Sharks

Sharks' chaotic day ends with thrilling OT win over Jets

Sharks

Amid the chaos, the Sharks came together and pulled out a 2-1 overtime win against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night at SAP Center in San Jose.

Hours before the game, the Sharks announced that seven players, plus coach Bob Boughner, were placed in COVID-19 protocol, and would not be available for San Jose's game against the Jets. 

Losers of three straight games, the Sharks were in desperate need of a win. Without their coach and seven players, including star Erik Karlsson, three other defensemen and three forwards, San Jose got the win in spite of the craziness that took place hours before puck drop. 

“That’s definitely a feel-good win," Sharks defenseman Brent Burns said postgame. "Not only did we need to win to get back on track, but obviously missing a lot of key guys and having a crazy day. Four o’clock game, not very normal either. A lot of craziness behind the scenes. A lot of the time we’ve talked about that those are the games you just feel better and you go out and play, you’re not thinking as much. That’s a big win, that was a fun game to be a part of.”

Not only did the Sharks' win Saturday snap a frustrating losing streak, but it showed that this team is capable of overcoming the most difficult of obstacles. 

 

“It’s huge for us," Mario Ferraro told reporters. "This was probably one of the biggest wins of the season so far. I think it just shows that we have to compete every night. Certain guys stepped up, we’re missing some of our key players today, and that was huge. We need that, not just tonight, but every night whether our top guys are in the lineup or not. Just goes to show it’s about how we play, how we compete out there and anything can happen. That was a huge win for us moving forward.”

Despite everything that happened before the game, the Sharks remained calm. In fact, the mood was light prior to the contest and the locker room was having fun despite the challenge in front of them. 

“It was a little chaotic probably," goalie James Reimer said. "Guys were being calm and kind of having fun with it too. Obviously it was kind of a wild scenario, so guys were just trying to keep it light. We didn’t really know what was going to happen, whether we were going to play or not. It was a little chaotic but as we got closer to game time guys really settled in and were professional and took care of themselves and got prepared.”

Prior to the game, five players were called up from AHL San Jose Barracuda. Having played a game Friday night, the rookies were thrust into action for the second game in less than 24 hours, and impressed their veteran teammates. 

“Coming in I wasn’t worried about them, I knew the way they could perform," Reimer said. "Kudos to them, they played last night, so this was their second game in (20 hours). They didn’t even know that they were going to play when they woke up this morning, so the way they played for us today was phenomenal and a testament to their character and what they bring to the table.”

For some of them, having made their NHL debuts on such short notice might have been a blessing in disguise, not allowing for any time for nerves to accumulate before the game. 

“It’s probably a little bit nicer for those guys to get that first one during a crazy day when they don’t have time to think about ‘I’m playing my first game tomorrow,’ Burns said.

"This is a pretty crazy day for those guys. Finding out on late notice, and like i said before, sometimes that’s the best thing. Those guys got to play their first game with not a lot of time to think about it. They get a good result in it, and I think that can just really help all those guys in that circumstance.”

 
RELATED: Timo's OT goal vs. Jets caps off Sharks' rollercoaster day

Assistant coach John MacLean took over as head coach for Boughner on Saturday night. After the game, he mentioned that he and the team spoke to Boughner, who was thrilled about the win after a chaotic day. 

“We talked, he texted us all, he was on speaker on the phone with all of us in the coaches room," MacLean said. "He was excited for us, and as we all know it’s always easier when you’re in the action than watching the action, so i think he got a different view there. He said he was proud of everybody and it was great to see that everybody stepped up.”

The Sharks pulled out a much-needed win on a night where they were severely short-handed. Whether or not San Jose will make the playoffs this season is yet to be determined, but it's clear they have enough fight in them to overcome any obstacle.