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Worst Team in NHL Comes Back on Sharks 5-3

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Credit: Bally Sports

The San Jose Sharks visit the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. Timo Meier and Nick Bonino gave the Sharks an early 2-0 lead, but the Blue Jackets fought back. Nico Sturm also scored, but the worst team in the NHL came back on the Sharks to win 5-3.

Period 1

10 in: Textbook Eyssimont-Karlsson switch off draw, and down-low Karlsson finds Hertl for the one-timer in front that Hertl shanks.

Meier goal: There you go, Noah. Meier with the spectacular finish, but Gregor distributes it soft where he needs to.

7 left: Hertl had the puck and possible all-clear with a step, but caught both times. Wonder if he’s lost a little bit of a step. He used to have a slow first step but be able to pick up speed, used to be the Sharks’ top forward drop option on the power play breakout in 2018-19. He’s still very dangerous down low, so he’s still an excellent player, but wonder also if he’s playing hurt or something.

3 left: Kahkonen comes across to stop bad-angle Nyquist one-timer. Not a tough save, but these are important.

Good 5-man forecheck there, Sturm pressures Peeke behind net, Peeke tries to hit the wing on the wall, but Harrington pinches, Gregor picks up, fires from high slot.

2 left: Small play, but like that hard Lindblom low-high pass back to Karlsson. There was a waiting Jacket, so Lindblom put some mustard on it, as he should. Good touch, good catch.

1 left: A quintessential risky Karlsson shift. Gets between lead pass in NZ, great interception, a little risky because he lets the Blue Jacket forward get ahead of him so he can play the pass. His entry pass at blueline, however, stood up. Karlsson and Eyssimont shade toward middle, left lane open, Nyquist gets a step, but desperate stick lift by Karlsson, Nyquist wanted call, but Sharks get the stop.

Period 2

San Jose Sharks flat to start middle frame. Karlsson had a rough defensive shift to start.

Bonino goal: That will get things turned around. Starts with a crisp Karlsson to Bonino DZ exit pass. Outstanding Bonino effort to deflect the Sturm shot, and beat Gavrikov with puck on wraparound.

7 in: Karlsson takes it from Blankenburg, nice job to dominate the smaller Blue Jacket, Karlsson is cagy with who to take on physically, I think. I mean that in a good way, he doesn’t engage in battles usually that he has no chance on. Then Karlsson skates it up, 4-on-2 San Jose Sharks because of bad Columbus change, Karlsson may have lured them into that. Karlsson makes everyone think that he’s shooting it from the top of the key, then he slides it to Eyssimont who’s a good one-timer away from his first Sharks goal. But Mikey shanks it.

Gaudreau goal: Wow, Johnny’s first PP goal this year.

Jenner goal: That’s Sharks hockey this year. Dominate a period, get out to 2-0 lead, but just break down. Put away your opponents! Here, between Karlsson and Couture, someone has to pick up Jenner blasting out of zone. Instead, both are looking to forecheck, two Sharks on Gavrikov. Usually, it’s probably on Couture to forecheck and Karlsson to backcheck, but regardless, one person should be doing one job, one person the other. Then Benning makes a poor blueline read, trying to step up on Nyquist on the blueline. Remenda says to stay back, and I agree. But again, blueline to blueline, no one picks up Jenner. That can’t happen. Bad hockey all around.

4 left: Nice job by Sturm to get a stick on the Nieto centering pass. Almost a one-hand goal.

End-to-end action, not sure you want that if you’re the Sharks. Columbus more of a rush team, not that Sharks are poor in that, but don’t play to CBJ strength.

1 left: Really enjoy watching Sturm. Not a lot of finesse but pure effort. When he’s the San Jose Sharks’ 4C, that might be a sign that the Sharks are back. Because he’s such a good 4C. He’s doing yeoman’s work at 3C for the Sharks, he’s not awful. But he’s indeed a championship-caliber 4C.

Period 3

Sturm goal: Blankenburg perhaps get tripped in NZ, but good on Ferraro to turn it up, takes on four Jackets, off the post, then Sturm and Gregor go to work.

Laine goal: Couture makes guess to get involved in puck battle down low with Ferraro. I think that’s his prerogative. Think Harrington can’t allow Laine that soft spot. No other Blue Jacket around.

Not a good penalty by Gregor.

7 in: Shoot, Timo! You rarely have to tell him that. But there, too unselfish to Gregor.

9 in: Karlsson walks down the slot, stripped, thinks he should get a call, but instead Jackets get out on a 3-on-1. In Karlsson’s defense, he probably was right. But Sharks spared embarrassment by maybe Gaudreau missing his shot.

8 left: Steal by Gregor, can’t do anything with it, but good play there.

Nyquist goal: Ouch. Barabanov pickpocketed coming out by Nyquist, Johnson returns it to Nyquist coming back, and angle not great, nice shot, but you want a save.

Kuraly goal: 200-foot empty netter, nice shot.

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