Sharks takeaways: What we learned from rough 4-2 road loss vs. Flyers

Sharks takeaways: What we learned from rough 4-2 road loss vs. Flyers


The Sharks came out of the trade deadline the same way they went into it, suffering a road loss to an Eastern Conference opponent in which San Jose wasn't all that competitive.

In a 4-2 loss Tuesday night at Wells Fargo Center, the Sharks fell behind the Philadelphia Flyers within the opening two minutes. They managed to go into the first intermission with the score tied, but the Flyers mostly controlled the final two periods. Philadelphia scored twice in the second, and the depleted San Jose lineup lacked the firepower to keep up.

With the loss, the Sharks conclude a winless four-game road trip in which they were outscored 13-6 and never tallied more than two goals in any single contest.

Here are three takeaways from another loss that revealed San Jose's shortcomings.

Not Burns' best

Several of the Sharks' best players are either injured or now playing for other teams. One of the few who remains in San Jose's lineup -- defenseman Brent Burns -- is unlikely to favorably remember Tuesday's defeat.

The Flyers' first goal of the game came on a power play resulting from Burns' early hooking penalty. He was also on the ice for both of Philadelphia's goals in the second period, at least one of which he likely could have prevented if not for a bad turnover. Offensively, Burns had a rather pedestrian performance for his standards, finishing with zero points and two shots on goal.

In Burns' defense, he has taken on a larger load of the minutes in the aftermath of Erik Karlsson's season-ending injury, averaging nearly 27 minutes per game since the fellow former Norris Trophy winner went down on Feb. 14. That said, San Jose will be at a talent deficit throughout most of its remaining games, and if Burns is struggling, that will be too tough to overcome more often than not.

Ears burning

Prior to Tuesday's game, Sharks general manager Doug Wilson explained that he's looking forward to seeing what some of San Jose's younger, less-proven players can do with their increased opportunities throughout the remainder of the season. Although the Sharks lost to the Flyers, Wilson has to be pleased with certain individual performances.

Of the few youngsters Wilson specifically mentioned by name, Joel Kellman, was included. The 25-year-old Swedish winger didn't take long to show why, pulling San Jose even with the Sharks' first goal of the night. 

Defenseman Jake Middleton got the primary assist on Kellman's goal, just as he did on Tim Heed's goal in the first game of the road trip. Tuesday marked Middleton's fourth NHL game since being called up from the AHL last week, as it did for Noah Gregor, who managed to notch his second goal of the season with a wicked slap shot in the third period.

Kellman, Middleton and Gregor are the type of players Wilson was talking about prior to the game. Afterward, the GM has to like what he saw from them.

[RELATED: Wilson pleased with Sharks' haul, but work is just starting]

Dell dropping off

Tuesday marked the fourth loss in goaltender Aaron Dell's last five starts, over which he has allowed 19 goals against. That's not a good trend, but frankly, it's not as big of a deal as it would have been a few weeks ago.

Heading into the trade deadline, the Sharks had every reason to see what they could get for the pending unrestricted free agent. Had Dell's struggles occurred earlier, it likely would have diminished whatever San Jose got in return for him. Well, no trade was made, and Dell will remain with the Sharks for the duration of the season.

That is likely to be the extent of it, however. Assuming San Jose is unable to unload Martin Jones' hefty contract, it is difficult to see a situation in which Dell re-signs with the Sharks in the offseason. As such, he needs to get back on track -- not to build up his value as a trade piece, but as a free agent instead.

Sharks' Brent Burns says 'teachers are legends' in coronavirus pandemic

Sharks' Brent Burns says 'teachers are legends' in coronavirus pandemic

If there weren't already enough reasons to show teachers are massively underpaid, parents around the world are getting a glimpse firsthand right now. With schools closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, families are being forced to revert to home schooling.

To put it lightly, this is a much harder job than too many make it out to be. Sharks star Brent Burns agrees. 

"I hope everybody's staying safe," Burns said in a message to fans through NBC Sports California's Daily Shark videos. "We've been doing the same here. We've kind of just been away from everything. Trying to figure out this home schooling thing.

"Teachers, you guys are legends." 

Burns and his wife, Susan, have two kids. They first had a daughter, Peyton, and then a son, Jagger. 

The 35-year-old nicknamed "Wookie" says he has done more cleaning during the shelter in place rules than in years. More than anything he hopes for the safety of Sharks fans and everyone else all over the world.

"Stay safe, guys," Burns said. "Enjoy some family time. I know I haven't cleaned and organized as much in the last 15, 20 years as I have in the last couple days. Just organizing, cleaning, and doing some training and enjoying some family time.

"Hope you guys are doing OK."

[RELATED: Couture hopes Jumbo returns to Sharks after virus outbreak]

The NHL suspended its season indefinitely on March 12 due to the virus. Along with putting the season on hold, the 2020 NHL Draft, combine and awards all have been postponed

The moral of the story is, thank your teachers and pay the teachers. Now imagine teaching an entire classroom.

Sharks’ Evander Kane explains his favorite way to score an NHL goal

Sharks’ Evander Kane explains his favorite way to score an NHL goal

No two goals in the NHL are exactly identical.

With the creativity of players and formations throughout the hockey world, just about every finish comes in a unique way.

For Sharks winger Evander Kane, he prefers when they come on a fast break.

“My favorite way to score a goal is probably on a two-on-one,” Kane told NBC Sports California’s Brodie Brazil. “Coming down the left side and just snapping one up high, and beating the goalie clean.

“It’s kind of like a mini-breakaway, and it’s mano a mano, and there’s nothing more satisfying than beating a goalie clean.”

[RELATED: Couture hopes Jumbo returns to Sharks after virus outbreak]

That does sound familiar.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it remains unclear if the Sharks will wrap up the final 12 games of the 2019-20 season, but at least Kane has given us plenty of highlights to watch while we wait.