Home Sports Sharks notes: Boedker ‘frustrated’ by inconsistent first season in San Jose

Sharks notes: Boedker ‘frustrated’ by inconsistent first season in San Jose

10 min read
0
0
69



	
				
			Sharks notes: Boedker ‘frustrated’ by inconsistent first season in San Jose

SAN JOSE — Sharks general manager Doug Wilson signed Mikkel Boedker to a four-year, $16 million contact last summer with the hopes of bridging the speed gap that was apparent in the Stanley Cup Final.

But Boedker wasn’t able to put his speed to use in Game 3 of the Sharks first round playoff series against the Edmonton Oilers Sunday because he couldn’t even crack the lineup.

Joe Thornton’s return to game action meant that one of the forwards who suited up for the first two games of the series would be watching Game 3 from the dressing room. Instead of removing a rookie, like Timo Meier or Marcus Sorensen, head coach Pete DeBoer opted to scratch the team’s marquee acquisition, continuing a trend that reared its head throughout the season.

“Tough decisions. It’s that time of year, you’ve got a lot of depth, so there’s not a lot separating them. There’s a lot of guys in that conversation,” DeBoer said. “That’s just the way we decided to go.”

It wasn’t the first time that DeBoer decided to remove Boedker from the ice this season. He benched Boedker for the third period of a game against the Anaheim Ducks on Nov. 26 and  scratched him from the lineup on Jan. 5 after he put together a sluggish performance against the Los Angeles Kings on Jan. 3. The Sharks coach also benched Boedker for the third period of his team’s bout against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Jan. 19 after a sloppy-defensive play allowed Jonathan Drouin to score a highlight reel goal.

Before he scratched Boedker in Game 3, DeBoer had limited the 27-year-old forward to just three shifts during the third period of Game 2 in Edmonton.

Boedker’s inability to stay out of the doghouse is even more surprising considering that he played for DeBoer in junior hockey with the Kitchener Rangers and received an endorsement from the coach before signing with the team in July.

DeBoer said he doesn’t know why Boedker has played with so much inconsistency this year.

“We’re not getting into individual performances,” the Sharks coach said. “Those are tough decisions, it wasn’t easy. I don’t think it’s been all bad. I think he was really good in Game 1, so he could easily be back in there tomorrow.”

It’s unlikely that Boedker will be in the lineup for Game 4 because he was the last forward to leave the ice at practice Monday, suggesting that he will be scratched again.

“You never liked to be scratched,” Boedker said. “But he’s got to play the team that he thinks in the best team on any given night. You’ve just got to handle it.”

Boedker, who scored only 10 goals this year, admitted that he’s frustrated by how things have played out in his first season in San Jose.

“You’re always frustrated when things don’t go your way,” Boedker said. “You’ve just got to stick with it, be a professional and handle it the right way.”

No Joe: A rare scene unfolded during the last 1:47 of Game 3 at the SAP Center Sunday night: Joe Thornton sat on the bench as the Sharks attempted to tie the 1-0 game with an extra attacker on the ice.

Why didn’t head coach Pete DeBoer send out the future first ballot Hall of Famer with a 6-on-5 advantage? Was Thornton gassed after logging 16:27 of ice time in his first game in two weeks or was his injured left-knee acting cranky?

“That was just a decision I made,” DeBoer said. “We went with the guys that we wanted to go with.”

The fact that DeBoer didn’t want to go with Thornton in such a pivotal moment suggests that something just wasn’t right with the team’s emotional leader, who missed five-consecutive games before returning to action.

Regardless, DeBoer expressed optimism about Thornton’s play moving forward.

“Talking to him as the game went on, he faded a little bit, but that’s natural,” the Sharks coach said. “Every game him and Logan (Couture) play, they’re going to get better.”

Skill beats muscle: Instead of inserting Micheal Haley into the lineup for Game 3 to respond to the physical pounding that the Oilers applied in Game 2, DeBoer stuck with the skilled trio of Meier, Sorensen and Chris Tierney on his fourth line. It proved to be the right move.

Although the line failed to score a goal, its speed and skill created a mismatch edge against the Oilers heavier depth players, reinforcing DeBoer’s decision to keep Haley in the press box.

Meier led the team in shot attempts percentage, aka Corsi, in Game 3 (66.7 percent), while Sorensen (56.3) and Tierney (52.2) also produced impressive possession numbers.

“Physicality is part of the game, but if you control the puck and you draw penalties, that’s more important,” Couture said, adding: “That’s how you really get revenge or pay back — by putting pucks in the net. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to do it.”

Load More Related Articles
Load More By Angelina Scott
Load More In Sports

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Kurtenbach: The 49ers’ biggest need was exposed against Tennessee

Highlights   ABOVE: Cam Inman and Dieter Kurtenbach talk about the 49ers’ …