At least the San Jose Sharks aren’t playing last-place hockey for 60 minutes anymore.
But they did it a couple times in a 3-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night, and it cost them.
The biggest gut punch was down 1-0, going on a five-minute major power play after Nils Hoglander slew-footed Kevin Labanc.
But instead of piling on the goals, the Sharks power play gave one up to Sam Lafferty with literal seconds left in the middle frame. Incredibly, three of Lafferty’s five career short-handed goals have come against Team Teal.
— JD Young (@MyFryHole) November 21, 2023
“The minute we got the power play, it was slow,” San Jose Sharks head coach David Quinn lamented. “Stopping at the blueline. Not just playing fast, get it behind. Bad decisions. Then just a bad play in the corner there.”
San Jose was down 2-0 but had actually played Vancouver fairly even at 5-on-5 up to this point. Per SPORTLOGiQ, through 40 minutes, the teams had four High-Danger Chances apiece at Even Strength.
But of course, the cellar-dweller would be down two goals despite a nice try.
Tomas Hertl responded with a power play goal of his own at the beginning of the third period, but that was all the scoring that the Sharks could muster. Fittingly, at the end of the major power play, San Jose took a too many men on the ice penalty, further blunting their momentum.
Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 37 of 40 shots in another heroic effort. Incredibly, this is the seventh time in 12 starts that Blackwood has faced 40 or more shots.
Hertl, Fabian Zetterlund, and Quinn all addressed the Lafferty laugher. Hertl and Quinn also discussed the moribund power play. Hertl talked about meeting Prince Harry. Quinn also praised Blackwood and touched on why he switched William Eklund out for Filip Zadina on the top line.
See the full Hertl interview here.
Hertl, on the Lafferty short-handed goal:
It’s especially on me. I have to make a stronger play. We just can’t give up a second left, a goal.
Hertl, on the San Jose Sharks power play needing to play faster:
On the breakouts, we have to come with a lot more speed like other teams do it. We just come kind of standing and be flat-footed, and after that, we have to make a smart decision. But I think we come with a lot more speed, it’s easier to chip it. We definitely have to be faster and just more hungry.
Hertl, on meeting Prince Harry:
It’s a pretty cool moment. Shake hands with Prince Harry. Probably I’ll never forget it, but it’ll be better if you get the two points from tonight.
Hertl said that he had to tell Prince Harry to drop the puck: "Yeah, I actually had to tell him because he's holding it and smiling. I said it's time to drop it. But it's a cool moment."
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) November 21, 2023
See the full Zetterlund interview here.
Zetterlund, on the Lafferty short-handed goal:
It happened fast out there. We got to be ready for it.
Quinn, on the Lafferty short-handed goal:
The whole thing. The minute we got the power play, it was slow. Stopping at the blueline. Not just playing fast, get it behind. Bad decisions. Then just a bad play in the corner there.
Quinn, on Mackenzie Blackwood’s performance:
He’s proven he’s an elite goalie in this league. We all knew he was capable of doing it. We left him out to dry too often tonight.
A lot of them were off turnovers. When you turn it over, you’re not in structure, and that’s where teams can take advantage of you. That’s what I thought really happened to us. A lot of their Grade-A’s were off turnovers.
Quinn, on the disallowed Eklund goal:
No, I can see why they called it.
Quinn, on the Nils Hoglander slewfoot of Kevin Labanc:
I’ll let the league handle that. I think the five-minute major and the match says it all.
Quinn, on inserting Filip Zadina in Eklund’s place on the first line:
I just didn’t like [the Hertl line’s] game tonight together.
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