OTTAWA — The San Jose Sharks start off on good foot: Karlsson makes a play while getting plastered on forecheck, pinpoint pass to forward for easy exit. You know he wants this one tonight, he’ll be pressing, hopefully in good ways.
Ferraro hit on Pinto: There’s a delay of Sharks getting over as Ferraro surrounded by Sens — but then Burns, naturally, first in. Pinto goes off immediately, clutching shoulder.
Three in: Little things, Dahlen bump pass out of DZ springs Couture and Meier.
Five in: Eklund has a couple chances to exit, fails. Part of where he still needs to adjust.
Six in: Great shift from Labanc. Handling puck through telephone booth up high, making plays to keep puck alive. A lot has been made of Meier’s revival this year, but this is what Labanc can do.
There’s a leak: San Jose Sharks off to a great start, but Karlsson gets caught in neutral zone, chases Tkachuk up wall around center ice. That creates two-on-one other way. Batherson shot squeezes through Reimer, you maybe want better there, but that’s an aimless play from Karlsson, he wasn’t even close. Tkachuk moved away from him with intention — and Karlsson took bait. Bonino does do a fair job of hustling back to force Batherson to shoot.
Ten in: That’s a beautiful forecheck by Eklund on Zaitsev. Not sure how he takes it from the bigger Zaitsev, looks like he disturbs Zaitsev at exact moment puck coming, so puck comes through to him.
Simek bites too hard on Stutzle, doesn’t respect him enough. Penalty. On ensuing PK though, Couture with a great play to blast through Chabot along wall, create chance for Cogliano, draw a penalty.
Two poor back-to-back east-west passes by Meier then Couture, Sens counter, but Reimer cleans it up. East-west passes are fine, but they better work one hundred percent of the time in NZ/DZ.
What a shot by Labanc — but is it offside? That’s tough: Labanc has had a great start, But honestly, Sharks need to clean their game up, manage puck better, they don’t deserve the Labanc reprieve. Labanc does — but the team needs to play better.
Six left: Looks like Hertl missed an open net. But chance started by Balcers retrieving puck in corner, then hard pass back to Burns. Good job by former Sen.
Four left: Good energy and momentum provided by Weatherby line, especially Cogliano, next step is creating actual offense. Maybe not so many goals, but some shots at least. Now they’re playing them to a stalemate, which is good, but there is another level to go.
Minute left: Not a good sign when Nieto is trying behind-the-back passes in the NZ and they’re intercepted. Not to stifle creativity, but when east-west isn’t working, cool it for a while, simplify.
Then Ferraro takes a boarding penalty quickly into PK — but Sharks saved when Tierney sent off for retaliation. That should’ve been a long five-on-three for Sens.
Sharks got off to a great start, but after Batherson goal, slipped into bad habits, poor puck management, forcing plays that weren't there. They're lucky they're not facing a long two-man advantage to open second period
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) October 21, 2021
Bob won't like #GoSensGo Slot Shots, Rush Chances, Odd-Man edge…#SJSharks aren't gaining zone with control either, but their OZ Possession Time suggests they're winning dump-ins back on forecheck, which is a good thing. But rush/odd-man chances are a lot of poor puck management pic.twitter.com/k9aBh4BWwE
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) October 22, 2021
The San Jose Sharks start period on right foot: Bonino coming out of the box keeps it alive to get it to Couture. Couture tries a lay-up pass that Meier swings at — not the first time we’ve seen that this year. Then Burns with a phenomenal shot-pass for goal.
Four in: Crafty play by Weatherby to get in Ennis’s way in DZ, allow puck to go to this d-men. Clever soft pick.
Five in: What a pass by Meier to Dahlen. Like Dahlen’s approach to net too — more off to side, perhaps to avoid detection. Also makes him more open — you go straight to middle, you’re immediately noticed. Chabot can’t let that pass through.
Six in: Sharks’ third line create some offense at five-on-five. Haven’t seen a lot of that this year — need it, they’re not just there to defend.
Ten in: Nieto does a great job of getting low and walling off Tkachuk from net. Those are little things that make him an excellent fourth-liner.
Nine left: Karlsson with a turn back the clock moment, he stands up advancing Stutzle — very dangerous play if Stutzle gets through — but Karlsson wins puck, puck goes back in San Jose Sharks favor.
Six left: Different Sharks PP breakout — will see if it continues.
Four left: The Gecko at it again on exit — pretty.
Three left: Good read by Ferraro to be available coming down slot.
Two left: Another strong third line shift, Labanc quietly has become an effective forechecker, Bonino bumps Shaw off in corner.
So-so first followed by a strong second — a little bit of a repeat of Winnipeg game. Which Sharks team will show up in the third?
Fire drill to start frame, but credit to Burns who strongarms Batherson to take puck, quiet the pressure.
Two in: Two forecheck wins by Eklund, quick stick, surprising strength, smart.
Three in: Good play off wall by Pederson for clean exit.
Four in: Karlsson reaches when he shouldn’t, Sens’ two-on-one, Middleton saves his butt.
Five in, big save by Reimer: Stutzle from middle of ice. Nieto does do OK job of keeping him to perimeter.
Nine left: Like that Burns shift — shakes off two Sens behind Reimer to come out with puck, then pinpoint stretch pass to Nieto. He’s had a good game.
Six left: Big stand-up by Burns with long stick after a couple small (I see what he was trying to do there) turnovers by him, turns back Sens.
Three left: Effective NZ stand-up by third line.
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