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

post Remenda/Ratto Steel Cage Match

March 30th, 2012, 10:50 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Doug

In this corner, representing the salty Sharks broadcasting team, the bald, the beautiful – Drew Remenda.

In this corner, representing fed up Bay Area media, weighing in at a light 123 pounds…with one foot on the scale – Ray Ratto.


Last night after the Sharks kick to the groin loss in Phoenix, Ratto spoke words that echoed how I was feeling after the game and you can see, Drew turns about as red as a Canadian can get.

It was the most entertaining part of the game, no question.

Because Drew was there, I can understand him getting caught up in the emotion of the moment. I guess he was upset that Ratto was implying the Sharks didn’t give it a full effort last night. So, are we saying that the Sharks did try but they just aren’t that good – that’s the response? In Drew’s own statement he says the Sharks were good not great and can’t score.

I never thought I’d type this, but I agree with Ratto. I was infuriated too. They couldn’t finish, they didn’t play their game, they weren’t physical, and it didn’t appear that their season was on the line. The Sharks should have the Pacific Division won by now. They should be resting key players. They should not be in this position…but the facts are they have been awful on the road, two of their best players in Couture and Marleau couldn’t score with a drunk Snookie right now, and with their season on the line – the Sharks went into Phoenix and played Phoenix’s style. Drew said the Sharks established their game. They did? Doesn’t that involve scoring and executing on the power play and not giving up a goal to the WORST power play in the league? Good teams don’t play right into another teams strengths and right now the Sharks just aren’t good enough to dictate their style of play. We saw how it worked against Phoenix at the home opener. It’s possible…just not right now I guess.

Who do you think is right?

46 Comments to “Remenda/Ratto Steel Cage Match”

  1. Mike says:

    For this, I’m Team Ratto as well. We’re not in the “horseshoes and hand grenades” part of the season where almost winning means something. It’s put up or shut up time. You win, you played well by definition. You lose, you didn’t play well. I don’t care if the Sharks put on their try-hard pants or not. They lost. If it really matters to Drew: IMHO, it doesn’t look like they did.

    That’s what T-Mac said too: “You’ve heard us in the past talk about how we play the game and we’re evaluating on that, but right now it’s flat out about wins and losses.”

  2. Patrick says:

    I miss the days of Nolan, Ricci, Granato, Marchment, (Scott) Thornton, heck even Todd Harvey… those guys at least played with some grit. What happened to Clowe? This team has such a culture of softness. In fact, the only guys I saw even trying to be physical last night were Winnik and Galiardi. I guess they just haven’t been Sharks long enough to have the will to hit somebody slowly drained from their psyche.

    I know it’s not “their game,” but it’s pathetic that this team’s idea of getting in the other goalie’s head is spraying snow on him. TMac is emulating the Red Wings system… so puck possession and lots of shots and blah blah blah, but even the Wings have Holmstrom to park in front, make some contact, take a few late swipes at a frozen puck, whatever. You think any goalie in the league is nervous about contact from the Sharks?

    That was a ridiculously soft call on Marleau for boarding last night, expecially given some of the stuff they let go. That said, they could have played another 3 periods and not scored on Mike Smith.

  3. Niki says:

    I too hate to say it but I am on Ratto’s corner on this one. Yes, the Sharks dominated the first period. The second and third periods? If that’s the best effort the Sharks can put out on the ice, then that says it all. If they are playing 100% with heart and passion and talent, that means that it’s a PERSONNEL issue and playoffs should be out of the question at this point- and to that I look to Doug Wilson.

    I love DW and I have a lot of respect for him and what he’s done for the Sharks in the last 9 (!!!) years as GM. But you take a Western Conference Finals team and blow it up by about 40%. Yes, Huskins and Wallin needed to go but some key guys that gave a spark are no longer here. You can’t question that there is little chemistry on this team. That on top of players like Marleau, Couture, etc not really showing up, what can you say? Doug Wilson has been here for the Sutter firing, Wilson hiring, Wilson firing, and the current TMac era. I don’t think the issue is coaching- in fact I think McLellan is a fantastic coach (can’t say the same for the assistant coaches but another topic on another day)- I think it’s time the puppeteer is held accountable after a good run.

