Three takeaways: Meier recall seems likely after Sharks beat Sens

Three takeaways: Meier recall seems likely after Sharks beat Sens

UPDATE (10:25am) -- The Sharks recalled Timo Meier and assigned Mirco Mueller, the team announced.


OTTAWA – The Sharks-Senators game on Wednesday had a little bit of everything, and ended with a second shootout victory on the road for San Jose in as many nights, 4-3. Let’s sift through the results and postgame reaction for the day after’s three takeaways…

1 – Concern for Couture

As he has done lately whenever a Sharks player is unable to finish a game, coach Pete DeBoer offered virtually nothing in regards to that player’s status moving forward, although it was later learned that Logan Couture – who was shaken up after a cross-check to the head from Mike Hoffman – at least boarded the team’s postgame flight to Montreal. That’s a good sign.

With Couture’s status up in the air, and Joonas Donskoi missing Wednesday’s game at least partially because he’s dealing with some bumps and bruises, it opens the door for the Sharks to recall at least one forward from the Barracuda. The Sharks, in fact, were leaning towards recalling a forward even before Couture went down, according to a source. 

That means that Timo Meier, a former first round pick that has been dominating the AHL lately and a player that the fan base seems excited to see make his NHL debut (if social media is any indication), is likely to be joining the team before the end of the road trip. Meier was set to be recalled earlier this month, but came down with the flu.

Expect the Sharks to reassign Mirco Mueller, so long as all six defensemen got out Wednesday’s game without any injuries, to make room for Meier and perhaps another forward.

2 – Vlasic in trouble?

Hoffman will almost certainly be hearing from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for getting Couture up high with his stick. But what about Marc-Edouard Vlasic? It was tough to get a sense of what happened on replays, but it certainly seemed like he was, at the very least, a little too careless with his stick on Erik Karlsson. I don’t see a suspension there, but Vlasic could be in line for at least a fine.

Regardless, the game was a nasty affair, as the two teams were playing each other for the second time in eight days. They combined for 71 penalty minutes.

“That’s the way it is sometimes,” Joe Thornton said. “Emotions get high, and hopefully Cooch is OK, I haven’t seen him yet. It’s an emotional game, what can I say?”

3 – Labanc cashes in

When asked about choosing Labanc for the fourth round of the shootout, DeBoer offered a piece of information I hadn’t heard before – it’s actually assistant coach Johan Hedberg who chooses the team’s shooters. So, credit Hedberg with an assist for getting that extra point in the standings against the Sens.

Labanc described his thought process before converting on Mike Condon, in what was the rookie’s first-ever attempt.

“He seemed really under control, so you kind of wanted to get him off his game a little bit and just kind of open something up – like, fake a shot or something. … He’s just a big goalie, so you have to find other ways to score on him,” Labanc said.

Martin Jones, on the other end, is now seven-for-seven in stopping shootout attempts this season. He’s 7-2 overall in shootouts in his career, stopping 31 of 36 attempts for an incredible .861 save percentage.

Where does Evander Kane's four-goal game rank in Sharks history?

Where does Evander Kane's four-goal game rank in Sharks history?

Sharks winger Evander Kane returns to his hometown of Vancouver on Saturday, fresh off of doing something a Vancouver-born player had not done in nearly 30 years. 

On Friday, Kane became the first such player to score four goals in an NHL game since Hockey Hall of Famer Glenn Anderson, who scored four goals with the Edmonton Oilers against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 19, 1988. It was also the first hat-trick of Kane's career, and just the fourth four-goal game in Sharks history. 

The latter point got us thinking, where does Kane's four-goal effort rank among those games? Using a rigorous, highly scientific process (read: the thoughts of this writer), we've come up with the definitive ranking. 

Without further adieu, we start with another power forward acquired in a midseason trade. 

4. Owen Nolan (Dec. 19, 1995 at Anaheim)

The Final Line: Four goals (Three power play goals), One assist, Six shots on goal

You never forget your first, so we begin with Owen Nolan, the first player to accomplish the feat in franchise history. If not for Kane and another entrant on this list (no spoilers), Nolan would still be the fastest to do it, scoring four goals in just his 27th game and just under two months after the Sharks acquired him from the Colorado Avalanche.

Nolan struck quickly throughout. He opened the scoring just 1:22 into the game against the then-Mighty Ducks, then scored his second only 57 seconds into the second period. His third and fourth, both on the power play, came 34 seconds apart in that same period. 

Just as Kane did on Friday, Nolan scored as many goals as the opposing team in a 7-4 win. It didn't quite have the same impact on the playoff race, however, as San Jose picked up its seventh win....of the entire season (in its 34th game) thanks to Nolan.

