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Game Notes #15: Sharks Deserve Better, Blues Win 3-2 in OT



Credit: NBCS Bay Area

First Period

St. Louis PK doesn’t have a ton of respect for Brent Burns as the PP QB. No criticism on Burns – you can mitigate the Blues forechecker with more support. But yes, they wouldn’t crowd Karlsson like that because of EK65’s skating chops (even reduced) would leave forechecker behind.

4 minutes in, painful-looking puck-moving sequence from Knyzhov.

Burns gets another push on Perron, Burns has to contain himself. Perron went down easy, that’s part of his game. Burns could’ve got another one for extra shot.

Vegas also took advantage of Sharks PK leaving man down low by himself for jam play, just like Sundqvist did there with Hoffman goal.

10 minutes in, another Marleau chance. He’s been so close, consistently getting quality chances last few games. Of course, the 41-year-old will never be that guy again, but I don’t worry about the zero goals, I ask if he’s earning chances. He is. Think his game has improved throughout this year: A few games in, I was thinking he was scratchable. Now, a bit better.

12 minutes in, two nice Vlasic passes break Sharks out. Always an underrated ability of his, you don’t become world-class if you can’t pass. A shame that feet and motor aren’t quite there for him right now (any more?). In terms of smarts and stickwork, he still has it though, I think.

3 minutes left, Dunn has no chance to contain hard-charging Burns coming down slot. Great read by Burns. What an exciting sequence, good by Leonard to get puck to place that Burns can reach too.

Donato ends period with high sticking penalty after a terrible neutral zone turnover that led to MacEachern breakaway. Donato curled back in neutral zone, then tossed a soft backhand pass up the middle. Maybe Burns was calling for it on weakside, but you have to either backhand a much-harder pass or make a better individual decision. Those are the plays that show you that Donato’s game still needs to mature before he locks down a higher role.

San Jose Sharks started slow, but they rallied in the second half of the opening frame with some rush chances. Per SPORTLOGiQ, held 4-1 Scoring Chances Off the Rush edge in 1st period, All Situations.  However, Blues are slightly above-average defending the rush, so that might not be a sustainable path of success for Sharks.

Second Period

2 minutes in, very active defending by Ferraro on O’Reilly. O’Reilly, a veteran star who’s seen a lot, doesn’t seem ready for Ferraro’s urgency. Credit to the Sharks’ young defender.

7 minutes in, Burns presses attack, does nice job to find Marleau.

Next shift after TV timeout, really nice offensive shift from Ferraro. Doesn’t look out of place in a forward position.

Gambrell does the work, taking punishment on the Meloche point shot that rebounds to Gregor.

6 minutes left, outstanding save by Jones. Not sure where Meier is on Barbashev.

And there’s why you keep playing Donato. Nice presence of mind to see Leonard, get him puck. Marleau does good job to keep puck alive off draw too. Cool as cucumber move by Leonard.

Gambrell has done a lot of good tonight in all three zones.

Gorgeous sequence: Burns, under pressure, pops a nice pass (maybe deflected) to Labanc. Labanc stretches it through two Blues, but Kane misses net on breakaway.

San Jose Sharks deserve a lot of credit for this middle frame: Obviously didn’t like their first, but they pushed back in second. Not just in scoreboard, but their process was stronger, per Natural Stat Trick, 11-6 Scoring Chances and 6-4 High-Danger at 5-on-5.

Looks like I was wrong — Sharks continue to burn Blues on rush. Per SPORTLOGiQ, up to 8-1 in Scoring Chances Off the Rush, All Situations. No goals off of it, but really putting pressure on St. Louis.

Third Period

6 minutes in, good energy by Marleau to keep forechecking at end of long shift.

7 minutes, incredible diving effort by Couture to keep up with Blues late man trailer Clifford, he hampers a St. Louis one-timer.

Might be best four-line effort from Sharks tonight at 5-on-5, every line has had chances.

8 minutes left, Gambrell jumps St. Louis breakout pass. Another good play.

4 minutes left, great PK play by Ferraro, jumps backdoor pass to Kyrou. Huge kill by the San Jose Sharks.

Kyrou fake-shot pass, seam pass to Hoffman. Too bad, Sharks earned the full 2 points tonight.

Sharks up 2-1, but they took 3-0 High-Danger Chances edge in final frame at 5-on-5:


Controlled chaos by Burns to start 2-on-1, then Gambrell does great job taking Schenn on breakaway 1-on-1. What a play by Gambrell. His best all-round game for me so far this year.

Knyzhov on a 3-on-3 is a sight that I thought I’d never see this year.

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