    Let’s face it- the Ducks don’t have our number, Mike Smith doesn’t have our number… it’s the SHARKS! How many times do the opposing teams goaltender have a “fantastic game” against the Sharks? All the damn time. It’s not because their are 29 amazing goaltenders in the league, it’s because the Sharks make them look like they are.

    *steps off soapbox*

  4. Leonard says:

    reposting my comment from previous thread:

    The best thing about yesterday’s game was Ray Ratto analysis about what Sharks team really is. Cold realization of perception vs reality. Road record and vs Non-playoff team record. It was amusing how Drew tried to defend another gigantic failure of the team. Of course, Drew is on Sharks payroll and he has to defend them no-matter what, but it was very refreshing to listen to honest analysis as oppose to daily “oh my god, another hot-goalie BS”. what a shame.
    Standings are not lying. we are number 9 team. best case scenario, a fodder for someone’s easy passing through round one. Ratto represents the fans and reality, while Drew played corporate suit

    P.S. in the aftermath, off-season trade with Minnesota managed to sink both teams. and can someone remind me why we traded for Moore?
    P.P.S. the ugliest thing is that half of team, especially likes of Marleau, has no-trade clause so not much can be done in the off-season either.

  5. Ruben says:

    Maybe I was watching a different game, but I certainly didn’t see a lack of effort. I think we mix-up physicality with effort, which is simply not the Shark’s game. Now, if the argument is that a team requires a high level of physicality to be successful in the NHL, then that is one argument. But if the argument is that the Sharks didn’t try hard enough because they wren’t physical enough, then I strongly disagree with the premise.

    Ryan Clowe is a great example. Last night, I felt like he battled really hard on the boards and skated as hard as he could. But, he continued his awful habit of taking the puck high in the offensive zone and cutting off his options, and didn’t fight or lay anybody out. Those bad habits are habits regarding to skill (or, IMO trying TOO hard to make something happen), and the no fights/hits are probably him trying not to take a bad penalty or hamstring the 2nd line with him off for 5 minutes.

    I think winning in the NHL requires 3 things; skill, effort, and luck. There are times where I have questioned the effort, but not recently. I agree with the emotional reaction Ratto had (this time is excruciating to watch, according to FTF they outchanced PHX 9-2 in the first period and had nothing to show for it). But I agree with Drew that, to say that the Sharks didn’t try hard is fitting the narrative to the results.

  6. Jay Fin Anderson says:


    It all comes down to this team not being committed to executing the details. what makes the Wings so effective is they have all elements committed, on game night, on game day, at practice, on and off the ice, to details. maybe they are skating 110% the last few games. But what have we seen ALL YEAR LONG. a dumb mistake here, a lack of focus there, sloppy passing, sloppy coverage. That is a SYSTEMIC FAILURE. not just the players, not just the coaches, a system wide failure to be committed to the most important aspect of a finesse puck control game.

    I would be happy to see tmac and wilson gone, if for no other reason but to see a whole different mindset and culture brought in. this team has the horses. hell, on paper they have top 5 skill. but the guy driving the cart has lost control.

    And i think what this team needs is MORE Ratto’s. unfortunately too many apologize or could care less about the sharks failures. at least Ray seems to give a damn.

    • Tom says:

      “That is a SYSTEMIC FAILURE. not just the players, not just the coaches, a system wide failure to be committed to the most important aspect of a finesse puck control game.”

      I place this solely on the coaching staff…

  7. John says:

    Drew and Randy have pretty much become unlistenable the last few months with their blatant over the top homerism. The whole “established their game, other goalie just plyed great” thing is so so so played out. This team cannot finish. This system of throwing a ton of puck at goal from any angles and praying for good things doesn’t work. And contantly praising them to do so and putting every single opposing goalie on a pedestal after every game gets very old and very tiresome after a while.

    Its very aggravating how any positive stat no matter how insignificant and pointless is harped on over and over and over by Randy. ‘Well ever since they hit the reset switch on the PK, they are actually in the top 3rd!!!…oh and they give up a pp goal, how’s that pepsi Drew?”. Its to a point where I rather listen to the opposing team’s broadcasts on Center Ice nowadays than Randy and Drew.

  8. Ruben says:

    I dunno, the more that I get emotionally detached from the game last night, the more I am simply convinced this has nothing to do with desire or focus or most of those cliches.

