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San Jose Sharks

Eklund Dazzles, But Sharks Lose to Stars 6-3



Credit: Dean Tait/Hockey Shots

The San Jose Sharks welcome the Dallas Stars into SAP Center.

Alexander Barabanov and William Eklund and Klim Kostin scored, but the Sharks lost 6-3.

Period 1

8 in: Gorgeous Kostin stretch pass to Zetterlund for breakaway, big-time Wedgewood save. Great shades of EK65!

9 in: Don’t like that Thrun pass on entry, looks like the San Jose Sharks had a little bit of an attack there.

Johnston goal: Blackhawks win, Sharks give up a short-handed goal. Zadina, on the flank, gave it to MacDonald up top, he maybe forced a shot that got blocked, and Johnston beat three Sharks up the ice.

Marchment goal: Sleepy team defense by the Sharks. Marchment beats Sturm through the middle, then Burroughs can’t put a body on him. Bryan’s son picks a corner in his dad’s building.

Stars 8-2 Slot Shots at Even Strength. Besides the Zetterlund breakaway, the San Jose Sharks looked pretty zonked out in that period. Or maybe it’s just Dallas taking them less lightly tonight after back-to-back near-Sharks’ upsets.

Period 2

Robertson goal: Doesn’t help if Blackwood isn’t at top of his game. It’s Robertson, but Blackwood would want that back from that angle, I think.

Barabanov goal: Looks like Eklund has worked his way back into the top-6, in place of Zadina. Instant offense, primary assist on Barabanov goal. Kunin took the faceoff for that line, which makes sense. Kunin, not a natural at center, will just have to muddle through.

Eklund goal: Bordeleau on the draw. I mentioned that recently, what an asset to have him as your first or second faceoff man on the PP. He wins it, then quick pass on reception of high-low pass from Granlund.

Bailey found Bordeleau in front for a good chance.

10-9 Kunin-Dellandrea: Unusual sequence, as fight started, Dellandrea tripped backwards on his own stick. But refs allowed him to get up and collect himself.

Benn goal: San Jose Sharks seem to be ceding the middle a bit tonight (like every other night, I guess). Thrun can’t stop the Johnston pass.

Kostin goal: Whoa, he just wires it. Granlund intercepts an errant Tanev, I think, pass.

9 in: Eklund just sent Harley to the cleaners with one of his spin moves. Crowd was gasping. Hope!

Johnston goal: Again, a Stars rush. Give-and-go, Thrun tries to play the pass, misses, Johnston by him.

9 left: That’s a poor decision by Ferraro. Granted, short-handed, so maybe that changes the mind-set. Had received a good pass from Carpenter to attack. Good read to jump, but a pass back to Carpenter through two Stars isn’t a good decision. Just try for the shot, or if there’s no shot, dump it in or even eat it is better than a PP counterattack chance allowed on the kill. I think that’s the kind of decision-making that would be pointed to when scouts suggest to me that he’s more bottom-pairing than middle on a good team.

7 left: Eklund takes Faksa for a ride, from post to post behind Wedgewood, then wraps it around in tight. Wish there was one Shark digging in there net front. But he’s had a sparkling game.

Quinn won’t get much credit, but on the balance, he’s coached Eklund and the other youngsters well. For all the howling about putting him on the fourth line, he was still getting plenty of special teams time, was averaging 14-15 a night. And he’s earned his way back to the top-six, I don’t think Quinn wanted to bust up the Granlund and Sturm lines, which have played pretty well recently. It’s not just about Eklund, if say a Bailey is playing well, he’s earned it, he shouldn’t be moved just because Eklund is the hot shot prospect. That foments dissension in the room. There’s a balance there as a coach, prioritizing your youth, which Quinn must do, but also keeping your vets engaged. Save for Labanc, Quinn’s done a good job of it this year.

I think Quinn also yanked Eklund off center at the right time.

Not sure what happened, but don’t see Barabanov on the Sharks bench.

2.7 seconds left, Granlund directing where he wants to Sharks to line up for last-ditch faceoff. Doesn’t lead to anything, but like to see him leading.

Dallas started taking over in last five minutes of middle frame, last seven of eight shots.

Period 3

Barabanov did not come out for the third period. Hope he’s okay, star-crossed season for him.

3 in: Kostin draws a tripping penalty. He’s really taking advantage of this opportunity. He’s the new Barabanov (2021 Trade Deadline surprise).

Burroughs penalty: Looks like Sharks wanted an embellishment for Duchene too, not getting it.

10 in: Sharks down 5-3, but fans are chanting, “We want tacos!!” Well, they deserve it for coming out to see this team.

Robertson goal: Well, good tank game. Eklund and Kostin flashed, Blackhawks won. Now let’s get the fans some tacos!

Sharks will go 1-8-2 in the first year of the Cali Fin jersey era.

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