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

post Beyond Disappointing

March 9th, 2012, 9:25 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike

That’s last night’s game, and soon, the title will describe the season.  The Sharks cough up another 3rd period lead, decide not to try in an overtime power play, and then cap it by putting Tommy Wingels as the third shooter in the shootout, a guy who has literally never participated in the shootout in his career.  I know we were looking for desperation, but to me that means urgency and fire, not grasping at straws.

But I’m going to try and not let my extreme frustration leak over too much into this post, and talk about something that is becoming increasingly obvious- the rift between Doug Wilson and Todd McLellan.  Exhibit A is T.J. Galiardi.  Only on the Sharks for two weeks now, Galairdi has been scratched once, and played only 2:30 against St. Louis.  His average ice time in the other two games was about 11:40, which is far below his average with the Avalanche before he was traded.  And Galiardi was, by many reports, on the outs with Joe Sacco in Colorado.  So the Avs want to get him out of town, and then trade him to a team that plays him even less than he played before?  There’s a disconnect here.

Exhibit B is the penalty kill.  DW goes out and gets three guys who can play the kill, because, frankly, the kill has sucked for much of the year.  As of this writing, it’s 28th.  So we get Daniel Winnik (averaging 2:51 this season on the kill) Dominic Moore (1:50) , and Galiardi (1:06).  So who are the big killers last night?  Pavelski (1:41), Couture (1:35), and Marleau (1:31).  The three PK specialists we got are dwarfed in SH ice time by Andrew Desjardins (1:35).  Only Moore played a full shift (0:41), with Winnik, probably the best PKer of the three, playing just 0:14.  What is wrong with this picture?  Play the #2, #3, and #4 scorer the most on the PK, make the new defensive forwards ride the pine, even when you’ve averaged only 1.9 goals per game over the last 10? It just makes no sense to me.

If the Sharks manage to squeak into the playoffs, all bets are off.  But if April brings a Marleau-Roenick tee time, either T-Mac or DW will be gone, and possibly both.


17 Comments to “Beyond Disappointing”

  1. matt_caffeine says:

    I disagree with you about it being a huge disappointment. I think this game, for the most part, was an improved effort, and showed us there is some hope going forward. The 3rd period lead losses were disappointing, and frustrating, but I don’t think it took away from the rest of the game. Pissing away the SO with the choices made was definitely the most frustrating part. I generally chalk up SO to a loss immediately, but Niemi held his own, and kept the Sharks in it.

    However, in terms of what you said about the PK situation, I’ve been saying the same thing since trade deadline. I can’t comprehend why you would do anything other than thrust forth our new defensively responsible forwards and let them run with the PK.

    The only reasoning I could think of is to get Winnik and Galiardi and Moore up to speed in “the system” before depending on them. But when you have the 28th best PK in the league, clearly the system isn’t working.

    I feel like DW has quietly put a lot of the right pieces in place for the Sharks, but they just aren’t being utilized as intended. He has effectively handed TM a solid checking 3rd line that could double as the primary PK unit. I feel for Galiardi, going from the doghouse in COL, to a healthy scratch in short order. Give the guy a chance! I just can’t make sense of the musical bottom 6 forward choices in the last few weeks.

  2. Tom says:

    It should be said we don’t know Galliardi isn’t injured.

    That said, I’ve been at this place for much of the season, Im no longer of the belief that Tmac is the right coach for this team. And what’s worse there really isn’t anybody out there as a clear choice to replace him.

    Paul Maurice?? Roy Sommer? Mike Ricci?

    So unless Scotty Bowman finally takes DW up on that offer I think we’re hosed.

    • matt_caffeine says:

      How do you justify letting a coach go that has the top 3 win record in the NHL since he started?

      I think to Mike’s point, there is a disconnect, and DW and TM need to come to an understanding.

      • Tom says:

        And yet still not even an appearance in the SC Final.

        That’s how.

        To quote DW, “sometime the teacher needs a new class and sometime the class needs a new teacher”.

        And just for clarity’s sake – at this point I’m only advocating that be done in the off season.

        • matt_caffeine says:

          Oh, I figured you meant that. But I still don’t see any change to GM or head coach. The little assistant coach experiment with TM out, didn’t show a lot of promise. I suspect if there is a change, you’ll see it with them.

          • Tom says:

            Yeah, fair enough. I have many more thoughts on the subject too and exactly why I think Tmac isn’t working, or more accurate why his system isn’t working, but like everyone else here Ill always hold out hope until that actual end comes.

  3. Ruben says:

    On one hand, it is difficult to simply turn a blind eye to the fact that the Sharks have outplayed every team except the Blues on their homestand. The get more shots, they get more chances, even watching the game (and particularly, the goals against) makes on feel that this is no more than an incredibly snake-bitten team.

    On the other hand, there are deficiencies that should easily be addressed. The PK is obviously the prime example of this, but trashing our 4th line was a bad idea. Sticking with Colin White has been a bad idea. Sitting Galiardi has been a bad idea. It doesn’t take 20 years of coaching experience to see that TJ Galiardi is a more effective forward than Jim Vandermeer. Like you guys were mentioning in a previous podcast regarding Winchester on the top line; it’s a cute trick, but cut it out and put someone good there.