3. Patrick Marleau (Jan. 23, 2017 at Colorado)

The Final Line: Four goals (including the game-winner), Six shots on goal

The 1,459th time was the charm for the longest-tenured player in Sharks history, and the then-37-year-old Marleau became the second-oldest since 1987 to score four in a game. The oldest, Martin St. Louis, actually reached the feat against the Sharks as a 38-year-old in 2014. 

Marleau scored all four goals in a span of 13-and-a-half minutes in the third period, which began with the game tied at one. Three of those goals constituted a natural hat trick, in just a 7:42 stretch.

This game also jumpstarted Marleau's pursuit of a major milestone, as the goals were No. 494, 495, 496, and 497 of his career. He scored No. 500 a week-and-a-half later, but the four-goal game gave Marleau yet another signature moment in teal. 

2. Evander Kane (Mar. 16, 2018 at Calgary)

The Final Line: Four goals, Seven shots on goal 

Of all the players to score four goals in Sharks history, Kane certainly had the best timing. With San Jose in the thick of a playoff race and in need of a win, the newly-acquired forward delivered. 

He only needed eight games to score four goals for the first time in teal, but needed 565 for the first hat-trick of his career. The exuberance (and relief) was palpable after Kane scored his third, and that goal put the Sharks up by two. 

The desperate Flames, now four points out of the playoffs, would never get closer than that again, and Kane essentially put the game out of reach with his fourth goal 62 seconds into the third period. No Sharks player has scored four goals in a playoff game, but this one comes the closest. 

1. Tomas Hertl (Oct. 9, 2013 vs New York Rangers)

The Final Line: Four goals (One power play goal), Seven shots on goal

In just his third NHL game, and in front of his griflriend and mother visiting from the native Czech Republic, Tomas Hertl became then the fourth-youngest player in NHL history (now the sixth-youngest) to score a hat-trick-plus-one. If not for Auston Matthews scoring four in his debutHertl has arguably the most memorable four-goal game by a young player to his name. 

Of all the Sharks to score four in a game, Hertl did it the most efficiently. He only played 11:12 in that game against the Rangers, and still scored four goals on seven shots. 

Yes, it was in an October blowout, but no other four-goal game has had the same impact on the rest of the hockey world. From a fourth goal tailor-made to go viral, to the ensuing Hot Takes ("Hertl's disrespecting the game!") and subsequent jokes (Joe Thornton's still looking for four goals) it spawned, Hertl captivated the hockey world in a way no other Shark that's scored four has, and all by living his "dream, no reality."

Kane leads Sharks to critical win on four-goal night

Kane leads Sharks to critical win on four-goal night


CALGARY, Alberta -- Evander Kane scored four goals to lead the San Jose Sharks past the Calgary Flames 7-4 on Friday night.

Tomas Hertl had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who have won three straight and four of five. Kevin Lebanc and Eric Fehr also scored, and Martin Jones made 30 saves.

It was the first NHL hat trick for Kane, acquired from Buffalo just before the Feb. 26 trade deadline.

Micheal Ferland had a goal and an assist for the Flames, who are four points out of a playoff spot. Troy BrouwerMark Jankowski and Johnny Gaudreau also scored for Calgary.

Three nights after stopping all 28 shots he faced against the Oilers, Calgary goalie Mike Smith had a rough outing as he made just 14 saves before being replaced by David Rittich early in the third period. Rittich went on to stop all seven shots he faced in a relief appearance.

The Sharks opened the scoring six minutes into the first period when Kane's wrist shot beat Smith to the glove side.

The Flames pulled even at 16:42 when Brouwer chipped a pass from Curtis Lazar into the top corner behind Jones. Matt Stajan stole the puck from Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon behind the San Jose net to get the play started.

Jankowski took a pass from linemate Garnet Hathaway and wired a shot to the top corner, glove side behind Jones to put Calgary up 2-1 at 2:10 of the second period.

Kane then redirected Dillon's point shot past Smith at 6:29 before Gaudreau cut into the slot and snapped a shot past Jones at 10:16 to put Calgary back up by a goal.

That lead lasted just 1:26 as Lebanc fired a shot from a sharp angle into the top corner past Smith to pull the Sharks into a 3-all tie.

Kane completed his hat trick at 16:32 when he swatted in his own rebound before Hertl poked the puck through Smith's legs with 1:58 remaining before the second intermission.

The Sharks added an insurance goal 62 seconds into the third when Kane redirected a pass from Joe Pavelski past Smith.

Ferland backhanded a shot past Jones to pull Calgary within two goals with 5:35 left in regulation and Rittich on the bench for an extra attacker. Fehr rounded out the scoring with an empty-net goal 1:37 later.

NOTES: Jankowski suited up for the Flames after sitting out Tuesday's 1-0 win over Edmonton. Fellow forward Kris Versteeg returned to Calgary's lineup after missing the past 49 games with a hip injury. ... Gaudreau extended his point streak to six games (three goals, five assists).


Sharks: At the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.

Flames: At the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday.