San Jose Sharks get blown out on home ice as the New Jersey Devils cruise to win

Feb 27, 2024; San Jose, California, USA;  San Jose Sharks center Thomas Bordeleau (17) shot is just
Feb 27, 2024; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks center Thomas Bordeleau (17) shot is just / Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

A game that started so brightly faded so quickly. Mackenzie Blackwood leaves the game in the first and the Devils score seven between the two Sharks goals to blow away the home team tonight. A poor performance from the team in teal yet again. Concerning trends are starting to rise around this hockey club and it isn't good enough. There needs to be some accountability after tonight.

Mackenzie Blackwood would start this game, but he'd come off for Kaapo Kahkonen during a TV timeout. The former Devils netminder was gingerly moving off after stopping a shot and freezing it for the whistle that brought the break upon us. You never like to see a player get injured, but Blackwood, especially, has been good recently, and against his old team, he was trying to prove that moving him was a mistake. He wouldn't return to the game, which is concerning.

Alexander Barabanov did well to enter the zone cleanly. His excellent skating ability forced the Devils to commit to him and address his pending threats. Baranabov could fire it across the crease over to Nico Sturm, and the German tipped the puck home past Nico Daws. It was an excellent start to the game as the Sharks opened the scoring after a scary Devils powerplay had put some pressure on the team in teal.

The Devils would get back to level terms less than four minutes into the second period. Jesper Bratt would come into the Sharks zone alone, forcing Ferraro to try to stop the shot. Bratt slowed down, allowing Timo Meier to join the rush, and they would execute a perfect give-and-go as Bratt put the puck in to tie the game up. Meier got an assist in the second period of his first return to the Shark Tank.

It would be compiled quickly after as the Devils budding star would break the game open. Jack Hughes forced a turnover off Nikita Ohkotiuk, which left him all alone with a look at a cold Kaapo Kahkonen. He rushed in and was able to slide it between the legs of Kahkonen to give the Devils the lead. San Jose's great play to this point of the game was quickly forgotten as they fell behind quickly.

New Jersey would grab a third on the powerplay. After the puck was worked down to the goal line for Ondrej Palat, he walked behind the net. He slid out to the side of the cage and sent it over to Timo Meier for a one-timer that would go in because it was destined to happen. That was until David Quinn challenged the play for offside, as Alexander Holtz would enter the zone early. It was called back, and the Sharks dodged a bullet.

New Jersey would get a third before the end of the period as the Devils were able to set up Kevin Bahl, who walked in from the left point after the powerplay expired. Bahl just wound up and blasted one past Kahkonen, who had no chance. His first NHL goal made it 3-1 Devils, with no shaky entry to help the Sharks escape this one. A multigoal deficit faced the Sharks, and they would need a lot to pull out of this tailspin.

In the third period, the Devils would put the puck in again. Meier entered the zone and got it in deep to Nico Hischier. Hischier got it back to the point for Colin Miller, who could walk onto a puck and rip it home from the point for the fourth Devils goal of the night, making the task even more difficult for the Sharks. The result is beyond doubt, and the Sharks have to prove they have what it takes to win this one.

A third New Jersey Devils goal would come from the blueline when Brendan Smith could slap a puck from the point that had eyes for the far post. Kahkonen didn't see it, and the five unanswered goals by the Devils had put them in complete control of this game. The Sharks had no answer for it, and as a result, the Devils were running up the scoreboard and flexing their offensive muscle.

They were not done with the scoring yet either. Dawson Mercer trying to screen Kahkonen for a point shot is allowed to skate into the high slot and take the puck from Jack Hughes. He rifled the puck home from the slot. A sixth unanswered goal was just salt in the wounds of the team in the Bay Area. Getting to the end of this game healthy was all that mattered.

New Jersey, however, wanted to keep the scoring coming. Nico Hischier comes into the zone unchallenged since the blue line dropped with the speedy Meier, who was driving to the net. He released the puck and got rocked by Nikita Ohkotiuk. However, the puck found its way into the back of the net yet again as the Sharks had shown their shaky defense, and the explosive Devils firepower was having its way.

San Jose would get a second goal with seven minutes in the game. Justin Bailey fired the puck at the net, and it just took a bounce. It hit the heel of Brendan Smith and bounced through the legs of Nico Daws, but with a five-goal lead, this didn't make it competitive. After Quinn used the time out after the seventh goal, the Sharks started showing some heart, which was a reward.

Rutta, Hoffman, Labanc, and Sturm are the only players to escape this game without a - next to their name. San Jose get clobbered on home ice again, and there will have to be questions asked of everyone. We're less than 10 days from the trade deadline. A lot of the issues should have been sorted out before the season. Simple mistakes allowing teams to come into the Tank and blow the Sharks away.