For once, the San Jose Sharks turned the tables.
17 games into the season, the now 3-13-1 Sharks enjoyed their first three, four, and five-goal leads of the year, on their way to a 5-1 rout of the visiting St. Louis Blues.
This is first time that they’ve scored more than three goals in a game this season and their first multi-goal victory.
Mike Hoffman scored a pair, while William Eklund, Givani Smith, and Luke Kunin piled on. Kaapo Kahkonen made 44 saves.
San Jose seemed especially happy that enforcer Smith got a goal, his first as a Shark. Smith, and linemates Kunin and Ryan Carpenter also enjoyed multi-point efforts, a well-deserved turn in the spotlight for the lunchpail guys.
“Guy has already stuck up for a couple of guys this year after big hits. When a guy does that, guys in the locker room notice. Everyone was really excited,” Carpenter said of Smith, adding this joke. “Even after that pass too, [my] pass was maybe even nicer.”
“A lot of times guys, when a shift ends and nothing good happens, they’re disappointed,” San Jose Sharks head coach David Quinn said about Carpenter in pretty much the fourth-line center’s manifesto. “Ryan takes a lot of pride in playing the right way. He’ll come off the ice and nothing has happened and he feels good about it. Because sometimes, that’s a good shift.”
Quinn also talked about Filip Zadina and Hoffman’s contributions to the win. Kahkonen dissed the Sharks’ win song (again). Carpenter talked about being on a two-way contract. Smith says he was looking for a fight that never came from the Blues.
Quinn, on the San Jose Sharks defense being more aggressive on pinches:
It was actually part of the pre-scout today, about our D being a little bit more on top of people. Checking the weakside to make sure your F3 can get involved. I think we’ve been pretty passive lately. I think that can happen when you’ve been losing the way we have. I think you play with a little bit of fear, and I thought we played fearless. When you do that, good things happen.
Quinn, on how Carpenter has stabilized the center position for the team:
He’s done a really good job. He’s a reliable player. A lot of times guys, when a shift ends and nothing good happens, they’re disappointed. Ryan takes a lot of pride in playing the right way. He’ll come off the ice and nothing has happened and he feels good about it. Because sometimes, that’s a good shift.
Quinn, on Smith’s impact on San Jose Sharks:
Obviously, he’s brought some size and hardness to our lineup that we sorely needed. He can also play hockey. I think you’ve seen some of the plays he’s made. He’s involved in scoring chances for quite a bit throughout the season. And he understands how to do it, right? It’s not cute, but he makes a skilled play on Kunin’s goal.
Quinn, on Zadina’s two-assist game:
I liked Filip’s game. I like the way his game is trending. He’s worked so hard. He’s so coachable. His problem is he’s so hard on himself. Sometimes, he’s got to move past a shift where things don’t go the way he wants. But you can see him getting better and better.
Quinn, on how veteran scorer Hoffman has handled his up-and-down playing time this season:
He’s handled it well. Listen, it hasn’t been easy for him. I know when you get later in your career, your responsibilities change. He and I have had plenty of conversations. He knows what’s expected of him. I like the way he’s handled it. He’s going to continue to get rewarded because he’s played well.
Kahkonen, on if he was disappointed to not get the shutout:
Shutouts are cool. But I only care about the win.
Kahkonen, on if he gets to choose the win song because he’s the winning goalie:
It was nice because I had to stay out for the three stars, so I didn’t have to hear the first win song. I came back when they were playing the second one, the better one.
Kahkonen was happy to avoid #SJSharks win song "SkeeYee": "It was nice because I had to stay out for 3 Stars, so I didn't have to hear the 1st win song. I came back when they were playing the 2nd [win song], the better one."
On the "SkeeYee" controversy: https://t.co/bz8bNSwWtE
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) November 17, 2023
Carpenter, on how happy the San Jose Sharks bench was when Smith scored:
You can see the reaction. Everyone was excited and energized. Guy has already stuck up for a couple of guys this year after big hits. When a guy does that, guys in the locker room notice. Everyone was really excited. Even after that pass too, [my] pass was maybe even nicer.
Carpenter, on how rewarding it is for him personally to have a multi-point night:
I signed a two-way contract here, didn’t know what would happen in camp. Just trying to take advantage of the opportunities I get and build with this team. It was tough when [I was] coming up, we were still on that losing streak. Our process here, we’ve been trying to get better everyday and stay positive.
Carpenter, on the San Jose Sharks’ improving forecheck:
It starts with breaking out. I think when we break out better, it allows us to get into the offensive end.
Smith, on if the Blues were trying to get him to fight:
Not me, to be honest. Somebody else. I was more trying to see who would go.
Smith, on his center Ryan Carpenter:
He’s a hell of a player. Playing in the league for a while. To have his wisdom out there is good. Simple guy, north-south, you know what he’s gonna do.
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