Sharks

NHL Gameday: Sharks face Bruins just after a coaching change

NHL Gameday: Sharks face Bruins just after a coaching change

Programming note – Sharks-Bruins coverage starts today at 3:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California

WHERE THEY STAND

Sharks: 33-17-4, 70 points, 1st Pacific Division
Bruins: 26-23-6, 58 points, 4th Atlantic Division

PREGAME NEWS AND NOTES

***The Sharks are 8-1-2 in their last 11, and 4-0-1 in their last five road games, but they enter tonight with back-to-back losses in a shootout and overtime, respectively. They started a four-game road trip in Buffalo on Tuesday, blowing a 4-1 third period lead to lose 5-4 on Evander Kane’s marker in extra time.

“They came back, but I thought we did a lot of good things,” Joel Ward said. “We let them come back. We’ve just got to hunker down, special teams, penalty killing – little details. If we get a chance to put the foot down, we’ve got to take advantage of it.”

The Sharks will make one lineup change, putting Ryan Carpenter back in on the fourth line, moving Micheal Haley to the wing and bumping rookie Marcus Sorensen.

Regarding Carpenter, who has been a healthy scratch for the last two games, Pete DeBoer said: “Energy, reliability, faceoffs, penalty kill – he’s been real good. Excited to get him back.”

DeBoer revealed that Joonas Donskoi, who has missed nine of the last 12 games with an upper body injury, would not be joining the team before the end of the road trip.

***Boston, 3-5-1 in its last nine games, will be playing its first game since firing longtime coach Claude Julien on Tuesday. Bruce Cassidy is the interim coach.

David Backes told CSNNE.com that the move was a “wakeup call.”

“It certainly hit me square in the forehead, and there are a lot of guys in here with the same kind of mentality,” Backes said. “We can’t change the past, but we can change the future, prepare better and play better. That’s our focus at the moment.”

The Sharks are preparing for a fired up Bruins team.

“What we’re expecting is a big push,” DeBoer said. “There’s always a big jump in energy when a new guy goes in, and that’s probably the biggest thing we’re preparing for.”

The Bruins canceled their morning skate due to a snowstorm in Boston, so its uncertain if defenseman Zdeno Chara will be in the lineup after he’s missed some practices due to illness.

***Brent Burns’ eight-game road goal scoring streak – the first in NHL history for a defenseman – came to an end on Tuesday in Buffalo. He did have two assists, though, stretching his road point-streak to 14 games.

Only two other defensemen have had longer such scoring streaks, according to Elias: Ray Bourque (16 games; Nov. 7, 1993 – Jan. 25, 1994) and Paul Coffey (15 games; March 6 – April 27, 1995).

“A lot of that stuff is just benefitting from playing with great players, and having chemistry with them, too,” Burns said.

Burns (57 points) is just three points behind Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby for the NHL scoring lead.

KEEP AN EYE ON...

Sharks: Ryan Carpenter. Despite the fourth line generating a goal in Buffalo, Carpenter will get a chance to return to the lineup for the first time since Feb. 2 at Vancouver. He has two goals and two assists for four points in 10 games this season, and seemed to be making a push to stay on the team for good when he was somewhat surprisingly scratched.

Bruins: David Pastrnak. The Bruins’ first round pick from 2014 (25th overall) is second on the team with 22 goals and 44 points, trailing only Brad Marchand (23 goals, 55 points). A Czech native and just 20 years old, Pastrnak has two goals and four assists in his last two games, and at least one point in five of his last six games.

PROBABLE LINES

Sharks
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Mikkel Boedker
Timo Meier – Chris Tierney – Joel Ward
Micheal Haley – Ryan Carpenter – Melker Karlsson

Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko

Martin Jones (starter)
Aaron Dell

Bruins
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Backes
Matt Beleskey – David Krejci – David Pasternak
Frank Vatrano – Ryan Spooner – Jimmy Hayes
Tim Schaller – Dominic Moore – Riley Nash

Zdeno Chara – Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug – Adam McQuaid
Kevan Miller – Colin Miller

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

INJURIES

Sharks: Joonas Donskoi (upper body) and Dylan DeMelo (broken wrist) are out.

