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Game Notes #18: Sharks Lose 7-6 in Karlsson’s Return



Credit: Sheng Peng

First Period

Meier need a bounce, that’s as good a bounce as you’ll get. He’s also the San Jose Sharks player who won the DZ faceoff for San Jose, 50-50 puck, Meier rooted it out.

4 minutes in, nice behind-the-back breakout from Gambrell. 5 minutes in, dogged puck pursuit by Labanc keeps it in.

Ugly Balcers turnover. Not the first game – look at previous Game Notes – he’s tried a behind-the-back breakout pass to nobody in particular. We saw with Gambrell earlier, same play, you gotta be sure. Balcers’s pass looks like it would’ve been fine if Meier, his target, was right-handed, that’s how bad it was. St. Louis also feasts on getting shots off with traffic in front, that Scandella goal an example of it.

Following shift, under pressure in DZ, Balcers ices it. That’s better than previous turnover, but not impressive work from a guy who hasn’t proven to belong at NHL level.

10 minutes in, Donato has come out like a house on fire. Attacking net with purpose.

Karlsson looked like he had a tough time getting going with Perron on him. Maybe because Perron was holding him?

Kane with a good keep-in with stick, batting clear down, that paved way for his power play goal. Looks like Karlsson and Burns will each have their own PP unit.

8 minutes left, Marleau leads the rush, Leonard shot, Marleau almost directs it in with foot. He still has speed that backs people off.

6 minutes left, Karlsson has a beaut feed to Nieto, then Chmelevski attacks net hard with nice cutback to net. Chmelevski has been good with puck so far, cool under pressure.

3 minutes left, love love this Couture line/Burns shift. That’s blueprint stuff, the cycling, Burns’s roving.

2 minutes left, Donato has had a good period, but that cutback and pass up the middle to Marleau, trying through 2 Blues, is hope play you want to stay away from. That’s counterattack nightmare fuel.

Second Period

Good awareness by Ferraro to stop breakaway pass to Sanford coming out of box.

Bad giveaway by Labanc leads to easy Blais goal. Story of the season, right? Both San Jose goals come off “easy to play against” plays, Labanc, Balcers.

6 minutes in, Donato is assertive with the puck again, taking it into blue paint on PP.

Perfect shot by Timo, Gambrell provided a good screen. Meier getting all the bounces tonight.

Sweet one-timer by Schenn, but gotta get a save there.

9 minutes in, love the forecheck by Kane, gets inside stick position on Walker at OZ left circle.

Not a good hooking penalty by Karlsson there, chance to get some breathing room. Kind of penalty that shows feet aren’t there for him quite yet.

7 minutes left, that’s a mature play by Gambrell in DZ corner. No play, eat it, keep puck alive until you have a play.

5 minutes left, now that’s a clutch save from Dubnyk. Bailed out Gambrell, I think, who looks like he lost coverage.

Game getting loose: Knyzhov lets Kyrou behind him, then Gambrell can’t contain Sanford behind net. Then Sanford jams it in – another one that Dubnyk may want back.

Third Period

O’Reilly just short-circuited entire San Jose Sharks power play breakout on opening shift. Took a near Balcers interference to make any breathing room.

Honestly, a disgraceful PP shift there that led to MacEachern shortie.

Credit to Labanc to keep puck alive on Burns hard rim, 2 Blues were on him until Meier could pick it up. Crafty Leonard pass, that’s high-level stuff.

But then soft Labanc play along the wall and it’s another gimme, this time for O’Reilly.

5 minutes left, grasping for positives, better job by Karlsson to handle Kyrou (admittedly tired-looking) rush than in St. Louis early in season.

Good teams find a way to win games, bad teams find a way to lose.

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