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The Numbers Behind Meier’s “Special” 5-Goal Outburst

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Credit: San Jose Sharks

Timo Meier made San Jose Sharks history this afternoon, becoming the first Shark to record five goals in a game in a 6-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.

Just four San Jose players had scored four: Evander Kane on Mar. 16, 2018 versus Calgary, Patrick Marleau on Jan. 23, 2017 in Colorado, Tomas Hertl on Oct. 8, 2013 against the Rangers, and Owen Nolan on Dec. 19, 1995 in Anaheim.

Hertl, of course, is Meier’s linemate and came away with four assists himself. He smiled, when asked if Meier’s five-goal explosion reminded him of his own four-goal turn: “It’s now a long time ago. We can almost stop talking about it, it will be in the memories. Tonight was Timo’s night.”

And indeed, it was Meier’s day. See all the goals here:

GOTTA SEE IT: Meier 1st Shark to Score 5 Goals in a Game

How special was it?

For Meier, it might be the first time that he’s ever a SAP Center chant his name so vigorously. Midway through the third, Meier going for six, the small but vociferous crowd of 10,705 started chanting, “Timo! Timo!!”

“It’s very special. You can’t describe it,” Meier said. “Special goosebump feeling.”

It was also special for these reasons:

  • Timo Meier never scored five or more in the AHL or the QMJHL. We might have to go back to the youth leagues in Switzerland for this one. Meier couldn’t remember when he’s ever scored that much in a game. Maybe 2009-10, when a teenage Meier dropped 40 goals in 13 Mini A games for Herisau U-15?
  • Meier became just the 56th player in NHL history to score five goals in a game and only the 37th in the post-expansion era. Just seven players have scored six and just one (Joe Malone, Jan. 31, 1920) has scored seven.
  • The last five-goal scorer was New York’s Mika Zibanejad on Mar. 5, 2020 versus Washington. This is only the third five-goal game in the NHL in the last decade: Laine dropped five on Nov. 24, 2018 for Winnipeg.
  • The San Jose Sharks have been part of just two individual five-goal performances in their franchise history: Today and Mike Ricci’s five goals against the Sharks on Feb. 17, 1994. Ricci is now behind the San Jose Sharks bench as NHL development coach.
  • Ricci made sure to remind Meier of the fact. “You don’t really think too much. The main focus is to win,” Meier said, when asked when he learned that he was the first Shark to score five. “After the game, you realize that stuff. Mike Ricci has five goals [in a game], he told me that.”
  • The San Jose Sharks registered just 17 shots on Jonathan Quick this afternoon, six by Timo Meier. Quick managed to stop 10 of 11 non-Meier shots for a solid .909 Save %.
  • Meier’s shot share of 35.3 % was pretty special, but it’s not an NHL record for a five-goal game. On Dec. 20, 2007, Marian Gaborik scored five goals on 10 shots for the Minnesota Wild versus the Rangers. The Wild had just 22 shots that night, so Gaborik owned a staggering 45.5 % of his team’s shot share that night. That’s a record at least going back to 1990.
  • In terms of accuracy, Meier’s five-for-six was pretty great, but check out Laine:

  • Meier is off to one of the best starts in franchise history:

  • The Swiss winger is now on pace for 41 goals and 92 points.

The first-time All-Star is enjoying a true breakout campaign. He’s got 20 goals through 35 games this season, after just 34 goals in 124 contests over his previous two seasons.

“Before he was always up and down. He was skating, he was on the puck one night, then otherwise, he was kind of nowhere,” Hertl said. “This year, he’s there for us every night. That’s what the best players in the NHL do.”

Erik Karlsson, who reached 500 assists in his career with three this afternoon, agreed: “We all knew that he had great potential, but this year, he’s definitely matured in a way where he brings that on a nightly basis. Even though it doesn’t always work out on the scoresheet, he still keeps going. If you keep doing that, you’re gonna get games like this.”

For Bob Boughner, who’s tried to get the best out of Meier in the previous two seasons with benchings and public tongue lashings, this breakout campaign is no surprise.

“He’s naturally gifted, he’s bigger, stronger, faster, and shoots harder than most guys in the league,” the San Jose Sharks head coach said. “I don’t take a lot of credit for it, other than just trying to make him a 200-foot player.

“Timo deserves all the credit, he’s put a lot of hard work in. He’s got to commit to that and he did.”

Meier’s improvements go beyond the scoresheet.

“I’ve noticed the way he’s come back and been one of our leaders, not just on the ice, but in the room. He’s done a really good job of just being a really good team guy,” Boughner added. “A guy that’s more vocal this year, a guy who’s helping out the young guys. Just a good positive attitude back on that bench.”

Meier’s post-game focus speaks to that hard-earned maturity.

“You don’t want to get too high,” the Sharks franchise record-holder said. “Get a day off tomorrow, then it’s back to work.”

So what’s next for Timo Meier? San Jose Sharks fans should be waiting with bated breath, as Meier is in the midst of a star-making season reminiscent of Jonathan Cheechoo’s 2005-06 and Owen Nolan’s 1999-00.

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