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Sharks Drop 1st Game of Post-Doug Wilson Era 4-2

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The San Jose Sharks welcome the Calgary Flames to SAP Center for the first game of the post-Doug Wilson era. Nick Bonino got the Sharks on the board in the opening frame, Logan Couture added another goal, but the Sharks fell 4-2.

Period 1

5 in: Reimer pelted by shots so far. Already 7 saves. Make that 9 saves.

But good little bump pass by Chmelevski to Couture, eventual Gregor shot.

Good forecheck hustle by Balcers, Nieto centers to Bonino.

Tkachuk goal: Not a good pass by Meloche into Meier’s feet? Unforced error from San Jose Sharks, no pressure on either player. Tkachuk pounces, goal. While I’m obviously not play Ryan Merkley at all costs, has to be said that’s a pass that Merkley makes 100 percent of the time. Watching again though, that pass looked catchable? Not quite in feet, Meier’s stick was there. So hard to put it all on Meloche maybe. Vlasic also got beat, he was (rightly) thinking offense because that Meloche to Meier connection should be routine. But also a reminder that his feet aren’t what they were in recovery.

9 in: Maybe Meloche should’ve actually gone at Meier’s feet. He’s phenomenal at catching passes with his feet, kicking puck up. Does it there, maybe best I’ve seen at that.

Balcers-Bonino-Nieto has actually been best San Jose Sharks line tonight. Rewarded with a bounce. Balcers beat Stone up left lane to reach puck first on dump-in. He’s had good energy today.

1 left: Reimer says no-goal, but Lewis makes Karlsson look bad off rush. That’s a goal. Both Karlsson and Reimer needed to be better there. Reimer has to hold the post, I think.

Period 2

1 in: Strong, smart play by Sasha, Valimaki attempting to skate up, but Chmelevski stick checks Valimaki so Juuso can’t get away. Leads to a brief Flames turnover.

7 in: I don’t think Meier has had a great game, but he’s such a load, Lewis can’t handle him in front. Good San Jose Sharks pressure.

9 in: Good Karlsson defensive positioning off sloppy Ferraro-Nieto exchange prevents slam dunk centering pass. All this leads to Gregor penalty though.

10 in: Big save by Reimer on bang-bang Lindholm PP set-up.

Lindholm goal: Reimer’s made some good saves but hard as that one looked, it looked clean, not deflected?

Couture post: Starts with Karlsson in DZ, goes back to get it slowly, then doubles back forward, losing Lindholm on forecheck. And that’s what he still does well with his feet.

3 left: Tkachuk makes a good read sniffing out Chmelevski pass off San Jose Sharks’ faceoff win back to Burns at point.

Period 3

PP2 — Ferraro quarterbacks, drops to Dahlen or Barabanov. I wonder if that’s where you need a Gregor, his speed. Barabanov is OK as a drop option, don’t like Dahlen and his feet as much there. Still like his shot on PP though. So that leaves Reedy or Bonino off? But maybe you need Bonino’s faceoff ability and you hate to take a young guy like Reedy off at this point this season. I dunno, just talking.

Couture goal: Stick free, even if it’s a bad angle? Don’t know if it hit stick. But smart of Timo to shovel it at Couture. On replay, on Logan’s leg.

Quietly, San Jose Sharks have crept up in shots, Flames 32-30.

Kahkonen in. Couture ran into Reimer, maybe around neck or head area.

9 in: Ferraro’s stick isn’t down, not sure why, to receive quick Karlsson pass for exit.

10 in: Looks like San Jose Sharks have gone back to 1-3-1 in neutral zone? At least on that shift. Thought I saw that earlier and could’ve been for a few games back.

4 left: Nifty move by Reedy behind net for exit.

3 left: Karlsson does good job to keep up with attacking Gaudreau, they’re side by side. Again, his forward skating still excellent. Not sure if I’ve seen somebody so rough skating backwards compared to how well he goes forward.

1 left: Absurd pass by Karlsson. Lures two Flames high, then shovels it to Barabanov in high slot. Masterful. He does make turnover that leads to Flames ENG, but not sure if there was communication error or whatever. But his capacity for brilliance still noteworthy.

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