ST. LOUIS – The Sharks’ first meeting with St. Louis since last year's playoffs didn’t go as they had hoped, as David Perron’s second period power play goal held up as the difference in a 3-2 Blues win. The three biggest takeaways from the game…
1 – Power outage
It’s pretty simple to figure this game out, as the Sharks surrendered a power play goal to Perron while they went 0-for-6. San Jose was on a man advantage for 10 minutes and one second, more than half a period, but still couldn’t find a way to beat Jake Allen on nine power play shots. They are two for their last 23 overall.
Logan Couture offered his perspective of what’s wrong:
“It sometimes feels like we’re forcing plays through bodies, through sticks. Other times it feels like we’re not shooting the puck enough and not getting motion towards the net and not getting second or third opportunities. It feels like we’re one shot and out, which isn’t us. We usually shoot the puck, get it back, shoot it again. Get a buzz going, get the PK tired, and we’re able to find the seams.”
It will be interesting to see if coach Pete DeBoer breaks up his top unit for Saturday’s game in Arizona. Joel Ward, who has seen limited time on the power play this season after he was a mainstay on the second unit last year, replaced Patrick Marleau in the third period.
2 – Labanc’s stock rising, Boedker’s falling
Rookie Kevin Labanc played his best game so far, scoring a goal and fitting in nicely with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski. His second period marker tied the game at 2-2, and Pavelski promptly retrieved the special puck.
“I was just kind of battling in front of the net, trying to get position for a tip, but Jumbo tipped it to me and just kind of turned around and shot it,” Labanc said of his goal.
Meanwhile, Mikkel Boedker was bumped to the fourth line, and didn’t register a single shot on goal. He’s scoreless in his last seven games, with just six shots over that span.
“Trying to find my way, playing hard, trying to make things happen. Right now it’s not just going the right way,” Boedker said. “I would [love] to have a lot more points than I do, and be a lot more productive than what I am. I still have got to be better, and I still have got to make sure I do the right things day in and day out and keep learning and keep getting better, and go from there.”
3 – Hertl’s status unknown
Tomas Hertl left the game in the second period and didn’t return. There was no update at all from DeBoer after the game, but Hertl was seen limping up the tunnel, suggesting some sort of lower body issue. Hertl has had right knee problems in the past, including the Stanley Cup Final when he was injured in Game 2 forcing him from the series and the World Cup in September. For his sake, hopefully it's something else this time.
Melker Karlsson remains with the team, but is still wearing a walking boot on his left foot/ankle from blocking a Victor Hedman shot in Tampa Bay last Saturday. The Sharks still have one extra forward on the trip in Micheal Haley, who has sat for the last five games.