More respect? Not even close, as Sharks are embarrassed by Maple Leafs

More respect? Not even close, as Sharks are embarrassed by Maple Leafs

San Jose Sharks coach David Quinn said over the weekend that he was looking forward to Tuesday’s rematch with the Toronto Maple Leafs, feeling it was an opportunity for his team to give a better accounting of itself after losing the first meeting by a convincing margin.

“As much as every night is about winning and losing, it’s about respect,” Quinn said Sunday, one day after the Sharks lost 4-1 to the Maple Leafs at SAP Center. “I can’t tell you that Toronto got on that plane and had an awful lot of respect for the way we played (that) night.”

It’s doubtful the Leafs gained any more Tuesday as they scored the game’s first four goals in a span of 5:18 before cruising to a 7-1 win over the Sharks at Scotiabank Arena, handing San Jose its season-long 12th consecutive loss.

The Sharks allowed goals to Morgan Rielly, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and Pontus Holmberg in a span of 5:18 between the first and second periods, prompting Quinn to replace starting goalie Kaapo Kahkonen with Mackenzie Blackwood.

But after defenseman Henry Thrun scored his first NHL goal at the 7:21 mark of the second period, the Leafs added three more goals in the opening 5:54 of the third, including two on the power play as Scott Sabourin served a double-minor.

For the Leafs, Marner had two goals and two assists, McCabe added two assists to go with his second goal of the season, and William Nylander had three assists.

Use whatever ‘L’ word comes to mind: Lackadaisical, lackluster, listless. It all describes the Sharks’ tired performance, as their current skid is now the fifth-longest in the franchise’s 32-season history. San Jose’s last win came on Dec. 12 at home against the Winnipeg Jets.

How bad has it been for the Sharks so far this year?

Through 82 games last season, the Sharks had a goal differential of -87 as they stumbled to a 22-44-16 record.

Through 41 games this season, they’re already at a -90 goal differential and now have a 9-29-3 mark.

For historical sake, this is the first time the Sharks have had fewer than 10 wins at the season’s midway point since 1995-96 when they were 8-29-4. San Jose finished that season 20-55-7.

If there’s a bright spot for San Jose, it’s that the level of competition it will now face lets up ever so slightly. While the Maple Leafs appear to be headed back to the playoffs, the Sharks now finish the road trip with games against Montreal, Ottawa, Buffalo, and Chicago, all teams outside of a playoff spot as of Tuesday.

The Sharks had also lost more man games to injury than any other NHL team, 207, before their home-and-home series with the Maple Leafs.

SABOURIN’S GAME: Sabourin, recalled from the Barracuda on Monday, played on the fourth line alongside Ryan Carpenter, marking his first NHL game since April 28, 2022. Sabourin was signed to a two-year, two-way deal by the Sharks on July 1.

Sabourin’s first NHL game came on Oct. 2, 2019, in Toronto as a member of the Senators. He scored his first NHL goal that night but the Maple Leafs won 5-3. Now in his 12th professional season, Sabourin has played in 434 AHL games and now 44 NHL games

“It’s where it all started for me,” Sabourin, an Ottawa native, said of Toronto. “I have a lot of family in and around the area. I grew up playing junior in Toronto so I’ll have a pretty good support system cheering me on. It’s always nice coming to the to the big hockey markets and getting to show your stuff.”

Related Articles

San Jose Sharks |

San Jose Sharks trade tiers: Who is likely gone, and what big decisions might lie ahead?

San Jose Sharks |

Sharks update: What’s missing from William Eklund’s game right now?

San Jose Sharks |

With return ‘closer,’ Sharks’ Couture enjoys a nice moment in practice

San Jose Sharks |

Slow start proves fatal as Sharks lose to Toronto Maple Leafs

San Jose Sharks |

Sharks update: Couture could soon take another step toward return

Scratched for Tuesday’s game were forwards Kevin Labanc, Nikita Okhotiuk and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

EARLY VOTING: Fans are voting in 12 additional players (eight skaters and four goalies) to the 44-man roster for next month’s NHL All-Star Game in Toronto. As of Tuesday morning, no Sharks player was among the top 15 skaters or eight goalies in vote totals released Tuesday by the league.

The NHL said over 20 million votes have already been cast in the first five days, with Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko (788,278) and Maple Leafs forward William Nylander (744,990) the top vote-getters so far. Tomas Hertl was among the first 32 players selected to the game by the NHL’s Hockey Operations Department. One Player was chosen from each team.