NEW YORK – The San Jose Sharks are finally scoring. Next step, defend better.
After scoring just six goals in their first 10 road games this season, the Sharks beat the New Jersey Devils 6-3 at Prudential Center on Friday and followed that with a 6-5 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden tonight.
Anthony Duclair, Ryan Carpenter, and Jacob MacDonald gave San Jose a brief 3-2 lead, and the Sharks answered four consecutive Rangers goals with late Fabian Zetterlund and Alexander Barabanov strikes to make things interesting.
That’s a moral victory, but not winning hockey though.
“We turned it over. Just the turnovers, just frustrating. You got a puck on your stick in critical areas, and we just made poor decisions. That really was a story,” San Jose Sharks head coach David Quinn lamented. “The other piece of it is, we’ve got to finish our tracking and our backchecks.”
At the very least, the Sharks showed a different kind of pushback tonight. This is the first time this season that they’ve been down by three or more goals and fought back to make it a one-goal game.
Even a two-goal deficit for this 6-17-2 squad seemed like a mountain just a month ago.
“We don’t quit. Hard-working group. No matter what the score is, we’re going to play right till the end,” Calen Addison said. “I think we want to create that identity for ourselves and have other teams know that we’re not going to quit.”
A successful rebuild is comprised of many small steps, and not just a couple giant steps. This is certainly a small step.
For now, the undermanned Sharks will have to be happy with as many victories, moral or otherwise, that they can get.
Addison talked about his increased offensive production, MacDonald on his AHL production finally translating to the NHL, Zetterlund discussed why his line is clicking, and Quinn gave detailed breakdowns of some of the Sharks’ miscues.
Addison, on what the comeback says about this San Jose Sharks group:
We don’t quit. Hard-working group. No matter what the score is, we’re going to play right till the end. I think we want to create that identity for ourselves and have other teams know that we’re not going to quit.
Addison, on his increased production, five assists in his last eight games, after a 0-for-5 in his first five Sharks games:
The more you play, the more you get put in different situations, the more confidence you have, right? It’s the same for any player. You get more touches, you get more ice-time, you get more confidence. It’s nice to see the…assists or whatever, but I like where our team is at right now and we’re working hard.
MacDonald, on if there’s any whiplash going back and forth between forward and power play defenseman:
Not at all. That [defenseman] position is natural to me. It’s an easy transition, for sure, especially on the power play, sitting up top there, that’s pretty natural. Forward is the one that’s not so natural. I’ve been doing that for a while now. I’m getting used to it.
MacDonald, on why his AHL production is finally translating to the NHL, is he just getting more chances or puck just going in?
Combination of both. Definitely a little bit more chances, but I had a bunch last year and racked a bunch of posts, so they’re just going in right now.
MacDonald, on if playing goalie is next:
We already talked about that. (laughs) Absolutely not.
Zetterlund, on what’s working with the Mikael Granlund and Anthony Duclair line:
We have great speed. Granny likes to give great passes to me and Duke. We come with good speed and just create some offense.
Quinn, on how the San Jose Sharks could’ve defended better tonight:
We turned it over. Just the turnovers, just frustrating. You got a puck on your stick in critical areas, and we just made poor decisions. That really was a story.
The other piece of it is, we’ve got to finish our tracking and our backchecks.
There’s a lot of great effort out there but everybody gives effort. You got to give a second and third effort. We did that at times. And we did that a lot. But if you’re gonna beat a team like that, especially in the situation we’re in, shorthanded as we were, you can’t leave anything to chance. We left too much to chance.
Quinn, on “suicide” passes that led to Artemi Panarin hat trick and K’Andre Miller game-winner:
You’re passing your problem to somebody else, and you can’t do that. You gotta anticipate that someone’s going to jump ’em and that’s what happened twice on two of our goals [against]. We just gave the puck to someone who was covered.
Quinn, on the breakdown on the Will Cuylle goal:
That’s just bad coverage. It’s just a bad job by our defenseman and our F3. A defenseman can’t be outside the dots like that.
It’s also on F3 not finishing his track. That’s what I touched on. We didn’t finish our track.
He did a great job getting in a position to finish. He stood up and took a breath. And all of a sudden, they’re on a breakaway.
Quinn has no timeline on Sturm and Emberson, but they will stay on the road trip
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) December 4, 2023
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Help fund Sheng's travel! Every dollar goes to the cost of getting to and from Sharks road games.
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