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Notes #8: Short-Handed Sharks Win 2-1 in OT

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Period One

The San Jose Sharks will run an interesting line-up tonight with seven players in COVID protocol and Couture out too:

Bonino is playing too with Eklund and Balcers.

Minute in, Hatakka shows his feet in a one-on-one with Ehlers. He doesn’t cede middle.

Two in, don’t love that long-bomb Burns pass to maybe Gadjovich. Doesn’t even get out. High-risk hockey with this line-up is probably not best idea.

Five in: Easy Burns pass up wall to winger eludes winger, goes for icing. Looked like hard pass for a basic one. Burns may need to settle down a little — A LOT on his shoulders tonight.

Following shift, twice in NZ, Eklund loses it. He has to manage puck better tonight too.

Seven in, Hatakka keeps up with Ehlers again. Can certainly skate at this level.

Great pass off wall by Barabanov, springs Meier and Hertl two-on-one — but Meier pass to Hertl eludes the big center.

Was going to say Eklund looks small tonight, he’s getting punished and bodied off puck without make right next play — but then time and space, two on one with Bonino, gets pass through, Bonino draws call.

Good PP by Burns-Meier-Barabanov-Hertl-Bonino unit.

Meier breakaway: Good job by Timo to be available. Followed by a good Eklund backcheck (though his pass to Balcers got intercepted).

Six left: Ryan Merkley maybe in a nutshell? Razzles and dazzles through a couple Jets, crowd oohs and ahhs, but loses it on entry without getting it deep, three Jets counter. There are enough Sharks back. FWIW chatted with a couple scouts who saw last night’s Cuda game — they’re still not impressed with his defense, despite his much-better offense in AHL.

Four left: Barabanov got the memo from Bob, Crafty pass on exit to weakside Hatakka.

Period Two

San Jose Sharks off to good start to open period: Nifty deception by Barabanov coming down wing. He can’t blow past Morrissey, but he makes sure to protect puck and doesn’t open up until Meier’s stick becomes available. Hertl pops in rebound.

Two in: Better NZ navigation by Eklund.

Five in: Nick Merkley has actually been pretty good tonight, there’s a good hustle, small skill play to set up Weatherby who fans.

Six in: Good backcheck by Eklund after Meloche fires it stepping into zone, no Sharks camped in front. Don’t love that shot because that’s an inefficient shot with good chance of counterattack.

Eight in, Leonard able to churn his way out of a Jets pin behind Reimer, good work there, but Sharks don’t exit.

Another solid Nick Merkley shift — he’s been the best player on his line there. Making the right next play to advance offense so far.

Ten in: I liked Balcers’s urgency on that pursuit of the Jets point, he got a little stick on the puck. Next shift, Nick Merkley, on the wall, ties up Jets stick as puck approaches, allows his teammate to grab it, easy exit. Another good little play.

Eight left: Weatherby is wide open in slot for a sec, but Jets catch up. I’ve seen stuff like this in other games, coming up NZ. A lot to like about Weatherby’s game, but I’m not seeing a feel for when pressure is coming, when he’s got to rid himself of puck. It’s a thin line — you don’t want him letting it go too early . Though you prefer that over a turnover. This feel can come in time. Regardless, and some credit to him, good pressure from that line.

Five left: What a recovery by Hatakka on Ehlers. Ehlers was ahead on breakaway, but Hatakka gets the last second stick on it.

Three left: That’s poor defense by Ryan Merkley. Bites too hard on offensive pinch, when Jets pass comes the other way, Dubois has too much of the center lane uncontested. Dubois post. Basic defense there, that’s why scouts are hard on him.

Minute left: Good Eklund shift, makes good next play with NZ pressure to Balcers. Then on forecheck, wins puck. Less flash, better period from the rookie.

Period Three

Somehow, the San Jose Sharks are up tonight: But they have to wish they buried in the first because you figure Jets shell out in this period.

Good two shifts by Balcers to start insofar a forecheck steal in OZ, then a blocked shot there on Pionk.

Pederson has replaced Nick Merkley on second PP unit.

Nine in: Hatakka does good job to step up on Jets entry to disturb fellow Finn Vesalainen, then closes and steals it along the wall. He’s shown a lot of talent tonight.

Eight left: Can’t say enough about Reimer too. Great job stopping puck, stopping it when necessary tonight.

Too much gap through middle there from Burns and Ferraro, they’re both forced to close, Connor is unmarked up ice. Nick Merkley slow on Connor, doesn’t react to Burns/Ferraro/Pederson collapse in slot.

Seconds left, Ferraro does good job staying with his man Dubois coming down middle of Jets three-on-two.

OT

Meier!

 

 

 

 

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timorous me

Bonus points to Hatakka–he was the rustiest guy out there, having not played for so long. At least the Cuda guys are in game shape. I thought he was really promising out there and I’m hoping he’s only more confident and comfortable going forward. He looks like the kind of guy who might end up being the best fit on Karlsson’s left long-term (even if he does like playing on his off side).

[…] including defenceman Erik Karlsson, tested positive for COVID and they still went out and earned a 2-1 overtime victory against Winnipeg. James Reimer made 34 saves and Timo Meier scored in overtime to snap a three-game […]

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