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Sharks Have Hertl, But No Luck on Offense

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LOS ANGELES — The San Jose Sharks re-enter the Crypt to take on the LA Kings in Tomas Hertl’s first game as a $65.1 million dollar man. But the Sharks couldn’t get a bite on offense, getting shut out by the Kings 3-0.

Period 1

3 in: Burns under some duress, throws it up the wall to nobody, Kings claim it. Burns has a penchant for those automatic plays to places where there should be a teammate, move it before he looks. It’s sensible in a lot of plays and coached into him, I’m sure, wonder how he might look on a better team, where the guy more likely to be there?

6 in: San Jose Sharks look like they haven’t solved yesterday’s escape room yet. Kings off to a 6-0 shot edge. It’s Gregor, after missing two games, that shows his stuff to chip and chase and use his speed to get San Jose’s first shots. That’s the kind of energy injection that will keep him in the line-up.

5 left: Middleton loses his glove — Bonino, on the way off ice, flips it up to Middleton — drawing chuckles from the Sharks sitting in press box.

2 left: Kings on top of Sharks’ breakout there. They’ve been a little flat to start tonight for sure.

Kempe post after Couture bobbles a Meier NZ pass. Sharks just not crisp to start the game. Kings didn’t dominate, but Sharks a little fortunate not to be down.

Natural Stat Trick does have it 6-1 High-Danger Attempts at 5v5, but I didn’t think the Kings were that dangerous. SPORTLOGiQ suggests that with a 2-2 Slot Shots on Net in All Situations total.

Period 2

1 in: Meier just seamed Kings PK twice in a row to Karlsson. That’s not going to make Todd happy.

But then the second unit of Middleton-Barabanov-Dahlen-Reedy-Bonino can’t do anything, comedy of errors there, and it ends with a Barabanov slash on a SH chance. That’s not going to make Bob happy.

Megna, then Dahlen, in pain after shot blocks.

7 in: Nifty set play by Sharks off OZ faceoff win, Karlsson at point, drops it to Meier who circles behind him. Kings sniff it out though.

9 in: Gregor really pushing it on that shift, give and go with Balcers, Rudy can’t complete, but Reedy reclaims, Gregor finds Balcers for a tip off the post. Then another Gregor shot. The fourth-liner’s got three of the San Jose Sharks’ 12 shots, a good thing, but also a sign that the rest of the team needs to get going.

10 left: Nieto with a good active shift, all over puck.

Looks like we have a kid Leonard-Reedy-Gregor line. Then Balcers back with Hertl line.

6 left: Good kill by Vlasic, in right position for centering pass, then skates it to open side and backhands out.

4 left: Gregor can’t give it up there though. He was desperate to gain the red line and dump in, but the Kings beat him to it. Got to learn to just give it up there, I think, but down the ice (but try to avoid icing). Not an easy read but lesser of two evils, basically.

Next shift, Danault goal: Danault beats Middleton on one-to-one reach to puck.

Then Meier takes a delay of game penalty. He’s had a tough game.

Karlsson, of course: What an aerial pass to an awaiting Hertl, SH breakaway. Hertl got another shovel at it after initial chance too. But Petersen stands strong.

1 left: Meier goes for 50-50 puck down corner on PP, doesn’t get to it. Bangs his stick on the ice on the back-check-up.

San Jose Sharks played a better second, but they’re now down 2. Go figure.

Period 3

One advantage of the Karlsson-Burns duo on the PP — I know I’ve spoken against it in the past — is that it gives the San Jose Sharks two legitimate drop options for quarterback Burns. When you split Burns/Karlsson, one or the other is carrying the puck, so who do you pair with Meier for double-drop?

5 in: Not sure why that’s not a penalty shot for Hertl.

San Jose Sharks have actually played a decent game overall, but no finish as usual.

7 left: Barabanov does a nice job curling off Kopitar, keeping possession, but then he passes it to empty point. But overall, another example of his underrated puck possession.

5 left: Don’t see that everyday. Meier bats it high, it’s going past Petersen — but Durzi bats it out.

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