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Sharks good enough to lose
San Jose drops second straight to Colorado 3-0
1/28/21 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks history puts General Manager Doug Wilson in a precarious position. Regardless of the end result, you always believed the Sharks had a chance of winning. The current brand of Sharks hockey forces the suspension of that belief. The 2021 brand leaves little to the imagination. Thursday night's case in point, saw the Sharks best effort limited the Colorado Avalanche to three goals. That best effort also netted San Jose a goose egg on the score sheet, as Phillip Grubauer shutout the Sharks 3-0 at Ball Arena in Denver.

The formula is simple for the opposition. Wait long enough and the Sharks will make that costly mistake, take that ill-timed penalty, or just miss on that offensive chance. Score a goal or two and you're golden.

Such was the case in Thursday's latest edition of the San Jose squandered opportunity show. Goaltender Devyn Dubnyk turned in a valiant effort in what would be a 35 save performance, which is typically good enough to win in the NHL. Not for Dubnyk.

He surrendered a goal to Nazem Kadri at 9:55 of the 3rd period and you could have called in the coroner on the Sharks pulse from that point forward. The life simply seeped from the Sharks.

Kadri slit the Sharks wrists all by himself. After this game winning goal, the Avalanche forward setup Andre Burakovsky less than two minutes later by sending a pass to the doorstep for a redirect past Dubnyk.

One last glimmer of hope came in the form of a high sticking penalty to Devon Toews at 16:30, but the Sharks tripped over themselves with special teams play that was simply impotent. The Sharks would fall flat on the power play all night, missing on four chances, which extended a nightmarish span of 21 man-advantage chances that have netted them a single goal.

Head coach Bob Boughner indicated that the Sharks power play woes were attributed to the lack of draws while on the man advantage. San Jose was actually 3-for-3 on power play faceoffs. The real issue is the Sharks have no structure that attacks with the man advantage. They continue to lean on long shots from the blueline, except Joe Pavelski is long gone and nobody else is capable of tipping those bombs from the front of the net.

A Noah Gregor tripping penalty at 18:46 was the precursor to a second Kadri goal, coming just 8 seconds into the power play. It was the perfect contradiction. Bad team squanders man advantage, which actually turned into a 6-on-4 when Dubnyk was pulled for an extra skater. Good team converts right off the faceoff.

This is the hopeless situation the Sharks are in.

These dire straits are a blend of initiative, or rather an absence of initiative by key players, and a gap in talent. The Sharks are smaller and slower than most of their opponents. Not the formula for championship NHL hockey.

Big money players like Evander Kane and Logan Couture are simply nowhere to be found. The Sharks offensive woes can be linked to the inconsistent play by players that need to play bigger roles than they are. Kane, Couture and Timo Meier combined for three shots on goal. Couture didn't record a single shot on Grubauer.

The Sharks limp back to Glendale where they will play their "home" opener against a Vegas Golden Knights team that loves to feast on Shark. The next two games have the chance to be gory. Ugly and gory.

Game Notes:

* Sharks Captain Logan Couture was in the building. His line: -2, 0 shots, 1 missed shot, 1 hit, 1 blocked shot, 5-for-17 on draws (29%). He must still be hurting from the Bills loss on Sunday.

* Dylan Gambrell suffered an injury in the 1st period and missed the later part of the frame. He would return to start the 2nd period after receiving treatment for the undisclosed injury.

* Pierre-Edouard Bellemare suffered an injury to his left knee in the 2nd period after he collided with Sharks forward Ryan Donato. Donato lost an edge and was falling to the ice as Bellemare skated in on him. He had to be helped off the ice and did not return to the game.

* In addition to his 2 goals and an assist on Burakovsky's goal, Nazem Kadri single handedly recorded 10 shots on goal. The Sharks recorded 21 as a team. Colorado out-shot San Jose 20-8 in the 3rd period.

* Mario Ferraro recorded 5 hits for San Jose. The Sharks out-hit Colorado 15-12, which may have been the only thing the Sharks did well in this one.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 0 0 0
COL 0 0 3 3
1st period - None.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 1, COL, Kadri 2 (Saad, Donskoi), 9:55. 2, COL, Burakovsky 3 (Kadri, Saad), 11:53. 3, COL, Kadri 3 (Makar, MacKinnon), 18:54, (pp).
1st period - Girard, COL (interference), 7:52; Gambrell, SJ (tripping), 13:56; Landeskog, COL (holding), 14:23; Graves, COL (tripping), 16:44.
2nd period - Kane, SJ (elbowing), 15:19; Donato, SJ (hooking), 19:24.
3rd period - Toews, COL (high sticking), 16:30; Gregor, SJ (tripping), 18:46.
Shots Saves
SJ - Dubnyk 38 35
COL - Grubauer 21 21
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 7 6 8 21
COL 6 12 20 38
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 4
COL 1 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Ball Arena - Attendance not available
Referees: Hebert, Brenk. Linesmen: Gawryletz, Toomey.

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