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San Jose Sharks

Notes #12: Holy Hill, Adin Leads Sharks Past Flames 4-1



Credit: NBC Sports California

Period One

The San Jose Sharks have a good start on PP. Very aggressive Flames PK. They collapse in corner, N. Merkley finds Couture alone.

Four in: Another couple good plays by N. Merkley to keep puck alive in zone. He steps in front of breakout, then works it back to point under pressure. I think there’s an NHL spot for him in the future. Probably more on the fourth line, ideally — but full credit to him, he’s playing good hockey.

Followed by a not sure what he’s doing Hatakka turnover in his own slot. Sharks dodge a bullet there.

Eight in: Some D-to-D grenades being tosses from Hatakka to Meloche there.

Sharks haven’t been clean with the puck, but they’ve done a good job defending the slot. Promising start in that regard, San Jose’s best chance is to keep it tight against a Calgary team that has no weakness so far this season.

Three left: R. Merkley does a nice job after getting taken down to move the puck forward. Liked the effort there.

That’s a disappointing PP to end period for Sharks. But credit to Barabanov for a couple nifty entries.

Period Two

Wow, what a stretch pass from Burns and Barabanov finishes. Barabanov’s re-emergence has been so welcome for a San Jose Sharks team that lacks forward depth.

Lucic goal: But Sharks don’t get it deep and the Flames turn it right back around on forecheck. Way to take back momentum.

Five in: Don’t like that Balcers gamble — on the PK, potential two-on-one for he and Hertl, but Balcers dives for a way less than a fifty-fifty puck. He and Hertl are caught deep and a four-on-five becomes a two-on-four. You can defend that five-on-five, but that’s not good situational awareness there.

Flames are coming on, Sharks need to stem the tide here. Forecheck, chance, repeat. That Tkachuk shift versus Hatakka — eight in — is not it.

Nine in: Sharks in desperate need of moving the puck forward. Megna misses a ten-foot pass up to Barabanov, it looks like. You can’t have that there.

Nine left: Credit to Balcers, he restores order, Hertl line gets some chances. Can this be the start of something for the San Jose Sharks?

Maybe not: Next shift, Hatakka pass to Gadjovich doesn’t get out, another Flames chance.

Five left: Barabanov line has been only source of offense for Sharks this period, but he has to get it in deep. He doesn’t and the Flames march back down. Hill has kept this game tied.

About the only positive that I can draw from this period — after the Barabanov goal, that is — is Hill being able to put together a period that’s got to good for the confidence. 19 saves in the middle frame, and especially noteworthy work vacumning up rebounds.

Period Three

Good, short pass by Burns to exit. Exit as five. That’s how you re-establish your game.

Next pass: Short pass by Bonino to speed from behind for easy exit.

Next shift: N. Merkley on the forecheck, grinds it, keeps it in. Sharks starting this period with their identity.

Three in: Smooth shift by R. Merkley, then Gadjovich makes one pass too many. He’s going to hear about that later.

Couture gets a bounce — but to Sharks’ credit, they re-established their game.

Five in: What battle by Weatherby to insist puck gets in.

Eight in: Good example of what N. Merkley has done right. He takes that beat, under pressure, to make sure that he gets it in deep. It’s not a remarkable play, but he’s been good with taking that extra beat to get the puck to the right place in his time here. Doesn’t lead to much offense, but it’s a territory win for the Sharks.

Four left: What a block by Bonino. I haven’t seen that kind of effort to block a shot without a stick ever.

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