Support this community by becoming a Sponsor
  HOSER of the WEEK
  Contact Us
  Meet the Staff
  Join the Team
  Our Sponsors

Shoddy defense burns Sharks again
SJ gags up 3rd period lead, then losses in OT
2/25/18 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks wrapped up their four-game road trip by doing what they did for most of the trip. Losing. San Jose tricked everyone by taking a lead, but inevitably morphed back into a mediocre hockey club that has no answers for any of the top teams in the Western Conference's Central Division teams. The Sharks blew a third period lead, then gagged up a loss in overtime on a defensive miscue involving Brent Burns. San Jose fell 3-2 to the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.

Since Joe Thornton has gone down with his knee injury, the Sharks have seemingly lived by Burns and died by Burns. This was one of the many deaths inflicted by gaping defensive hole created by Burns inability to actually play defense.

Let's face it, he stinks when it comes to defending his own net. Sunday night was no different. Burns was on the ice for two of the three Wild goals, including the game winner in overtime.

Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer has such little faith in the rest of his offense, he feels the need to have Burns on the ice at every opportunity, regardless of the risk. And for the Sharks that risk seems to be more costly than beneficial. On a night when the Sharks had already blown a lead in the 3rd period, you don't put your worst defensive defenseman out on the ice in a 3-on-3 situation. Deboer did that, and the Sharks limp home from a trip that saw them win once in four tries.

Joakim Ryan doesn't get many chances to score for the Sharks, but he's made the most of his chances this season. The rookie defenseman bagged his 3rd goal of the season 14:00 minutes into the game with a shot from the top of the right circle. Ryan sent a slap shot past Devin Dubnyk off a Barclay Goodrow feed.

Chris Tierney made it a 2-0 game 2:28 into the 2nd period after the Sharks forced a turnover in the neutral zone. Kevin Labanc grabbed the puck along the right wing boards and sent a pass through Nate Prosser's skates as Tierney approached the front of the Wild net. Tierney received Labanc's pass and deeked Dubnyk left then right before lifting the puck over the Wild goaltender's left leg pad for his 15th goal of the season.

The Wild out-shot the Sharks 19-4 in the period, but San Jose came within 44 seconds of making it through the first 40 minutes of play unscathed. That is until Brent Burns was left to play defense. The Sharks defenseman lost his stick which contributed to a turnover that ended when Jared Spurgeon hit Matt Cullen with a pass just outside the goal mouth. Cullen converted that pass with a stickless Burns in tow for his 7th goal of the season.

It was another one of those gaffs which resulted in a player with marginal offensive skills burying a puck in the Sharks net. It has been the Sharks Achilles heel all season, and Burns wrapped up Cullen's goal with a big teal bow on it.

The Sharks went into prevent mode in the 3rd, so it was only a matter of time before the Wild tied the game. That would happen with 4:44 left in regulation when Eric Staal wrapped a shot around the right post and banked it off defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic and past Martin Jones for his 30th goal of the season.

The trend of giving up goals late carried into the overtime where the Sharks did nothing to challenge Dubnyk. DeBoer wrote the Sharks death sentence when he stuck Brent Burns out on the ice in the last minute of the extra session. Burns, Tierney and Timo Meier did their best Keystone cops imitation, tripping over themselves in their own end as Jason Zucker drew the threw to the right side before sending the puck to the left side for a one timer that beat Jones.

Game Notes:

* While defense continues to be a major hole for the Sharks, the big money offensive players for the Sharks have largely been AWOL on this trip. Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski did nothing on Sunday. Couture has been ineffective since suffering his last facial injury three weeks ago.

* Martin Jones deserved a better fate after stopping 38 of 41 shots. His play has largley been sub-par this season, but he gave the Sharks a chance to win. They let him down with their inability to keep the puck away from him late.

* The Sharks made an odd trade o Sunday, sending goaltender Troy Grosenick to the Nashville Predators. Last year's AHL goaltender of the year was shipped along with forward Brandon Bollig for a 6th round draft pick. With backup Aaron Dell likely to test free agency this season, the Sharks don't have an internal option to fill that spot should Dell leave this summer.


What did you think of this article? Post your comments on the Feeder Forums

What did you think of this story? Post your comments on the
Feeder Forums
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 1 1 0 0 2
MIN 0 1 1 1 3
1st period - 1, SJ, Ryan 3 (Goodrow, Hansen), 14:00.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Tierney 15 (Labanc), 2:28. 3, MIN, Cullen 7 (Spurgeon, Foligno), 19:16.
3rd period - 4, MIN, Staal 30 (Suter, Zucker), 15:16.
Overtime - 5, MIN, Spurgeon 8 (Zucker), 4:48.
1st period - None.
2nd period - Demelo, SJ (holding), 8:27.
3rd period - Foligno, MIN (hooking), 3:15; Pavelski, SJ (slashing), 3:55; Hertl, SJ (hooking), 9:35.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 41 38
MIN - Dubnyk 28 26
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 17 4 6 1 28
MIN 10 19 10 2 41
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 1
MIN 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Jared Spurgeon
Martin Jones
Devin Dubnyk
Xcel Energy Center - 19,105
Referees: Joannette, Walsh. Linesmen: Suchanek, Alphonso.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

Privacy Statement   |   Contact Us   |   Advertise
Copyright 1997-2018 All rights reserved.
This website is an unofficial and independently operated source of news
and information not affiliated with the San Jose Sharks, any team, or league.