Florida Panthers

Sharks pay tribute to Mike Hoffman, who was on team for three hours

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Sharks pay tribute to Mike Hoffman, who was on team for three hours

Some people truly leave their mark on history -- or a team. That especially goes for Mike Hoffman's "historic" run with San Jose.

Hoffman, of course, spent just a few hours as a member of the Sharks, as the Senators traded him to San Jose back on June 19 only for the Sharks to trade him to the Florida Panthers for four draft selections.

Regardless, some Sharks fans wanted to make sure Hoffman's memory was still holding strong by creating a banner for him while he was in town.

The 29-year-old appeared to love the idea -- he posted it to his Instagram story saying how funny it was:

https://twitter.com/SarahStJohn21/status/1106434055967395840

The Sharks hosted the Panthers on Thursday but fell short in a 4-2 loss. This snapped a six-game winning streak for San Jose, while Hoffman had himself a successful night.

Hoffman told the Associated Press' Josh Dubow how much the banner meant to him during the "reunion."

"I saw that, he said. "I appreciate the respect for the fans there. I'll try to reach out and contact the fan to get that from him."

[RELATED: Sharks lament lack of smarts, energy in loss to Panthers]

And it looks like he kept his promise:

But where is he going to put it? Don't worry, we have an update:

Either way, was nice to see the fans pay tribute to a guy who appeared to make such a huge impact on the team. And we're glad Hoffman had a good sense of humor about it. 

Sharks lament lack of smarts as win streak ends in loss to Panthers

Sharks lament lack of smarts as win streak ends in loss to Panthers

SAN JOSE – The Sharks have had to rally through a tough schedule all season. On some nights, despite going into a game with the right mindset, fatigue can still creep in. 

Thursday's 4-2 loss to the Florida Panthers was one of those nights. 

“It hit us tonight,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer summarized. “Five games in eight nights and a back-to-back to Minnesota and Winnipeg and back, I think it caught up to us a little bit.”

Mix a busy schedule against tough teams with plenty of penalty trouble Thursday night, and the odds weren't in the Sharks' favor. 

“You have to give them credit too, they played hard.” DeBoer said. “We’ve found a way, a lot of times this year, to win these games when our energy was down. But tonight wasn’t one of those nights.”

Kevin Labanc agreed: “We’ve had plenty of games like that and we found a way to win. We just weren’t really smart, I think.”

The smarts Labanc was referring to were in relation to San Jose’s penalty trouble. The Panthers entered Thursday with the NHL's second-best power play, so staying out of the box was imperative.

While the Sharks did do an excellent job killing off a Logan Couture double minor halfway through the second period playing for a long stretch shorthanded took the wind out of San Jose’s sails. When the team was penalized for having too many men on the ice at the end of that frame, Florida forward Mike Hoffman found the back of the net on the ensuing power play to give the Panthers a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

“They’ve got a good power play, they made us pay,” Couture said. “We were sloppy all night though. Penalties, turnovers, everything.”

[RELATED: How Hertl will help Simek cope with right knee surgery]

Joe Pavelski mentioned that one area where the Sharks have been successful as of late has been in third periods. Despite being down, San Jose went into the final 20 minutes with the idea they could turn things around. San Jose did put on a bit of pressure in the game's final minutes, but couldn’t cut into that two-goal hole.

“We go out with the mindset ‘if we win the period here, we win the game,’” the captain said. “We didn’t jump on it.”

The Sharks will have to rest up and refill the gas tank. They have tough competition in the Nashville Predators and the Vegas Golden Knights coming into town on the homestand, and they simply need to have more energy than they did against the Panthers.

“I’m sure the energy level looked like it was low,” Couture admitted. “We’ve got to find a way to play better than that.”

Sharks takeaways: What we learned as streak ends in 4-2 loss to Panthers

Sharks takeaways: What we learned as streak ends in 4-2 loss to Panthers

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE – The Sharks had an opportunity to extend their winning streak, and clinch a playoff berth with a victory over the Florida Panthers. But San Jose fell flat against Florida, and a six-game winning streak was snapped with a 4-2 loss.

Here are three takeaways from Thursday’s game at SAP Center:

Did the schedule catch up to the Sharks?

We’ve seen this before when San Jose has returned from a strong, albeit emotional, road trip. The first home game back after a successful roadie can sometimes be challenging. Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said as much when the team returned from sweeping their four-gamer through western Canada, but got stung with a 5-1 loss to the Washington Capitals on Valentine’s Day.

While playing their fifth game in eight days isn’t an excuse for a lack of energy – and nobody on the Sharks is ever going to make excuses for that – it really is understandable they didn’t have their usual oomph on Thursday. Even though San Jose found an extra shot of adrenaline in the final four minutes of the third period, it just wasn’t quite enough.

Too much time on the kill didn’t help

Something we’ve talked about over the Sharks' last stretch of games is that they need to be better about staying out of the penalty box. With the Florida Panthers having the second-best power play in the entire NHL, this was imperative Thursday. 

San Jose’s kill did some really good work, but that couldn't completely keep Florida off the board.

The Sharks penalty kill units had to put in a lot of work on Thursday evening, particularly in the second period when Logan Couture went to the box for a high-sticking double-minor. While they killed off the long penalty, they also looked visibly gassed. San Jose then couldn’t repeat that success when called for too many men on the ice, and surrendered a power-play goal to Florida winger (and brief former Shark) Mike Hoffman.

On a positive note …

[RELATED: How Hertl will help Simek cope with right knee surgery]

Joakim Ryan had a nice showing in his return to the ice

Thursday was a very important game for Ryan, who hadn’t seen any game action since before the All-Star break. DeBoer was adamant with the press after Thursday’s morning skate that Ryan needed to get up to speed and fast.  At this time of the season, whoever pencils into the lineup has to be on their A-game.

Ryan answered the call filling into Radim Simek’s spot alongside Brent Burns. While he didn’t get on the scoreboard – and he did try, getting a good look in the third period – he did his part on the defensive side of the puck. While the team as a whole didn’t have one of its best games, the defenseman had some punch in his first game back in the lineup.