Sharks rest regulars for Flames; Burns named Player of the Year

Sharks rest regulars for Flames; Burns named Player of the Year

SAN JOSE – In their final game of the regular season, the Sharks pulled several regulars out of the lineup against the Flames ahead of next week’s first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Joe Pavelski, Tomas Hertl, Joel Ward and Justin Braun were all scratched, while Joe Thornton (left knee) and Logan Couture (mouth) also remained out due to injury. 

On Saturday morning, coach Pete DeBoer said anyone coming out of the lineup would be for health reasons and not simply to get a breather during what has been a hectic condensed schedule.

“If we sit anybody, it won’t be a rest,” DeBoer said. “Everyone is dealing with a little something, so we’ve just got some bodies here and we’ll make some decisions at game time.”

Pavelski saw an iron-man streak of 495 games come to an end. It was his first missed game since Jan. 13, 2011. The captain will fall one goal short of his fifth straight 30-goal season (not counting the lockout-shortened season of 2012-13).

Among the players that skated for the Sharks were Danny O’Regan, Timo Meier, Marcus Sorensen, Kevin Labanc and Barclay Goodrow. Dylan DeMelo took Braun’s place on the blue line.

Patrick Marleau and Brent Burns were the only Sharks players to appear in all 82 games this season. Marleau has played in 624 straight games, while Burns has played 307 in a row.

Calgary, which is locked into the first wild card spot, sat Mark Giordano, Kris Versteeg and Mikael Backlund.

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Burns was named as the team's Player of the Year, as voted on by the local media. It was the first time he has won the award.

Previous recipients of the Player of the Year award are listed below.

2015-16 Joe Thornton 
2014-15 Joe Pavelski 
2013-14 Joe Pavelski 
2012-13 Antti Niemi 
2011-12 Logan Couture 
2010-11 Antti Niemi 
2009-10 Patrick Marleau 
2008-09 Patrick Marleau 
2007-08 Evgeni Nabokov 
2006-07 Joe Thornton 
2005-06 Joe Thornton 
2003-04 Patrick Marleau 
2002-03 Teemu Selanne 
2001-02 Mike Ricci 
2000-01 Evgeni Nabokov 
1999-00 Owen Nolan 
1998-99 Steve Shields and Mike Vernon 
1997-98 Mike Vernon 
1996-97 Jeff Friesen 
1995-96 Jamie Baker 
1994-95 Ulf Dahlen 
1993-94 Arturs Irbe 
1992-93 Kelly Kisio 
1991-92 Jeff Hackett

Sharks on longest winning streak since 2013 after extinguishing Flames


Sharks on longest winning streak since 2013 after extinguishing Flames


SAN JOSE -- Evander Kane scored twice to give him six goals in his past two games against Calgary and the San Jose Sharks won their seventh straight game, beating the Flames 5-1 on Saturday.

Kane followed up his four-goal performance in Calgary a week ago with another impactful performance, scoring a short-handed goal in the second period to give the Sharks a 3-1 lead and an insurance goal in the third. He also used his physical play to get into a scrum with Mikael Backlund and a fight with Travis Hamonic.

The Sharks improved to 10-2 since acquiring Kane just before the trade deadline last month, including this current streak that is the longest for San Jose since a seven-gamer from March 25 to April 5, 2013.

Brenden DillonJannik Hansen and Justin Braun also scored for the Sharks, who moved six points ahead of Los Angeles in the race for home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Kings played later Saturday in Edmonton. Martin Jones made 37 saves.

Michael Stone scored the lone for the Flames, who have lost five straight to fall out of the playoff race. Calgary trails Anaheim by nine points for the final playoff spot with just six games remaining. David Rittich made 28 saves.

The Flames were controlling the play in the second period before Kane's goal turned the momentum back in San Jose's favor. Calgary held San Jose without a shot on goal for more than six minutes to start the period and had just started a power play when Kane struck for his goal.

Chris Tierney skated into the offensive zone and held the puck near the net as Johnny Gaudreau skated past Kane, who was set up in front of the crease. Tierney then slid a pass to Kane, who knocked it into the open net for his sixth goal with the Sharks and 26th on the season.

Kane then had his run-ins with the Flames late in the second and early in the third before the Sharks broke it open with goals from Braun and Kane midway through the third period.

Dillon, who assisted on Kane's second goal, then got into a fight late in the game with Garnet Hathaway to complete the Gordie Howe hat trick.

The Sharks started fast and scored twice in a span of 74 seconds midway through the first period. San Jose took advantage of a turnover by Calgary in the offensive zone to go on a rush. Timo Meier fed Chris Tierney, who gave a behind-the-back pass to Dillon, who beat Rittich from the high slot.

The Sharks kept the pressure up and quickly added to the lead when Hansen redirected Brent Burns' point shot off defenseman Mark Jankowski's skate and into the Calgary net.

The Flames got one back with a blast from the point through traffic by Stone.

NOTES: The Sharks honored Jonathan Cheechoo, who recently announced his retirement. ... Burns' assist on Hansen's goal was his 49th of the season, breaking the record he set two years ago for Sharks defensemen. ... Flames F Matthew Tkachuk (upper body) and D TJ Brodie did not make the trip for the two games in California.


Flames: Visit Los Angeles on Monday

Sharks: Visit Chicago on Monday.

Paul Martin rewarding Peter DeBoer's faith in NHL return


Paul Martin rewarding Peter DeBoer's faith in NHL return

When Sharks defenseman Paul Martin confirmed reports in January that he was willing to go elsewhere for more playing time, his head coach was insistent that the team would need the veteran blueliner. 

"I really believe we need eight NHL defenseman here," DeBoer told reporters in January (via The Mercury News). "If it happens that he isn't here, then that'll be disappointing for us. I'm not hoping that's where this goes. I'm hoping this goes to a place where he can maybe go down, play some games and keep himself ready, because I know we're going to need eight defensemen."

That's pretty much exactly what's happened.

After clearing waivers in January and playing with the AHL's San Jose Barracuda, Martin was called up ahead of the Sharks' four-game road trip at the end of February. He did not play until last Saturday in Vancouver, when an upper-body injury to rookie defenseman Joakim Ryan, whose play pushed Martin down the depth chart in the first place, created an opening alongside Brent Burns. 

Martin's now played three straight games with Burns, his defensive partner for the vast majority of the previous two seasons. It's the first time Martin's played in three consecutive NHL games all season, and although he hasn't played much (11:53 in average time-on-ice), he's acquitted himself nicely in a sheltered role.

His five-on-five possession numbers (52.78 percent corsi-for; 53.33 percent fenwick-for) are the second-best marks among Sharks defensemen over the last three games. Burns, too, has posted better possession numbers with Martin (47.62 percent corsi-for; 50 percent fenwick-for) during the last three contests than without his longtime partner (43.40 percent corsi-for; 41.67 percent fenwick-for). 

The Sharks have also outscored (3-0) and outchanced (17-16) opponents with Martin on the ice, neither of which was the case in Martin's first three appearances earlier this season. The former is owed to a decent amount of puck luck, as the Sharks have converted on 17.65 percent of their shots with him on the ice, but the latter is an extension of his solid underlying numbers. 

Martin's played the least amount of total minutes among Sharks defensemen since coming back, even as Marc-Edouard Vlasic missed time in two of the last three games, and has barely been used in special teams. His days of averaging 20-or-more minutes a night are likely behind him, but the 37-year-old has played well in a limited role. 

Considering Martin's NHL days appeared to be behind him as recently as last month, his play has been a pleasant surprise. With the exception of his head coach, that is.