Brent Burns is heating up offensively, and making life tough for Avs


Brent Burns is heating up offensively, and making life tough for Avs

SAN JOSE – Given the Sharks penchant for comebacks through their current playoff run, it sure started to look as though Brent Burns was going to tie things up in the final minutes of Game 2.

Having already set up the opening goal of the evening, Burns then found the back of the net twice in the third frame to bring San Jose within one goal of the visiting Colorado squad. Although San Jose ended up dropping that game 4-3, Burns ended the night with his second consecutive multi-point game.

Burns is heating up offensively, and the Avalanche know if they’re going to outdo the Sharks in the second round, they’ll have to keep an eye on Burns. With the high level he’s playing at, however, Colorado is going to have their hands full. 

“He’s going to make an impact,” Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar told the press after Game 2. “We’re trying to minimize that impact on a nightly basis.”

Burns’ big offensive push started in Game 6 of the Sharks' first-round series against the Vegas Golden Knights. Since then he has tallied at least one point in four straight games. Burns has a total of seven points over the first two games against the Avalanche. Whether he’s setting goals up or scoring them himself, Burns is proving to be a force Colorado hasn’t been able to contain.

Bednar, a former defenseman himself, broke down San Jose’s first goal of Game 2, in which Evander Kane punched in the rebound of Burns’ wrist shot from the blue line.

“I thought we were playing it perfectly,” Bednar said. “Mikko (Rantanen) was all the way out to Burns. He gets within five feet of him, and Burns finds a way. Whether (the puck) goes through Mikko’s legs or just gets by one leg to get to the front of the net – and we get beat on that box out and there’s a rebound and they put it in. That’s what we’re trying to prevent.

“Mikko’s got to find a way to get in that lane," Bednar continued. "But that’s easier said than done against a guy like Burns.”

Getting into that lane also comes with a price, as Alexander Kerfoot found out on Burns’ first goal of the third period. When Kerfoot squared off to defend Burns’ shot, the puck knocked his blade right off his skate. Erik Karlsson scooped up the puck after that and redistributed to Burns, who beat Philipp Grubauer five-hole from the faceoff circle.

“It’s a tough break,” Bednar said, recalling Kerfoot lying in the neutral zone without a blade on his right skate. “I don’t know what else we can do on that.”

Burns doesn’t even have to break an opposing player’s skate on a nightly basis to find the back of the net on a regularly. Since he’s averaging roughly 29.81 minutes per night through nine games this postseason – including those two contests against Vegas that went into overtime – Burns has eveJJn more opportunities to contribute offensively for the Sharks.

[RELATED: How Avs' top line is challenging Sharks]

Not to mention that the current second-round series now shifts to Denver for Games 3 and 4, and Burns has registered 19 points (7 goals, 12 assists) through 28 games played at Pepsi Center.

There’s no doubt the Avs will be keeping a close eye on how to stop Burns as the teams head into Game 3 with the series tied at a game apiece. If Burns keeps playing at such a high level, though, he’s going to be hard for Colorado to figure out.

Sharks' Erik Karlsson, Marc Edouard-Vlasic, Martin Jones excites Randy Hahn


Sharks' Erik Karlsson, Marc Edouard-Vlasic, Martin Jones excites Randy Hahn

It's a new era of Sharks hockey in San Jose with the departure of captain Joe Pavelski, but there are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic about next season. 

For Randy Hahn, the voice of the Sharks, it all starts with the team's defense. Specifically, it's the trio of Erik Karlsson, Marc Edouard-Vlasic and Martin Jones that has Hahn itching for the season to begin. 

Re-signing Karlsson was the focal point to the Sharks' offseason and San Jose's front office sealed the deal with an eight-year, $92 million contract. With new weight to his wallet, expectations have rocketed for Karlsson in Year 2 wearing teal. 

“There is huge expectations for Erik Karlsson, as there should be and as I’m sure he expects,” Hahn recently said to Blades of Teal's Quentin Thorne. “He is one of the premier players in the league, and has been especially for the last five to six years.”

Karlsson struggled with injuries during his first season with the Sharks, but he still managed to post 45 points (three goals, 42 assists) in 53 regular-season games. He recorded 16 points (two goals, 14 assists) in 19 playoff games, which ranked second on San Jose.

When Karlsson did play, the Sharks went 30-23 in regular-season games and 10-9 in the playoffs.

While he's not a star like Karlsson, Hahn is intrigued to see the growth of Vlasic. 

“With a guy like Marc-Edouard Vlasic, I think the goal of the Sharks is to pair him with Karlsson next season,” Hahn said. “[Vlasic] being a tremendous defensive defender in the NHL and Karlsson being a tremendous offensive defender, and the second wave of offense coming from Brent Burns.”

Rounding out the trio is the Sharks' goaltender.

Jones had a down year where he posted a career-worst .896 save percentage and 2.94 goals against average. Clearly, Hahn still believes in him. 

[RELATED: Why Erik Karlsson's vision, deception stood out]

“Martin Jones is an excellent goalie, I don’t think he is elite yet, but next season I think he has a chance to be,” Hahn said. “The Sharks have a lot of confidence in Martin Jones and they know how good he can be.”

The Sharks open the 2019-20 regular season in Las Vegas, and all eyes will be on their defense taking away goals from the Golden Knights. 

Former Sharks captain Joe Pavelski officially sells San Jose mansion


Former Sharks captain Joe Pavelski officially sells San Jose mansion

It's official, Joe Pavelski no longer is a San Jose resident.

The former Sharks captain has sold his mansion in the affluent Willow Glen neighborhood for $3.6 million, according to The Mercury News.

The original purchase of the five-bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom house was in 2013 for $2.7 million. 

This 4,400-square-foot mansion is surrounded by redwood trees, with a front yard full of flowers and a manicured lawn. And when it comes to the background, it's the perfect lounge area ... with plenty of splashes of teal.

Pavelski bids farewell to the Bay Area after he signed a three-year, $21 million deal with the Dallas Stars. 

Now he can check off one more thing from his moving to-do list.