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

post Two More Teams That Have Our Number

January 11th, 2010, 9:15 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike

That would be the Kings and ‘Yotes, who the Sharks face tonight and tomorrow.   This season, the Sharks are 3-3-2 against L.A. and Phoenix, with all three wins coming in OT or the shootout.  Just to recap, in 8 games against the top two divisional rivals, those rivals have gotten at least one point in every game.  I thought I was being all smart when I found that, then it turns out it was printed in the Merc this morning. And I said “more teams”, because we faced yet another team with our number this past Saturday, the Detroit Red Wings.  Sharks lost 2-1 in the shootout at the Joe on November 5, and the dispiriting 4-1 beatdown on Saturday night.  If you listened to the podcast last week, you’d know that I predicted the Sharks would face one of those three teams in the first round (with Doug sure it would be the hated Detroit), and now we know the combined record against those three teams is 3-5-2.  Not good.

So what are the Sharks to do?  First of all, forget about all this number crap, and go out and win some games.  These teams are all below us in the standings, and while dwelling on season records is fun (or depressing) for mere bloggers like me, it’s not going to help Setoguchi put pucks in the net.  And Lord knows he needs to start doing that.   Pavelski and Seto have 0 points combined this calendar year, and if reading the tea leaves helps, Malhotra is going to be on the shelf for a while.  Couple that with the salary cap problems translating into Jamie McGinn flying to Boston and back twice a week, and we’ve got ourselves a bit of a scoring problem.

Second of all, we need to pick on these teams’ worst players.  Right now, that’s Ivanans, Brandon Segal, and Scott Parse for the Kings, and Paul Bissonette, Lauri Korpikoski, and Peter Mueller for the Coyotes.  Of course, if the Sharks insist of throwing out Shelley, Staubitz, and McCarthy, we are as suseptible to that tactic as anyone, but since the big bully is down in the dumps right now, it’s time to pick on the weaker kids.

If we look at the glass as half full right now, which is tough to do, we can say the Sharks have plenty of time to turn this boat around, and get those matchup records going our way between now and April.  This week will be a big part of that.

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    6 Comments to “Two More Teams That Have Our Number”

    1. Doug says:

      I think there isn’t going to be a McGinn sighting for a long time, unless there is an injury that puts someone on long term IR. As long as Doug Wilson stubbornly clings to Brad Staubitz, McGinn must play in Worcester. It’s a shame and goes back to my point/rant from last week – why aren’t the Sharks doing everything possible to field the BEST TEAM every night?

      As for this week and given the Sharks recent performance, I’m thinking we get one point on this two game swing. We’ll play LA tight tomorrow and then fall in OT, and then the Sharks will lay an egg in Phoenix. This is what happens when you have McCarthy, Shelley and Staubitz clogging up your bench instead of McGinn, Malhotra and McLaren. There’s no question which set of players are better.

      I hope I’m wrong…

    2. Tom says:

      Agree on moving on and starting by focusing in on winning games…

      I think there comes a time though when it isn’t about a list of teams that give the Sharks problems, and realizing the Sharks are creating their own problems. Clowe said it well after the Detroit game. He said that the loss had much more to do with them and not Detroit. He said, “don’t get me wrong they are a good team but tonight was mostly about us.” That is a real and honest apprasial of the Sharks right now. I applaud Clowe for saying it so clearly.

      Detroit, Phnx and LA, ( and I’d include St. Louis in that mix) are all good teams but we should beat them most of the time. The Sharks are a better team.

      Anybody else think that double iceing-faceoff win by Joe-to Boyle-turnover goal, was not just the most brutal thing… god damn that sucked

    3. Ruben says:

      Totally agree with both of you guys.

      I can deal with the losing streaks, the line tinkering, etc. But the burning out of Nabokov, the continued “development” of Staubitz at the NHL level, the unnecessarily heavy minutes handed to Marleau and Boyle, the Worcester shuttle, things that are totally under the control of the coaching staff and front office are frustrating to see happen.

    4. Patrick says:

      I think you guys are giving up on Staubitz a bit too early. He used to come in and think the only way he could impact a game was to make a big hit or pick a fight or do something physical, and he would end up taking a dumb penalty. But lately he seems to be patterning his game a bit more after Nichol, where he’s still physical, but does it in the context of the game: forechecking hard and finishing checks. I think if he keeps developing that part of his game he’ll turn out to be a pleasant surprise.

      As for the D, Rob Blake has been looking really, really old lately. When the other team is on the rush, he can either 1) contest the blue line (we saw this in the second half of last night’s game and the Kings just drove wide every time, right around him); or 2) back up and give the attacker an easy entry to the zone. Neither is good. I know he has made some good plays around the net, but that’s cause he’s too slow to go anywhere else. A better defensemen would pressure those pucks along the boards and it wouldn’t turn into that frenzy in the crease.

      Next game, when Blake and Vlasic are on the ice, keep on eye on which side the other team attacks when they enter the zone…

    5. Ruben says:

      @Patrick

      You make a good point regarding Staubitz’s progress. Before, he was a penalty machine, and almost always at inopportune times. He has become a little more reliable out there and even provided a good screen on Boyle’s goal last night.

      That said, is this the right time to see if Staubitz can become another Scot Nichol? I mean, I love Nichol, but he is no better that a really good 4th line center. If that is Stuabitz’s upside (good cheap 4th liner), what is the fear of sending him through waivers (which is what I am assuming is the reason he is still up in the NHL)? And is that development enough of a reason to not be maxing out the roster talent wise right now? I’m not so sure.

      Re: Blake – agreed he should be on the 3rd pairing with Huskins, with Demers up with Vlasic. Sure that is a paddy-cake D-pairing if I have ever seen one, but as long as they keep it out of the net and can start the breakout I don’t care how they play D.

    6. Tom says:

      This occured to me this morning… Why would DW and co. be shipping McLaren, Demers, and McGinn back and forth to save cap space if he WASN’T planning on using that cap space…? I am pretty slow on the uptake so forgive me if I’m being dense, but am I missing something?

      Are we currently over the cap with Staubitz and Shelly? If that is the case then why did they go and pick up Leach? I think I agree about Staubitz, but this confusing behavior is starting to make me feel like DW is getting ready for a move…

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