After losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 on Thursday, the San Jose Sharks described opposing goalie Marc-Andre Fleury as “shaky” and that he was “fighting it.” One could argue the same might be said about the Sharks, as they also lost to the Carolina Hurricanes 5-3 on Friday.
That’s 10 goals allowed over two nights (although Carolina’s fifth tally was an empty-netter). The Sharks built a 2-0 lead in the first period but weren’t able to protect it against the Canes tonight.
One wouldn’t expect that sort of work from “the best team in hockey,” which is how Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma described the Sharks before Thursday’s game. Maybe Bylsma would say his proclamation was “shaky” and that he was “fighting it” in retrospect.
(Of course, it’s a long season, so a tough pair of games here and there doesn’t condemn the Sharks big-picture.)
The Sharks unraveled in particular in the third period tonight, as a 2-1 lead turned into a 5-3 defeat. While San Jose showered Fleury with 45 shots but still lost yesterday, the numbers imply that they petered out in back-to-back games, as Carolina fired 10 more shots on goal (35-25).
While it’s easy (and, admittedly, pretty fun) to latch onto a few Sharks statements after this defeat, the Hurricanes deserve credit for the win. Carolina is showing signs of life with a three-game winning streak and five wins in their last seven games, pushing them above .500 (13-12-5) on the season. This could be an important confidence boost as they’re heading out for a four-game Western road trip beginning on Monday.
San Jose remains among the NHL’s elite at 19-5-5, but perhaps games like tonight might humble them a bit.
Chicago Blackhawks fans, start your engines!
Yes, according to MotorSportsTalk, the Blackhawks have become the main sponsor of CJ Wilson Racing’s No. 35 car, a Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, for the upcoming IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge event at Road America next month.
That’s a sweet ride.
The partnership will officially launch at the United Center on Wednesday, August 3, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m in advance of Saturday’s race. Fans will have the opportunity to get up close to the car, meet the drivers and Blackhawks Ambassador Denis Savard, and have their picture taken.
The race takes place Aug. 6 at Road America in Wisconsin.
Since being selected by the Coyotes at 13th overall in the 2010 NHL Draft, Brandon Gormley has had a difficult time breaking into the league on a full-time basis.
On Thursday, the 24-year-old Gormley joined his third NHL team, signing with the New Jersey Devils on a one-year, two-way deal worth $650,000 at the NHL level, the club announced.
Despite his draft status, Gormley has yet to play a full season in the big league, although this deal could give him an opportunity to end that. For the Devils, the deal adds more depth to the blue line in the organization and for a friendly price.
Last season, Gormley split time between the Colorado Avalanche and its farm team, the San Antonio Rampage. Despite some high expectations about where he could fit on the Avs’ blue line, he was eventually put on waivers in January.
He ended the season with one assist in 26 games with the Avalanche, and hit the open market after Colorado didn’t give him a qualifying offer.
After ongoing contract talks between the Minnesota Wild and restricted free agent defenseman Matt Dumba, the two sides have come to a deal.
The Wild announced Thursday that they had signed Dumba to a two-year deal, worth a total value of $5.1 million.
A breakdown of the new deal:
— In 2016-17: $2.35 million.
— In 2017-18: $2.75 million.
Selected seventh overall by the Wild in 2012, Dumba had his most productive campaign this past season, with 10 goals and 26 points in 81 games.
Known for his offensive skills — he had 20 goals and 57 points with Red Deer in the WHL in his draft year — Dumba also brings a coveted right-shot to the Wild blue line, which features four players with contracts of four or more years of term remaining.
As per General Fanager, the Wild still have $2.168 million in projected cap space, but they have secured all their remaining restricted free agents.
The New York Rangers announced that they’ve re-signed Marek Hrivik to a new contract. The term and financial details of the deal were not released.
Hrivik signed with the Rangers as an undrafted free agent in May 2012. The 24-year-old made his NHL debut in 2015-16 and ended up playing five games for the Rangers. He had one assist and a plus-3 rating during his time in the NHL.
The young forward was an important part of New York’s AHL affiliate in Hartford. Hrivik finished his AHL campaign with 12 goals and 29 assists. He tied for the team lead in assists and finished third in points.
If you go by Hrivik’s tweet, it appears as though he signed a one-year contract:
Now that Hrivik is re-signed, the Rangers have no more free agents of any kind, per General Fanager.