. Through 20 games this season, Burns has 82 shots on goal and zero goals. Through 20 games in his Norris Trophy-winning campaign, Burns had 83 shots on goal and seven goals.

It’s not like Burns was super lucky then, either, as his 8.3 percent shooting percentage through 20 games last season was only one percent higher than his career average. Shooting at a zero percent clip after 20 games is, clearly, the outlier.

Together, Burns and Ryan have been more unlucky than anything else. When the two skate during five-on-five play, the Sharks are scoring on only 3.45 percent of their shots, much lower than the 8.26 percent San Jose scored on when Martin and Burns played together.

At 32 years old, it would be a stretch to expect Burns to match or exceed his heights from a season ago, but it would be an even bigger one to expect him to struggle much longer alongside Ryan. 

They've done everything right, they just haven't scored.