The Columbus Blue Jackets continued their West Coast swing in San Jose to take on the Sharks. In a slight change, the Jackets didn’t start off skating in mud, but the Sharks looked like they were playing with the ‘fast forward’ button pressed. A nifty Sonny Milano goal and several outstanding saves by Elvis Merzlikins were the few real highlights for the Jackets as the Sharks took home the 3-1 victory. Here are your details.
We started the game hoping to see the Jackets start a little fas… nah, guess not. 30 seconds into the game, Elvis was forced to make a couple of saves right on the doorstep. San Jose was playing much faster than Columbus – they skated faster, they chased the puck faster, they entered the zone faster, they shot faster, and they got to Elvis’ space much faster than the Blue Jackets.
Five minutes into the game, Elvis went behind his net to play a puck and very quickly a Shark met him there. The puck squirted out in front and Elvis somehow kept the puck out of the net. An amazing save!
That was basically the only highlight for the Jackets in the first period. The Sharks eventually slowed down their play, but the Jackets didn’t take advantage of anything. They weren’t as discombobulated as they have been, but they also weren’t getting anything going.
Joe Thornton was called for a slash on Kevin Stenlund and the Jackets went on the power play, but no really good chances to score materialized.
Shots after one period: CBJ – 13, SJ – 12
So…full disclosure. I closed my eyes during intermission and when I opened them, I’d missed half the period. Sorry.
The Sharks scored early and after checking out the highlight, it seemed like a little bit of bad luck for the Jackets but it was created by the Sharks.
I didn’t much from the Jackets – they didn’t have a shot on goal in those 10 minutes I missed.
Later in the period, San Jose went back on the power play. Joe Thornton and Erik Karlsson played hot puckato before Jumbo zipped one past a completely screened Elvis Merzlikins. I know it’s the PK, but someone has to try to disrupt the screener. Elvis had no shot on that goal.
With just under two minutes left in the period, Sonny Milano intercept a short pass by Brent Burns and after some nifty stickhandling, he slipped the puck through Aaron Dell’s 5-hole.
Shortly thereafter, the Sharks would go back on the power play with about a minute left in the period, but nothing doing.
The period ends with the Sharks leading 2-1.
The Jackets started the 3rd period on the penalty kill. They successfully killed it off but the Sharks maintained ownership of the Columbus zone. Just 2 minutes into the period, Brent Burns skated into the slot untouched and unmolested to put a rebound past Elvis. Someone lost Burns, but I couldn’t tell who.
A few minutes later, Nick Foligno laid a solid hit on Kevin Labanc and then dropped gloves with Brenden Dillon. This was leadership, I suppose. Maybe it would spur a scoring spree?
As the time kept ticking off, Sonny Milano remained the primary offensive threat. He tried a nifty ‘lacross’ style pass from behind the net, but there was no one home.
Just over halfway into the period, Elvis made a save on a hard shot from Burns and was slow to get up, but he would stay in the game.
Elvis was pulled with under 3 minutes left. Sadly, no last minute comeback was in the cards.
The Sharks led 3-1 at the final horn and won the game 3-1.
- The Jackets attempted a lot of backhanded passes in the 1st and 2nd period. Most were intercepted by the Sharks.
- Watching the Sharks last night, you wouldn’t know they were struggling so much in the West.
- Fighting because you’re not scoring is not ‘leadership’. Neither is missing a PK later on because you’re sitting in the box.
- Can’t blame Elvis for any of the goals – that’s good – but the defensive effort is not the same right now. Shot suppression has nosedived during this roadtrip. Elvis is facing much more difficult shots than Korpi had to. Defense needs to tighten back up!