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Reimer Saves Sharks in Knyzhov’s Return 3-2



Credit: Sportsnet

The San Jose Sharks visit the Winnipeg Jets at Canada Life Centre. Nikolai Knyzhov made his NHL return, and Steven Lorentz gave the Sharks a 1-0 first period lead. But

Period 1

Early impressions on Knyzhov is the mobility looks good, so key with him.

2 in: Eklund cuts toward the middle with the puck again. I think he disrupted a Jet on the forecheck too.

7 in: Good job by Knyzhov pulling Ehlers toward him behind the net, reverse to Karlsson. Like.

9 in: Clever cutback by Barabanov, doesn’t force entry, turns back and hits Eklund through the middle lane. I do wish Eklund had just taken the puck to the net there, I think he had a little space and time, instead of curling back to the perimeter. But love the Barabanov decision, of course, he’s killed if he loses it and doesn’t get it in deep, but he executes there. Soviet-style hockey.

8 left: Out of break, Hedican has an astute observation about Ferraro, about backing up his stick, puck incoming to him at point, by turning his boot behind the stick, toward the wall. Ferraro didn’t there.

Lorentz goal: Soft Labanc pass to middle for Lindblom to skate into. He needs a play like that maybe to get going. Pretty stuff. Then Lindblom and Lorentz bang away.

Couture-Sturm-Ferraro-Benning to start PK. Now we’ve got Lorentz-Lindblom. Vlasic-Knyzhov. Just seeing how they’re deploying guys with Nieto, Bonino, Megna all gone.

4 left: I’ll watch that again, but yea, don’t want to see Eklund parachuting on plays with hope drop passes like that. That better connect if you’re not going to go forward with it.

Period 2

5 in: Better team, that low to high pass by the Jets doesn’t get through? Not blaming the Sharks out there, necessarily, it’s just my first watch. A pass like that will happen time to time. But being in a better spot would stop that.

9 in: Ugly. Not sure what Karlsson was doing, guess he expected Reimer to get the puck on the clear. Karlsson had been out there for full minute of PP. But then Reimer with an incredible save!

Gregor getting some PP time with MacDonald out.

10 in: Knyzhov does a good job staying in front of Dubois on puck race to corner. Skating and size hold off a very good forward.

8 left: Gorgeous stretch pass by Eklund while falling. Perfect for Hertl to skate into. Next shift, good Knyzhov stretch pass to Barabanov.

4 left: That’s a bad play by Karlsson. Know he’s dead tired, near 2-minute shift, but he has a couple moments with the puck, float it out if you must. I know that goes against every fiber of his style, but San Jose Sharks were desperate for anything besides a flat-out turnover.

Good for Reimer. He hasn’t had a good season, in my opinion, but he’s still a good goalie. San Jose Sharks could do worse than bringing him back as a bridge goalie. Still the only Sharks goalie to have a positive GSAx season since Aaron Dell in 2019-20, or as a starter, Martin Jones in 2017-18.

Period 3

Niederreiter post: Looks like Karlsson got picked on Jets entry, Niederreiter all alone.

3 in: 3-on-2, Zetterlund has to make a play. Sharks haven’t had a lot of chances, of course. There was one there, at least for a couple beats.

5 in: Pionk snuffs out potential Sharks’ 2-on-1, Lindblom can’t get shot off.

6 in: Vlasic up high, but two Jets converge, he can’t even get it deep without risking turnover, he goes safe with a straight pass off the boards, still a turnover. Not killing Vlasic, by the way, just an example of how tough it has been for the Sharks to get basic forward momentum. Outshot 31-15 at this point.

10 in: Knyzhov beat Ehlers to earn that icing. Forward skating looking good.

Schmidt goal: Wow, they scratched Nate for a game? Didn’t know that. Anyway, it’s for the best for the drive to Bedard.

5 left: Beautiful puck-moving sequence from Karlsson to Hertl to Eklund to Zetterlund. Fabian’s gotta fire it! That Karlsson to Hertl pass was world-class stuff, embarrassed two Jets were over him in NZ.

2 left: Another beauty Karlsson stretch pass to Hertl. Another few in the world can do it. Then he uncorks an 100.8 MPH shot on Hertl return feed.

Hertl goal: Nice to see Hertl getting going. He’s genuinely showing a better game, I wonder if he had been nursing a minor injury and the ASG break was helpful. I asked, but he and Quinn wouldn’t cop to anything, so maybe it’s a dead-end. But he’s been more on the puck since the break. That was just a lucky bounce though.

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