Sharks

Sharks must move on from first Golden Knights meet for chance at win

Sharks must move on from first Golden Knights meet for chance at win

SAN JOSE -- The Sharks are plenty excited to have Erik Karlsson back in the lineup as they faceoff against the Golden Knights for the third time in less than a week.

But head coach Peter DeBoer made it very clear after Friday's morning skate that having Karlsson back wasn't going to completely erase San Jose's dismal performance 48 hours earlier.

"He makes a huge difference. But having said that, if we don't play better than we did last game, two Erik Karlssons won't help us win," DeBoer said. "He's going to help, but we've got to be better as a group."

San Jose wasn't at their best in Wednesday's season debut. To have a chance of winning the rematch on Friday night, the team is going to have to pick up the pieces and move on. 

Part of that process starts with the veteran players leading the way.

"As a team, we need to play a lot better," captain Logan Couture said. "Move past the way we played -- veterans, rookies, second-year guys. Everyone needs to be better and I think that starts with us older guys. If we play better, the younger guys will follow."

While the team maintains the majority of its veteran core from previous seasons, they also have fresh faces in the mix with rookies Lean Bergmann, Danil Yurtaykin, and Mario Ferraro all set to make their home debut for the Sharks. The opponent, on the other hand, is rolling out an almost identical lineup to last season. And the difficulty in beating them is ever-present.

"They (Vegas) is a veteran team, they don't make mistakes," DeBoer said. "They don't beat themselves, they make you pay when you do make a mistake. We have to breakout better, we have to forecheck better, our special teams have to be better. Across the board."

This isn't to say the Sharks are completely doomed heading into Friday's contest. As Timo Meier explained, tough losses like the one the Sharks suffered on Wednesday are good for building the team up.

"Those are the games that are going to make us better," No. 28 said. "We have another one tonight. It's going to be a tight one. A hard one. We're prepared." 

It doesn't hurt that the team will be on home ice, where they have historically played well -- like in their comeback victory against the same Golden Knights last April.

[RELATED: What Sharks need to improve on after season-opening loss]

But that's enough of dwelling on the past. If the Sharks are going to play better Friday than they did a couple of days ago, they have to keep looking forward. 

"We've got to learn from the mistakes we made in the first game and move on," Meier said. "Today's a new day."

Why Patrick Marleau's goal song didn't play in Sharks' win over Ducks

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AP

Why Patrick Marleau's goal song didn't play in Sharks' win over Ducks

SAN JOSE -- The Sharks are ready to spice up their goal celebrations. In a 4-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night, San Jose brought the heat, but the SAP Center DJ failed to bring the expected flavor.

It wasn't his or her fault, though. It's sort of hard to play the right song when there is no song to be played.

Before being robbed of a much-deserved All-Star Game MVP award over the weekend in St. Louis, Tomas Hertl broke the news to Sharks fans that he and his fellow teammates would each have their own goal songs when the team returned from the All-Star break. Each player's song was supposed to be kept a surprise until they scored a goal, so when Stefan Noesen lit the lamp less than two minutes into the game Monday night, it came as a surprise to many -- Noesen included -- when the team's default goal song came on over the loudspeakers.

A few minutes later, Patrick Marleau scored to make it 2-0 San Jose. Again, 2 Unlimited's "Get Ready for This" played. In the second period, Marleau scored his second goal of the night. Same thing. So what gave?

It turns out that it was part operator error, part old-fashioned procrastination.

Noesen had actually picked a song out, and lucky for the Sharks, the SAP Center crowd would get to hear it before the night was over. Marleau, on the other hand, is still deliberating.

"Still working it out to see what it is," Marleau said of his yet-to-be-decided goal song after San Jose's win. "Probably leave it up to my family. They'll pick it."

Last week, Marleau's wife took to Twitter to ask Sharks fans for suggestions as to what his goal song should be. Apparently, none were to his liking, but his better half won't allow him to go without one for much longer.

After he scored his first goal of the night, Marleau's wife threatened to choose "Wheels on the Bus" on his behalf if he didn't figure one out soon. The couple has four boys between the ages of 5 and 13 so one would imagine Marleau has heard plenty of that song over the last decade.

Chances are, he has heard plenty of Noesen's song, too.

Early in the third period, Noesen ripped a slapshot from the slot into the back of Anaheim's net after receiving what he called an "all-world" pass from Erik Karlsson. The goal increased San Jose's lead to 4-1, and as fans rose out of their seats to celebrate the goal that put the game out of reach, their ears were greeted by the unmistakable sounds of "Hakuna Matata."