Bruins: Zdeno Chara (illness) is questionable. Austin Czarnik (lower body) is out.

QUOTEABLE

“Welcome home.” – Joe Thornton jokingly to Martin Jones, who was traded to Boston briefly before getting dealt to the Sharks, at Thursday's morning skate

Sharks avoid arbitration, re-sign Chris Tierney to two-year deal

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USATSI

Sharks avoid arbitration, re-sign Chris Tierney to two-year deal

Just two days before one was scheduled, the Sharks avoided an arbitration hearing with center Chris Tierney, and re-signed the restricted free agent to a two-year deal on Wednesday, the team announced. The deal is reportedly worth just shy of $2.94 million annually, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman

"Chris had his best season as a professional last year and stepped up his level of play in multiple areas," San Jose general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. "We've always known he was a responsible, defensive-minded player, but he took his offensive game to the next tier and showed that he can be a productive player in all three zones. We look forward to watching him continue his evolution in 2018-19." 

Last season, the 24-year-old Tierney set career-highs in goals (17), assists (23), points (40), shots on goal (118), and ice time (16:00). Tierney also generated expected goals at the highest rate of his career (0.62 per hour), according to Corsica Hockey. 

A 2012 second-round pick, Tierney entered last season in an uncertain place. He signed his one-year, $735,000 qualifying offer last summer, and head coach Peter DeBoer challenged him to improve. 

“I came into the year wanting to prove a point. I believe in myself. I think I’m a good hockey player,” Tierney told the San Jose Mercury News in December. “I wanted to come in and show people that I could play an offensive role on the team.”  

DeBoer used Tierney slightly differently this season, as the forward started a career-high percentage of five-on-five shifts in the offensive zone (31.12 percent) and a career-low percentage of defensive zone starts (29.68 percent), per Corsica Hockey. Tierney responded in kind with his aforementioned career-best offensive numbers, and seized the third-line center role after versatile forward Tomas Hertl stayed on the wing.  

With Tierney back in the fold, the Sharks now have just under $4.4 million in salary cap space, according to CapFriendly. That’s for a roster carrying 14 forwards, seven defenseman, and two goaltenders, and San Jose’s actual cap space may change depending on the outcome of various positional battles in training camp. 

This summer, Tierney became the fourth Sharks player since 2008 to file for arbitration. In every case, including with Tierney on Wednesday, a settlement was reached prior to a hearing. 

The Sharks also signed a pair of prospects to entry-level contracts on Wednesday. Defenseman Ryan Merkley, San Jose’s first-round pick this June, and 21-year-old forward Alexander True, who scored 28 points in 68 games with the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda last season, both inked deals with the organization.

Martin Jones' new goalie mask will have Sharks fans seeing double

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USATSI

Martin Jones' new goalie mask will have Sharks fans seeing double

Sharks goaltender Martin Jones won't just enter the season with a different paycheck, the result of entering the first year of a five-year, $34.5 million contract extension that he signed last July. He'll also have a new mask.

Toronto-based artist Steve Nash unveiled a look at Jones' mask design for the upcoming season Monday morning on Twitter. The design again features San Jose's secondary logo but with some subtle differences.

Eagle-eyed mask afficionados will notice a couple of tweaks. First, there now are two sharks on the side, compared to only one last season. Those sharks boast orange eyes seen on the back of his mask last season

For comparison, here's a look at Jones' mask from last year.

The 28-year-old netminder is entering his fourth season in San Jose's crease. Jones posted a .915 save percentage in 60 regular-season starts and followed that with a .928 in 10 postseason starts as the Sharks advanced to the second round. 

We'll get our best look at Jones' new mask in action when training camp opens in mid-September, and, assuming he plays, in a game as soon as the Sept. 18 preseason opener against the Ducks.