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

post Let the Grind Continue

March 1st, 2010, 10:20 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike

I don’t mean to sound too negative here, because the USA-Canada game yesterday was probably the best hockey game I’ve ever watched.  It’s hard to beat the suspense of multiple overtimes in the Stanley Cup playoffs, but this one came close.  It had a Game 7 feel with even more talent.  It seems some people are very crushed the US lost, but not me.  I’m disappointed.  Even amidst the disappointment, I’m still very happy about the results- most didn’t pick the USA to medal.  They still beat Canadan once, the most talented team, and held with them into overtime, creating an Olympic moment people will remember for many years to come.  It’s truly a victory for American hockey.  Even more so than 1980 because that game was a triumph of a system, philosophy, and coaching.  This tournament had the top teams all on roughly equal ground to start.

Now that it’s over, it’s time to attend to some Sharks business.  The trade freeze has been lifted, and trades have already started, with Jordan Leopold being dealt to the Pens.  It’s possible the Sharks could make big waves, but I think it’s less likely.  Boston is reportedly in the hunt for Dan Hamhuis.  Kaberle has re-re-reconfirmed he isn’t waiving his NTC.  Corvo is reportedly in the mix, but I would think that would have been part of the Wallin deal if it were in the cards.  We should steel ourselves for the fact that the Sharks could look very similar on Thursday.

That may not be a great thing, especially since Pollak has confirmed that Vlasic does in fact have a knee “tweak” (props to Fear the Fin on calling that one), and hasn’t skated yet.  With a whole host of Sharks not completely healthy for the playoff run last year, this provides a feeling of deja vu all over again, as Yogi Berra would say.  At least he’s not trying to play through it, which is more than we could say for Patrick Marleau late in the season last year.  The last thing the Sharks need is to be more rickety on defense, trying to compete against the great Western Conference defensive corps of  Calgary, Detroit, Chicago, and L.A.

We’re waiting for the trade deadline to pass before we do the podcast this week, so look for that Wednesday night.

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    11 Comments to “Let the Grind Continue”

    1. Ruben says:

      Getting a bona-fide top 4 dman would definitely help the team. That said, I think keeping the puck out of the net is a team oriented skill, something Team USA showed in the tourney. The likes of Tim Gleason and Jack Johnson (a dman only in name) were able to hold off Canada for the most part because they had guys like Pavelski helping them out. Even looking just at the gold medal game, I think you could say maybe 1 goal was preventable by the defense, while the other was a breakdown in forward coverage off the rush.

      As a team, I think the Sharks don’t get enough credit for their ability to keep the puck out of the net, which is far more important than their defensemen’s ability to keep the puck out of their net.

      Oh yeah, and I wonder if the results of that Datsyuk poll would be any different if posted this morning?

    2. Bryce says:

      Where could Shea Weber fit into DW’s plan? The first time that I saw him + the 4 Sharks out on the Power Play for Team Canada I couldn’t help but think in the back of my mind that T-Mac called in a favor to Babcock to put em together for an “audition”. Only minor problem is 4.5m he’s getting paid right now.

      • Mike says:

        I’d be absolutely shocked if Shea Weber were available; great young puck-moving D are very hard to come by. And even if he were available, there’d be 20 teams bidding with Nashville justifiably asking for a king’s ransom. If I were David Poile, I’m not sure I’d trade with the Sharks, with their top 3 all with NTCs. I’d would ask about Marleau if I were him, then probably Pavs, Couture and a 1st.

    3. Tom says:

      Mike..

      I noticed that you still have last weeks poll question up about Datsyuk… Would you still only trade Datsyuk straight up for Ovie?

      I am in the 2nd Dudes fantasy league. I’ll trade him to you for either H.Sedin or Dany Heatley straight up?

      I proposed a trade to you. If I am not mistaken you are Kyle Mclaren’s Karma. I’d prefer Heatley but I’d take H. Sedin.

      • Mike says:

        Ah, but fantasy is not reality. While I wouldn’t trade Datsyuk for anyone other than Ovie if I were running a real live NHL team, I would trade him in a heartbeat for Heatley and Henrik in a fantasy league, as you rightly would.

