Hey, if it makes the Los Angeles Kings feel any better, at least they shut out Timo Meier during the third period. In the previous two periods, Timo Meier set a new all-time San Jose Sharks record by scoring a whopping five goals.
While Meier became one of five Sharks to score at least four goals, he’s the first to record five.
(Considering what Joe Thornton said he would do if he scored four goals like Tomas Hertl once did, what would he have done to celebrate this Meier record? Might be NSFW.)
Peruse some quick facts and stats about Timo Meier scoring five (5) goals to set that new Sharks record:
- ESPN Sports & Info notes that Meier is the first player to score five goals within two periods since Capitals great Peter Bondra pulled that off in 1994.
- According to Sportsnet Stats, Meier and Bondra rank among six players to score five goals in the first two periods of a game since 1967.
- Side note: Erik Karlsson recorded his 500th assist on that fifth Meier goal. Nice symmetry there. In that game, Karlsson collected three assists, while Tomas Hertl generated four.
Timo Meier sets new Sharks record with five (5) goals
During the first period, Timo Meier collected a hat trick. First, he scored an emphatic goal on the power play. He followed that with a nice turnaround goal, and then created havoc in front of the Kings net to reach three goals.
Meier scored his fourth goal with another impressive snipe:
Timo Meier snipes his fourth goal of the game vs LAK. Jeeze pic.twitter.com/DzCXuJr5nf
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) January 17, 2022
Delightfully, Timo Meier set that new Sharks record with the best of his five goals.
Truly, the call by Randy Hahn made it even better:
FIRST PLAYER IN SHARKS HISTORY WITH A FIVE-GOAL GAME: TIMO MEIER
— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) January 17, 2022
Big night spotlights big bounce-back for Meier, big questions for Sharks
Earlier on Monday, PHT’s Adam Gretz looked at the Sharks’ situation, including a tough call regarding whether to trade Tomas Hertl or sign him to a new contract.
With Hertl in a contract year, he definitely represents the most immediate call for the Sharks. But Timo Meier’s future isn’t that much more settled. The 25-year-old power forward’s contract only runs through next season (2022-23).
When the Sharks signed Timo Meier to his current contract, it sure felt like his $6M cap hit would be a big bargain. He looked like a burgeoning star, and frankly, on track to look a lot like this.
Instead, Meier hit some bumps in the road. In 2019-20, Meier scored 22 goals and 49 points. By no means terrible, but a step back from his breakthrough. Last season was similarly frustrating.
[PHT’s latest set of Power Rankings]
Yet, even before this record-breaking five-goal game, Timo Meier was red-hot. He’s now at an impressive 45 points (20G, 25A) in 35 games played. Barring injuries and/or terrible puck luck, Meier’s poised to crush his current career-highs of 30 goals and 66 points.
Overall, it’s heartening stuff. Yet, much like with Hertl (28), it does present a dilemma for the Sharks.
Despite rebounds from core players such as Meier, Hertl, and Karlsson, the Sharks are by no means assured of a playoff spot. It’s fair to wonder if a resurgent Sharks team may be prone to looking a lot more like the grim group of the previous two seasons.
(Scroll the Sharks roster and note the ages of key players. Not promising.)
[Looking back, Erik Karlsson’s optimism after Sharks failures wasn’t totally unfounded.]
Most likely, both Hertl and Meier will demand big raises on their current, bargain deals. The Sharks are already a top-heavy team, and keeping them would only make that more extreme.
Yet, the franchise also might not want to take the step back that comes with rebuilding, and trading the likes of Hertl and Meier. Memorable performances like these won’t make it easier to give them up — but they also won’t make Meier and Hertl any cheaper.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.