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Notes #31: Hertl Snatches Victory from Jaws of Defeat, Sharks Win Highest-Scoring Game of the Year



The San Jose Sharks are back in action for the first time since Dec. 16, taking on the Arizona Coyotes at SAP Center. Tomas Hertl made a surprise return from COVID protocol and scored the shootout winner in a wild 8-7 affair. Timo Meier and Logan Couture were among San Jose’s goalscorers; Jeffrey Viel potted his first NHL goal and Jayden Halbgewachs collected his first NHL assist.

Period One

Two in: Looks like Gadjovich got bailed out a little bit by Jenik cross-checking him after his cross-check. Gadjovich had negated what had been a decent fourth-line shift.

Barabanov goal: Sleepy play by Hayton there. A back-handed pass in your DZ up the middle that’s picked off by a waiting Barabanov? Meier then with a terrific pass through two Yotes.

Crouse goal: Sloppy San Jose Sharks exit and you know what the flat-footed Barabanov is thinking, trying to give it back to Karlsson — exit the zone together with sure possession — but it’s an ugly backfire.

Bonino goal: The vets do it — great backcheck by Bonino to pressure Gostisbehere breaking out from behind, Cogliano pressures him from the front.

Six left: Ferraro goes for puck in NZ when he shouldn’t, it looks for a second as if Burns will have to contend with two-on-one. Burns makes a bold but sound decision to pressure the Coyotes (who aren’t spaced out), in effect taking out two men by himself.

Four left: Simek has been wild with the puck today.

Moser goal: Burns simply loses the one-on-one battle with Crouse. Can’t do that there. Simple to say, but San Jose Sharks are playing down to the competition here.

Period Two

One in: Bonino just basically moonwalked past Schmaltz lol. Even the crowd gasped.

Three in: Solid fourth-line shift. I’ve liked some of what they’ve done today. Pederson good read to stop rim, keep it in.

Simek goal: I like Halbgewachs’s cool with the puck up high. Simple play, but solid work.

Keller goal: Rare would you say it this year, but that’s one you need from Reimer situationally.

Nine left: Good assertiveness by Karlsson to get up on Jenik there, opposite blueline.

Seven left: Nice play by Pederson along wall to keep puck alive. Yes, I am watching him more closely to figure out what the coaching staff sees in him.

Meier goal: Couture on entry, calm and collected to trailer Barabanov.

Moser goal: Might be tough on Reimer there, but low-to-ground shot like that, you’d like him to pick up.

Period Three

Hertl goal: Good work by Gregor to intercept the Capobianco pass. Arizona appears to be the one team that you can play down to in the NHL.

Eight in: I’ve liked some of Gadjovich’s work tonight, but these penalties are killer. Huge kill upcoming.

Big saves by Reimer to finish penalty. Not his best game tonight, but he’s gutting it out, and they need him.

Nine left: Nice shift by Meier. Finds Burns on weakside, then in zone again, flat-footed, yo-yo’s defender and finds space to get a non-dangerous shot on net. Stuff like that matters: Meier wasn’t in a good position flat-footed, he wins territory at least.

Couture goal: More good work by Meier to turn back in DZ, evade pressure, then fire to safety valve on weakside to Karlsson for easy breakout — then a terrific dump-in by Karlsson, put in a place where the Sharks can do something.

Four left: Nice job by Barabanov to go against the grain in neutral zone versus Crouse.

Another tough Burns play: Schmaltz might go down easy, but cross-check there hurts.  And Yotes tie it in this mess of a game.


This OT by Karlsson is like when the NBA players suddenly lost all their ability to the MonStars in “Space Jam.” Not his finest work.


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