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San Jose Sharks

Sharks Go Winless in October, Tie Franchise-Worst 0-8-1 Start



Credit: NBC Sports California

The San Jose Sharks visit Capital One Arena to take on the Washington Capitals.

Luke Kunin scored, but the Sharks lost again, 3-1, they went winless in October, 0-8-1.

Period 1

Like the Sharks’ jump to start. From Hertl forecheck and chance to Kunin interception, that’s 200 feet of good hockey to start. Alert, engaged. Then Eklund strips Sandin along the wall. Granlund looks good to start too.

Now Zadina forces a Jensen turnover on forecheck. Three straight lines, three straight shifts, the Sharks forced turnovers. Not likely that’s happened a lot, if at all, this season.

2 in: Sharks get a break here, Benning turnover, becomes a 2-on-1, but Backstrom shanks the cross-slot pass.

Looks like the San Jose Sharks jumping on their opponent for once, 6-2 shots. As Remenda observed, I’ve noticed closer support too.

Kunin goal: First Sharks goal in 163:10. A lot to like here. Emberson jumping up to gain the zone. Eklund’s puck possession. Kunin beat Kuznetsov to the loose puck, establishes inside position, that’s hunger to score. Congrats to Emberson for his first NHL point!

Ferraro penalty: Big kill by Blackwood.

Big block by Kunin to close period. Sharks just hanging on the last few minutes, but they get out of it with the lead. Just the second time this year that they’ve had a lead after 20, first time since Avs’ game. They played a good 15 or so, but lost the script after the kill.

Period 2

1 in: Kunin takes a hit to move the puck out of DZ. This kind of hustle keeps him in the line-up when he isn’t scoring.

Ferraro penalty: That might be the best Sharks PK this year. Didn’t allow Caps to establish zone time, denied entries, got chances.

4 in: Looks like Smith gets good support by Rutta when he’s in trouble in DZ corner. Rutta has speed, easy exit. Remenda also spotlighted this after the commercial break.

9 in: Good, gasp, hockey from the San Jose Sharks. Actually a lot of it today. But Granlund and Eklund target Backstrom on the forecheck, then Eklund finds Granlund in the weeds.

6 left: Between Labanc and Vlasic, nice job on entry. Labanc finds weak side Vlasic, good read by the defenseman to jump up, then Smith and Carpenter bang away. Good, simple hockey.

4 left: Blackwood coming on strong on PK again. Then another huge Kunin block.

I’ve liked San Jose’s work at 5-on-5 throughout this game. Compete is there, on top of pucks. Obviously, Caps are a dangerous team. But it feels like Sharks have been right there the whole night, unlike say the Avs game, where they were just chasing all night.

Period 3

Strome goal: Sturm pressured on breakout, short pass to Benning, Benning doesn’t give Hoffman a perfect pass, but I think he’s got to get that out. Tough, but San Jose Sharks have to stay mentally strong, keep it going.

4 in: Good forecheck by Zadina, establishes possession. More of that, San Jose Sharks will put themselves in decent position to win.

7 in: Like that carry by Zetterlund. Also, forecheck between Kunin and Eklund still going. Still like what I’m seeing.

9 in: Like. Zetterlund doesn’t give Ovechkin any space up high, forces puck out. Have really liked his game tonight.

7 left: Great shift by Granlund line, started by actually nifty Ferraro move on entry off Granlund entry pass. Highlighted by Eklund to Kunin chance.

Wilson goal: Vlasic icing before, and he knew it, was looking up to sky. Sharks haven’t defended great off the faceoff tonight.

2 left: Loved Granlund’s effort to kill play as Caps were hunting for ENG.

First game this year where I’d say the San Jose Sharks played well enough to win, but regardless, they’ve just tied 1993-94’s franchise-worst 0-8-1 start.

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