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

post Cause I’m Free. Free Falling.

March 19th, 2010, 10:11 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Doug

Another game. Another Loss. Another win for the red hot Coytoes. Is it possible the Sharks might actually plummet to the #4 slot?

There are certainly more questions than answers right now surrounding the Sharks as they free fall down the stretch. Why has Jed Ortmeyer, who was such an important energy player in the first half of the season, completely fallen out of favor with the coaching staff? While it’s hard to notice Ortmeyer’s contributions on a nightly basis since he is really here to do the “little things”, the equivalent of an offensive linemen in football speak, has he really bombed out so badly that he should ride pine? If the Sharks want to give Logan Couture a really solid look before the playoffs to see if he can play a scoring 3rd line role, that’s fine by me – but is Staubitz really going to play in May? Shouldn’t he sit and Ortmeyer, who can actually kill a penalty, be in the lineup? Hard to say what’s going on in their minds right now…but there are other coaching decisions that many of us are continuing to question.

What about the Sharks clear win/loss advantage with Jason Demers in the line-up?  As many of you have pointed out in the comment thread, the Sharks are 30-9-7 with Demers manning the blueline and 13-8-3 without him. That’s a .652 win percentage in Demers’ favor and .541 without him on the ice. While Mike pointed out the Sharks are .500-ish without Vlasic, I think this stat absolutely should be noticed. While he’s not perfect and certainly has growing pains, the Sharks lack of commitment to Demers this season has been mildly troubling. So, who’d you rather in the playoffs? Kent Huskins, Stanley Cup winner and playoff vet, or rookie Jason Demers, much stronger talent and potential for a big play…

Rob Blake’s ice time. What gives? At a point where the Sharks should be tempering their best players ice time to get them ready for a deep playoff run – are they burning out Captain Blake with 20+ minutes night after night after night. He has been half the player he was last year – literally – with a difference of 45 points, +15 and 110 PIM’s to this year’s version of 21 points, +6 and 50 PIM’s. I’m still really concerned about his role going in the Cup playoffs – not to mention Hamburgers lack of a defined role on this team. He played 13 even strength minutes last night compared to Blake’s 17 even strength minutes and Huskins 20+ even strength minutes. Why did we get this guy again if he’s not going to play? Ewwwwww…

Bring back Demers. Play Couture extended minutes. Sit Leach and Staubitz. Give Wallin some of Blake’s even strength time. And stop doing a Ron Wilson impression and leave the lines alone. Do all these things and we’re back on track…cause I know everything.

18 Comments to “Cause I’m Free. Free Falling.”

  1. Mike says:

    Basically, our best defenseman is playing a little too much, our second best defenseman is out, our third best defensemen is just right, our fourth best defenseman is in the minors, our fifth best defenseman is playing the second most minutes, our sixth best defenseman is playing many fewer minutes than our seventh best, and our eighth best defenseman is in the lineup most nights.

    Other than that, it’s going perfectly.

  2. Tom says:

    To the issue with Vlassic and Demers…

    this speaks to the lack of speed on the blue line. Speed rules the day in today’s NHL. Chicago and Detroit, which both have tons of speed, simply skate circles around our D core… With Vlassic out and Demers not playing, our D are consistently over matched in races to the puck in the defensive zone and are having trouble finding enough time/space to clear pucks that normally should find their way out of the D zone… Take Dan Boyle out and this gets entirely worse. All these problems basically affect the offense also, because of course the offense starts with the D zone break out…

    Another thing of note I see… Isn’t it interesting that the Sharks are still one of the very top tier teams in face-offs and yet seem to get outshot most nights and aren’t really playing the puck possession game they are designed to be playing? We start off so well in the faceoff zone getting the puck, but those damn turnovers are killing us… To use a baseball analogy it’s as if your pitching staff is leading the league in first-pitch strikes and yet also leading the league in walks…??

    I thought Drew Remenda had a good point last night. He said that it took a while for the team to fall in this hole and it’s not going to get out over night either. Even thought they still sucked last night they did look better….

    Goddamn I need to see a Sharks win right now…

    • Ian says:

      I have to agree with the above posts, Mike summed up the defense situation pretty well, it is a total mess and one they really need to sort out. Although the end result of the game still sucked I was disapointed at the end of it which I’ll take after the anger with the game in Dallas. Calgary is going to be smelling the blood in the water tonight its going to be interesting to see how the Sharks are going to match up against a team that is really fighting for their playoff lives.

    • WingsFanInSharkLand says:

      Tonight would be a great night for the Sharks to pull it together and get a W in regulation.

  3. Adam says:

    As to the question about Staubitz playing in the playoffs… the scarier answer to that scary question is probably yes. At least initially. Which is terrifying, or at the very least, disappointing.

    Last year, they wasted a roster spot on Shelley in game 1 and Claude Lemieux in game 2. If Mitchell doesn’t come back in game 3 and play the rest of the series, one of those deadweights probably plays instead.

    For all the talk about line-juggling/etc, it seems like McLellan is sticks to his routine. Look at last year when he mis-managed the injury situation at the end of the regular season. So if they’re playing Staubitz now, it’s probably a sign they’ll play him later. Just like when/if Vlasic returns, despite looking much better when freed from the albatross of Blake, we’ll see the Vlasic/Blake pairing in all likelihood, and against the opposition’s top forwards to boot.

  4. David says:

    *prepares noose*

    • Ian says:

      One for me as well please. :-/

      • David says:

        Looks like we should just meet at a bridge. Nooses are gonna be too expensive at this rate. On a light note Couture played well and got almost 12mins of ice time. Murray was a minus 4…Vlasic come back! TM play Demers for fucks sake!

        • Ian says:

          Would be nice to see Demers in the line up. I have been very impressed with Couture, the guy has to be on the roster next year. Looks like there wasn’t any magic in Nabbys old mask either.

          Clowes penalty was ridiculous, total momentum killer I would love to see the sharks win sometime soon but honestly I would settle for them showing up for an entire 60 minutes of a game.

  5. David says:

    I agree completely Ian. I really wish I knew what was going on with the Demers situation. It’s not cap space anymore, at least I think so. Thornton getting high sticked in the face was ridiculous along with the call on Clowe. My hatred has grown for the Flames has grown even more! Ha.

    If we lose to the Oilers Sunday I’ll officially panic. In the meantime the Sharks are hitting a rough patch in the worst part of the season. They clean up before the post-season comes around that’s for sure.

  6. Mr. Plank says:


  7. Ryan says:

    Maybe they’ll win their last 5?

  8. Nick R says:

    The reason Demers doesn’t play because he is DEFENSIVELY inept. He makes so many mistakes in his own zone it’s speaks volumes to his development. Why everyone has such a ragging hard on for Jason Demers this year is beyond me. Kid bobbles the puck at the blue line and creates on man rushes like he needs water.

    You’d rather sit Leach and play Demers? Woof.
    You’d rather Blake play more even strength minutes then Huskins? Woof.
    You probably think Doug Murray has been good in this losing streak too.

    • Doug says:

      First, thanks for reading.

      Second, get your facts straight. No one has advocated for more Rob Blake here. We want less Blake and more Hamburgers.

      Third, Demers clearly sucks with a +9 in the NHL and a +9 in the AHL. He’s also third in the entire NHL in rookie defenseman scoring with 20 points in a fraction of the games Del Zotto and Tyler Myers have played. You’re right, he’s awful.


  9. john says:

    I agree with you Doug , (Nick) Defensively inept wow , you had to think hard about that, bottom line when that kid (Demers) is in the line up we are a better team bottom line….i say petition to bring him back…..Leach is just awful

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