    In the end, I believe that this team is a talented team that just can’t get a break. The randomness of the game does not care whether it is game 10 or game 80 or whether you are fighting for the President’s Trophy or for the 8th seed. They outplayed both the Ducks and the Coyotes, and dominated both of them in the 1st period. This isn’t golf or track, where the competitor is in sole control of his performance. There is another team playing the Sharks, good teams with players composing the top 700 or so hockey players in the world. No team in the NHL is good enough to consistently impose its will on teams, there are no Red Army squads. To expect the Sharks to do so by “willing” themselves to do it is disrespecting the competition and having unrealistic expectations of the team.

    • Patrick says:

      If you’re defining “consistently” as every single game, then sure, no team is good enough to “consistently” impose its will. Personally I would be alittle more generous with my definition of “consistently.”

      This year’s Blues team consistently imposes its will. I’d say the same for this year’s Rangers team, or last year’s Vancouver team, or the year before’s Blackhawks. And Sharks, for that matter.

      I know you’re a statistical guy. Believe it or not, I am too. I hear you on game 80 vs. game 10, randomness, all that. But at this point you can’t fall back on “well, statistically they’re better than their record.” It’s been 78 games – that’s a pretty credible sample size.

      This team could be great. What they ARE is mediocre.

      • Ruben says:

        82 games is not a credible sample size. Baseball, for example, is 162 games, and most sabermatricians would tell you it takes about 3 seasons to get a true sense of a player’s talent. I brought this up with I think Gabe Desjardins regarding penalty kill, and he basically laughed me off the board for suggesting a season’s worth of PK numbers is a sufficient # to accurately gauge a PK’ skill.

        But I do agree with you as far as what is “consistent,” or at least that what a person’s definition is and how it affects their perspective of the team’s performance. I think most fans expect a level of consistency that is just unrealistic considering how close the talent level is in the NHL.

        I think this team could be great, too, but what I think they are is simply a very good team with a mediocre record.

        • Noctro says:

          Statistically, relevant sample sizes start at 11. 82 samples? That’s MORE than enough to establish a trend.

        • Patrick says:

          Depends on what you’re using 82 games to measure. If you’re looking at PK, then I agree, not credible. That’s because you only have a few PKs per game. So far the Sharks have spent 332 minutes this season at 4v5, and given up 40 goals. A few fluky goals or lucky saves (or posts) either way will really skew the statistic.

          But you* often refer to shots, and how their record should be better based on their shot differential. In other words, their shooting % is low. Well, when you’re taking 34 shots a game, for 78 games you’re looking at over 2,600 trials. I would argue that this is a credible sample size, and if the Sharks’ shooting % is too low it’s less a function of luck or randomness than it is of shot quality and getting to second chances.

          *And forgive me if I’m mixing you up with another poster.

          • Ruben says:

            That is a good point, immediately after I posted my comment I thought “I think you just pulled that one out of your ass, Ruben.” I remember reading something on Tom Tango’s website (he focuses on baseball, but delves into other sports as well) where he said that the luck factor was the second highest for hockey of all the major sports (baseball being the highest, basketball the lowest). Which informed me enough to spout off an ill-informed answer.

            The better answer is probably something like: an appropriate sample size to determine true talent level is probably dependent on the differences in skill between the teams/players, but I think most fans overestimate the skill gap between teams, as we are talking about the Sharks being 3-4 wins (instead of losses) from where we “think” they should be over 79 games to this point. As the underlying stats suggest the team is better than its record, and there is a lot of parity in the league, I do not think 82 games is a sufficient sample size. Similarly, shooting percentage has shown itself (say, like batting average) to be prone to season long outliers, so I would expect that even a team’s worth of shots is not enough, but I certainly cannot exclude the possibility that coaching/effort/etc. is to blame, but I do not believe it is the likely explanation.

  9. ted says:

    A lot of people don’t like Ratto, but what is important here is not who is right, but that Drew is part of the Sharks organization and lost it on the air. I agree with John, Drew and Randy have great chemistry and comedy at times, but Drew’s whining about calls and non-calls, his seeming obsession with too many men on the ice, and now this unprofessional outburst make me think it’s time for a a new partner for Randy.

    I for one found the games with Hedican or Brown filling in to be welcome respites from Drew.

    • Noctro says:

      I still prefer Bakes and Ruzzie.