        • WingsFanInSharkLand says:

          I remember trading Joe Sakic to you (Mike) in exchange for Mathieu Schneider several years ago. Everyone balked at it, saying that you ripped me off, even though I proposed the trade. In real life, nobody would ever make that trade, but in fantasy hockey, a 90-point forward is way easier to come by than a 70-point defenseman. I ended up losing to Doug in the championship when John Madden scored on Henrik Lundquist to blow the shutout with 30 seconds to go. No, I’m not bitter at all. I’ve totally forgotten about it.

          I’m surprised at the amount of “No” votes on this board in the Datsyuk poll. Nice to see him getting the praise he deserves. His two-way play is often underrated by many people and I, for one, love watching him “do the dangle”. Plus, his speeches are epic.

    4. Tom says:

      I’d rather have H. Sedin or Heatley in real life over Datsyuk.

      I think his low production the year has shown me that I don’t think he can put up those numbers without the support he has always enjoyed in Detroit. He’s a great player in my eyes just not at the level that some might hold him. At least to me anyways.

      Datsyuk doesn’t have that great playmaking ability that I’d like in a top line center. I’d take Thornton or Getzlaf over him too for that matter.

      • Patrick says:

        Phoenix acquires Derek Morris, Wojtek Wolski, Lee Stempniak, and Mathieu Schneider, and it looks like the only roster player they gave up was Peter Mueller. Pretty decent haul for one day.

        That Aaron Palushaj guy (that Montreal acquired from St. Louis) is dating my best friend’s little sister. I sent him the TSN link (and he forwarded it to her) where Canadiens fans are complaining in the Comments section that he’s too small and he sucks and he’s a nobody and blah blah blah. She was pissed.

    5. Patrick says:

      Well, unless there’s some really late paperwork being filed, no movement for Los Tiburones.

      Since I don’t feel like bumming myself out, I’m going to look at it this way:

      a) the teams I’m most scared of in the West either didn’t do much (Detroit, Vancouver, Anaheim) or didn’t do anything (Chicago). Even though Phoenix got a lot better, for some reason they just don’t scare me. Hopefully I don’t eat those words…

      b) the Sharks made their big moves over the offseason. They shook things up a lot, and addressed most of their weaknesses (#2 d-man being the notable exception). If they’d stood pat going into the season and instead made those moves at today’s deadline, I’d be ecstatic. So why am I going to penalize Doug Wilson for getting it done months ago? I’m going to trust him that the price wasn’t right for anything he wanted to get done (what Joe Corvo went for is good evidence of this).

      That said, still a bit disappointing. Vlasic’s knee better be healthy in time for the playoffs.

    6. Tom says:

      Patrick…

      I really like that perspective on the moves DW did from then to now. And i’d add that it was probably better to get those guys in the offseason and let them acclimate to the team rather than waiting until March…. Very good point dude.

      I asked this of the dudes via an email question for the P-cast and want to hear others opinions on this too…

      How do you guys compare last years PO team to what we now know will be this years team? Are you happy with the way DW addressed those issues over the course of the last year?

      I think secondary scoring issue might still be a major issue. I don’t think that was addressed enough. Unless Marleu spends alot of time on the 2nd line, adding Heatley could be seen as addressng that… but….Basically, I’m shocked that Clowe is still on this team, with that contract, and playing on the third line… I worry that him and Pavs might get really dangerously streaky come PO time…

      • Patrick says:

        I love this year’s team compared to last year’s. If they played each other in a 7-game series, this year’s team would advance 80% of the time. The problem is that Chicago is a much bigger obstacle than any team we could have faced last year in the West.

        I think the front office addressed the major issues. Vlasic may not be as far along as some would like, but Doug Murray has turned out much better than expected. You win some and you lose some. But there’s no doubt that lines 1, 3, and 4 are all much better than their 2009 counterparts.

        Honestly I think goaltending worries me the most. While they may be lacking a #2 defenseman, you see it time and again that a hot goalie steals a series. You don’t see a #2 D-man steal a series. Tuesday against NJ was classic Nabokov, where, hey, great, you stopped Kovalchuk on a breakaway with a great save… too bad you already got beat on an unscreened wrist shot from the top of the circle to let the Devils go up 4-0.

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