With the two teams tied 1-1 in the second frame, Avalanche defenceman Nikita Zadorov flipped the puck from his own end to behind the Sharks net. Vlasic appeared to have a step on Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen but the linesman called off icing, allowing Rantanen to centre the puck to Gabriel Landeskog and Barrie to score off the rebound from Landeskogs shot. The Avalanche went on to win the game 4-3 to tie the series at 1-1.
Kevin Kurz of The Athletic reports that Vlasic said post-game that icing would have been the correct call and he expects to hear from the league Monday. Absolutely. Ill take the high road and wait for the leagues apology tomorrow.
Was that icing on the Barrie goal? Vlasic: It was the right call. Q: It was the right call? Absolutely. Ill take the high road and wait for the leagues apology tomorrow.
“My goal as coach is to try and get them out in situations where they can succeed and help us on the offensive side of things,” Bednar said. “I dont worry about those guys very much defensively because theyre both elite players and are playing at a high level right now. Defensively, theyre highly committed, so thats a plus. They are able to move pucks in and out of our zone.”
Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer struck a different tone post-game, however, calling on his players to learn from the play.
Makar was selected by the Avalanche with the No. 4 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft and played the past two seasons at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, winning the 2019 Hobey Baker Award as the top player in NCAA mens hockey before signing a three-year, entry-level contract April 14 following the Minutemens loss to Minnesota Duluth in the NCAA championship game.
“Whether I thought it was [icing] or not doesnt matter; our players did,” DeBoer said. “They let up. They relaxed for a minute. It obviously wasnt. I guess the lesson in that is dont assume anything in the playoffs. Play, and make sure.”
Sharks frustrated and disappointed by Game 2 loss to Avalanche
SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks might have to find a new approach to stopping the Colorado Avalanches top line of Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen in Game 3 of the Western Conference Second Round at Pepsi Center on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).
Then, with a laugh: “Maybe he overplays the stories a little bit but theyre still fun to hear. Even now hes still calling me and telling about my game and giving me a little advice and some pointers. Its awesome that we have that kind of relationship. He knows me best. He knows when to push me, when to lay off me, when to give me a kick in the butt. Even my mom, shes an assistant coach too. Our whole family is involved.”
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer opted to use defensemen Brent Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic against that line in Games 1 and 2. But being on the road means not having the benefit of the last change, and that could mean more time for the defense pair of Erik Karlsson and Brenden Dillon against the Avalanches top offensive threat.
MacKinnon (one goal, one assist), Landeskog (one goal, one assist) and Rantanen (one assist) combined for five points in Colorados 4-3 win in Game 2 that evened the best-of-7 series 1-1. They combined for two assists in San Joses 5-2 win in Game 1.
DeBoer said Monday that hes not worried about which defense pair plays against the Avalanches top line.
Colorado turned the games tide in the second period with two goals, scoring a third midway through the third. Things got interesting in the final 4 1/2 minutes, two Sharks goals wrapped around the fourth by the Avalanche. But there would be no miraculous comeback for San Jose as there had been in Game 7 of the first round against the Vegas Golden Knights, the Sharks roaring back from down 3-0 in the third that night to win 5-4 in overtime to advance to the second round.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic says hes waiting for an apology on non-icing call
“Were comfortable with whoever we end up out there against them,” he said. “I think everyone knows what they have to do against them. Youve got to trust your whole group at this time of year because you dont have the luxury of last change when youre on the road.”
“We did a lot of good things out there, we just couldnt find a way to score goals,” said Karlsson, who had an assist and a San Jose-high six shots on goal on 12 attempts. “We got a little frustrated as the game went along and started doing our own thing a little too much. That doesnt work in here. We should have learned by now, but we didnt. They capitalized on the chances they got and made us play from behind, and we didnt quite catch up at the end.
“For me and Erik, we love having the matchups this year,” Dillon said. “We played against all sorts of top lines, [Edmonton Oilers Connor] McDavid, [Tampa Bay Lightnings Nikita] Kucherov and even in our conference, [Calgary Flames Johnny] Gaudreau, so I dont think youre going to be able to rely on one line offensively or one line defensively in order to get the job done.
“Weve just got to keep pushing and do the right thing. We know what we have to do in here. Again, this was a stepping-stone for us, weve got to learn from this. We know what we have to do to be successful out there. Unfortunately, today, we just couldnt stick with it for 60 minutes. The few chances they got, they got the bounces … and they made us pay.”
“I think its going to have to be a collective effort. Not having the last change too, were just going to have to worry about playing hockey. We feel comfortable out there. We dont want to just shut them down, we want to be able to make them play defense, which will make it tough to create offense.”
Dillon said defending MacKinnon, who has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) during a six-game point streak in the playoffs, requires a special awareness.
“I think its been MacKinnons coming-out party, the first series against Calgary,” Dillon said of the Avalanche forwards play in the five games against the Flames in the first round. “He was dominant. And in this series again, hes been getting things done. I think hes their heartbeat, and we obviously have to key on him with how good a player he is, but at the same time worrying about what we bring to the table.”
Complicating matters for the Sharks has been the absence of forwards Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi in the first two games of the series. Donskoi missed Game 7 of the first round against the Vegas Golden Knights because of an undisclosed injury, and Pavelski sustained an undisclosed injury during Game 7 against Vegas.
DeBoer provided no update on either player Monday, but he did say Pavelskis value continues to be felt in the locker room.
“Hes always around,” DeBoer said. “Hes a great resource for me on everything, line combinations, lineup. He has a great perspective and a different perspective than as a staff. He has conversations with guys in the room, but a lot of that is just conversations with me and some of the things I get from his perspective.”
After two games of getting to know each other in the postseason, DeBoer said the Sharks are ready to start ramping up their intensity.
Late in the second period, Vlasic appeared to beat Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen to the puck after Colorado blue-liner Nikita Zadorov dumped it into the Sharks zone from his own end. Tyson Barrie scored moments later to give the Avalanche the lead.
“I thought after two games we have a pretty good idea of how each other wants to play,” he said. “Now its just about who can consistently do it for more time over the next five games or whatever it takes.
“Whether I thought it was (icing) or not doesnt matter; our players did,” the bench boss said. “They let up. They relaxed for a minute. It obviously wasnt. I guess the lesson in that is dont assume anything in the playoffs. Play, and make sure.”
Sure, Matt Calvert got hit, but he was the one who delivered the biggest blow of all
Dillon said the change in style from the seven-game series against Vegas to the first two games against Colorado has required some adjustments, but that good teams know how to make them.
Was that icing on the Barrie goal?Vlasic: It was the right call.Q: It was the right call?Absolutely. Ill take the high road and wait for the leagues apology tomorrow.
Brent Burns is burning the Avalanche. How does Colorado stop him? I dont know.
“Game 1 was a little of a feeling-out process,” he said. “It seemed like we played Vegas for 20 or 30 games in a row … with the overtimes, and now getting to see how [Colorado] is speed-wise, how theyre an attack-off-the-rush team and Vegas was a team that got in and hit you and got the cycle on.
Winning Play: San Jose Sharks Losing Colorado Avalanches Nathan MacKinnon
“Its just a different series. Youre going to have to go through all types of different teams if you want to get to the Final.”