SAN JOSE – The morning of Jan. 17, 2022, wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier.
“Just like a normal game,” Meier said. “Game days you kind of have your routine, (1 p.m.) games are a little different, obviously. But It’s not like I woke up and there were birds on my window and the sun was shining.”
Nevertheless, the day would turn out to be an extraordinary one for Meier, who made Sharks history on last year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, scoring a team-record five goals in what was a 6-2 San Jose win over Los Angeles before an announced crowd of 10,705 at SAP Center.
The Sharks host the New Jersey Devils on Monday at 1 p.m. Although it would be nice for him and the Sharks, Meier isn’t guaranteeing a repeat performance.
“We all know, almost every shot went in for me, so it’s a nice feeling,” Meier said, “but there’s no expectation that there’s going to be a day like that (Monday).”
Meier had a hat trick by the 19:09 mark of the first period.
Meier scored a power-play goal 3:02 into the game, taking a hard cross-ice pass from Brent Burns and firing a wrist shot past the outstretched right pad of goalie Jonathan Quick for what was then his 16th goal of the season.
Rudolfs Balcers then scored what might be the most forgotten goal in Sharks history, as his tally off an assist from Tomas Hertl with 4:04 left in the first period gave San Jose a 2-0 lead before Meier went back to work.
After Burns’ put a shot toward the Kings’ net, Meier jumped on a loose puck near the Kings’ net after it went off the skate of defenseman Mikey Anderson, spun around, and fired a shot past Quick with 1:12 left to go in the first period.
Then, on the next shift, just 21 seconds later, Meier was again around the Kings’ net and fired a shot on goal after Hertl won a battle for the puck in the corner. As Meier drifted toward the crease, Hertl took control of the puck and found Meier, who wasted no time in backhanding it into the Los Angeles net for a 4-0 Sharks lead.
It was the 11th single-period hat track in Sharks’ history.
Meier said his teammates were telling him, “keep shooting, and Quick was saying, ‘stop shooting.’”
Meier’s fourth and fifth goals came at the 1:24 and 19:32 marks of the second period, respectively. Both were remarkable.
On a Sharks power play, Erik Karlsson found Meier with a long diagonal pass inside the Kings zone. From below the faceoff dot, Meier saw an opening and fired the puck between the post above the left shoulder of Quick, who was crouched down, for his fourth goal of the game at the 1:24 mark of the second period.
Right then, he and everyone else knew he was in a zone.
“Whenever you’re in a spot like that, kind of in the corner, you see maybe a hole somewhere by the goalie, and then some days you’re like, ‘probably not going to hit that, so I’m not going to shoot,’” Meier said. “And there you just see the hole and you don’t even think, you just instinctively rip it.
“That day, it was going in.”
Karlsson said after the game, “Today if you wore No. 28, you shoot everything.”
Meier’s fifth goal with 28 seconds to go in the second period might have been his prettiest.
He took a pass from Hertl on a Sharks rush into the Kings zone, toe-dragged the puck around sliding defenseman Drew Doughty and beat Quick with a wrist shot inside the far post for a 6-1 Sharks lead, setting a new Sharks record on just six shots.
“It’s something special to score four or five goals,” Hertl said. “Five in one game, you’re (part of) history.”
Hertl knows the feeling, having scored four goals against the New York Rangers in just his third NHL game in Oct. 2013.
“It’s the same thing as when you’re on a hot streak,” Hertl said. “Sometimes you don’t even have to play well, you just keep shooting me and everything is going in, you don’t even know how. It’s just one of these games or streaks.
“I always say, if you’re hot, you have to keep shooting because it’s a full season and you have maybe a couple of moments (like that) and you have to explore it and get the most out of it.”
By the start of the third period, with fans chanting, “Timo, Timo,” Meier was just two goals shy of the single-game NHL record of seven, set in 1920 by Joe Malone of the old Quebec Bulldogs.
Is Meier thinking of record at that time?
“Everybody in here wants to score as many goals as we can,” Meier said, “and if you’re already feeling it, why not go for more? But you’re not thinking at this moment about history. I didn’t even know, to be honest, about that stuff. You’re just playing and trying to give your best.”
Meier wasn’t able to get a shot on the net in the third period, but it didn’t matter. His place in team history was already secure.
“Every time (Meier) shot, it seemed like he would score,” said Hertl, who assisted on three of Meier’s goals. “He had a couple of chances to score even more, but it was nice to be a part of it.”
Soruce : https://www.mercurynews.com/2023/01/16/san-jose-sharks-winger-recounts-the-game-of-his-life-one-year-later/