      But I think that in general you are dead on. You can’t expect any company man to go out on a limb and bite the hand that signs his check. So I usually take their comments and answers to questions with that in mind.

  10. Erik Landi says:

    Man, I just love the super support the fans are giving their team right now (sarcasm)! First off I live in So-Cal but I’m from Mountain View and have been a Sharks Fan since 1993 (was watching games at the tank before it was called the tank!). I watched the sharks get bounced in the first, and the WCFs twice and have only missed 15 games in 2 seasons; its so sad that our fan base is so f-ing fickle we should be lucky we have a team just look at Quebec City.

    Anyhow I digress, the problem with the team is this, the team is lacking an identity they alternate between the puck possession style (i.e Detroit) the defensive counterattack (Preds) and the dump and chase grind game (Boston). They honestly play best when they play like Boston and grind on the walls and shot from the point, however the bottom six need to wear down the oppositions defensemen so that the points and shooting lanes open up. Last night was case and point the Yotes were able to block shots\lanes or clear the puck after a chance on net; and the top lines were getting pounded physically because of the lack of wear on the defensemen of the Yotes. The bottom six have to pound the oppositions defensemen so the top lines can play their game they’re not supposed to be physical they are a suppose to fineness the puck to the net. We need to put Winchester back on the third line with Moore and Gallardi; I saw numerous times mitchy pull up from hits he could have made. When we had our streak we saw this pound and fineness game the sharks can play and dominate with like Drew was commenting on, the effort physically was their but they are lacking between the ears to steal a TMAC saying. The lack of consistency from the bottom six is rearing its ugly head again.

  11. Adam says:

    Ratto is a casual hockey fan who acts like he knows as much about hockey as Hedican. Anyway I kind of agree with him because the Sharks had zero desperation. But now I love Drew even more for bashing Ratto

  12. Spencer says:

    Too many times effort is looked at as just the amount of physical effort expended by the team. In reality it also includes the amount of mental effort is expended on the details of the game, being responsible for your role, and being engaged in the game throughout the full 60 minutes. I haven’t seen this team do that in quite a while. The focus and commitment to the game plan is only there for a portion of the game. Against Phoenix, it was the first period. However, once the opportunities passed without a payoff there is a distinct letdown in the second and portions of the third. That is what I’ve seen from the team overall since the All Star break. That is what is frustrating for me, it’s not an issue of talent or having a team that simply doesn’t work hard. It’s that there is a purely mental letdown that Ratto and other Sharks fans are fed up with. We know that the team is capable of much more but they just can’t seem to get their heads in the right frame of mind to be competitive. Simply put I’m disappointed as I thought the team had more head and passion than what we’ve seen.

  13. Haie says:

    I’m sorry but sharks fans have every right to complain about their team. Pro sports teams go in cycles, because obviously star/good players get old and have to be traded or retire. This team has a window of opportunity to win the cup and it’s getting smaller and smaller every year, and this year we don’t even put ourselves into the possibility to win the damn thing. I’m not just happy we have a team. screw that, we have enough good players to where this should not have happened. I don’t know if the core is just too comfortable or the system no longer works or what, but we should not be lacking this much physicality. We’re not the faster type of team, size is our strength, and we barely use it unless it relates to board battles. I don’t think it was right to bring in a coach to implement Detroits system. The personnel we have needs a more physical system, irregardless of our skill-level (which I don’t even think is as good as people say it is, or we’d have scored a lot more this year).

  14. Ian says:

    Look since I’m not a local guy I don’t get subjected to Ray Ratto a whole lot most of my analysis comes from 3 places, Here, Fear the Fin and Working the Corners what little I have read of Ratto usually annoys me so I don’t make a point to purposely read his stuff as in my opinion based on what little I have seen the guy is a blow hard that probably would be better suited following another sport that he might actually know something about. However last night he was 100% right and Drew looked like Doug Wilson had left the Kool Aid out.

    I would never accuse the Sharks of purposely missing the playoffs or not trying. They are professional athletes they got to where they are because they are competitive by nature. However at this point in the year when all the teams you are playing are the ones that are all competing for the same playoff spot and you control your own destiny you have to win. It really is that simple. No one is going to look at the sharks in 9th or 10th and say you know what you guys tried hard here the Coyotes can trade places with you. Its too late for moral victories the only victories that matter at this point are the ones that add 2 points to your total in the standings. You don’t make the playoffs by playing sub .500 hockey against your own division, you don’t make the playoffs with a sub .500 record on the road unless your the Wings and and set records for wins at home. If the Sharks miss the playoffs or get destroyed in the first round they need to look no further than the mirror to figure out why.

