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Who stepped on a duck?
The Sharks special teams
11/7/15 - By Mike Lee -

It appears that this season's Sharks product is really no different than last season's. The Sharks had a chance to string together a 2nd consecutive win on Saturday night, but another 60 minutes of unfulfilled chances was a further reminder that this team is simply going through the motions. Like last season, this team has a void in talent or initiative that is keeping it from having any consistent success. Saturday night's performance was a sputtering breakdown that has resulted in a 3-7-0 record in their last 10 games.

The schedule makers gift wrapped this game for Saturday night, pegging them against an Anaheim Ducks team that has struggled mightily this season. The Ducks made things even easier by throwing their backup goaltender at San Jose. That goaltender, Anton Khudobin, entered the game with a 4.06 goals against average, and a .875 save percentage.

Those numbers don't exactly strike fear in opposing teams, but the Sharks puckered up against Khudobin, who obliged them with a 31 save shutout. The Sharks turned in their usual shot-fest which resulted in little offensive output.

Khudobin made all the easy saves and then stood on his head for three or four shots that affected the blood pressure of the sellout crowd. Other than that, not much. The Sharks had four power play chances to generate a little action around Khudobin, but nothing would ever materialize. Then again, that shouldn't surprise anyone.

Home ice is supposed to be a major advantage for an NHL team, but the Sharks have managed to turn it into anything but that. Those four chances netted a big zero in the scoring department. In fact those 8 minutes turned out to be a great opportunity to grab a beer from the concourse given that the Sharks never came close to scoring during those special teams chances.

Corey Perry provided the Ducks with all the scoring they would need 4:56 into the contest, when he 60 foot lead pass from Ryan Getzlaf then raced in on Martin Jones and beat him mano y mano. What made the goal so ridiculous was the fact that Perry slipped past two Sharks defenders and was a good 20 feet past both of them when he received the pass from Getzlaf.

The Sharks thought they scored a goal in the middle frame when Tommy Wingels banked a shot off Khudobin, but the puck hit the crossbar. The shot was mistakenly called a goal, but a review accurately concluded that the puck never crossed the goal line.

Patrick Marleau was moved down to the 4th line midway through the game for all the right reasons. Marleau took a lead pass from Micheal Haley early in the 3rd period, but his breakaway chance resulted in a big fat zero.

Perry converts his chance, Marleau doesn't. Ducks win, Sharks lose.

Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reported before the game that an unknown team is pursuing Marleau. When asked about the rumors after the game, Marleau chuckled and brushed aside things by suggesting that "the rumors are starting early this season."

Several scouts were at the game, so it shouldn't be a surprise that teams are looking to add a player like Marleau to their roster. The problem for San Jose is that Marleau's stock has dropped over the past few seasons, not increased. They should have tried to move him two years ago.

Sharks general manager Doug Wilson did the opposite and instead rewarded Marleau with a fat contract and a no movement clause. That clause has handcuffed the Sharks, and they're paying for it with every failed shift that Marleau takes.





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Scoring
1 2 3 T
ANA 1 0 0 1
SJ 0 0 0 0
1st period - 1, ANA, Perry 2 (Getzlaf, Maroon), 4:56.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - None.
Penalties
1st period - Silfverberg, ANA (interference), 15:18.
2nd period - Bieksa, ANA (interference), 11:20; Thornton, SJ (interference), 11:33; Stoner, ANA (fighting major), 16:38; Wagner, ANA (fighting major), 16:38; Wagner, ANA (game misconduct), 16:38; Haley, SJ (fighting major), 16:38; Dillon, SJ (fighting major), 16:38; Dillon, SJ (game misconduct), 16:38; Braun, SJ (slashing), 17:45.
3rd period - Cogliano, ANA (tripping), 15:15; Fowler, ANA (delay of game - puck over glass), 17:36.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
ANA - Khdobin 31 31
SJ - Jones 17 16
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
ANA 11 4 2 17
SJ 11 7 13 31
Power Play Conversion
ANA 0 of 2
SJ 0 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Anton Khudobin
Martin Jones
Corey Perry
Attendance
17,562
Officials
Referees: Furlatt, Pollock. Linesmen: Sharrers, McElman.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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