While the Sharks would have preferred a winning result in their 5-4 loss to Anaheim Friday night, there were some positives taken from the fight filled affair. San Jose trailed 2-0 and rallied to tie the game at two, three and four, but could not find the equalizer in the waning moments thanks to former Shark prospect Timo Pielmeier robbing Patrick Marleau
late in the contest.
“I thought it was a huge difference from the game (at Anaheim),” said Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan. “The (first) Anaheim game was kind of ‘OK let’s see how we’re gonna react’, and ‘what’s the other team going to do?’ I thought both teams were ready to play tonight and they played hard.”
San Jose definitely had their tenacity on display in a preseason game that was fun to watch for the paying crowd.
“I liked the fact that our guys were playing with more fire tonight,” said McLellan. “We talked about playing August hockey, summer hockey. This was a lot closer to regular season hockey, other than the mistakes. The passion was a lot higher tonight than it was in the other building.”
The craziest part of the night was that San Jose surrendered two goals while down two men, a result of two delay of game penalties. That likely won’t occur in the regular season.
“That’s to be expected this time of the year,” said Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan of the mistakes. “The only thing we haven’t talked about is five-on-three or four-on-three defensively. To come up short on both of them shooting the puck over the (glass) was really strange, but obviously we have to get a lot better.”
2 IN A ROWTorrey Mitchell
found a way to score for a second straight game and while it’s only the preseason, it could do wonders for his regular season.
“For Torrey, goals do count,” said McLellan of why the preseason goals are important. “It gives him a ton of confidence. I thought he was one of our better players. He used his speed effectively and looked confident.”
“It feels good, but at the same time, you’re not focused on trying to score goals. You’re focused on trying to do the little things right and the puck is going in,” said Mitchell.
Both Jamal Mayers and Antti Niemi
played their first games as a member of the Sharks. Tommy Wingels
played his first ever game, as a Sharks player or as an opponent, in HP Pavilion.
Mayers banged and fought (twice), displaying the tenacity fans can expect all year.
“You’re just trying to get your game and get your legs under you,” said Mayers. “You don’t want to be taking minor penalties and hurting the team, but you want to play on the edge. I want to use my speed and be tough to play against.”
Niemi had a tough start due to a five-on-three goal and a redirect in front of him, but when he saw the puck, he did what was expected of him.
“I think before the game, I felt pretty good,” said Niemi. “The start was pretty hard on us. I think it took me a while to get in the game, but after a few saves I felt pretty good.”
Niemi also showed off his new Sharks themed mask.
“I just saw it here before the game,” said Niemi referring to the fact he didn’t even have it at the morning skate.
Wingels said the moment was special and will be remembered.
“It’s felt pretty good,” said Wingels. “I’m very impressed with the crowd here. It’s exciting, but that goal only lasts until the next shift. You want to win. If was my first (time playing) in this building.”
GOING THE DISTANCE
There were six fighting majors given out to each team. More than 140 penalty minutes were handed out on the night.
Niemi played the first two periods and Harri Sateri
came in for the third.
The Sharks will play a split squad game with Phoenix tomorrow and the game at HP Pavilion will be at 7:30 PM and tickets can be found at www.ticketmaster.com or the HP Pavilion Ticket Office.