Barclay Goodrow

Oilers not happy with Hertl’s hit on McDavid


Even in late 2019, it’s a little bit odd to see Brandon Manning stand up for Connor McDavid. You know, after that.

The two have been Edmonton Oilers teammates for a while now, and Manning did just that on Tuesday, dropping the gloves with Barclay Goodrow of the San Jose Sharks after Tomas Hertl delivered a controversial neutral zone hit on McDavid.

You can watch Hertl’s hit, McDavid’s reaction, and the ensuing fight in the video above this post’s headline.

The early signs are that McDavid avoided an injury (at least one significant enough to make him miss immediate action), as he finished the game. McDavid logged four third-period shifts after that incident in the second period, so that’s a decent sign that the Oilers my have avoided the bullet of a lower-body injury.

Then again, he seemingly left in a hurry after the Sharks beat the Oilers 6-3, so we’ll see.

What do you think of Hertl’s hit, though? For what it’s worth, Hertl received a minor penalty for interference on the play.

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James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Joe Pavelski’s hat trick against Coyotes gives McLellan his 300th win

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It took four tries, but the San Jose Sharks were finally able to provide head coach Todd McLellan with his 300th victory with their 4-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes Friday night.

San Jose fell behind 2-0 in the first period, but Sharks forward Joe Pavelski led the charge in the second with a marker just 27 seconds into the second.

Pavelski became the third player this season to reach the 30-goal mark when he tied the contest midway through the second frame. He later helped himself to an empty net goal to complete the hat trick. Rookie Barclay Goodrow, 21, accounted for the Sharks’ other marker tonight.

With 300 wins in 515 games, McLellan is the second fastest bench boss to ever reach that milestone, behind only Bruce Boudreau, who did it in 496 contests. Since McLellan assumed his current role as head coach of the Sharks in 2008-09, San Jose has never missed the playoffs.

The Sharks are in position to advance to the postseason again this year, although their spot is far from secure. Their position has weakened after dropping five of their previous six contests, but their win tonight gives them a five-point cushion in the battle for a playoff spot.

Make it six in a row: The losing continues for the Oilers


Different night. Same result.

The Edmonton Oilers, following the firing of coach Dallas Eakins earlier this week and the numerous issues and concerns and rumors surrounding that club, dropped their sixth consecutive game and have now lost 17 of their last 18 games, after dropping a 4-3 decision to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.

On the bright side: Edmonton scored three goals in a game for the first time since Nov. 28.

It’s an improvement. But it still wasn’t enough. Despite Edmonton holding the lead into the third period, the Sharks got goals from Matt Tennyson on the power play and Barclay Goodrow to take the lead and eventually get the win.

Those goals came just 34 seconds apart. That can be deflating. Another lesson learned the hard way for an Oilers team that’s been through plenty of disappointment.

“We’ve struggled to close games all season and tonight is a prime example of that. We have to find a way to hold on,” said Oilers’ center Boyd Gordon, as per the club’s Twitter account.

Sharks to give ‘hard, committed’ Karlsson his NHL debut tonight


One of this summer’s under-the-radar stories was NHL teams raiding the cupboard of Skelleftea, the back-to-back Swedish Hockey League champion.

San Jose was one of those raiding teams and, on Tuesday night, it’ll unveil its find when forward Melker Karlsson makes his NHL debut against Edmonton.

“Melker is a hard, committed player. We’re still finding out a lot about him,” Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said, per CSN Bay Area. “He’s not going to score a whole bunch of goals, but he’ll play on the inside. He’ll keep his nose over the puck.”

Karlsson, 24, was in training camp with San Jose and appeared in two preseason games, going scoreless with six PIM. Previously, he’d earned a reputation as a hard-working and hard-nosed contributor for Skelleftea, one that could provide some offense (66 points in 216 games) when called upon.

It’ll be interesting to see how his game translates to the NHL after scoring four goals and eight points in 20 games with AHL Worcester.

One of Karlsson’s ex-Skelleftea teammates from last season, Joakim Lindstrom, is having a solid year in St. Louis with three goals and six points through 23 games. Another former teammate, defenseman Johan Alm, was in training camp with the Predators and is now a regular contributor with their farm team in AHL Milwaukee.

As for Karlsson, he’ll play on a line with Barclay Goodrow and James Sheppard tonight and could be in line for some decent minutes, given fellow Sharks forwards Tyler Kennedy and Matt Nieto are unavailable.

McLellan is excited about seeing what Karlsson can do.

“He’ll give you everything he has,” the head coach explained. “Character and commitment are two of the words we use when we talk about him.”