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Meier Hat Trick! Youngsters Also Impress in 4-1 Sharks Win

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The San Jose Sharks are back home, taking on the new-look Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks went into rebuild mode at the Trade Deadline, parting with Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson, and Rickard Rakell, among others. The Sharks, not re-building, had Marc-Edouard Vlasic kick off the scoring because of some incredible Ryan Merkley work. Then Timo Meier registered a hat trick and the Sharks plucked the Ducks 4-1.

Period 1

The Summit Series, this ain’t. Sloppy hockey to start, Merkley penalty.

A little Hertl/Chmelevski to start PK. Now Bonino/Balcers. Balcers is an interesting player. They really seem to project him as a more defensive forward despite some obvious offensive talent. Just based on his special teams deployment. I can see him, if he keeps growing his game, becoming a very valuable two-way player.

5 in: Hertl too long to clear on PK, Ducks turn it over.

Terry just eats up Barabanov on forecheck. The San Jose Sharks are not starting on time here. Burns also had Gregor a couple times, could’ve been a good chance both times, missed him.

9 left: Meloche does a good job to recover on Zegras vying for breakaway, but then he’s not disciplined with high stick at end.

Model work at end of PK, Balcers on forecheck, Bonino shoots out stick to deny Anaheim entry.

Vlasic goal: There’s a look at the Sharks’ future, they hope. Reedy on forecheck, influences turnover. Leonard fires from a bad angle, makes life hard for Dostal. Reedy misses point-blank. Then Merkley with an incredible no-look pass to Vlasic.

Period 2

Pederson has a good size/speed combo and we saw it there with how he separated Fowler from puck on forecheck.

Meier goal: There should be a travelogue for all the far-flung places that Timo can score from.

5 in: Love that Hertl backcheck, beats his defenseman back to negate potential 2-on-1.

6 in: Pederson makes a move to exit, to advance to Viel. Nifty. Viel gets a chance, then Gadjovich buries Fowler. That’s an energy shift, for sure.

8 in: Meier enters on PP, drops to Barabanov at blueline…but Barabanov too slow. He’s gotta be thinking quicker there IMO. Soft pass, but I think AB has to be moving his feet there to meet it.

9 in: Nifty PP entry instigated by Merkley, waits until last second for drop, skates into teeth of Ducks 1-3, but his patience and execution buys Leonard a little more time and space on entry. Like.

9 left: Clever set entry by Getzlaf to break San Jose Sharks’ 1-3 PK. He holds at red line, waits for Drysdale to gain head of steam, then fires a hard pass off boards that Drysdale gets with ease.

7 left: Barabanov pickpockets Simon. Insistent forecheck.

5 left: Pederson puts forecheck pressure on Mahura, draws a call.

2 left: Chmelevski versus Drysdale for loose puck, Sasha knows he doesn’t have feet to beat the rookie, but he ties up Drysdale’s stick, that allows Meier to roar in. Smart.

1 left: Meier and Barabanov make Sustr look bad. Meier changes speed on the big d-man, then powers past him toward net, finds Barabanov who smokes a sleepy Comtois to front. Then Barabanov plays it to end, gets in front of the much-larger Sustr to loose puck, but time expires. Barabanov has taken his game to another level recently, I think.

Period 3

Barabanov opens period with back-to-back nifty passes through NZ to spring San Jose Sharks’ offense.

Maybe Reimer wants that Mayhew goal back, but it happens because Karlsson missed a skittering puck along wall, then threw a casual NZ pass unforced at Ducks.

Shattenkirk delay of game: Insistent work by Pederson on forecheck causes another Ducks penalty.

5 in: Leonard taking it at Mahura after Getzlaf turnover. You love to see that. Then snaps a shot.

Next shift, Meier has trouble getting out, sea of Ducks sticks, but his feet bail him out. He’s really amazing in his ability to use his feet as a weapon, almost another stick.

7 in: Pederson looks like a brand-new man tonight, real confidence with puck. Then Merkley with highlight-reel move to deke out Comtois.

9 in: Barabanov sloppy with puck in NZ, turns it over, but he does backtrack hard.

10 in: Balcers makes a nifty high-low feed to Bonino, then on forecheck, does good work to stay with Fowler.

6 left: Good work by Reedy to receive a tough Merkley pass into feet, get it deep.

3 left: Like that Chmelevski pass off the wall, great touch, almost lands perfectly for Reedy. Good idea.

2 left: Pederson draws another penalty. He’s had a game.

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