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San Jose Sharks

Keller Suffers Ugly Injury, Sharks Lose to Last-Place Coyotes 5-2

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Credit: NBC Sports California

The San Jose Sharks played their last game at Gila River Arena tonight. Scott Reedy got the Sharks off on the right foot with a power play goal, Brent Burns added another, but San Jose lost to lowly Arizona 5-2.

Period 1

1 in: Ritchie chance, think Meloche has to play that better. Maybe overcompensating because a forward was his defensive partner. But tighter on Ritchie to prevent pass?

3 in: Pederson has to be ready for that short Karlsson pass. Instead, San Jose Sharks turnover.

7 in: Hard backcheck by Hertl, Barabanov in good D position to stop good chance.

Burns penalty: Can’t get mad for a puck coming off Burns’s stick when Sharks were dangerous. That happens. I do wonder if Burns sees Megna coming over to cover though — you don’t need to take that penalty with help coming?

Hertl crossbar: Nice work taking it from Keller up top, using his size to dominate.

Reedy goal: Thought Barabanov held too long right before, open-looking lane, Reedy crowding the front. But give Merkley credit, aggressive pulling the trigger on this PP, Leonard and Reedy deflect it.

6 left: Good example of increased caution that Sharks are playing with. Hertl recovers the puck in front of Reimer, but under duress, the Sharks don’t move to blow the zone. Then Hertl gets another chance, no pressure on him, Meier is up the ice to negate icing on Hertl pass. Also relieves Arizona pressure on San Jose.

Ritchie goal: That’s a disappointing one to give up. Too easy. I think Burns has to track back harder to get on Ritchie. He was defending near wall, which is fine, but then didn’t sort out what would become the open man. Looks like when low man (Reedy) chases up high, Burns needs to push it to make sure net front isn’t open. He doesn’t. Bret Hedican also noted that Megna probably didn’t need to come out so aggressively, he could’ve held position net front longer too.

3 left: Merkley creates time and space at center ice for Barabanov. Barabanov then enters, dekes, and gets a good chance. Pretty stuff by both.

Period 2

1 in: Ugly puckmoving from San Jose Sharks on exit: Megna throws it too hard along wall for Gregor to claim, then Balcers bricks a short pass to an open Couture. Poor execution by Sharks to start.

5 in: Gregor cuts inside, but causes offside. He’s gotta execute the small plays like that more to solidify himself as a third-liner.

8 in: Ritchie wide-open again in front of Reimer. Reimer comes up large.

Following shift, love Meier’s patience, comes in hard but stops up after Vejmelka gets it. But waits until the goalie leaves the puck, trucks through to find Barabanov in front, but AB just overskates.

Jenik goal: What can you do? Merkley loses an edge, unforced, can’t blame team defense there.

9 in: Nice work by Leonard, battle win, comes off wall and attacks.

Following shift, Meier on forecheck vs. Gostisbehere such a mismatch.

7 left: Haven’t seen fourth line do much so far, on ice for Ritchie goal, but Pederson does nice job on forecheck, Reedy there in high slot.

Burns goal: Timo exits and enters, then Hertl finds Burns at the point. Dominant work by Timo. Burns starts it by stopping Galchenyuk along wall.

4 left: San Jose Sharks under pressure, Viel has a chance on wall for easy middle breakout, Viel clanks it off Barabanov’s skates. Viel isn’t going to get many minutes a game, but those are the few puck plays that he’s got to execute every game.

Hertl post: Burns steps up as Coyotes try to enter, forces turnover. Hertl has 2-on-1, rings it off post. Burns looks resurgent in middle frame after sluggish first.

But then Eriksson almost has a shot leak through, Merkley last-minute save. That’s off a bad Megna turnover, looking for offense, stretch pass, Gostisbehere jumps it, counterattack. Megna can’t make mistakes like that if he wants to stay in the league.

Ritchie, by the way, has four Slot Shots, no other player in this game has two. So maybe don’t let Ritchie have complete right of way in front of Reimer?

Period 3

2 in: Reimer makes a big stop on the Eriksson chance dead in the slot. All by himself, 3 Sharks got caught along wall, including Chmelevski and Megna, and nobody filled in up middle, leaving Burns on 2-on-1. Megna puck-watching? Doesn’t get to middle.

Jenik goal: Karlsson wasn’t defending anybody in the end there. Hertl had centerman, Meloche flashed toward Kessel, leaving Jenik uncovered.

10 in: A little disappointing from Barabanov, want a little more there when you got the puck on entry like that. Takes too much time, it looks like.

8 left: Awful Karlsson turnover, careless with puck on PP.

San Jose Sharks get away with one, Balcers high stick.

Keller injury: That’s tough to watch, guy playing his ass off there. Hope it’s not too serious. Reedy was a USNTDP teammate.

4 left: Chmelevski maybe not ready for that Merkley pass. Gotta keep that stick ready.

Hayton goal: You can usually trust Meier to carry it out, but ugly there.

 

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