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Postgame Notes #36: Meier Line Dominates, Sharks Blank Kings 3-0

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Credit: Sheng Peng

LOS ANGELES, Calif. —

Period 1

Lots of lucky bounces on Hertl goal – for example, looks like Balcers trying to get in behind net, but Anderson stick deflects it back to point: But good work by Hertl to win faceoff and to get puck after Wagner finished Knyzhov. There was a loose puck there, Hertl beat Lizotte to it.

6 minutes in: Crafty work by Couture to jump Doughty pass behind Petersen to Anderson. He knew where Doughty wanted to go – or did Doughty pass die on boards? Regardless, alert play.

10 minutes left: Pretty work by Hertl, Balcers, and Meier to navigate crowded NZ. They’ve been San Jose Sharks’ best line so far tonight.

Kane entry on PP, hard Hertl pick, draws a “Hey!!” from LA bench. PP ends with pretty Marleau cross-slot pass to Meier. I question Marleau’s addition to power play, but that’s a good shift there.

6 minutes left: Good chemistry shown by Burns and Ferraro on exit. Ferraro shakes forechecker, gives it to Burns. Burns now has forechecker but gives it to Ferraro who has built speed. Marleau helps.

Per SPORTLOGiQ, Meier leads both teams with 6 controlled entries and 6 controlled exits. Looking confident with puck so far tonight.

Period 2

Meier starts period on top of things – also picked Moore to give Burns an easier puck recovery.

1 minute in: Clever indirect area pass from Gambrell on entry, into a place that Leonard can skate into it and have a chance.

2 more big pad saves from Jones on I think Moore. Jones has been terrific tonight.

Variations on a theme: Burns get first crack with PP1 here, 4 minutes in.

7 minutes in: Viel pushes Roy on way to bench, just cause?

Meier goal: Balcers definitely pushes Doughty into Petersen. But seems well enough before Meier goal? Petersen had chance to get set.

Couture does good job to get back, negate LA 2-on-1 shortie bid. Kings bench doesn’t like it though, thought there was infraction there. Ferraro follows with a nice seam pass to Marleau but the vet goes high.

2 minutes left: Nice bit of escapability from Karlsson there from behind Jones.

Period 3

First shift: Lovely hesitation by Burns at point, fake shot, passes it onto Meier’s stick in slot for deflection.

Gambrell no-goal: Donato before pass, nice job to take that extra second, instead of hurrying pass, draws in Kings to him, puts puck in a place where Gambrell can step into it. That would’ve been a dagger; Kings have life.

After no-goal, Burns goes low, probes for opening. Dangerous bit of work there.

8 minutes in: More Meier goodness, he bats down Roy breakout pass, counterattacks. He is in rare form tonight.

10 minutes left: Nifty exit, highlighted by Burns between the legs, up the wall. He’s had a good game tonight.

7 minutes left: Ferraro shows great feet to stay with the fast Kempe, Kempe goes for pass by Ferraro’s stick right on it. Then Kopitar wants a cross-slot, but Burns’s stick shoots out, gets it out.

5 minutes left: Back-to-back attacks down Simek’s left side, but the tough d-man just erases them. It was Anderson-Dolan and someone else, just good simple erasing.

4 minutes left: San Jose Sharks having tough time getting it out, comes down to Marleau and Walker in a race of it on wall. Marleau wins.

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Alaskan_ice

The fun continues. Stretches of dominating play, puck retrieval and quick shots. If this is how we can play, watch out.
Jones was brilliant. They need to loop this game and watch it over and over. When we play as a team, we win.
I’m feeling the playoffs here.

Go Sharks!!

timorous me

Sheng, I have to say, I’d be really curious to know what your scouts think of Balcers now. Feels like a different player than the one who arrived. Playing with speed and strength, but most of all confidence. I don’t know if he has the full package to be a consistent 20-goal scorer and top six forward like Bob suggested, but I love the trajectory he’s been on since returning to San Jose.

timorous me

Awesome, that would be fun to read. And I agree on the consistency–that feels like the thing that makes it feel sustainable. Who knows what it is; maybe just feeling settled and playing regularly with a couple of high-skill guys is bringing out a new level in him. Whatever it is, long may it continue!

david barnard

playing with 2 studs helps a lot!

david barnard

i feel like we’re the “middle 6 upside” loaded team of the NHL. Leonard, Donato, and Balcers all fit that evaluation. as long as there’s enough Hertl’s to go around we’d be in a great position!

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