    The most frustrating thing about this is the fact that who knows if there will even be a season next year making not even showing up or an early exit even more frustrating.

  15. Turin says:

    Not sure whose team this puts me on, but I don’t think they lack heart or desire or passion or anything like that. They obviously care. They obviously want to win. They are obviously trying their hardest. These are professional athletes, among the very best in the world at their sport. They don’t get this far not caring, or not having passion for the game.

    No, their problem is they’re just not as good as they’ve been in the previous several years compared to their division. In their 4 consecutive division championships, the Sharks were 61-28-15 (avg 15-7-4) against the division. This year, they’re 8-11-1. It’s as simple as that. The division has caught up to them (as have several other teams in the west) both in the standings and in terms of speed. They can no longer control the puck as well because they’ve become relatively slow compared to several teams in the conference. That means they’re not first to as many loose pucks, and other teams can pressure the puck more easily without leaving someone open.

    Doug Wilson has some work to do in the offseason to make this club faster, though frankly I think it’s going to take more than one offseason. And it’s only going to get worse because teams like Edmonton and Colorado have some really fast players who are not even fully mature yet. They could both become scary fast in the coming years.

  16. RoneFace says:

    Can we talk about the fact that Remenda was trying to say they played good but not great as a defense for the effort level? You’re really happy with the fact that they didn’t play great in a must win game? That’s the line of defense you want to take? Really?

    If that’s how they look when they play their system and establish their game then either the system or the players aren’t good enough. I’m tired of hearing about all the shots they take that just don’t go in, or how a goalie is just hot or has their number. Anyone who actually watches the games knows that those are all low percentage shots. They don’t get anything in transition anymore and they never make a goalie move side to side. That’s really not a recipe for scoring no matter how talented the players you have may be, and that’s the same crap that got them beat by Hiller and Niemi in the playoffs. Sure they got a lot of shots but none of them had much of a chance of going in. An NHL caliber goalie can handle shots like that all night long.

    As far as Remenda defending the coaching staff I seem to remember him saying Ron Wilson was one of the best coaches in the NHL right up until the day they hired McLellan. If McLellan has the players as prepared as Remenda says they do, and the effort level and commitment level are exactly where they need to be, then the only conclusion left is that the players just aren’t good enough.

    • Tom says:

      “As far as Remenda defending the coaching staff I seem to remember him saying Ron Wilson was one of the best coaches in the NHL right up until the day they hired McLellan. If McLellan has the players as prepared as Remenda says they do, and the effort level and commitment level are exactly where they need to be, then the only conclusion left is that the players just aren’t good enough.”

      This is excellent… and spot on!

  17. James says:

    Drew’s passion for the Sharks is touching, but misguided. Ratto is correct. The games are decided by finishing – who buries their chances. Quoting a decent shot total doesn’t matter.

    Remember the old San Jose v. Colorado days, when the Sharks would out-chance, out-hustle, and out-shoot the Avs – and lose. Because Sakic and Forsberg and Co. would bury the few chances they had. That’s what winning players and teams do. Especially on the road.

    Fact is the Sharks are 9 games under .500 on the road. Those aren’t playoff numbers. At this point, who cares if they make the playoffs? They’re going to get bounced very quickly.

  18. Tom says:

    LOL… this really blog posting really stirred the pot…!

    Drew, I love you – but you’re a Kool-Aid drinker and you’ve always been so… It’s too bad the Sharks players don’t have the same raw emotion and passion that he does.

    And here’s my 2 cents…

    The Sharks are trying, hard in fact… but they’re playing a system that is broken. I ‘ve commented on this before. I think T-Mac’s “system” is old, tired, and just about every team in the NHL has it figured out. When you’re a runner up in back to back years to represent the WEST in the finals, everyone is focused on HOW TO BEAT THE SHARKS – not DETROIT any longer…

    It’s part of the deal of being the big-dog and this coaching staff HAS NOT BEEN ABLE TO ADJUST…

    • Cyoor says:

      I agree!
      This is what it all comes down to. T-mac always says “We need to play our game”.
      That doesn work anymore, because they KNOW how to beat that game.
      The teams we have the biggest problem against are the teams in pasific because they have just figured it out and now we cant beat them. The rest of the teams know the system, but they arnt playing against it as much.
      The sharks are probably the easiest team in the league to prepare for.

