Two dudes blogging and podcasting about the San Jose Sharks, straight from sunny California.

post Frere Jacques Dormez-vous?

November 28th, 2009, 3:27 pm

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike

After a horrible, putrid effort against the streaking Chicago Blackhawks, the Sharks were expected to take out their collective frustration on the hapless Edmonton Oilers, even more hapless since Ales Hemsky is out for the rest of the season.  Their best player this year (Dustin Penner) is a guy that no one would have guessed would be even their third best player if asked only a couple of months ago.

The Sharks should not have won this game.

And I don’t mean that in a good way.  They should not have won it, and they didn’t deserve to win it.  Frankly, I think the team would be better off today if they were sitting around in Vancouver doing whatever it is smart people in Vancouver do (other than criticize Steve Bernier), and slagging themselves for dropping a second game in a row to a team that doesn’t have a lot of rays of sunshine poking through the clouds.

Instead, they may be breathing a small, understated, collective sigh of relief.  A sigh they didn’t earn, because there were so many things that didn’t go well in that game, it’s impossible to name them all.  But I will concentrate on the one shortcoming that this team supposedly rectified during this off-season, with the acquisitions of Scott Nichol and Manny Malhotra.  Not faceoffs (although they managed to come out on the short side of that one too last night).  Grit.

I try to follow the NHL closely, and I had no earthly idea who JF Jacques was until last night.  Then, as I’m sure many Sharks fans did, I quickly developed a strong animosity towards him, once he checked Thornton in the back into the boards, went after Dany Heatley’s knee, then took another run at Jumbo a short time later.  Apparently, other Sharks didn’t develop this animosity like I did.

Because nothing friggin happened.  Against Philly, there were scuffles, fights, jawing, the whole bit.  In Edmonton, watching a game that was so blurry I thought I was watching the 1978 Indianapolis Racers there for a second, the Sharks looked like the 2008 Sharks, and let it slide by.  To me, that’s much worse than losing a game in November.  That’s a big step back, one that flies in the face of the “we have to move on” platitudes spouted after Chicago embarrassed them worse than any team did at the Tank since 1995.  They looked shaken.

I’m not going to generalize, saying this team is the same weak-kneed set that lost early in the playoffs the last few years, but I will feel a lot better if someone comes out tomorrow night and punches Steve Bernier in the face.

12 Comments to “Frere Jacques Dormez-vous?”

  1. Doug says:

    It’s an interesting point and a definite sore subject. I think it can be looked at this way too – if Scott Nichol had rushed in and cold cocked Jacques, isn’t that exactly what he wanted? I think if the Sharks had been winning 4-1, it would have been dealt with differently, but because they were trying to come back and a get a point, they had to keep their cool and get the win – which they did.

    The Sharks should have a long term memory on this one, and I would hope that Jacques gets a rude welcome from Douglas Murray when they play again.

  2. Mark says:

    Agreed. Sharks can push and shove around the nets with the best of them. But to let Joe get slammed without some payback or at least a facewash seems pretty soft to me. When the Sharks get mad they tend to get interference and tripping penalties. Hope they get some “hockeymean” before the playoffs start.

  3. Chris says:

    While I fully understand the team-toughness-based concerns that were raised from yesterday’s game, my issues were about effort.
    The Sharks lost nearly every race to pucks in that game; the notable exceptions ended up behind Deslauriers. Not only did the team seem to lack hustle, their defensive coverage was spotty.
    I know the game is much easier from this side of the television, but especially after that thrashing against the Blackhawks, Kent Huskins is really beginning to bother me. He appeared out-of-sorts once again in Edmonton. What are your thoughts on how Huskins has filled that 5-6 D spot for us thus far?

