Tag: San Jose Sharks

Nashville Predators v Los Angeles Kings

Video: Rinne shines with spectacular series of saves


How, exactly, did the San Jose Sharks not score here on Pekka Rinne?

The Nashville Predators goalie made a spectacular sequence of saves, including one off Joe Pavelski despite the sound of the whistle, early in the second period of Tuesday’s game. At that point, the Predators had a healthy three-goal lead.

The Predators went to defeat the Sharks 5-1. Rinne made 42 saves. That’s now six wins in a row for the Predators, who increased their lead in the Central Division to six points, and in the NHL’s overall standings.

With that kind of goaltending, and that kind of talent on the blue line, they could be a force to be reckoned with once the playoffs come around.

On the other hand, the Sharks, in a fight to even make the playoffs, remain in the final Wild Card spot for right now, but the L.A. Kings are only two points back.

Roundup: Grabner, Braun activated from IR; Volchenkov put on

Michael Grabner

Some news and notes as we get closer to this evening’s puck drops…

Isles activate Michael Grabner

Grabner will draw in tonight — his first action since Feb. 7 — and, in a corresponding move, New York has placed Casey Cizikas on IR. Grabner will skate with Frans Nielsen and Ryan Strome on the club’s second line; on defense, the Isles will insert Calvin de Haan at the expense of Lubomir Visnovsky, who sits.

Sharks activate Justin Braun

Braun will play for the first time since Jan. 19 when the Sharks take on the Preds in Nashville tonight. Braun, who’s missed the last 11 games with a left hand injury, will skate on a pairing with fellow blueliner Brenden Dillon, which is where he was skating before he came out of the lineup.

Nashville puts Anton Volchenkov on IR

The veteran Russian rearguard went on injured reserve today after speculation suggested he could be ready to rejoin the Preds lineup. Volchenkov, who last played in a win over Winnipeg a week ago, has appeared in 42 games for Nashville this year but could be hard pressed to get minutes in the future, especially with Cody Franson now on board and Ryan Ellis a week or two away from returning from injury.

Goalie nods: It has to be Johnson for the Isles… right? (Update: Yep)

New York Islanders v Detroit Red Wings

All the latest from the crease…

Who goes for New York?

The Islanders won’t announce their starting goalie until 5 p.m. ET today, so we don’t know if it’s Chad Johnson or Jaroslav Halak in net for tonight’s affair against Carolina.

Update: It’s Johnson.

One would suspect Johnson gets the nod, given tonight is the second of a back-to-back; Halak played last night, and allowed six goals on 42 shots in an emotional loss to the Rangers.

That said, head coach Jack Capuano could possibly be persuaded to let Halak try and bounce back; the 29-year-old Slovak looked rattled and a bit shaky as the Blueshirts made a concerted effort to get into his kitchen.

Related: The Isles are surrendering too many goals

“I want to get shots,” captain Ryan McDonagh said, per Newsday. “We wanted to make it more difficult on Halak tonight than in other past games. He’s been a big difference in why we haven’t been able to beat them in the past.

“We talked about getting in front of the net and making it tough on him, make him fight through screens. We were a lot hungrier in front of him for sure.”

No word yet on who’ll start in goal for the ‘Canes.


Blue Jackets at Flyers: Curtis McElhinney vs. Ray Emery

Caps at Pens: Braden Holtby vs. Marc-Andre Fleury

Sabres at Devils: Cory Schneider for New Jersey, Michal Neuvirth likely for Buffalo.

Panthers at Leafs: Roberto Luongo vs. Jonathan Bernier

Stars at Blues: Brian Elliott for St. Louis, Kari Lehtonen likely for Dallas.

Sharks at Preds: Alex Stalock for San Jose, Pekka Rinne likely for Nashville.

McLellan: ‘Yes, we’re a playoff team’


The San Jose Sharks are officially in danger of missing the playoffs.

And that’s a pretty big story, given they haven’t done that since 2003.

With just two wins in their last eight, it’s gotten to the point where coach Todd McLellan is being asked if his squad is really, truly postseason-worthy.

“Yes, we’re a playoff team,” McLellan insisted, per Curtis Pashelka of Bay Area News Group.

“We are a playoff team. I want our guys to believe that they’re a playoff team. We’ll be accountable based on being a playoff team. Players, coaches, everybody.”

No disrespect to McLellan, but those words don’t mean a whole heck of a lot. They are, after all, only words. And the Sharks have been saying all the right clichés dating back weeks now.

For whatever reason — and it’s not because the core of the roster changed significantly, that’s for sure — this team just isn’t as good it was a year ago.

In 2013-14, the Sharks were right up there with the Kings and Blackhawks in terms of puck possession, and they finished the regular season with a record of 51-22-9.

After 58 games of 2014-15, the Sharks are a mediocre possession team and, per Sports Club Stats, have seen their playoff chances fall to just 47.3 percent.

Perhaps it’s all just a psychological hangover from what happened in the playoffs. (We are, of course, talking about a franchise that one columnist described during the summer as “having a bit of nervous breakdown.”)

Then again, maybe it’s the five rookies that have played 20 or more games.

Or 35-year-old Patrick Marleau, with just 11 goals in 58 games.

Or 2013 Vezina Trophy finalist Antti Niemi, with a pedestrian .911 save percentage.

Regardless, it all adds up to what should be an interesting final two months of the regular season, and perhaps an even more interesting offseason.

The Sharks are in Nashville to play the Predators tonight.

Related: Sharks-Kings outdoor game at Levi’s Stadium sold out

Couture: Sharks keep making same mistakes

Logan Couture

The San Jose Sharks are currently ranked second in the Pacific Division, but their position is a lot shakier than it might originally appear.

With 66 points in 58 games played, their lead is tenuous over Vancouver (65 in 55 GP) and Calgary (65 in 56 GP) while Los Angeles’ surge looks foreboding as the Kings have 62 points in 55 games played.

In other words, San Jose can’t really afford lengthy stumbles (like going 2-4-2 in its past eight games), so Sunday’s 5-2 defeat to the Tampa Bay Lightning is quite troubling.

More than anything else, the Sharks seem worried about defensive lapses, as CSNBayArea.com reports.

“It’s so frustrating because the mistakes we’re making are things we work on, things that we do in practice, things that we watch on video,” Logan Couture said.

“I mean, no one’s going to be perfect in a hockey game, but when you’re constantly making the same mistakes every single night, you need to take a look in the mirror and wonder what you’re bringing, if you’re mentally prepared every night and you know what you’re supposed to do.”

Marc-Edouard Vlasic returning to the mix should help long-term, but that wasn’t really the case on Sunday, as he had a matching -2 rating with defensive partner Brent Burns.

Couture frames the issue a the Sharks being self-destructive, yet one cannot help but wonder if the Sharks simply lack the personnel to raise their level of defensive play. Whatever the explanation may be, San Jose cannot afford to fade down the stretch.

Cutting down on their own mistakes would certainly improve their odds of avoiding a lull.