The Sharks appear to have recognized their
fate this season, and are playing accordingly. Nobody seems to be concerned
with preserving their job or auditioning for next season. They are a team ready
for the golf course. Case in point was Wednesday night's game in Glendale,
Arizona. The Sharks were in the Valley of the Sun to take on a Coyotes team
that had lost 6 straight games and had been mathematically eliminated from the
playoffs earlier this week. The Sharks didn't even bother to take advantage of
a wounded opponent, dropping a 5-2 decision to Arizona.
deadline deals that San Jose made were a proverbial waving of the white flag.
Their play on Wednesday night was a proverbial digging of their own grave.
San Jose let Arizona stay close even though they out-shot them 42-24.
The Coyotes punched San Jose in the mouth in the 3rd period.
Burns took a slashing penalty 8:31 into the contest after the Coyotes had a
breakaway chance that require desperate measures to suppress. San Jose's
penalty kill was aided by Alex Galchenyuk who was whistled for closing his hand
on the puck with 14 seconds left on Burns infraction.
San Jose made
more of their man advantage opportunity when Scott Reedy deflected a John
Leonard shot past goaltender Karel Vejmelka for his 2nd career goal. Leonard
and Ryan Merkley were credited with assists on the goal.
track of Nick Ritchie who slipped pas them as the Coyotes were moving the puck
up the right side. Nick Schmaltz took a pass from Anton Stralman at the right
dot before sliding a pass to the left post where Richie was left all by his
lonesome for the easy tap in.
The Coyotes took a 2-1 lead 8 minutes
into the 2nd period on a sad sack play by defenseman Ryan Merkley. Chasing a
puck behind his own net, Merkley caught an edge and went head first into the
end boards, allowing Phil Kessel to gather the puck and flip it out from where
Jan Jenik sent it past Reimer for his 3rd career goal and 1st of the season.
Brent Burns tied the game with 5:53 remaining in the middle frame. The
defenseman ripped a shot from the right point that weaved through traffic,
beating Vejmelka, who had Timo Meier jockeying for position in front of the
Logan Couture missed on a golden opportunity early
in the 3rd period, when he found himself with the puck and nobody between he
and Vejmelka. That opportunity fizzled when Couture rang a shot off the left
Arizona scored at 7:11 when Jenik gathered a rebound in the slot
and picked a corner to beat Reimer for the 3-2 lead.
The Coyotes put
the game away at 17:02 when Barrett Hayton converted a Sharks turnover for his
7th goal of the season. Meier tried stick handling in front of his own net, but
Travis Boyd picked his pocket.
Nick Schmaltz scored an empty net goal
to cap the game's scoring. Game Notes:
* Jan Jenik has
scored 4 goals in his NHL career, all against the Sharks.
* With his
assist on Brent Burns goal, Timo Meier recorded his 66th point of the season,
which is a career high.
* Clayton Keller went into the end boards
awkwardly after fighting off a stick check from Nicolas Meloche. Keller
appeared to slam his right ankle and / or knee into the boards and was taken
off on a stretcher.
* The Sharks may have hit a half a dozen posts and
crossbars in the game. It didn't decide the game, but San Jose would help
themselves considerably if they had some skaters who could place the puck.
* Timo Meier, Tomas Hertl and Alexander Barabanov were all a -3 on the
night. The team finished a -21.