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Eklund Returns, But Sharks Still Embarrassed 8-3

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Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

The San Jose Sharks welcome the Washington Capitals into SAP Center. Tomas Hertl and Alexander Barabanov gave the Sharks a quick 2-0 lead, and Nico Sturm added another, but the Sharks got overwhelmed again 8-3.

Period 1

3 in: Good stick by Eklund deflects point shot out.

4 in: Hope high-low pass into slot by Hertl. Don’t like. Gotta watch again, but I think there were better, albeit safer plays.

10 in: Eklund gets it in the neutral zone, pushes back the defense, takes the middle and shoots. That’s what you want to see more of from him at this level, asset himself in the middle of the ice.

Power play, last year, if you saw Irwin come in and crunch Eklund, you would’ve panicked. Standing his ground this year.

9 left: Eklund flubs a one-timer, then he demands the puck from Karlsson seconds later. Love to see the confidence.

Hertl goal: Love to see power moves from Hertl that work. More of that from now to the end of the season.

Barabanov goal: Alex in the hard areas, good work. The more he does that, and he’s done that a lot more this year, the greater impact he’ll have, and he won’t be underrated anymore.

3 left: Oohs and ahhs are Eklund spin-o-rama buys space and time for slot pass.

Double-minor PP, Eklund loses it high, is smart to take out closest Cap, could’ve been called? But that leaves just one Cap ahead instead of two. Sharks manage it.

Irwin bangs Eklund again. That’s an NHL challenge for him.

MacDonald-Benning-Labanc-Johnsson-Svechnikov are PP2.

I don’t think Eklund wowed in that period, maybe some nerves too, but I liked the obvious strength and confidence from him.

A lot of shots, but a lot from the outside. SJS 6-2 Slot Shots, but 2-2 at Even Strength.

Period 2

Eklund hasn’t wowed, but looks comfortable on PP1, like he did lat year. Some guys, they just look frazzled, out of place on a PP. Not Eklund.

5 in: Good work by Gregor to skate his way through wall, Sturm gets slashed.

Power play: Eklund gets himself trapped in the corner. He can’t let that happen at this level. Then he heels another one-timer, that can’t happen on his spot on the flank. He’ll be fine, but yea. He does end the power play very strong, with a thread pass, high-end pass to Barabanov. Great vision and execution. Then he almost stops an exhausted Kuznetsov from clearing. Eklund made what looked like an easy clear into a race, you love to see that energy.

Smith goal: Situationally, you’d love a save there, but that was a good, hard shot from an open Smith from the dot, on the rush. Up to Kahkonen to kill the Caps rally now, the San Jose Sharks have continued a strong overall effort, 29-10 shots.

9 in: Like Eklund’s work rate. Always buzzing on both sides of the puck.

Aube-Kubel goal: Again, off the rush. Gregor gets beat off the wall, and that one, I think Kahkonen’s got to have. At least one of the two.

Irwin goal: Karlsson loses it, trying to exit. Eklund’s nemesis Irwin fires it through traffic past Kahkonen. Need a save somewhere.

4 left: Gregor wrecking ball on back-check, sticks with his man, then takes another Cap hard into boards. Should re-watch, but fun sequence. If he can apply his speed to be a defensive wrecking ball, will have a long NHL career.

Smith goal: Another 2-0 blown with four unanswered in the middle frame. Have to watch again, looks like Smith drives down center lane, Eklund one of those that he beats.

Period 3

No Simek right now on San Jose Sharks bench.

5 in: Looks like Ferraro has a little tunnel vision, he looked like he had Eklund open on one side, went the other, turnover.

Labanc penalty: A little late looking? But Quinn doesn’t like it, he’s hot.

Simek won’t return.

Sturm goal: Nice job by Gregor, a little deception, then slides it into Sturm’s wheelhouse.

Ovechkin goal: One on one, just blows it by KK.

10 left: Like Hertl just eating it along wall. He’s got to do that more. Sharks recover, it’s fine to have that help.

Another Ovechkin goal…well, Sharks fans get a front seat for history.

Strome goal: Lorentz can’t execute a simple pass out of the zone, Karlsson has already vacated, and the Caps get another easy one.

 

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