    I don’t think either DW or TMac will be fired if the Sharks miss the playoffs, but TMac at least will be a 4 game losing streak away from being canned next year.

  4. Johnny Morales says:

    Its annoying that people try to spin last nights game as “a positive”, BULLS$$t!!! A loss is a loss, this is the time of year and the type of teams that we NEED to be beating. It is a great sign that we played with more heart then the last few efforts but COME ON FANS!!! Let’s ALL be outraged that a team with such talent (not to mention getting paid for it too) chokes this time of the year. Stop with the excuses Sharks and win. No, I don’t mean get one point, I mean TWO points. I mean BATTLE hard, create the 3rd/4th opportunities, get in front of the net, get mean and nasty. Their are two roads in life, sack up or cry about it.

    • Patrick says:

      While I mostly agree with the sentiment, this is the attitude that leads to SJ fans booing the Sharks every time the other team clears the puck on a Shark power play. That really bothers me.

      • Johnny Morales says:

        That is annoying!! We need to be real about a team thats suffering from something….what this team suffers from…we can’t say. IMO, its lack of heart but that’s just my take. I support this team and WANT to eat crow. I want Patty and Joe to take this team on their shoulders and carry them into the playoff’s. Sadly, I don’t think they will. If thats the case…this off season will be interesting and a TON of change is in store.

    • matt_caffeine says:

      I’m not sure I agree here. A slump is a slump. I don’t think the recent losses were a lack of heart or effort. We out-played, out-shot, out-chanced everyone except perhaps St. Louis. It’s just the important part of putting pucks in the net that has been tougher than usual.

      And to Patrick’s point – I’m f-ing sick of the booing at home games. Losing a game 5-0, sure, but you don’t boo the home team in a closely matched game. This isn’t NY or Philly.

      • Johnny Morales says:

        If you wanna spin losing 9 out of the last 11 games, having your # 1 goalie looking like a rookie out of camp, a top line that has had troubles scoring and a D core that have been giving up soft chances….by all means keep drinking the “Sharks will pull thru” cool aid. All I’m saying is that the team is suffering and its showing. Wile our division/conference rivals are heating up and moving up, we are hitting an almost rock bottom. Now, can we change things, the answer is yes. This team has the heart, talent and skill to do so. I’m not saying they can’t but I’m saying I don’t believe they will. This team just doesn’t bring the heart and desire to just flat out not lose to the ice. They prove it every game by not changing the mind set on the ice. Not creating the 3rd/4th opportunities, not getting nasty in front of the other teams net, not forechecking like demon’s shows that this team thinks they will “just pull thru.” They aren’t motivated to make the plays that hurt, get into the gritty areas of the ice. They still try to make the cute plays and passes. Teams are on to the gig guys. Shut down a few players and pressure the HELL out of us in the D zone, ya got a good chance of winning!!

  5. Patrick says:

    I’m just trying to focus on the words of two great men:

    Ray Liotta in Blow – Sometimes you’re flush and sometimes you’re bust, and when you’re up it’s never as good as it seems, and when you’re down you never think you’re gonna be up again.

    Lou Holtz – You’re never as good as everyone tells you when you win, and you’re never as bad as they say when you lose.

    Completely agree on the disconnect, and the frustration of watching the new additions not utilized the way it seems like they should be. Remember, though, that TMac has only coached them for two games.

    I also hate the system of their penalty kill. One of the forwards just drifts around between the two point men, and the other collapses toward the net. They make it so incredibly easy to make passes through the box (or under the umbrella, or whatever). It’s absurd. They don’t contest the entry into the zone, and they don’t pressure the puck. Admittedly I’m not a PK guru, but it’s really hard to identify one thing that they do well in the current system.

  6. Johnny Morales says:

    Tom I hope that end is deep this summer!! Go get’em Sharks!!

  7. Ian says:

    I didn’t hate the throwing Wingles in the shootout. I think that going with a guy that had no scouting report on him was a gutsy move that unfortunately didn’t pay off. Although if it did pay off and he didn’t totally blow it everyone would be talking about the masterful coaching job of T-Mac. Also I am tired the we didn’t get a break… we have no luck. Good teams make their own luck. I’m frustrated I’m the least excited I have been for the playoffs in a long time and now they are talking about going back to calling two line passes… someone help us.

  8. Tom says:

    As Jamie Baker tweeted – 100 SOG over the last two games and only 3 goals. 

    Typical Tmac system, which the Sharks ARE executing. But that system is too safe, predictable, and easy to defend against and this staff REFUSES to adjust. It worked great two years ago, but other teams have adjusted and learned how to keep the Sharks on the perimeter and not allow them to get those 2nd and 3rd chances. 

    We’re losing games in which the team is executing the system well. It’s just that system is no longer effective. 

    That’s a coaching issue not a player issue. 

    • Nick says:

      Tom, Completely agree, the players are executing the system, which is simply predictable and doesn’t force truly dangerous goal scoring opportunities.

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