Marc-Andre Fleury

Vegas' Marc-Andre Fleury throws shade at Sharks ahead of tilt with Bruins

Vegas' Marc-Andre Fleury throws shade at Sharks ahead of tilt with Bruins

The Sharks and Golden Knights have seen a whole lot of each other over the past six months.

After San Jose eliminated Vegas with an epic Game 7 comeback in the first round of last year's Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Sharks and Golden Knights opened this season with a home-and-home that saw Vegas notch 4-1 and 5-1 wins, respectively.

The Golden Knights will face the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins next, a challenge that Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is excited about because the Sharks didn't exactly impress him.

This rivalry really is an everyday affair.

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Fleury did his best to stoke the flames of the rivalry during Vegas' 5-1 win at SAP Center. While the two teams were brawling, Fleury picked up a wayward Sharks stick and handed it to a fan through the glass, which was an epic troll move.

The Sharks have time to turn their season around, obviously, but they'll need to improve on every level if they want to challenge the Golden Knights atop the Pacific Division. Otherwise, there will be a lot more trash talk coming out of SIn City. 

Why Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury gave Sharks stick to fan after brawl

Why Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury gave Sharks stick to fan after brawl

The Golden Knights opened the 2019-20 NHL season by thoroughly pounding the Sharks, but getting a win never is enough in a heated rivalry.

After picking up a 4-1 win on opening night at T-Mobile Arena, the two teams moved their feud to San Jose, where the Golden Knights picked up a 5-1 win. During the blowout victory at SAP Center, Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury chose to pull a fast one on the rival Sharks by picking up a wayward stick and handing it to a fan in the seats.

Classic.

When asked why he gave the stick away, Fleury, with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek, gave an acceptable defense.

Very on-brand from Fleury.

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The Sharks have opened their season with three straight losses, and now must find a way to get back on track if they are to challenge Fleury and the Golden Knights in the Pacific Division.

Otherwise, the rivalry could become quite one-sided.

Sharks takeaways: What we learned in 5-1 loss to Vegas in home opener

Sharks takeaways: What we learned in 5-1 loss to Vegas in home opener

SAN JOSE -- It's a darn good thing the Sharks don't play the Golden Knights every game of the regular season. 

Once again, there was no third-period comeback for San Jose, although there was a pretty good line brawl after the Sharks finally got on the board in the final frame. Unfortunately, it wasn't nearly enough for a victory on Friday evening as they fell to the rival Vegas crew in their home opener, this time by a score of 5-1.

Here are three takeaways from another lackluster effort:

Sunk from the start

There was at least some hope right after the puck dropped when Tomas Hertl nearly found the back of the net on the first shift of the game. But then San Jose gave up the first goal at the 5:01 mark -- a William Carrier shot that went five-hole on Martin Jones, which he should have stopped -- and the team never regained its footing after that. After going into a 2-0 hole in the first period Friday night, San Jose has now been outscored 13-3 by Vegas over six consecutive first periods. 

It might only be the second game of the season, but the Sharks have to do a better job of maintaining their momentum. Playing from behind can really take the wind out of a team's sails, and in the event San Jose does give up the first goal of a game, they must not let it define how the play for the rest of that contest.

The offense needs to get going

There has been plenty of talk about how much the Sharks need to tighten up their defense this season. But they also need to find more ways to create offense, which didn't happen Friday night. While there's no denying Marc-Andre Fleury is a good goalie, the Sharks didn't do enough to challenge him until Barclay Goodrow caught him out of position with less than six minutes left in the game.

It wasn't just the even-strength scoring that refused to click. San Jose's power play was even more difficult to watch, only generating one shot on goal on a single power-play opportunity, which was further exacerbated by then giving up two shorthanded goals after that. If the Sharks are going to rack up so many opportunities on the man advantage, they have to start capitalizing on them. 

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It was about time someone got angry

Of course, no player or coach wants their team to completely lose their composure and get into penalty trouble, and there were quite a few 10-minute misconducts being handed out after the debacle that followed Goodrow's third-period goal. But this Sharks team needed some extra fire in their game Friday, especially after falling into another two-goal hole so early on.

The Golden Knights made it very clear they had the upper hand in Friday's game and the Sharks didn't do much in the way of fighting back. This was exemplified in the second period when Vegas' Mark Stone poked the puck past Jones after the whistle was blown, which provoked practically no response from San Jose. If it takes that long for the Sharks to up their aggression against a heavily-despised rival like the Knights, it doesn't bode well for how they'll play against a lesser rival.