"I had something else picked out and then somebody else was watching 'The Lion King,' and I thought that would be kind of funny to put on and maybe get a little reaction from the crowd, too," Noesen said of his song choice. "And they seemed to enjoy it. It was fun."

[RELATED: Would Sharks really trade Thornton or Marleau this year?]

While Marleau still needs to come to a decision, Noesen plans to stick with his.

"Yeah, unless someone tells me otherwise," he said with a laugh following his first two-goal game with San Jose. "I thought it was good. They messed it up on the first one, and I wasn't sure if I'd ever have another chance to hear it.

"It was a good thing I got that nice pass."

Sharks takeaways: What we learned in impressive 4-2 win over Ducks

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AP

Sharks takeaways: What we learned in impressive 4-2 win over Ducks

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE -- It starts with one.

The Sharks (22-25-4) know they have a long way to go to get back in the playoff picture, so they're not looking too far ahead. They kept their focus on the task at hand Monday night at SAP Center, a divisional matchup against the long-time rival Anaheim Ducks (19-25-5), and handled business to the tune of a 4-2 win.

In both team's first game coming out of the All-Star break, both sides clearly benefitted from the time off, although San Jose seemed to get back in a groove slightly quicker, building a 2-0 advantage less than five minutes into the contest. Although the Ducks threatened at times throughout the game, the Sharks never relinquished the lead.

It wasn't a perfect game for San Jose by any means, but the team did enough to earn a much-needed victory. The rivals combined for 59 hits in the physical battle, while Aaron Dell was solid once again in net, stopping 26 of 28 shots.

Here are three takeaways from what the Sharks hope is the first of many wins in the second "half":

Strong start

Just as the Sharks started the post-All-Star-break portion of the schedule on the right foot, so too did they begin Monday night's game. From the opening faceoff, San Jose exhibited a jump that had been lacking the last time it took the ice. The Sharks had scored one goal over their previous two games, both losses. They doubled that total within the first five minutes Monday night.

San Jose appeared to follow the lead of its fourth line, which did precisely what it was supposed to do to get Team Teal on the board. Just under two minutes into the contest, the fourth line forced an offensive-zone turnover off a face-off. The puck found its way to Joel Kellman, who threw it at the net and had his shot deflected in by Stefan Noesen for the Sharks' first goal.

A couple minutes later, it was the third line's turn. After dumping the puck in on the forecheck, Dylan Gambrell was able to work it over to Patrick Marleau in the corner, who passed it in the direction of Marcus Sorensen, who was parked in front of the net. The pass was deflected by a Ducks defenseman, but fortunately for San Jose, it bounced right back to Marleau, who promptly lit the lamp.

Noesen and Marleau helped get the Sharks off to the start they needed, and neither was done scoring on the evening.

The ageless wonder

San Jose took the 2-0 lead into the second period, but saw it cut in half on Ondrej Kase's short-handed goal just over nine minutes into it. Anaheim had all the momentum at that point, and appeared poised to tie things up before long. Marleau had other ideas.

With less than five minutes remaining in the second period, The Ducks' defense misplayed a faceoff in San Jose's defensive zone. Marleau got behind them, and that was that.

Marleau didn't just get to the puck first. He retrieved it, opened up a lead and then padded the Sharks' advantage. He simply looked like the fastest player on either team Monday night, and after watching that goal, he still might rank among the fastest skaters in the entire league. Those other skaters, though? They're not 40 years old.

Marleau is. He has been better this season than he was in the last, and at this rate, there's no reason why he shouldn't be able to unseat Gordie Howe as the NHL's all-time leader in games played next year.

Special-team problems

In addition to Kase's short-handed goal, Anaheim's Nick Ritchie notched a power-play goal late in the third, and while it didn't change the final outcome, it did continue a concerning trend for San Jose. Including Monday's win, the Sharks have now allowed at least one power-play or short-handed goal in each of their last five games.

It's one thing to have an ineffective power play. It's entirely another to be a defensive liability, as well. San Jose has been able to rely on it's top-ranked penalty kill all season long, but clearly, even that is in a bit of a downspell. If the Sharks are going to do the unlikely and make it back to the postseason, the special teams dont just have to be better; they have to be special. Right now, they're a far cry from that.