Sharks morning skate: Martin still out as Kings invade San Jose


Sharks morning skate: Martin still out as Kings invade San Jose

Programming note: Kings-Sharks coverage starts tonight at 7pm with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California.

Where they stand
Sharks: 4-2-0, 8 points, 1st Pacific Division
Kings: 2-3-0, 4 points, 5th Pacific Division

The latest

Sharks: The Sharks wrapped up a four-game road trip with their worst performance of the season in New York on Monday, losing 4-0 to the Rangers. They concluded the trip with a 2-2-0 mark. San Jose has played five of its first six on the road, but a three-game homestand begins tonight and continues with Carolina and Nashville.

[KURZ: Top 5 takeaways from Sharks' 2-2-0 road trip]

Kings: The Kings won their second straight at home on Sunday, beating Colorado, 2-1. Tyler Toffoli scored for the second straight game, and is the only Kings player with multiple goals (3). Tonight is Los Angeles’ first road game of the season.

Probable lines

Matt Nieto – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Tomas Hertl – Joel Ward
Barclay Goodrow – Chris Tierney – Tommy Wingels
Micheal Haley – Bryan Lerg – Mike Brown

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – Brent Burns
Mirco Mueller – Matt Tennyson

Martin Jones (confirmed starter)
Alex Stalock

Marian Gaborik – Anze Kopitar – Dustin Brown
Milan Lucic – Jeff Carter – Tyler Toffoli
Tanner Pearson – Nick Shore – Trevor Lewis
Kyle Clifford – Andy Andreoff – Jordan Nolan

Brayden McNabb – Drew Doughty
Derek Forbort – Christian Ehrhoff
Jake Muzzin – Alec Martinez

Jhonas Enroth
Jonathan Quick (likely starter)

Keep an eye on…

Sharks: Matt Nieto. After the Rangers game Nieto was labeled as the team’s best forward that night by coach Pete DeBoer, who shifted the 22-year-old up to the Joe Thornton line in the second period. That’s where Nieto, who has one goal and two assists, will start tonight’s game.

[RELATED: Nieto likely to remain on Sharks' top line for now]

Kings: Milan Lucic. The summer acquisition hasn’t impressed with his new club at all, with just one assist through five games. Lucic went after Logan Couture late in the season opener after getting upended with a neutral zone check, and could be a target tonight.


Sharks: Joonas Donskoi (lower body), Paul Martin (lower body), Ben Smith (facial cuts), Paul Martin and Logan Couture (fractured right fibula) are out.

Kings: Matt Greene (upper body) and Dwight King (broken foot) are out.


Goals per game: 2.67 (14th)

Goals-against per game: 2.00 (T - 4th)

Power play: 15.8 percent (20th)

Penalty kill: 85.7 percent (11th)


Goals per game: 1.20 (29th)

Goals-against per game: 2.80 (23rd)

Power play: 4.8 percent (29th) 

Penalty kill: 84.6 percent (14th)

Season series

The Sharks outclassed the Kings on opening night at Staples Center on Oct. 7, 5-1. Joe Pavelski had a game high three points (1g, 2a).

The Sharks return to Staples Center on Dec. 22, while the Kings visit SAP Center on Jan. 24 and March 28.

Odds and ends

*Bryan Lerg was recalled from the Barracuda on Thursday morning, one day after getting reassigned. Mirco Mueller and Micheal Haley were recalled from the Barracuda on Wednesday. Nikolay Goldobin and Dylan DeMelo were reassigned.

*The Kings made just one appearance at SAP Center last season. Their second visit to San Jose was at Levi’s Stadium.

*The Sharks will honor forward Scott Thornton before tonight’s game as part of their 25h anniversary alumni appreciation.

Hurricanes poke fun at Petr Mrazek after fighting Sharks' Joe Thornton

Hurricanes poke fun at Petr Mrazek after fighting Sharks' Joe Thornton

Thursday night’s matchup between the Sharks and the Carolina Hurricanes featured quite a ruckus, which began when Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek slashed Sharks veteran Joe Thornton after a play, prompting Thornton to put Mrazek on his back with a vicious forearm shiver.

During Friday morning’s practice, the Hurricanes decided to have some fun with their goalie by drawing an outline of where their net-minder gracefully hit the ice.

Mrazek remained on his back for several minutes after the blow but remained in the game.

[RELATED: What we learned in Sharks' shootout loss vs. Hurricanes]

The Sharks and Thornton may have won the fight, but the Hurricanes won the game 3-2 in a wild shootout.

Sharks say Petr Mrazek 'flopped', got what he deserved from Joe Thornton


Sharks say Petr Mrazek 'flopped', got what he deserved from Joe Thornton

There was no shortage of electricity in Thursday night's rumble between the Sharks and Hurricanes, which San Jose got a point out of after falling 3-2 in the shootout

But the game really went on the verge of exploding when Carolina goalie Petr Mrazek went after Joe Thornton -- which unleashed some next-level fury that Sharks fans on social media like to refer to as "Angry Joe."

"Jumbo plays hard, and the goalie went after him," Logan Couture said after Thursday's loss. "So, I don't know if the goalie expected to get pushed like he did, but if you're going to go at someone you're probably going to get pushed."

Thornton went to give the puck a nudge as he skated by Carolina's net, realizing a bit late that Mrazek already had frozen it. But it was enough to irk the Canes' netminder, who then attempted to violently slash Thornton and subsequently stood up out of the crease as if to square off with the future Hall of Famer. 

Thornton responded with a half-push, half-punch to Mrazek's face, sending the goalie toppling over backward to the ice. Mrazek remained there as a scrum ensued behind Carolina's net. 

[RELATED: Watch Jumbo send 'Canes goalie to ice with forearm shiver]

"I think it definitely gets your group emotionally engaged in the game when you have a goalie swinging a stick at a guy like, but, as you saw, Joe can take care of himself," Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer chuckled. 

Even after Thornton was ushered over to the penalty box to serve two minor penalties, Mrazek was slow to get up off of the ice. The long delay in play left some wondering if Mrazek had a concussion, but he stayed in the game. 

This, of course, raised a couple of mid-game questions. Should Mrazek have come out of the game and gone straight into the league's concussion protocol? Was it actually the fall and not Thornton's force that caused him to labor on the ice for so long? Or, was Mrazek waiting things out so Thornton would receive more discipline?

Sharks goalie Aaron Dell offered up his two cents after the game. "He either got hit really hard and should have gone into concussion protocol or he flopped a bit, but I guess that's the ref's call," Dell said with a shrug.

Mrazek didn't offer up much to the media after the game, calling it a "cheap shot" by Thornton before saying he has suffered hits "worse than those, so it's not bad." So, perhaps we'll never know the real story.

While there is a lot of attention on his tiff with Mrazek, Thornton also deserves credit for playing an incredible game. He led the third line along with Marcus Sorensen and Kevin Labanc to one of its most impactful games so far this season, and set up Sorensen for San Jose's first goal on the evening. With the Sharks' road trip continuing with a back-to-back this weekend against the Floridian teams, getting that kind of bottom-six contribution is vital.

"He's playing well," Couture said of Thornton. "We need [the third line]. Can't win with only the top six scoring. Some nights you need the bottom six to score, and I think that line's looked really good."