Tag: Matt Nieto

Matt Nieto

PHT Morning Skate: (Photo) Nieto’s Sharks themed Stormtrooper


PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Matt Nieto has a pretty cool looking Stormtrooper:

Chris Johnston is predicting that Toronto will be getting an extremely motivated Jonathan Bernier. (Sportsnet)

Is getting Marcus Johansson at $3.75 million for the 2015-16 campaign a good deal for the Washington Capitals? (CSN Washington)

While we’re on the subject of the Capitals, is the Johansson signing the last significant move they’ll make this summer? (CSN Washington)

Former University of New Hampshire standout Kevin Goumas has inked an AHL deal with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. (AHL.com)

It’s not too early to start talking about the 2016 draft class, is it? (Last Word on Sports)

Sharks edge Penguins in shootout thriller

Pittsburgh Penguins v San Jose Sharks

The San Jose Sharks and especially the Pittsburgh Penguins created some great scoring chances on Monday, yet Antti Niemi and Marc-Andre Fleury stole the show.

It makes sense that the increasingly thrilling contest needed eight shootout rounds to wrap up, then, but the bottom line is that Niemi and the Sharks ultimately earned a significant 2-1 win.

Matt Nieto opened up the scoring with a 1-0 goal late in the first period. Despite some muscle-flexing from both sides (Pittsburgh fired 40 shots on goal to San Jose’s 30), Sidney Crosby was the only other player to find the net in regulation.

At least it was a standout goal for Crosby, who netted his first-ever tally against the Sharks:

The Penguins fell just short of sweeping their California stretch. Overall, they went 2-1-1 on a challenging four-game road trip. As much as they would have preferred to win, they probably feel at least somewhat content with their overall effort.

San Jose leaned on Niemi pretty heavily at times, yet they found a way to win, keeping their playoff hopes alive. They still need some breaks to go their way, but losing a game like this would have made the Sharks’ outlook quite a bit bleaker.

While it’s true that these teams rarely face each other, fans of tonight’s game can look forward to another bout between the Sharks and Penguins in Pittsburgh on March 29.

San Jose has to hope that its chances haven’t faded by then.

The Sharks are shaking up their lines

Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton

With just two wins in their last nine, the San Jose Sharks are shaking up their lines for tonight’s game in Dallas.

From CSN Bay Area:

Against the Stars, indications are Logan Couture will center Joe Pavelski and Tommy Wingels on the (top?) line, while Joe Thornton skates between Patrick Marleau and Melker Karlsson on another line. Tyler Kennedy will get bumped up to a third line role with center James Sheppard and Matt Nieto, while rookie Chris Tierney will be between Tomas Hertl and Andrew Desjardins on the fourth line.

Couture has spent most of the season skating with Marleau, while Thornton has most often been with Pavelski.

Of the four, it’s Marleau the Sharks could use more from. The 35-year-old has just 11 goals in 59 games. He finished last season with 33 goals.

Five-on-five, Marleau and Thornton haven’t skated regularly together since 2011-12.

Related: Sharks risking ‘national embarrassment’ in outdoor game: columnist

Video: Beagle’s three-point night lifts the Caps over the Sharks

Jay Beagle

Jay Beagle scored twice and set up Joel Ward’s overtime-winner as the Washington Capitals edged the San Jose Sharks 5-4 Wednesday night.

Beagle now has as many points this season (17) as he did in the past two seasons combined.

With the loss the Sharks picked up just one of a possible six points on their three-game home stand. Washington has now won four of five.

Troy Brouwer and John Carlson had the other Caps goals.

Nicklas Backstrom and Brooks Orpik each had two assists and Braden Holtby made 26 saves in the win.

Brent Burns scored twice in a 22-second span of the second period while Logan Couture and Joe Thornton had the other Sharks goals. Couture also had an assist in the loss passing Dan Boyle for 10th spot on the Sharks’ all-time points list (270).

Patrick Marleu and Matt Nieto each had two assists for the Sharks.

Antti Niemi made 28 saves in the loss.

San Jose won the only other meeting between the two clubs 6-5 in a shootout on Oct. 14.

Will the Youngstars even have a chance? (Updated)


NOTE: An earlier version of this piece incorrectly listed the cutoff/eligibility birth date as Sept. 1, 1993. It is Sept. 1, 1992. Changes have been made to reflect this new date.

COLUMBUS — Gary Bettman said they’ll be “incredibly competitive.”

Patrick Kane said ‘it’s a young man’s game.”

Well, in 19 months we’ll know for sure.

During Saturday’s official announcement of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey — which will include new entities in Team Europe (players outside of Russia, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic) and the North American Youngstars — there was plenty of focus on the latter.

Specifically, who’s going to be on this team? And how good will it be?

Per ESPN, Youngstars-eligible players will need to be 23 or younger by Sept. 1, 2016 — meaning the cutoff birth date is Sept. 1, 1992. What’s more, 23-and-under players can only play for the Youngstars, not the Canadian or U.S. senior national teams.

And that could make for some interesting roster decisions.

Per Bettman, World Cup teams will carry traditional 23-man rosters. To give an idea of what the North American Youngstars are currently working with, here’s a list of eligible players that’ve participated in NHL games this year.

Forwards: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Brandon Saad, Matt Nieto, Sean Couturier, J.T. Miller, Nathan MacKinnon, Sean Monahan, Mark Scheifele, Jonathan Huberdeau, Boone Jenner, Ryan Strome, Johnny Gaudreau, Alex Galchenyuk, Jonathan Drouin, Bo Horvat, Sam Reinhart, Anthony Duclair, Curtis Lazar.

Defense: Connor Murphy, Dougie Hamilton, Aaron Ekblad, Jacob Trouba, Seth Jones, Morgan Rielly, Damon Severson, Ryan Murray, Cody Ceci, Derrick Pouliot, Griffin Reinhart, Matt Dumba, Darnell Nurse.

Goalies: John Gibson.

Obviously, the above players will have matured and gained experience, and players yet to make their NHL debuts will be in the mix. Many have already speculated about the projected top two picks at the 2015 Draft — Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel — becoming Youngstars teammates; there are also those that starred at the recently-completed World Junior Championships (think Max Domi, Samuel Morin, Josh Morrissey, Nic Petan, Dylan Larkin, Sonny Milano, Anthony DeAngelo, etc.)

Goaltending will probably be the biggest issue. Rarely do netminders become NHL regulars at that young an age; as such, you’ll speculatively hear the names of Malcolm Subban, Zach Fucale and Thatcher Demko get thrown around. The goaltending position is, by far, the most difficult to handicap.

All of which begs the question: While the Youngstars idea is great in theory, will it actually work when executed? Will the Youngstars provide stiffer competition than, say, Switzerland, which sits seventh in the latest IIHF Rankings?

One guy that sounded entirely on board with the Youngstars was Kane — who, you’ll remember, made his NHL debut at 18 and went on to win the Calder.

“If you look at hockey these days it’s a young man’s game, more that ever now,” Kane said on Saturday. “Teenagers are coming into the league and playing right away now, and the skill level is better and better.

“I think we all like watching young players play the game. I know myself I like watching the World Juniors to see who are the next up and coming guys, and I think fans enjoy that too.”