  4. Ivan M says:

    Mike –

    Why so much hate for Bernier? Sure, he’s a disappointing waste of a draft pick, but I generally don’t hate people who leave San Jose in a trade. Unless it’s Error, who in his comments following the trade said he has no idea why the Sharks kept chocking in playoffs (while he in my opinion was always one of the major reasons), and that’s its not his problem anymore, so he’s happy to move on. So if anything, I hope it’s him who gets to stand on his ass all night tonight as Sharks score again and again.

    As for grit – I agree with you. I expected some kind of retaliation, even if it cost us 5 minutes of PK. It never came – maybe it was because it was 3rd period. Maybe it was because Sharks really wanted to win after losing to Chicago. Who knows. But think about it – that’s a first time we felt that way this season. Last year I remember almost every game thinking, damn, I miss Rivet. This year it hasn’t happened quite as much. Maybe it’s because Sharks are 2nd in the league in fighting majors, and all teams know Sharks shouldn’t be messed with. Maybe it’s because we are more physical. Regardless – it’s only the 1st game that I felt Sharks were pushed around, and it didn’t stop them from still winning the game.

    As a famous saying goes, 2 points in November are two points you won’t need in April.

    • Mike says:

      I’m just using Bernier more for comedic purposes, I’m not really hating on the guy. I could have easily typed Ehrhoff, or Kyle Wellwood.

      I saw McLellan’s quote on Pollak about the Jacques incident(s), but I read it as a bit of a cop-out. I’m sure they will have another opportunity to settle that score later in the season, but just IMHO, the time you let an opposing player get away with running your superstar should be kept to an absolute minimum.

      • Evilducks says:

        What hurts a struggling Oilers team more in the end? Taking a run at Jacques or only letting them have 1 point instead of the 2 they should have had? Not that we could have possibly planned it, but scoring short handed with less than 2 to play has to be gut wrenching as a team who is has been struggling as much as they are.

        I think we hurt them the best way we could and I think Jacques will see some retaliation later.

        • Patrick says:

          It doesn’t much matter to me what hurts the Oilers more. I’m interested in what’s good for the Sharks, and the lack of response to Joe getting run was a little worrisome. But I agree with the poster above you pointed out that, through about 1/3 of the season, this is the first time we’ve really had that complaint. I can live with it, as long as a pattern doesn’t develop.

          There are ways to send Jacques a message without hurting the team. MacLaren did a good job stepping up early in the game in front of the Sharks net, but a similar response was needed later.

          • Doug says:

            January 2nd, 2010 is when the physical statement will be made against Jacques. I think the Sharks won’t forget and someone will challenge him early. We’ll see…

  5. Tom says:

    I know I’m supposed to care whether or not the sharks respond to Joe getting “run”, but really I just can’t get that worked up about it. They fought and won the game.

    I care more about the level of their play and the defensive lapses than a quasi cheap hit on Joe.

  6. Evilducks says:

    I’ve sorta been carrying the torch of the Woosta shuttle since you mentioned it. Seriously, look at this nonsense.

    Here’s a list of recalls and demotions that we’ve made as a team:

    We’re only a 3rd of the way through the season and look at the size of this thing.

    Some of the outright abuse of the system can just be looking at life for Couture for the last month.

    Demoted the 2nd
    Recalled the 4th
    Demoted the 8th
    Recalled the 14th
    Demoted the 16th
    Recalled the 17th
    Demoted the 18th
    Recalled the 20th
    Demoted the 22nd

    This is far and away beyond anything remotely close that other teams are doing. Even east coast teams where the flight isn’t nearly as brutal (assuming the kids actually make it to woosta or if they have to take a flight back once they hit a stop along the way.)

    Look at some teams that have had some real injury issues this year:




    These are teams leading the league in man games lost to injury and their AHL shuffling isn’t even half of what we’ve done, and we’re a healthy team.

    I’m really getting irritated by it all.

  7. Ivan M says:

    McLaren obviously reads this blog. What he did here should overwrite whatever we wrote before.

    Sharks stick up for each other.

    McLaren is my new hero and idol.

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