    • Niki says:

      I’m late in responding but I don’t think this has anything to do with the coaching. McLellan is an excellent coach (assistant coaches, I can’t say the same for). Again, IMO this is all about chemistry with this team. DW blew up a huge chunk of a team that made the Conf Finals twice. You don’t do that… now you have new players that don’t mesh as well and it has made them a step behind everyone else. McLellan is not to blame for that, his boss is!

  19. Tom says:

    One last word… I find it convenient that Remenda doesn’t allow excuses for a second with other people and teams… but he’s just fine with it when it supports his argument…

    Seems hypocritical…

  20. Haie says:

    i agree with most of you here, drew should just be ignored. It’s just like here in Portland with our terrible nba team, and the color play by play guy prefaces his statement on why the team sucks with,”look guys I work for the team so I’m not gonna bash them or anything” really mike? Good to know, so I can just tune your homer ass out. Same goes with remenda here. Sharks fans only want to hear honest assessments whether we make the playoffs or not.

  21. James says:

    More fuel for the fire … the Sharks last road win was Feb 23 at Toronto. Ouch.

  22. GShark says:

    Is Hedican not payed by the Sharks in the same way as Drew?
    Just asking because of the interview he gave on the Fan590 last week where he realy heavily criticized Doug Wilson for the McGinn trade and also said he does not see the Sharks making the POs.

    Something Drew would not articulate in that situation.


  23. GShark says:

    just in case you did not hear it?

    He is also saying the obvious about White and Handzus.

    it is just 10 minutes just listen.

    • hateseed says:

      WOW, this shit is brutal… I enjoyed his candor, and mostly agree with him, but I’m shocked he was that honest.

    • Tom says:

      Wow. Thanks so much for posting this!

      It’s refreshing to hear some honest assessment of this team – that said I fully expect him to conveniently disappear from the remaining broadcasts immediately.

      • GShark says:

        I hear the Hockey Central@Noon nearly every day because it is the only daily NHL Podcast I know. They talk about 60% about the Leafs and the rest about general NHL topics and have always an interesting interview.

        It fills the waiting time for the next dudes podcast.

        This interview was given after the losses to the Ducks and the King, just before the win over the Bruins. I thought to post it here because it has a certain relation to the Remenda topic and I was wondering why there was nothing about it on FTF also.

        I also thought this is something that is not the usual Bay Area Media. Its from Toronto 😉
        So the question is still open. Is Hedican also employed by the Sharks Organisation or is he employed by a TV company??

        In case he is employed by the Sharks it would mean that either Drew and Bret are possibly more emotionally involved and Drew was talking like an angry fan and not as DWs PR Agent, or there really could be some consequences for Bret because he was talking like the opposit of an PR Agent. Either way DW will not like it!

        • GShark says:

          I realy would like to get an estimation from the Dudes about the interview of Hedican. Perhaps you can find a minute in your next Podcast. I would appriciate it.

          And sorry in case of typos or formulation, I am not a native speaker though.

        • Tom says:

          I’m not positive, but I believe Randy and Drew work for the Sharks organization, officially. They are always listed with everyone else in the front office and day-to-day operations in the Sharks yearbook.

          Hedican, like Brodie Brazil I assume, is an employee of Comcast Sports Net.

          And I agree with what you’re inferring here – that the bay area media is a little too soft on the Sharks. That is a negative AND positive thing however. I appreciate the candor but I never want things here in CA to be like they are in Toronto or much of Canada to be honest.

          There’s honest – then there’s vicious.

          • Ian says:

            As a Canadian I can appreciate what your saying. Some of the media up here especially in the Hockey Markets are a little much. You have guys that have never wrote anything good about the teams in their market because unfortunately negativity draws hits and thus revenue. That’s not even mentioning the gong show that is Montreal. Sometimes I think the market can have a negative effect on a team and I don’t think that someone like Marleau would flourish under that kind of microscope which is why any rumor that had him going to Toronto made me laugh.

