MONTREAL – The Sharks jumped out to an early lead and won their third straight road game at the Bell Centre on Friday over Montreal. The three main takeaways from the 4-2 victory…
1 – Successful debut for Meier
The much anticipated debut of the ninth overall pick from 2015 was a success, as Timo Meier scored a first period goal, nearly got another in the second, and showed why he’s the organization’s best prospect in a long, long time.
“He’s a big, powerful guy. I thought he looked comfortable,” Pete DeBoer said. “He’s heavy, he’s hard – he plays the way we want to play.”
There’s no question Meier’s job is to use his big frame to get to the front of the net, which is where his two scoring chances happened. He’s just about the same size as Tomas Hertl, and could be just as offensively skilled as Hertl but with a bit more speed.
Meier said: “Obviously [I] wanted to play within my strengths, get inside, get in front of the net, and just keep it simple. I got rewarded with a goal. Just moving forward, I think I can take a lot out of this game. I think it’s great to get that first one behind me.”
Meier was the first Sharks player to score a goal on his first career shot in his NHL debut since Matt Carle on March 25, 2006 at Minnesota, according to Elias.
2 – Finally some power play goals
For the first time in 23 games, and just the second time this season, the Sharks scored multiple power play goals. Their road power play percentage was an abysmal 8.2 percent headed into the game, scoring just four times in 49 opportunities.
“We kind of struggled on the power play in Ottawa little bit, so we talked about that this morning,” said Joe Thornton, who saw the Sharks go 0-for-7 on Wednesday against the Senators. “We know how tough these guys are here at home, so we wanted to get off to a quick start, and that just helped us out.”
David Schlemko, who scored the first goal, said: “We feel like we’ve been doing the right things, and not getting the bounces we deserve. Nice to get it going early tonight.”
3 – Chasing Price
Canadiens goalie Carey Price is getting some attention around the league on Saturday after he was pulled in the second period, and was caught glaring down the bench at either his teammates or coach Michel Therrien on his way to the dressing room.
Price declined to speak with the media after the game, according to NHL.com.
Regardless, the Sharks have now beaten Price twice this season, which is an accomplishment. Even after allowing four goals on 18 shots on Friday, he’s still 16-4-2 with a 1.95 goals-against average and .935 save percentage on the season. Half of his regulation losses have come to San Jose, including a 2-1 defeat at SAP Center on Dec. 2.
“He’s one of the best goalies in the world, if not the best,” Schlemko said. “Always good to get to him early. He starts getting hot, he’s pretty tough to beat.”