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

post Time To Break Old Habits

January 12th, 2010, 2:32 pm

Filed under: blog — Written by Doug


After winning a close one last night in LA and semi-redeeming themselves for laying two eggs on home ice last week, the Sharks might have some fans feeling pretty good. So then why do I fully expect the Coyotes to dump us like Conan O’Brien at an 11:30pm timeslot?

Jay Leno is the Steve Ott of Late Night.

Jay Leno is the Steve Ott of Late Night.

Because this is the Sharks pattern. Up then down. Up then down. Winning two tough back to back games on the road would be a major statement to each other, as teammates, that they are ready for adversity and capable of beating two teams who have given them fits all year long. Last night the Sharks got solid PK work, a hard luck but hard fought performance from their second line, great goaltending from Nabby and two goals from two superstars in Boyle and Heatley. A solid effort against a good team.

Now do it again.

The Coyotes are going to play hard and are extremely well coached by Dave Tippett, but aren’t we one of the best teams in hockey? Don’t we have a Jack Adams nominee for a coach? Then go out there and kick this mediocre team in the Vrbata.


Mike and I have recently questioned Brad Staubitz’s presence on the Sharks roster, and of course he responds with his best game of the season last night, almost tipping in Boyle’s goal in the 1st period – but let’s not get carried away here. McLellan was so impressed that he didn’t play Staubitz for one single second in the third period, while Scott Nichol got seven shifts. There’s a ton of differences between Staubby and Nichol in my book – Nichol is one of the top faceoff men in the entire NHL and one of our best PK’ers. Staubitz is one of the best at taking a penalty.┬áHere’s the thing – if Staubitz didn’t beat the tar out of the hated Tootoo last year, would you even know his name from Dennis McCauley?(BTW, McCauley is an enforcer for the Worcester Sharks…)

Doug Wilson and his staff met last week in Worcester to discuss the organization and was profiled last night at the first intermission. I thought his comments were pretty standard, but his admiration for Couture and his development was evident. He called him “one of the best players in the AHL”. Would it be far fetched to think that Couture could make this same contribution for San Jose in the playoffs, or at the very least, in 2010-11? This could be the most important player to watch come trade deadline, because his presence and success gives the Sharks the option to trade some forward depth to get help on the blueline.

5 Comments to “Time To Break Old Habits”

  1. Ruben says:

    Question is, who gets traded of the forwards? Seto, who has been in the doghouse for weeks? Clowe, who has seem to avoid reprimand despite playing maybe 1/2 the games up to his contract? McGinn, who hasn’t even been given a fair stab at a top 6 job yet has performed better each callup? I think you can tell which guy I would trade.

    On a separate note, I was playing around on capgeek, and if the Sharks decide they are comfortable handing the reins to Stalock/Greiss and letting Captain Blake walk (possibly into retirement), there is no reason the Sharks can’t bring back Marleau, Seto, Pavs (and maybe even Malhotra) while promoting Couture and Petrecki despite their rather large entry level deals. What do you guys think? Would the Sharks be so bold considering the year Nabby is having? Is that worth having a 3rd line of McGinn-Couture-Setoguchi look with a “2nd line” of Clowe-Pavs-Malhotra? Which line would score more goals?

  2. Ivan M says:

    Perhaps I misread your post, but I don’t see Couture getting traded. If anything, he’ll get some playoff time because cap no longer matters and because he’s having a great season.

    For all we know, he’s our 3rd center next season, if Mitchell continues the slump and we can’t afford resigning Marleau. I think DW will at least give him a chance at NHL level before he trades him.

    • Doug says:

      Ivan: I think you misunderstood me. I think Couture is virtually untouchable and that his development in Worcester could make him as valuable in March as trading for some UFA like Ray Whitney. No need to make a move like that when you have a top line forward progressing in the system – but he needs to play with top talent, not with Staubitz and Shelley.

      I also think Couture’s presence and development is on the mind of Doug Wilson when considering if he should, or even can, resign Seto, Malhotra AND Pavelski. I don’t think he can afford them all, so why not cut ties with one (Seto) and get a solid asset at the deadline. He’s their best trade bait and the current odd man out of that trio – if you ask me.

      • Ivan M says:

        Yes, I certainly agree with that. I am rather disappointed in Seto this season, but luckily a decrease in his production is nicely compensated by an increase in Marleau’s, so I’m not too upset. Eventually the second line will start producing points again, but I think it’s more of a function of inconsistency in Seto’s and Clowe’s offense as it is in Pavs. Or maybe all three?

        I think the kid is struggling with his confidence a bit, and it appears he’s not the kind of a guy who can generate offense on his own. I’m afraid that what we have on our hands here is another version of Cheechoo.

        With our depth at forward, Seto might very well be an odd man out and DW doesn’t shy away trading away young players who he see as “finished” (Bernier, Carle, etc).

        I say, trade the rights to Seto, now or this summer, and invest in another contract for Marleau, who clearly deserves it.

        • Ruben says:

          Unfortunately, Seto has that one skill that can’t be taught…scoring goals. Bernier, Carle, Sturm, they all never had that skill. Might be too soon to trade him away.

          Anyone else notice that Clowe is only on pace for 17-18 goals? With only a small uptick in assists? DW, for all his drafting and trading ability, had a terrible summer at the negotiations table (with the small exception of Greiss). Huskins, Clowe, and probably even Mitchell were overpaid for the same reasons Michalek, Bernier, Carle, and Vlasic were: a belief that they would blossom. Hasn’t happened.

          But the good news: Sharks are a top team, their rookies are contributing, Heatley has been awesome. I absolutely think Couture will be up for good in March along with McGinn, with Staubitz and Shelly sitting in the box for the last month or so. DW is great at assessing team weaknesses, and secondary scoring is it. A 4th line of McGinn-Couture-Mitchell is a lot more offensively intimidating that Shelly-Nichol-Staubitz.

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