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The nightmare continues
Sharks drop 4th straight to open season
10/8/19 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks continue to celebrate October with a Halloween themed approach to the season, but the output has been anything but festive. Their trick or treat (minus the treat) approach to defense has been ghoulish. Home and road games alike have been a house of horrors. Professional athlete as a costume choice has been extremely unrealistic, especially those who chose to go with defensive minded hockey player. Word is spreading that if you go to the Sharks house, don't be surprised to land an Awake magazine or some black licorice.

It's like your candy bag is full of everything you hate, and your little brother won't fall for your lopsided offers to trade you his good stuff, for your bad stuff. That rotten caramel apple came in the form of a 5-2 loss in Nashville on Tuesday night, sending the Sharks to a fourth consecutive loss to start the season.

This one looked promising, but in the end the Sharks either don't have the talent or the motivation to get over the hump. The big money guys aren't delivering, and the youngsters don't have that special something to help the Sharks get past this early slump/

Attention to detail is something the Sharks cannot afford to overlook during their current struggles. The most key detail they can focus on is playing defense from faceoff to whistle. That didn't happen 6 minutes into the game, when both Kevin Labanc and Timo Meier slacked off defensively, allowing Roman Josi to take a Curtis Sissons feed on the right side before roofing a shot from the slot that beat goaltender Martin Jones.

Labanc's lack of hustle on the defensive end cost the Sharks against Anaheim in San Jose's 3-1 loss to the Ducks on Saturday night. His instance on playing zone defense rather than staying with his man has cost the Sharks twice in the last two games.

The Sharks started a parade to the penalty box in the 2nd period, which culminated with a Brendan Dillon slashing penalty on Filip Forsberg at 9:40. Josi made the Sharks pay with hi 2nd goal of the night less than a minute into the power play, when he punched home a rebound after Forsberg bounced a shot off Jones stick and the left post.

Matt Duchene took an interference penalty at 15:06 of the period, setting up the sharks 16th power play chance of the season. What differentiated this man advantage from the 15 others is that San Jose actually converted on the chance. Evander Kane returned from his 3-game suspension for abuse of an official ad converted 6 seconds into the power play.

After the won the faceoff in the Predators zone, Logan Couture fired a shot from the top of the left circle. Kane was parked in front of the left post and was able to get a stick blade on Couture's shot, redirecting it past Pekka Rinne to cut Nashville's lead to 2-1.

That's as close as San Jose would get.

Nashville unloaded on the Sharks with 3 goals in the 3rd period to put this one out of reach. 2nd year centerman Dylan Gambrell got caught pinching after he rotated up top to help Brendan Dillon defend 2:51 into the period. The Predators sent the puck up the left wing boards to Kyle Turris, who walked in on Jones and squeezed a wrist shot under the goaltender's left arm for the 3-1 lead.

San Jose packed it in at that point.

Erik Karlsson made a lazy clearing attempt at 7:24 that Nashville intercepted at the Sharks blueline. Duchene sent a pass to Filip Forsberg on the left wing for a one time chance that easily beat Jones. There wasn't a white jersey within 20 feet of Forsberg, who had all day to wind up and pump his 3rd goal of the season into the Sharks net.

Burns scored a meaningless goal with 4:23 to play after rookie Lean Bergmann poked at a loose puck to the defenseman who was pinching from the right point. Burns stepped into the Bergmann feed for his 1st goal of the season.

Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer elected to pull Jones with 3 minutes left in regulation, which simple resulted in stat padding for the Predators. Dante Fabbro scored his 1st of the season on an empty net chance to cap the scoring and send the Sharks to their 4th consecutive defeat.

If this level of effort continued, it's only a matter of time before Sharks fans turn out the lights and pretend not to be home.

Game Notes:

* The Sharks announced that they have signed Patrick Marleau to a 1-year contract worth the league minimum, $700,000. Marleau is expected to join the Sharks in Chicago on Thursday when San Jose takes on the Blackhawks.

* Marcus Sorensen was an injury scratch after suffering an undisclosed malady in Anaheim last Saturday.

* Sharks captain Logan Couture continues to struggle as he juggles his leadership responsibilities. He finished the game a -3, with 1 shot on goal, and was 2-for-7 on draws (29%).

* Evander Kane made his season debut after serving his 3-game suspension for brutally hugging a linesman during the preseason. Kane showed the most energy of any Sharks skater early, but the doldrums even wore him down by the end of the game. Kane finished with 1 goal, and was a -1with 5 shots on goal, adding 3 hits to his line.

* Lean Bergmann recorded his 1st career NHL point with his assist on Brent Burns' 3rd period goal. The youngster was rewarded with a team low 8:38 of ice time (for all forwards). Bergmann generated 2 shots on goal and had a takeaway in his 13 shifts.

* Centerman Melker Karlsson almost managed a completely clean stats line on his 20 shifts. The only stat the forward recorded in his 13:47 of ice time was a single hit. No points, shots, giveaways, takeaways, blocked shots or faceoffs. He was almost nonexistent.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 1 1 2
NSH 1 1 3 5
1st period - 1, NSH, Josi 1 (Sissons, Ellis), 6:16.
2nd period - 2, NSH, Josi 2 (unassisted), 10:25, (pp). 3, SJ, Kane 1 (Couture, Burns), 9:40, (pp).
3rd period - 4, NSH, Turris 1 (Grimaldi), 2:51. 5, NSH, Forsberg 3 (Duchene, Granlund), 7:24. 6, SJ, Burns 1 (Bergman, Gambrell), 15:37. 7, NSH, Fabbro 1 (Joahansen), 18:19, (en).
1st period - Carrick, SJ (fighting major), 14:00; Watson, NSH (fighting major), 14:00; Kane, SJ (interference), 16:02.
2nd period - Granlund, NSH (hooking), 2:57; Thornton, SJ (cross checking), 5:12; Dillon, SJ (slashing), 9:40; Duchene, NSH (interference), 15:06; Burns, SJ (interference), 18:59; Johansen, NSH (hooking), 19:52.
3rd period - None.
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 24 20
SJ - empty net 1 0
NSH - Rinne 35 33
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 7 18 10 35
NSH 9 7 9 25
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 3
NSH 1 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Roman Josi
Pekka Rinne
Kyle Turris
Bridgestone Arena - 17,251
Referees: L'Ecuyer, St Pierre. Linesmen: Marquis, Rody.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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