Only nine months after the Swedish Erik Karlsson was traded into the San Jose Sharks, Doug Wilson got what he wanted, and an eight-year contract was signed to keep Karlsson in the Sharks camp. A deal valued at $11.5 million per year putting this defenseman now in the ranks of highest-paid NHL players. Just a small shortfall behind Connor McDavid at $12.5 million per year, who is currently the number one in paying terms. Wilson is convinced that he had to have Karlsson signed to his team since he is twice the winner of the Norris Trophy and six-time All-Star. This kind of player is not easy to find.
Debuting in March 2008 for Frölunda HC in Scandinavium against HV71, scoring not only the winning goal but also recording a time of 8:48 on the ice. That season Frölunda took the Anton Cup home. Always moving up in his game, Karlsson made the regular roster with Frölunda. In December of 2009, he scored his first NHL goal for the Ottawa Binghamton Senators and remained in NHL for the rest of the season. The 2011-2012 season brought him his 100th regular-season NHL point, and he became one of the four Senators players to be in the 2012 NHL All-Star Game. He signed a seven-year contract with the Senators in 2012 and won the James Norris Trophy for being the best defenseman in NHL. He remained with the Senators until being traded in 2018 to the San Jose Sharks and scored his first goal for the Sharks in November. Now he is here to stay, and it is a part of the journey which he looks forward to. Karlsson expressed his excitement about the bay area, the people, the fans and the organization.
The Impact on the Sharks
During last season Karlsson suffered from a groin injury which kept him out of several games, and he only played 53 which brought him 45 points from 42 assists and three goals. With his seven-year contract with the Ottawa Senators coming to an end, he could have moved into the position of the league’s marquee free agent but preferred to sign with the Sharks instead. He is adamant that he wants to be part of the future success of the team and winning the Stanley Cup. In May he had to undergo surgery for his groin injury but is expected to make a full recovery before the start of the season and to be ready to be able to deliver a long and successful career at the Sharks.
Playing At a Different Level
Apart from his exceptional level of play, which made him such a wanted player for the Sharks, Karlsson is also known as the kind of player who influences everybody around him and making his fellow teammates better in their own game. It seems that the San Jose Sharks can be pleased with the decision and that fans have much to expect to see from Karlsson.
The 2018/19 St. Louis Blues, an NHL team that was once left for dead, has managed to achieve hockey immortality on Wednesday evening.
The St. Louis Blues Win the Stanley Cup
The Blues managed to complete the longest road back in the history of the NHL with an incredible 4-1 victory against the Boston Bruins at the TD Garden, allowing the team to give the franchise its very first Stanley Cup title in its existence that has been around for the last 52 years.
What’s even more impressive is that the team achieved it uniquely, as they managed to come back from having the fewest points in the NHL on 3 January, to being the most dominant hockey team in the second half of the season.
Alex Pietrangelo and Ryan O-Reilly managed to score during the first period of the match for the St. Louis Blues, while Brayden Schenn managed to add an insurance goal during the third period with only 8:35 to go. Zach Sanford, who was raised in the area and even went to Boston College before he left, managed to score the final goal with only 4:38 left on the clock, allowing the team to secure the win fully.
O-Reilly, who was acquired during a trade with Buffalo on 1 July 2018, was the most dependable player on the team throughout the 2018/19 season. Due to his performance and team efforts, he won the prestigious Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP during the postseason. He stated that it’s like a dream come true to win such an award and he can’t believe that happens.
Jordan Binnington managed to stop the initial 32 shots that he faces which included 12 shots during the first period where the Boston Bruins played solidly and could have easily scored more than once if it was any other goaltender. During the third period, the St. Louis Blues protected a sensational 2-0 lead which looked like it could have been 2-1 if the right pad didn’t stop an incredible shot made by Joakim Nordstrom.
Once the final horn went off, the St. Louis Blues was spilt across the ice as they all made their way to Bennington at goal where they engulfed him in a sea of white and blue. Equipment and gear littered the ice while the Blues celebrated joyously. Binnington was the guy who led the line of handshakes after the match, and it started with an extended talk with Zdeno Chara who is the captain of the Boston Bruins.
The Boston Bruins had a total of 22 shots on goal, while the Blues only had a mere eight on goal during the first period. After another two periods, the shot attempts were 40-22 for the Boston Bruins. If goal attempts decided the game, the Boston Bruins should have taken it, but the Blues kept secure and kept the Bruins from scoring.
There was never any doubt that the ice hockey series would be a long one. Following their laid egg in Game 3, the Blues managed to bounce back with a phenomenal 4-2 victory in Game 4 that saw the home crowd sing, Gloria, while the Stanley Cup Final clash against the Bruins were tied with two games on either side. With that in mind, let’s take an in-depth look at the action that unfolded in Game 4.
St. Louis Blues vs Boston Bruins – Game 4
Tuukka Rask, the Boston Bruins goalie, stated that the St. Louis Blues were more desperate on Monday evening and he is probably spot on with that statement. The St. Louis Blues managed to benefit from some clever line-up manoeuvring that saw Vince Dunn make his debut in the Stanley Cup Final after recovering from injury along with Zach Sanford that provided a decent boost on the 2nd line. Both these players helped with the first goal as the team scored just 43 seconds into the game thanks to Ryan O’Reilly.
They also managed to weather some Boston attacks which included a short-handed goal. If you are interested in criticizing something about the St. Louis game, you will find plenty of things when you take a closer look at their power play, which was quite challenging to watch. Towards the end, it was Ryan O’Reilly that managed to score once again to ensure they win the game. The veteran centre buzzed all night even though he only had three playoff goals when he entered the match.
The St. Louis Blues, with new and improved discipline, have now managed to score a goal in the opening two minutes of a match a total of 6 times during the playoffs. They are now 5-0 to date. By the way, Rask looked quite vulnerable during the game for the first time in a long time. This was the first time he managed to allow three goals in regulation following the second round when they faced Columbus. The Blues and Jordan Binnington proved once again that they are the rulers of the ice when rebounding from a defeat in the postseason.
The Stars of the Evening
St. Louis Blues – Ryan O’Reilly: O’Reilly managed to achieve something that only three other players have accomplished in the past, score a goal during the opening minute and to later score a goal to win the same game during a Stanley Cup Final match. The other players include Sid Smith, Bernie Geoffrion, and Fernando Pisani.
St. Louis Blues – Alex Pietrangelo: The captain managed to include himself on two assists and was only 23 seconds short of playing a mind-blowing 30 minutes while taking on 34 shifts.
St. Louis Blues – Zach Sanford: Sanford managed to play so well in Game 3 that the coach promoted him to the 2nd line in Game 4. He managed to add a nice boost in Game 4 that certainly helped.