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Preseason Notes #5: Eklund, Dahlen Shine in 4-0 Sharks’ Shutout



Period One

Dahlen goal: It was Dahlen as the first man on the forecheck, at first, didn’t love how the younger Korczak took him out of play, but puck remained alive for Meier to pick up. Dahlen then gets a tip on I think a Karlsson point shot, then he squirts free to put in Meier pass. That play made, of course, by Karlsson walking down, behind the back pass. With Dahlen? Being outphysicaled by a 20-year-old defender doesn’t seem tremendous — but to Dahlen’s credit, he stepped in front of the Lehner pass to Korczak, causing the turnover, and left the puck in a place where Meier had a chance at it.

Labanc goal: San Jose Sharks’ entries on the power play have been super-simplified, they look like they did two years ago. Will write more on that later.

Nine minutes in: Dahlen looking the most active that I’ve seen him so far in preseason, I think. Trying little passes, getting to pucks — maybe he’s getting comfortable. Looks like he’s ahead of stuff tonight — not just reacting.

Ten in: Eklund has one on one with Whitecloud for loose puck — Eklund just steps in front of Whitecloud, stays strong and low, wins the puck.

Five left: And there’s Dahlen again, wide-open in slot unmarked. Looks like he caught maybe Dadonov napping.

Period Two

Two in: Such a good play by Eklund. Stretch pass to him before zone entry, Hague on him. Eklund is flat-footed, so he knows he can’t evade the huge Hague. But he uses himself as a wall, just drops it off for Hertl coming from behind. Basically picks (legally) Hague so Hertl has free passage.

Nine left: Coming off wing, Eklund beats Martinez to puck. He’s winning some battles against some very good defensemen.

Seven left: Another strong Dahlen shift. Around puck, making cycle plays, getting in good position in the slot to fire away. This has been for me Dahlen’s best game so far this preseason — a good sign that the San Jose Sharks hopeful has been getting better as the competition stiffens.

Period Three

Two in: A flustered Hatakka just wires a pass through Karlsson’s legs. DZ turnover. He’ll need a softer touch than that under pressure.

Second penalty tonight that Eklund has drawn — the good work continues.

Seven in: Eklund looks like he loses William Karlsson, who gets behind him on the stretch play and has the right wing to himself to attack Hill. Even a golden god makes mistakes.

Seven left: But this Hatakka shift why he’s still here with San Jose Sharks. Quick on the puck as it’s coming up wall, he pinches, keeps it in. Then in NZ, his feet keep him between an attempted Vegas rush.

Five left: Eklund puts the puck almost wherever he wants, with just enough velocity but not too much so his teammate can do something with it. A couple examples there.

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