Monday’s game between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings had much more meaning than anyone would have thought prior to the 2021-22 season, as both teams are unexpectedly in the playoff hunt. The Sharks trailed the Kings by just three points in the standings heading into the game, making it a huge divisional matchup.
Thanks to Timo Meier, San Jose closed the gap even further with a 6-2 victory.
After two straight disappointing seasons, Meier has been fantastic in 2021-22, entering Monday’s contest with 40 points in 34 games. He upped that total in a big way versus the Kings, as he put up a ridiculous five-goal performance. Three of those tallies came in the first, while the additional two were potted in the second. Even more impressive was that he was able to do so in just 11:38 minutes of ice time through the first two frames.
As you would expect, the heroic performance garnered plenty of attention.
Timo Meier has five goals in 11:38 of ice time today. 👀 pic.twitter.com/Xjq58uom85
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) January 17, 2022
— NHL (@NHL) January 17, 2022
why aren’t the sharks double-shifting timo meier right now
— dom at the athletic (@domluszczyszyn) January 17, 2022
Timo Meier scoring goals on 3 consecutive shifts is a baller move
— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) January 17, 2022
Timo Meier clearly playing the game on rookie difficulty today.
— The Hockey Guy (THG) (@thgofyoutube) January 17, 2022
Timo Meier scoring five goals is great all in itself but that fifth goal toe-dragging Drew Doughty's soul and liver straight out of his body really makes it delightful.
— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) January 17, 2022
Meier joined some elite company with the massive outing. Not only was he the first Shark to ever score five goals in a game, but he became just the fifth player in the past 25 years to do so. The others in that span were Mika Zibanejad, Patrik Laine, Johan Franzen and Marian Gaborik.
While Meier will certainly be pleased with his performance, what he will be even more thrilled about is how important this game was for his team. Through 40 games, the Sharks now own a 21-17-2 record, which is good for the second wild-card position in the Western Conference.
Even more exciting is that they are now just one point shy of second place in the Pacific Division. Another five-goal performance will be hard to come by, but if Meier can continue to build on his great season he may very well lead this Sharks squad to a playoff berth.
More from Yahoo Sports