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Postgame Notes #39: Sharks Take Chomp Out of Kings 5-2



Credit: Sheng Peng

Period 1

Minute in, Simek shows nice patience to look up, feint like he’s moving puck forward, turn back. Doesn’t force play.

Not sure what Burns is doing on Iafallo goal. If Ferraro had the puck, it would make sense for Burns to be behind Jones as an outlet for Ferraro. Here? Burns’s reaction after goal looked like he thought something else was going on. Regardless, that’s a guy open that can’t happen, unforced error.

9 minutes in: Couple examples of insistent forechecking by Donato there. Strong shift by the Gambrell line.

Kings were taking over, peeling off seven straight shots, including a couple high-danger ones, before Labanc beat Petersen. Credit to Jones for some big saves, including on the PK.

8 minutes left: Love Leonard holding off Grundstrom on entry. Helps, it looks like Donato, get that puck.

Marleau goal: Old man strength there by Marleau to establish position on Kopitar. That’s impressive, Kopitar is obviously strong. Also, it was a sharp Karlsson pass to Sorensen that opened up zone entry to San Jose Sharks.

Looks like Wolanin doesn’t tie up Balcers on that follow-up. That’s not going to impress his new coach.

Period 2

Minute in: Liked Balcers’s DEFENSIVE shift there, all over puck.

4 minutes in: Liked that work by Balcers along wall. Moore got in his way, but Balcers still winning pucks.

5 in: San Jose Sharks lose puck on forecheck, Kings break out 3-on-2. Know Leonard is tired, but he’s got to make it back, track back to eliminate that cross pass and even up numbers. He’s the closest forward, he has to recognize that. A young man’s mistake. Lucky that Clague pass misses Lemieux in front, Marleau-like chance.

8 in: Grundstrom gets a step on Gambrell, but Gambrell’s stick comes through as pass to slot sneaks through. Good work there from him.

Viel is game but MacDermid a monster. Mac 10-9.

Labanc has executed well tonight. Moving the puck crisply and accurately.

Imagine if Ferraro hadn’t backed off after hearing Jones bang the stick at end of that PP. Would’ve been 3-on-0.

6 minutes left: Huge save by Jones on Iafallo. Burns was at far point waiting for the puck. Burns does force Iafallo to the backhand on recovery, making breakaway save easier for Jones.

Min left: Gambrell is a step slow on Simek pass after his faceoff PK win, but does good job on puck pursuit, gets it out, nearly has his own SH breakaway.

9-4 High-Danger All Situations, per Natural Stat Trick, for Kings in middle frame. Jones brought his A-game in this period plus some luck.

Period 3

2 minutes in: Jaros is really mobile. Just that aspect, you can see why San Jose Sharks took the chance there.

4 minutes in: Like that Balcers’s backcheck, doesn’t make for much offense, but halts LA momentum.

Good Burns’s stand-up on Kopitar leads to San Jose 2-on-1, Labanc shot. Today has been a good example of what he does well, what he doesn’t always do well defensively. Consistently, he’s tough to beat 1-on-1 – but that is sometimes betrayed by his trouble with sorting out coverage, who his guy is at times.

9 minutes in, Meier cuts toward middle, lucky not to lose it…is that what Bob doesn’t like? Ends with a Meier post.

10 minutes in, good little pass by Sorensen to break Kane out.

9 mins left: Good small things shift from Gambrell, bumps Moore off, runs subtle interference on Anderson-Dolan forechecking Karlsson in corner, chips it up, leads to exit, then speeds around MacDermid for wraparound chance.

6 mins left: Outstanding forecheck effort by Donato on Gambrell.

4 mins left: Couture as PK’er challenges Doughty up top, wins the battle. That’s a great play.

Great recognition by Burns to see his 2 penalty killers open above him. What a pass to Gambrell.

The most unexpected re-match since? Sorensen vs. Athanasiou.

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