Sharks demolition of Flyers was a gritty, full-team effort

Sharks demolition of Flyers was a gritty, full-team effort

There were many, many stars in the Sharks’ 8-2 win over the Flyers on Tuesday evening. 

Of course, Joe Pavelski and Evander Kane scoring two goals a piece was a big boost for the Sharks offensive attack. And the power play finally getting on the board with not one, but two markers, helped push their efforts over the limit.

But behind the goal-scorers themselves was an impressive supporting cast that made a huge impact. A whopping 13 players got on the scoresheet throughout the evening, with three different players notching multiple assists on the evening. Tuesday’s tilt was, without a doubt, a full team effort from the San Jose Sharks.

After the win, Pavelski told NBC Sports’ Keith Jones the team’s success on Tuesday could be attributed to pucks bouncing in the Sharks’ favor, and the fact that “guys made a few plays along the way.” Plays, for example, like when linemate Kevin Labanc set the captain himself up for a goal up close early in the game. That assist sent Labanc on his way to pitching in as a helper a team-leading four times. According to @SharksStats, that makes 22-year-old forward the youngest player in Sharks history to tally four assists in a single game.

The Sharks blueline, which hadn’t quite met the high expectations placed on it at the start of the season, also contributed to the offensive attack against Philadelphia. Marc-Edouard Vlasic contributed to Pavelski’s first goal and set up Kane’s second, and ended the night with a plus-3. Offensive defensmen Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson set up Tomas Hertl’s goal on the power play, helping to give the Sharks top power play unit not just a goal but a boost of confidence as the road trip continues.

[RELATED: Gritty no match for Sharkie]

San Jose’s special teams in general hit plenty of high notes, with two power play goals on the evening and a short-handed marker from Barclay Goodrow and Marcus Sorensen, both of whom scored their first points on the season.

Pavelski contributed the scoring surge to getting on the scoreboard early, as opposed to Monday’s loss to the Islanders when San Jose got into the 1-0 hole early and continued playing on their heels. “(New York) got rolling, scored, we were playing from behind, we just couldn’t put anything in the net,” he relayed to Jones. But when Logan Couture found the back of the net early in the first frame in Tuesday’s tilt, “that kind of got us going. It got the team going.”

It didn’t just get the team going. It got multiple players on the scoresheet that night.

NHL free agency: Will Erik Karlsson's health affect Sharks signing him?

NHL free agency: Will Erik Karlsson's health affect Sharks signing him?

SAN JOSE – Ever since arriving in San Jose last September, Erik Karlsson’s tenure as a Shark has been riddled with questions.

Questions as to when he would get on the scoreboard when he started off the season pointless. Questions as to why he was participating in the NHL All-Star Game when he was too hurt to pencil into his team’s roster on a nightly basis. Questions as to whether the Sharks would sign him to a deal that would keep him in teal past the 2019 season – which became even more of a mystery when he tweeted out a message to Sharks fans, thanking them for the season.

The latter question will be answered in good time with San Jose’s postseason run over and free agency on the horizon. Now, come the questions as to how much Karlsson’s injuries from this past season play into what happens to him next.

“I’m still in the process of figuring all that out so I can’t really give you a straight answer,” Karlsson said during exit interviews when asked about his overall health. “It’s nothing major. It’s just going to take some time and figure everything out. It should be something that’s easy to deal with. That’s as much as I know.”

Karlsson missed 29 games over the regular season with a suspected groin injury, which first took him out of the Sharks’ lineup just before the All-Star break. Following his return in the final game of the regular season, the conversation continued into the playoffs regarding how healthy he really was.

While Karlsson appeared more and more healthy as the Sharks advanced through two rounds of the playoffs, he began to show signs he was ailing during the Western Conference final, and eventually missed Game 6.
The defenseman didn’t expand on the extent to which he was injured, only saying he was one of many Sharks’ skater who wasn’t playing at 100-percent.

“Everybody is dealing with something,” Karlsson insisted. “You have to play through things.” 

Karlsson also didn’t give any indication as to what kind of rehab process he will have to go through over the offseason, although he insisted his health wouldn't get in his way.

“All I know is it’s not going to be anything that will be a problem moving forward,” he said. “I’m going to be able to have a normal summer with training and everything and getting ready. That’s great.”

Sharks general manager Doug Wilson told the press he didn’t know yet if any injured players on the team would need surgery in the offseason, including Karlsson. When asked if Karlsson’s health played a factor in whether the team tried to sign him to a long-term deal, Wilson didn’t lean one way or the other.

“I’m still in the reflection mode of this year, just starting to meet with players, meet with coaches,” Wilson said. “We have a lot of guys who have contracts up, and out of respect to them, we don’t discuss that.”

[RELATED: Sharks emerge from playoff run with lengthy injury list]

Karlsson does appear interested, however, in testing out the market.

“I’ve worked hard for 10 years in this league to be in the position that I’m in. I’ve earned that,” he said of being an unrestricted free agent. “I’ll do everything I can to make the best decision for myself and for the team that is going to want me.”

How much his health plays into that decision, still remains to be seen. 

NHL free agency: Erik Karlsson thanks Sharks in possible goodbye tweet


NHL free agency: Erik Karlsson thanks Sharks in possible goodbye tweet

The Erik Karlsson era could be coming to an end after only one season in San Jose. 

Karlsson becomes a free agent at the end of Stanley Cup Final. The Sharks' star defenseman sent a thank you note to the team's fans and the whole Bay Area on Friday. 

San Jose acquired Karlsson, who turns 29 on May 31, from the Senators for four players and two draft picks on Sept. 13, 2018. The two-time Norris Trophy award winner was named to his fourth straight NHL All-Star Game in his first season as a Shark. 

Karlsson played in 53 regular-season games this year, his lowest since the 2012-13 season. He tallied 45 points -- three goals, 42 assists. 

Injuries, however, played a large role in Karlsson's season. He missed 27 of the Sharks' final 33 regular-season games with various ailments. And he missed the Sharks' season-ending Game 6 loss to the Blues in the Western Conference final.

[RELATED: Karlsson expected to be pursued by Rangers]

Karlsson is expected to be pursued by multiple teams this offseason, including the Sharks. But he could have just said his last goodbye to The Tank and all its fans in San Jose.