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Notes #35: Sharks Keep Sabres to Outside 3-2, Hertl Scores GWG



Credit: NBC Sports California

The San Jose Sharks look to right the ship against the Buffalo Sabres at snowy KeyBank Center. Matt Nieto got the Sharks off to a good start with an early goal, and the big boys started rolling when Timo Meier and Tomas Hertl scored.

Period One

Two in: Adin Hill shows off his passing chops, under pressure, hard bounce pass off the boards behind the net to his defenseman. There have been fire alarm mistakes off Hill’s stick, but overall, I really like his ability with the puck.

Four in: Dahlen has a shoot-first mentality to start, which you like.

Seven in: Asplund sneaks behind Gregor, Asplund misses net on tip-in. Disengaged defense by Gregor who’s puck watching the strong side, gets caught.

Nieto goal: Great forecheck by Bonino on Thompson — soft play by Thompson. Then Cogliano does a nice job finding Nieto in front. That’s a productive forecheck.

Hertl goal: Gotta love Meier’s backcheck, skates hard back off San Jose Sharks turnover up high in Sabres zone, gets between potential Olofsson to Thompson pass. Basically, Meier’s backcheck reduces Olofsson’s option to shoot-only, which makes things infinitely easier for Hill. Snuffing that out, Barabanov is able to counterattack — looks like Hertl ties up Skinner’s stick on that loose puck before Barabanov claims. Meier’s backcheck a contrast to Skinner evacuating from play after Hertl bodies him off the puck.

Period Two

Five in: Crafty Merkley breakout pass. Small, but absorbs forecheck, gets it to open man.

Skinner goal: San Jose Sharks have been playing on their heels a little this period, this was coming. Barabanov has a chance to advance out of the zone, fails.

Nine left: Barabanov does advance the puck out of one nicely there, leads to a little Sharks possession, much needed.

Seven left: Ferraro finds Gregor in slot for re-direct. Ferraro quick first step, finds space for himself, then Gregor. Sharks missed Ferraro for sure, he’s also an underrated offensive player.

Sharks power play doesn’t look ready for the Sabres’ aggressive up-ice PK forecheck. Sharks gotta think, react quicker.

Good job by Weatherby, minute left, killing time on PK. Once again, Sharks PK a good answer to a moribund Sharks PP.

I don’t like this San Jose Sharks period: Too much resting on laurels after building a big lead and a sleepy power play. A better opponent probably would’ve cut the Sharks’ lead to one at least. Natural Stat Trick does credit the Sharks, however, with holding Buffalo to zero high-danger chances. Per SPORTLOGiQ:

Period Three

Five in: Tough sledding shift for Bonino line, but they defend it well, limit Sabres to one not very dangerous Thompson shot.

Eight in: Another strong defensive shift for Bonino line. They’re making it easier for Hill tonight, credit to the San Jose Sharks.

Yea kind of hard to believe that Dahlin could collapse like that from a Cogliano cross-check. Oh well. Huge block by Burns on Dahlin.

Five left: Vlasic does a good job killing play there.


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