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

post Dammit, Tall Guy

January 15th, 2010, 7:58 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike

The story of last night was three guys, two of which you probably expected- Joe Thornton and Tim Thomas.  The third?  Daniel Paille.   This guy, who was drafted in the first round in 2002, was being ground into obscurity in Buffalo before being traded to Boston this year for a third and a fourth round draft pick.  Paille, who played not a single second on the power play (that would be zero point zero) managed seven shots and a goal, and from my vantage point, seemed to be either creating chances or in on them all night.  And although this article sings his praises in Boston, it’s about his prowess as a penalty killer, not as a offensive juggernaut, which he seemed to be last night.  I certainly noticed him much more than Marco Sturm, who played four more minutes and (allegedly) registered six shots.

Tim Thomas, being the unconventional, floppy goaltender he is, came up big several times, to keep the Sharks almost off the board, the only goal coming from a flukey loopy duck of a shot that fluttered over his head before big Joe put it in.  He did manage to crack the tough nut (I’m being sarcastic here) of Ryane Clowe in the shootout, not biting or freezing at all on Clowe’s forward fake, easily gloving Clowe’s predictable backhand roof shot.  Really Clowe.  It’s a great move.  Great.  But you need more than one, if only to give the appearance you’re not going to use it every single time.

So the title refers to Chara scoring in the shootout on a slap shot, a move about a predictable as Clowe’s.  As soon as I saw the lumbering Slovak throw his gigantic feet over the boards, I though to myself, “slap shot between the circles” and I was right.  Not that it takes a genius to figure that one out, he’s got fewer moves than the new guy on The Pickup Artist.  But the 87-inch stick (or whatever the hell it is, I’m sure it’s taller than Scott Nichol) flexed almost in half when he beat Nabby on the stick side.

The second line continues to struggle, with Seto gripping the stick so hard it’s leaving impressions.  There’s no fun in his game right now, it’s a grit-your-teeth, I-need-a-point-so-bad-I-peed situation.  I have no idea how you relax when you’re in a brutal slump in a contract year, but he has to find a way.  Yoga.  Trancendental meditation.  Mescaline.  Whatever.

With goaltenders in the game playing that well, it almost doesn’t matter who’s out (Marc Savard, Patrice Bergeron) or how much you dominate in the faceoff circle (42-24, jeezus).  While it’s certainly disappointing, with Thomas and the new one-man wrecking crew Paille on their respective games, I actually feel fortunate the Sharks got a point.  But Clowe still needs a new move.

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    4 Comments to “Dammit, Tall Guy”

    1. Patrick says:

      When was the “Heyyyyyy, Devin Setoguchi!” encounter at the mall? I wonder if that coincides at all with the timing of his slump…

      I know the Patty/Joe/Heatley line (I refuse to use the nickname “Burger line”) is the best in hockey right now, but I would like to see them mix it up a little bit. I’m not talking break up the line, but throw in a couple shifts a game of Seto/Joe/Heatley and Patty/Pavs/Clowe. All three of our second liners need a jump start. They looked pretty good against Phoenix and LA, and then were invisible against Boston. Maybe I’m too quick to panic on this, but it couldn’t hurt, right?

      Just for good measure (since I was so hard on him before), I will say that Blake has looked pretty good the last few games.

    2. Doug says:

      Setoguchi before meeting Doug at the mall: 21 games, 12 points – .57 points per game.
      Setoguchi after meeting Doug at the mall: 15 games, 3 points – .2 points per game.

      Hmmm…I guess I never should taken Cheechoo go-cart racing in September 2007 either.

    3. Ruben says:

      Yeah, the second line seemed like they were starting to get some chemistry going for a few games, but no dice against Boston. But I’ll say it again, Clowe hasn’t been hot shakes this year either (and IMO has been worse than Seto). He has only 10 goals in 48 games, and at least three were of the incredibly flukey variety.

      My vote is for a McGinn-Pavs-Seto line, with Clowe down on the 3rd line with Mitchell and Malhotra. Why Clowe has escaped criticism is beyond me (tell me, if Seto makes that turnover against Detroit, does he see the ice the rest of the game?).

    4. Tom says:

      It seems the big elephant in the room is that the 2nd line of last year, aka Pavs and Clowe, were very streaky. They have a history of being so inconsistent they took whole playoff series off.

      So unless there is a change, which round will it be this year? In as much as DW really addressed the third and fourth line, the 2nd line is still streaky and wildly inconsistent.

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