Dominant performance by the third line of Michal Handzus, Jamie McGinn and Torrey Mitchell, who were on the ice for a combined zero scoring chances against while producing six of their own. The effectiveness of that unit was undoubtedly one of the question marks coming into the season, especially given how integral the third line of Mitchell/Pavelski/Wellwood was to the Sharks’ success in the second half of last year but tonight’s display by Handzus and co. went a long way to assuaging those doubts. Mitchell registered one of the highest on-ice Corsi ratings in the NHL last season and while it seems reasonable to dismiss that as entirely the product of Pavelski and Wellwood, two historically effective players possession-wise, there’s something to be said for Mitchell’s straight-away speed and forechecking ability.
Good to see Desjardins get rewarded with a bit of a flukey second goal after displaying a good burst of speed to generate his breakaway marker earlier in the game. Desjardins was impressive during his brief stint in the playoffs last year against the Canucks and it’s always a great story when an ECHLer claws their way to the big leagues.
Poor penalty killing obviously reared its ugly head again despite the Sharks ditching alleged PK strategist Trent Yawney over the off-season. Vlasic/Burns had a particularly poor showing shorthanded and although it isn’t entirely borne out by the scoring chance numbers in this particular game, it’s clear that Boyle’s minutes in this situation need to be dialed back a bit.