Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau help Sharks steal game 3

thorntonlol.jpgThe Red Wings looked like they were going to get right back in the mix in their series with the San Jose Sharks, holding a 3-1 lead going into the third period. Unfortunately, they couldn’t contain the supposed “chokers” from California … particularly that totally not clutch Joe Thornton.

San Jose Sharks 4, Detroit Red Wings 3 in OT

Sharks lead series 3-0

Thornton had a fantastic game, scoring a big early goal in the third to pull the Sharks within one and also sent a beautiful diagonal pass to the team’s other oft-critiqued center Patrick Marleau for the overtime game-winner. After empowering his critics by only putting up three assists against Colorado in Round 1, Thornton already has four points in three matches against the Red Wings. In other news, Joe Pavelski’s scorching hot goal scoring streak didn’t continue, but he still put up an assist.

Detroit scored the three of the game’s first four goals with Tomas Holmstrom, Dan Cleary and Henrik Zetteberg putting the puck in the net. Devin Setoguchi scored with just four seconds left in the first period, followed by goals from Thornton and Logan Couture in the third period then finally Marleau in overtime. Evgeni Nabokov made some great saves in this one, out-playing a still fairly solid Jimmy Howard.

The Red Wings now face a staggering 3-0 deficit in the series and would also need to win two games at the Shark Tank to make it to the Western Conference Finals yet again. It’s not as if the Sharks are blowing them out of the rink in this series, but things will have to change dramatically for the Red Wings to win four in a row. If they were to do that, then I’d finally have to agree that the Sharks are “chokers.”

Finally, the tin foil hats probably aren’t going away for a while. Although officiating didn’t cost the Red Wings the game, the Sharks had a 6-to-2 PP opportunity advantage and the Wings had two goals reviewed by video (with one being called back). If you ask me, though, the Red Wings have no one but themselves to blame for this loss.

Blues put Berglund on LTIR, use savings to sign Gomez

Scotte Gomez
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As was the case last season, Scott Gomez accepted a professional tryout offer because he went unsigned over the summer and once again he has used that opportunity to extend his career.

The St. Louis Blues announced that they have signed Gomez to a one-year contract. They didn’t disclose the financial terms, but it’s a two-way deal that comes with a base salary of $575K at the NHL level, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford.

In order to free up the space necessary to sign him, St. Louis moved Patrik Berglund to the long-term injured reserve list. Berglund had shoulder surgery in August and isn’t expected to be available until January.

Gomez, 35, is coming off of a resurgence campaign where he recorded 34 points in 58 games on a Devils’ team that finished near the bottom of the pack offensively. The two-time Stanley Cup champion will be bringing more than a 1,000 games worth of NHL experience to St. Louis.

He’s not the only veteran forward to make the team off of a PTO as the Blues signed Scottie Upshall on Monday.

NHL key dates for the 2015-16 season

Alex Ovechkin, John Tavares
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Nov. 10 —  NHL General Managers Meeting (Toronto)

At last year’s November meetings, the GMs decided to kill the dry scrape. But these meetings usually serve as a table-setter for the rest of the season. It’s the more in-depth meetings in March where the majority of things get decided.

Nov. 27 — NHL Thanksgiving Showdown: Rangers at Bruins

The first of 12 “NHL on NBC” games in 2015-16. Click here for the full list, including the games on NBCSN.

Dec. 7-8 — NHL Board of Governors Meeting (Pebble Beach)

This is where we could find out about expansion. Will both Las Vegas and Quebec City get the nod? Only one of them? Neither of them?

Jan. 1 — Winter Classic: Canadiens at Bruins

From Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. Please don’t make any “deflated pucks” jokes. You’re better than that.

Jan. 28-Feb. 1 — All-Star Break

This year’s festivities are being held in Nashville, which is a pretty fun town we hear. Skills competition on Saturday the 30th, game on Sunday the 31st. Over/under has been set at 25 goals and 60 percent effort.

Feb. 29 — NHL trade deadline

Leap day! Click here for a list of pending unrestricted free agents, a.k.a. potential rentals.

Mar. 14-16 — NHL General Managers Meeting (Boca Raton)

As mentioned, these are the more in-depth meetings where any recommendations are typically made. Last season, the GMs recommended 3-on-3 overtime and a coach’s challenge.

Apr. 9 — Last day of the regular season

All 30 teams in action on this Saturday. Playoffs begin four days later on Wednesday. Also, the draft lottery’s date is still to be determined, but should be held sometime around here.

June 18 — Last possible day for the Stanley Cup Final

Click here for PHT’s Cup picks.

June 24-25 — NHL draft

In Buffalo this year. Click here for Central Scouting’s “players to watch” list, led by Auston Matthews.

July 1 — Free agency begins

And then it’s summer.