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Notes #48: Meier Explodes, Sharks Score Buzzer-Beater, Still Lose 5-4 in OT

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The San Jose Sharks welcome the Vancouver Canucks to SAP Center. It’s a pivotal game for both teams, desperately trying to stay in the playoff hunt — only two points separate them. The Canucks raced out to a 2-0 lead but the Sharks fought back to tie the game at three apiece off goals by Logan Couture and a pair by Timo Meier. Alexander Barabanov tied it late with an incredible goal but Canucks came up with a 5-4 win in OT.

Period One

Three in: Good little play out of DZ corner from Gregor to initiate breakout.

Meier-Hertl chance kicked off by nifty Merkley and Barabanov breakout.

Seven in : Pettersson just tried to line up Hertl. Pretty sure he would’ve just bounced off.

Eight in: Barabanov almost connected on a great pass to Dahlen. Been all over puck on this shift.

Seven left: Meier slaps his stick in frustration as an entry negated by Barabanov offside. Only four San Jose Sharks through 13 minutes. Then Merkley with some neutral zone hijinks, the kind of stuff that keeps him out of the line-up. Skates into a Canuck at center ice, loses the puck, Vancouver counterattack. This was after, I should add a nice Merkley backhand pass to Meier that Timo lost in the NZ. But Timo obviously has more license than Merkley. Seems like it’s a frustrated Sharks right now.

Six left: Out of sync Sharks. Ferraro to Burns D-to-D pass when Sharks actually win a forecheck bounces off Nieto, Vancouver comes back other way, Boeser scores. Think Ekman-Larsson gets away with a pick on Dahlen, who was chasing Miller. Miller free forces Couture to shift coverage to him, leaving Boeser all alone (and Dahlen can’t keep up). Scout suggests to me that Dahlen needed to commit to his position and skate through (legally) OEL which would have caught ref’s eye and forced a whistle. Interesting point. Still think it’s a missed call.

Hughes goal: Sharks don’t get it deep again, it’s a NZ mess then counterattack. Then a bad Middleton turnover; his intention was right, he just wanted to clear, but you gotta have more awareness.

Period Two

To see Cogliano race ahead of Dahlen on forecheck, even though Dahlen had a headstart gives you an idea of different styles of play and skills. Not a criticism of Dahlen, maybe a little contrast in styles will be what doctor ordered. Lord knows San Jose Sharks need something now.

San Jose Sharks got a bounce on Couture goal: Bend-don’t-break D at other end, then Couture spins off a not great Nieto seam pass, deflects on Canucks d-man stick. Much-needed, we’ll see if San Jose can use it as a springboard.

Six in: On PK, Nieto does nice job reading what Pettersson is trying to force.

Ten in: Dahlen does a good job there of recognizing, staying with Miller all the way to the slot.

Seven left: Good battle between two good players in Ferraro and Miller. Ferraro cuts off Miller on the center’s surge to the front, but then Miller gets best of Ferraro in net front battle. Reimer saves Ferraro.

Six left: Off OZ faceoff, good puck battle win by Nieto back to Merkley. That little stuff, at least for a night or two, is a reason why it makes sense to put up a not-great offensive player like Nieto up in line-up every once in a while. Sometimes pure effort and smarts and speed, what Nieto usually brings, trumps pure skill in the line-up, especially a depth-challenged team like Sharks.

Three in: Pederson sets up up Gadjovich, started by good straight-line speed by Gadjovich to pressure on forecheck. Then that line comes back with another wave of pressure to get the San Jose Sharks a power play. Good for them, Pederson and Gadjovich especially have bore brunt of fan frustration this year. Pederson played with some confidence on that shift. I’ve heard from scouts what many of you think — that he doesn’t belong in the NHL — but that shift, he looked like he did. Good wheels, bodied off Canucks off the puck.

Period Three

Meier goal: That’s a beaut of a pass by Hertl to Meier.

Six in: Burns almost got burnt there on pinch — lucky Canucks bobbled.

Seven in: Merkley closes out on Lammikko.

Eight in: Meier close on Schenn there like cheetah on prey lol.

Nine left: San Jose Sharks PP has been so good, this is our first look at the second unit with Ryan Merkley. Seems to be a go-to entry for this unit, seen it recently: Merkley drop to Dahlen, but Dahlen feeds Gregor speed. But they didn’t play fast enough there, off-side.

Garland goal: Starts with Boughner confidence in fourth line…but Gadjovich turns it over badly in neutral zone, thinking too much offense. Really inexcusable play and I hate saying that because they’ve had a good game. Then it’s a mess in zone, and Garland sticks it in. Gadjovich knows, his head is down.

OT

Hertl, Burns, and of course, Meier to start.

Minute in: Crafty stick lift by Couture on Boeser.

 

 

 

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