    • Ian says:

      Not going to like after listining to that I had to for the first time really think about my feelings on the McGinn trade. I still think having Winnik long term would be nice for the bottom 6 but had to ponder it none the less.

      • Ian says:

        Should read: Not going to lie rather than not going to like.

      • RoneFace says:

        Great listen. I understand that Winnik plays a role the Sharks needed in some ways more than what they got from McGinn, but I would have liked to see McGinn given a real opportunity in the top 6 before moving on from him (especially with Havlat out for so long). Is it me, or did it seem like the coaching staff was willing to try everyone BUT McGinn in the top 6 for extended periods?

        I also think that the Sharks and Doug Wilson paid a huge premium for making such a big mistake with Handzus. Again, I understand the role that they thought Handzus would fill but it was a questionable move given that Handzus has never been a great skater and was already on the wrong side of 30. If you exclude the 2 Minnesota trades, this is the first season I can remember where Doug Wilson seemed to be scrambling rather than making proactive, strategic deals. Acquiring both Moore and Winnik was about finding players to fill the role that they thought Handzus would play, and I can’t figure out if they actually wanted Galiardi or were forced to take him to get Winnik. I thought the Colin White signing was a good low risk move but they’ve been giving him playing time like he’s Barry Zito. And while I’m not saying Ian White is the second coming of Bobby Orr or anything I think Doug Wilson made a huge mistake by not bringing him back at the price he eventually signed for in Detroit. He certainly would have provided 10-15 goals beyond what Colin White ever possibly could have, and at that dollar figure and term he certainly wouldn’t have caused any major cap issues. Moving on from Ian White made sense at a time when there was some speculation he could get $4 million+ or a longer term deal but the further away we get from that period the less sense that decision makes.

        • Ian says:

          I appreciate what your saying especially on the topic of McGinn, I think that with our roster that McGinn was always going to be a 3rd line guy on the slimmer roster of the Avs he can play in the top 6 I just don’t know if long term if McGinn would have got that time and if he would be better there unless its a situation where Havlat is hurt.

          On the topic of Ian White I think they felt that role was going to be filled by Burns and they didn’t approach him because of the expected price. They also had Braun and unfortunately I don’t think they counted on Jason Demers taking the steps backward that he has. I think that’s something that always gets left out of the Ian White conversation.

  24. Andy C says:

    Interesting discussion, but the one thing nobody has mentioned is confidence.

    I’m not as qualified as most on here to breakdown the Sharks’ struggles keeping up mainly through highlights & only able to catch the odd game, but sometimes taking a step back can take some of the emotion out of it.

    I closely follow soccer in the Championship in England (a level below the EPL) – In my mind, one of the biggest factors in this league is confidence. It’s such an even division that when a team hits it’s stride, they can go on a great run & you see the likes of Blackpool suddely getting into the EPL & teams like Leeds dropping out the EPL & getting relegated. Now the effect of confidence is lessened in the NHL to some degree by different lines on the ice at different times and with so many games even the best teams will have off nights, but the principal is the same.

    How to sum up Minnesota’s season? They had all the confidence in the word to start with & once it went, it went. Same talent in 1st & 2nd half, same coaching in 1st & 2nd half, but very different outcomes. Why? OK, some of it may have been to do with other teams working out their system – would be interesting to look at a Minnesota blog to see how it compares to a Sharks one & who the fans are blaming!

    If you look at the Shark’s season to date, to me the biggest factor is confidence. They struggled at the start, then got it together rising to top of the NHL in win % at one point, then dropped off the pace: then the long road trip hit them hard and confidence collapsed – they seem to have recovered at home to some degree, but their mental state when they play away is that they stop on the ice thinking they are going to lose – hence the Phoenix 2nd & 3rd periods once the first didn’t go their way.

    Obviously, the question of how to get confidence is the magic formula! Part of this is the characters involved (GM), part is changing tactics when needed (Coach) & part is just plain luck at the right times.

    So what am I trying to say? Ray is right – their road record in particular just isn’t good enough, but he is wrong in that its not lack of effort. The GM has put the talent together, the coach has his critics, but has a very good record over the last 3 years, but the main problem is that the players have lost their confidence – which does happen in sport & they need to just find any way they can to overcome this in at least one of their remaining 2 road games.

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