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Sharks Locker Room: Hertl Regrets Showing Frustration, Quinn on Thrun’s Game

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The Los Angeles Kings have the best Points % in the Western Conference. The San Jose Sharks have the worst.

It sure looked like that tonight, as the .714 Kings dismantled the .328 Sharks 4-1, outshooting them 37-15.

The good vibes from a bravado road trip, highlighted by comebacks in New York, Detroit, and Las Vegas, followed by an impressive victory at home against the Central Division-challenging Winnipeg Jets, are dissipating.

“I thought we had a good first period, and then we stunk for two periods,” San Jose Sharks head coach David Quinn said of his team’s third-consecutive defeat. “That was men amongst boys in the second and third period. I thought they were quicker and played with more conviction. More physical.”

Alternate captain Tomas Hertl was talking about the Sharks’ dismal 42.3 Faceoff Winning % tonight, but he may as well have been addressing San Jose’s general lack of energy, “I saw a lot of pucks, we could easily get it, but they just jumped through us. This can’t happen. We have to decide if we want to play with the puck and go out, or we’re gonna play D-zone.”

Quinn noted that San Jose was flat in Friday’s 1-0 loss to the Arizona Coyotes, and it seems like that will be one of the challenges for this coaching staff with 50 games left, to keep the team playing on their toes, with so little to play for.

“We’re in a little bit of a rut there. The energy piece of it,” he admitted. “We’re gonna get back on track.”

The Sharks showed some fight after a 0-10-1 start, responding with a surprising 9-7-1 push. They came back after an embarrassing 7-1 loss to the Seattle Kraken on Nov. 22 with their best hockey of the season, going 6-2-2 in their next 10. This three-game skid, with two games to go until Christmas break, looks like another litmus test.

Hertl talked about showing his frustration in the third period, Henry Thrun addressed the blueline’s trouble moving the puck recently, and Quinn discussed the performances of Thrun, Filip Zadina, Jack Studnicka, and Alexander Barabanov.

Tomas Hertl

Hertl, on the frustration that he showed early in the third period, slamming the bench door multiple times:

I know I can’t do it. I’m a competitive guy. I try to do every night the best. I know I can’t do it. A lot of guys look up to me. It’s on me. I have to handle myself better.

Hertl, on the San Jose Sharks’ 42.3 FOW %, and how much they miss Nico Sturm:

I don’t think it’s on one centerman. We’re losing too many 50-50 battles. Even when the faceoff is behind the centerman, they outjump us. It’s on all five guys. Not just on the centermen.

I saw a lot of pucks, we could easily get it, but they just jumped through us. This can’t happen. We have to decide if we want to play with the puck and go out, or we’re gonna play D-zone.

It’s on everybody, we have to be more hungry.

Henry Thrun

Thrun, on the San Jose Sharks defense’s problems with moving the puck over the last two games:

I think a lot of it just comes to puck management. Knowing when to eat the puck, knowing when to rim the puck. It really is just about making a read and making the right play. And right now, it’s not our strength. But we’ve proven we can do it.

David Quinn

Quinn, on his perspective of the loss:

I thought we had a good first period, and then we stunk for two periods.

That was men amongst boys in the second and third periods. I thought they were quicker and played with more conviction. More physical. That second goal really deflated us.

Quinn, on Henry Thrun:

Listen, he tries his ass off. He’s coachable. These are great experiences for him. Just a little bit more anticipation with the puck. Puck management’s big. Just like most young players when they get to this league.

Quinn, on Filip Zadina:

I looked at the minutes and I wish I played him more.

He’s always competing. He’s always trying.

He and Studnicka, I thought, had their legs tonight, and I wish I played them a little bit more than I did.

 

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