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Notes #15: Sharks Find Their Game, Beat Wild 4-1

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Credit: NBC Sports California

Period One

Two in: Labanc’s first attempt to create offense for San Jose Sharks is a blind-looking pass up the middle in OZ, turnover. He’s in a tough place, being charged to create offense with linemates who won’t be helping as much as say a Couture. On the other hand, he should get benefit of softer match-ups.

Four in: Hatakka attacks, then comes back to even up potential Minnesota two-on-one. Good recovery.

Ferraro goal: On entry, Meier draws two Wild d-men, Dumba and Brodin — uh oh for Minnesota. Meier lifts it to Couture, who now has a down-low two-on-one with a Wild forward.

Brodin with a rough start, his short breakout pass evades his forward, Meier picks up, Dahlen has a point-blank chance.

Nine in: A better offensive shift from Labanc. Makes plays, but not blind ones.

Ten in: Ferraro kills the Gaudreau play. Good start for him.

Nine left: Between Couture and Meier, one of them has to cover late man Dumba. Avs killed San Jose Sharks with the trailer defenseman on Saturday.

Five left: Hatakka has time and space behind Reimer, Gadjovich waiting near wall — either Hatakka has to rim it softer or Gadjovich has to be closer to the wall or Hatakka has to hold a beat for Gadjovich to get to better position. Regardless, unforced turnover.

Meier goal: He skates it up through three zones, draws two Wild in corner, gets it back to point, and gets a step on Merrill to pick up the loose change. What a first period for Meier.

Seconds left: Burns puts it in a soft area, Meier just gets Spurgeon’s stick out the way, gets a shot off. Wow.

Period Two

Okay, we can stop Timo’s coronation haha. Reimer saves Meier’s bacon on Wild SH chance. Later, Labanc makes a crafty pass to Hertl, who drops it to Karlsson, Karlsson blasts it from point. Good for his confidence, maybe, to make a play.

Three in: Weatherby loses it on entry after Labanc feeds him — can’t blame KLB for that. Wild chance on counterattack.

Eriksson Ek goal: What a play by JEE to keep puck away from Hertl’s stick and still get a shot from the middle.

Five in: Like Hedican mentioned, why isn’t Gadjovich’s stick available for Karlsson breakout pass? He’s got to be better than that if he wants to stay in the NHL.

Eight in: Poor Karlsson pass in DZ middle to Hertl is swallowed up by Wild. He’s got to be better.

Speaking of: That’s how skill wins you games. Not every Shark can do what Karlsson did there. Just smoked it one on one versus Talbot. Small plays matter too — Fiala is slow to cover the point because he lost his stick behind the net in a board battle with Middleton.

Two maligned San Jose Sharks in Labanc and Vlasic hook up for a nice play. Vlasic takes advantage of Wild change, hits Labanc entering with speed up the middle. Labanc fires away and crashes the net. Another good fourth-line shift. Worth noting: This line has an offensive pulse, the Bonino line doesn’t yet.

Five left: Bonino leads a three-on-two…and nothing. No shot attempt. Either he needs help or needs to be MUCH better. He dumps it, and he and Nieto outnumber down low, get it back to point…but is that what you want from a three-on-two? That’s dump-and-chase hockey to an extreme.

Period Three

The San Jose Sharks gave too much in the second to Minnesota. Let’s see if they can close out Wild strong.

Four in: Why that hope play from Balcers? Balcers can’t pick up speed, but he has the puck along the center ice wall. He chooses a finesse pass to Barabanov, easily intercepted by the Wild. Dump that in there. That’s a turnover in a bad place from Balcers.

Five in: That’s killing a play by Burns. Great job on Foligno in the corner. Bonino picks up but doesn’t skate with it, his rim too hard for his receiver, turnover.

Six in: Like Labanc’s decision to fire from point, creates chaos.

San Jose Sharks just defending now. Can any of them cut through this?

Hertl goal: What a no-look pass by Barabanov.

Ten in: Back-to-back backchecks by Weatherby then Meier will make coaches moon. It’s not just the mistake you make — it’s how you respond to it.

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