In their second game against each other this preseason, the Sharks looked like the better team all night and the final score showed it. Their offense was sharp, the defense was great, and special teams came through when their chances arose. However, in the Canucks’ defense, tonight was the second game of a back-to-back. No doubt the had some tired legs this early in the season.
The scoring was opened with 9:23 left in the first period when Tomas Hertl scored his second goal of the presesason on a deflection in front of goaltender Eddie Lack. He deflected a shot by Scott Hannan and was able to sneak the puck by the Canucks’ goaltender.
San Jose continued the scoring a couple minutes later when Dan Boyle scored on a shot from the left circle that beat Lack on the glove side. Joe Pavelski made a great play in front of the net to steal a pass, then afterwards fed the puck to San Jose newcomer Tyler Kennedy. He sent a one-time pass over to Boyle who blasted it home. At the end of the first period the score was 2-0.
The Sharks continued the onslaught in the second period with two more goals, both of which came on the power play. Joe Thornton got his first goal of the preseason when he fired a one-timer from the front of the net on a great feed by Patrick Marleau. Marleau made a great play along the boards right off a faceoff win by Thornton by poking the puck by a Vancouver defenseman. At that point Patty used his speed to get to the puck first in the corner and with his head up made a great pass to Thornton.
San Jose’s other goal of the period came from Logan Couture who was the recipient of a great feed from Joe Pavelski. Couture fired a one-timer from the slot and beat Lack on the far side through what seemed like a bit of a screen from his own defender.
In between San Jose’s two goals was a scrap that featured Matt Pelech versus Tom Sesito in which both guys pretty much traded punches. Both of them also received unsportsmanlike conducts for removing their own helmets prior to the bout.
In the third period Hertl scored his second goal of the game to make the score 5-0 off of somewhat of a broken play. Hertl found the puck below the goal-line, took it up the boards a bit, then turned and whipped the puck on net beating Lack for the second time in the game.
The Sharks also got another power play opportunity and Todd McLellan used it to get his second power play unit some work, which they needed. They did not look very crisp and had trouble getting established in the offensive zone. This was one of the major problems with the team last year, and it was good to see McLellan trying to address the issue by giving those guys some time to try and develope some chemisty.
Like I said earlier, the Sharks looked great from top to bottom, and here are some observations from watching the game.
First of all, the young kids looked great, especially Tomas Hertl. He always seemed to be in the right spot to make a play on offense, and it paid off in the form of two goals tonight.
I was pretty impressed with Tyler Kennedy as well as he played with Couture and Marleau. He had a few great chances, one of which he rang off the post and another where he showed great patience on a two-on-one. Unfortunately for him Lack showed even greater patience by outwaiting Kennedy, and eventually made the save.
I also have a gripe about the new icing rules, which as of now are being tested out during the preseason. There was a couple of times where it looked like the icing could have been beaten out, but based on discrection from the linesmen a whistle was blown. What could have been two great scoring chances for a player hustling down the ice turned into a couple of faceoffs down in the defensive end. It looked to me like the linesmen could use a bit more time getting used to the new icing rule before the NHL officially votes it into the rules.
GGS 3 Stars
1. Tomas Hertl (2 goals)
2. Joe Thornton (1 goal, 2 assists)
3. Joe Pavelski (2 assists)