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Sharks Locker Room: Granlund & Kunin Named Alternate Captains, Sturm & Kahkonen Injury Updates



Guess the San Jose Sharks’ offense is still on vacation.

Two weeks after their last game on Jan. 31, the Sharks got shut out for the eighth time this season, 1-0 against the Winnipeg Jets at Canada Life Center.

“It looked like we tried to do the right thing, but we just weren’t, our timing was off, for sure,” San Jose Sharks head coach David Quinn said. “Obviously, Kaapo played well, but we just weren’t efficient with the puck.”

Indeed, Kaapo Kahkonen made the game closer than it should have been, turning back 38 shots. Meanwhile, San Jose mustered just 17 shots on All-World goalie Connor Hellebuyck.

These weren’t easy shots for Kahkonen either – per SPORTLOGiQ, the Jets had 20 High-Danger Chances in All Situations, while the Sharks managed just six.

“He showed up, he did his job,” Kunin said of a goalie who’s top-five in the NHL in High-Danger Save %.

Of course, losing Tomas Hertl and Logan Couture to injury didn’t help the offense. On Monday, the Sharks announced that both top-six centers could be out for a while.

Also, Captain Couture and alternate captain Hertl leave a leadership void too, which the Sharks tried to replace by naming Mikael Granlund and Kunin alternate captains before the game.

And speaking of the injury bug, Nico Sturm left the game with a head injury. Kahkonen also left because of cramping.

Granlund, Kunin, Kahkonen, and Quinn spoke to all this post-game.

Here’s some of their best quotes:

David Quinn

Quinn, on naming Mikael Granlund and Luke Kunin alternate captains for the San Jose Sharks:

Those guys bring an awful lot to the table not only on the ice, but off the ice. They’re great teammates. They show great leadership in a lot of ways. We certainly felt like it was well deserved.

Quinn, on William Eklund’s performance:

Eky was pretty good. The thing I like about Eky is bad games aren’t bad. They’re just okay. And that’s a great sign. When you can go out there and maybe not have it, but still manage to have an effective game and you don’t notice them in a negative manner, that’s a pretty good sign for a young player.

Kaapo Kahkonen

Kahkonen, on why his High-Danger Save % is top-five this season:

Just try to keep it tight, try not to let anything through the arms, the five-hole. Cover the low part of the net, because obviously, it’s hard to get the puck up when you’re tight like that. Just being square and well-positioned.

Kahkonen, on the in-tight saves on Appleton and Monahan with five minutes left as an example of trying to be less active in the crease since last year:

Yeah, sometimes less is more. There may be a rebound or a tip or whatever and the puck bounces, and your instincts sometimes is to go after that puck.

So sometimes, it’s staying still, keeping your structure is the best thing you can do. It’s hard because your brain is telling you to jump on top of that loose puck. But yeah, definitely try to be patient there and outwait their guys.

Mikael Granlund

Granlund, on Kunin getting an “A”:

I saw that before the game, I told him from the bottom of my heart, you definitely deserve it. The way he plays, the way he treats people, the way he is accountable on the ice and off the ice. It’s well-deserved, so I’m really happy for him

Luke Kunin

Kunin, on Granlund getting an “A”:

I think it’s pretty easy if you watch him. Just gives it his all every night. He’s a leader, he works hard. The talent he has. Just does everything right. A great teammate. He’s a pro’s pro. Pretty lucky to be able to play with him everywhere I’ve been. Learned a lot from him.

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