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Sharks Drop First Game of Post-Timo Meier Era 3-1



Credit: NBC Sports California

The San Jose Sharks welcome the Montreal Canadiens into SAP Center in their first game with Timo Meier. Jacob MacDonald opened scoring, but the Habs scored a pair late and won it 3-1.

Period 1

Theory: Playing Ferraro with Karlsson will force Ferraro to quiet his game down. I still like Mario’s tools a lot, but he does need to calm his game down long run. Karlsson is so active, I don’t think you can afford to match it, Ferraro will maybe learn to take it down a notch.

MacDonald goal: Bonino doesn’t get an assist, but it’s his stick that forces a Barron turnover by the net. Great play. MacDonald with his first as a Sharks player.

Lindblom penalty: He knew. Kahkonen has been peppered so far, looks sharp through eight shots already.

Defense-optional game so far, Habs 8-6 Slot Shots per SPORTLOGiQ. Montreal 6-0 Off-the-Cycle Chances. Kaapo doing good work.

Period 2

1 in: Zetterlund loses it on the wall off a (good) Hertl hope pass. Becomes an Habs counterattack. That kind of stuff reminds you that he’s no Meier. But Zetterlund works hard to backcheck and negates a chance.

4 in: Johnsson makes a nifty move off the wing to beat Kovacevic, get inside for a good chance on Allen. As advertised, he has looked like he belongs in the NHL, despite his season-long AHL stint.

6 in: Karlsson does a nice job playing a potential 2-on-1 Habs attack on entry. He’s cautious and reads that his help is beat. Once again, such a smart player. That helps negate that outnumbered, but then Karlsson is too aggressive up the ice before the San Jose Sharks have full possession. Basically swings up and about to leave zone without clear-cut possession by his team. But his skating helps him catch up to the Hab who was all alone in front. Pretty good example of highs and lows of Erik Karlsson hockey there.

Zetterlund follows with active in-zone defending. Nice work.

8 in: Great Gregor feed to Johnsson. That’s the stuff.

9 left: Hustle by Benning to track back on Harvey-Pinard, negate a Grade-A 2-on-1 chance. Winning hockey there.

8 left: But another Habs’ 2-on-1. Karlsson makes a poor pinch in my opinion, he wasn’t getting to the puck, and Lindholm wasn’t in position to help. Possible that EK65 expected help there, it is usually there. But result is ugly.

4 left: Awesome Hertl shift. He hasn’t had a good year, let’s face it. But I love how on entry, he doesn’t give it up, he protects it, doesn’t try to force a play, he just holds off defender up high, hands it off to speed in Johnsson, who gets deeper into the zone and takes pressure off Hertl. Then Johnsson drops it back to Hertl who calmly gives it to weak side, I believe Karlsson, leads to golden Karlsson chance. That’s Hertl hockey, a combination of brute force and unassailable puck protection. He has felt, at times, rushed, or unable to keep up with pace this season. Bottle this shift.

1 left: Simek just flying around. Good to see, good wraparound chance for him. Enjoyed the net front battle between Lorentz and Barron.

Period 3

Gurianov got a step on Karlsson, whoa. But Ferraro covered with his feet, a good example of what they can do for each other as a pairing. Karlsson’s ability to accept rush is still a weakness, as it has been for years.

Guhle goal: Looks like the forwards, all trying to cover for each other maybe, couldn’t kill the play and prevent the puck from getting to trailer Guhle.

Ylonen goal: I guess Karlsson makes up for getting the San Jose Sharks a last-minute point last game? I know, he’s an offense-first and aggressive player, but that’s a big risk stepping up, you better get that or it’s a 2-on-1 the other way. Wasn’t even close.


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