Sharks takeaways: What we learned in 3-2 win over desperate Jets


Sharks takeaways: What we learned in 3-2 win over desperate Jets


The Sharks gave defenseman Brent Burns the best gift he could've asked for in his 1,100th NHL game. Other than a pair of antelope, that is. 

San Jose came back to beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 on Friday night, thanks to a pair of quick third-period goals from Melker Karlsson and Timo Meier. The Sharks turned a one-goal deficit into a one-goal lead in just under 90 seconds, opening their two-game road trip with a well-earned victory over a team desperately pushing for a playoff spot. The Jets nearly forced overtime, but Kyle Connor hit the post with just under 20 seconds remaining in regulation.

Here are three takeaways from the Sharks' third straight road win.

Sticking with it

The Sharks entered the third period with a 24-14 advantage on the shot clock and nothing to show for it. Then, the third period happened. 

Karlsson and Meier scored 1:29 apart early in the final frame, all while the Jets couldn't sustain any offense. Winnipeg didn't attempt a third-period shot until San Jose goaltender Aaron Dell stopped Patrik Laine's wrister 8:17 in.

The Sharks will welcome that change of pace, despite the Jets' late flurry as they pushed for a tying goal. San Jose has given up a higher share of 5-on-5 shots and quality chances under interim coach Bob Boughner than predecessor Peter DeBoer, but the Sharks had massive edges in both areas Friday and that set up their third-period comeback. 

Penalty kill nearly a killer again

Connor's between-the-legs beauty nearly swung the game. He evened things up with a stunning power-play goal, and Blake Wheeler gave the Jets a 2-1 lead soon after.

Connor's goal was just enough to briefly get the Jets back in the game, and the Sharks continued an ugly trend, too. San Jose has now allowed 10 power-play goals in the last 11 games, killing off just 22 of their 33 penalties. 

The penalty kill bounced back by keeping the Jets off the board in the third period, but a downward slide down the stretch could spell trouble. Dominant 5-on-5 efforts like Friday's more than makeup for short-handed struggles, but San Jose's penalty kill needs to start pulling its weight.

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A long time coming

Marcus Sorensen's first goal in over two months was befitting of a long wait. The Swedish-born forward first needed to poke a loose puck past Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck in the first period, then wait for the results of a coach's challenge and then rely on the scorekeeper crediting him with his sixth goal of the season after briefly giving it to Sharks rookie Alexander True.

Sorensen managed just two assists over his previous 25 games before scoring Friday. He found strong chemistry with new linemates True and Dylan Gambrell early, and the trio pinned Winnipeg in its own end during their limited looks with one another. 

The Sharks entered Friday with the fourth-fewest goals scored this season (145), and Sorensen's struggles after scoring a career-high 17 in 2018-19 have played a role. He won't reach that this season, but Sorensen's play alongside True and Gambrell bodes well for the Swede improving the rest of the way.

How Kendall Coyne Schofield is staying fit during coronavirus hiatus


How Kendall Coyne Schofield is staying fit during coronavirus hiatus

For world-class athletes, being stuck in the house is a strange feeling.

But that's the predicament NBC Sports California's Sharks analyst Kendall Coyne Schofield finds herself in.

Schofield and her husband Michael, an offensive lineman who last played with the Los Angeles Chargers, are holed up at their Orland Park, Illinois home.

In the latest episode of NBC Sports' Distance Training, the Schofields told host Jac Collinsworth that before the state issued a "Stay at home" order, they went to local sporting good stores and bought dumbbells, elastic bands, an exercise bike and anything else they might need in order to workout at home.

"Obviously, our biggest stress was as soon as it started going down and gyms started closing and everywhere we had a chance to work out started closing, we were like 'We need to find a way to workout,' " Michael said. "So I knew a couple days before, our governor of Illinois was going to do a shelter in place or stay in place announcement, we booked dumbbells, we got bands, we ran to Dick's Sporting Goods to get whatever we could and just throw it in our basement.

"But now it's been a hassle. 'OK, we got two dumbbells, a bunch of bands, a stationary bike, let's make the best of it and see what we can do to stay in shape, so it's definitely been hard every single day to come up with workouts and doing stuff, but we're making the most of it."

But working out at their home hasn't been the easiest transition for Kendall and Michael.

"I think what's really challenging, and I'm sure a lot of athletes have the same challenges, when you're in your basement, when you're in your home, you're in an environment that's usually comfortable to you," Kendall said. "That you usually come back to after working out, you're relaxing and you're doing anything but physical activity to be an elite athlete, so I think it's hard being in our home working out and trying to reach that peak performance level mentally and physically, and then at the same time, your phone rings and you say 'I'm just gonna grab that. It's fine,' and just trying to stay on track because there are so many distractions in this environment that you never really utilized as your gym, your lab, your place to be as professional as you can in your sport."

You can watch the full interview between the Schofields and Collinsworth here:

The NHL season, like all other North American sports leagues, is on an indefinite hiatus, and no timeline for resumption of play has been given.

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Until the league makes an announcement, Kendall Coyne Schofield will have to keep working out in her home in Illinois.

How Sharks' Timo Meier is handling coronavirus pandemic in Switzerland

How Sharks' Timo Meier is handling coronavirus pandemic in Switzerland

Timo Meier is back in Europe, and doing just fine.

But his country is not.

“It’s pretty bad here in Switzerland,” the Sharks forward said last week via FaceTime. “Obviously, the [coronavirus case] numbers increase daily. I try not to read too much into it, but you can’t really avoid it.”

Switzerland, with a population of less than 9 million, has one of the highest COVID-19 cases-per-capita numbers in the world. Greater than Italy, Spain or the United States as of last week.

“Here, we have the rule that you’re not allowed to be around more than five people outside,” Meier explained. “But I’m trying to stick to the rule of staying home. Only go outside when really needed.”

It became a quick decision for Meier to leave San Jose. He wanted to be near family, but that obviously necessitated a trans-Atlantic flight to reach Zurich. Boarding that plane during a pandemic was slightly terrifying.

“It was definitely weird flights,” Meier said. “I was trying to be really cautious — luckily, I had some hand sanitizer. After everything I’d touch, I’d sanitize my hands. A little too cautious at times, but you really can’t be. I was really trying to limit everything and don’t touch too much stuff. I made it here safe.”

Meier isn’t necessarily a germaphobe, but he knows this experience could have an effect.

“It’s definitely going to translate after this is over,” Meier said. “I’m going to be a little more careful than I was before, but I think that’s a good thing.”

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Days lately are simple and repetitive for the 23-year-old. They include sleeping in, a morning workout, an isolated afternoon walk in the hills, and usually a glass of wine with dinner.

Meier seems perfectly content under isolation, so long as things remain similar for he and family: “I’m not complaining too much.”