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

post DOH 196 – End of an Era?

April 21st, 2012, 9:47 pm

Filed under: podcast — Written by Mike

The Sharks blow a 3rd period leave and exit the playoffs earlier than they ever have, in 5 games.  Mike and Doug provide a instant reaction to the Sharks’ disappointing season, along with knee-jerk reactions about what might happen next.

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    30 Comments to “DOH 196 – End of an Era?”

    1. Adam says:

      I had to stop listening after the eleven minute mark because I started to feel sick.

      • James says:

        Great podcast. I celebrate that you recorded “in the heat of the moment.”

        Re: The “New NHL” – In the salary cap era there is no longer a huge gap between a 1 and 8 seed. The days of juggernaut teams loaded with hall of famers like the 90′s Red Wings are long gone. With this parity, goaltending tends to be the difference-maker and even allows run-of-the-mill teams (Coyotes, Caps, Kings) to hang with or even overcome superior rosters.

        It can also make for boring hockey. Is anyone looking forward to a possible Blues-Kings matchup, where there isn’t a single 30-goal scorer on the ice and we’re just waiting to see who blinks first between Elliott or Quick?

        Re: Sharks v Blues – Despite the New NHL, the Sharks lost because: 1. Coaching 2. Special Teams 3. Top 6 lack of scoring 4. Goaltending 5. Those hideous jerseys

        Re: Discipline – Doug questioned how the league could better regulate head hits. They should be treated like high-sticking. It doesn’t matter if it is intentional, or you’re a repeat offender, or an all-star, if your stick hits an opponent’s face you’re going in the box. Period. There should be a new penalty called “Hit to the Head” that would be an automatic game misconduct and review by the Discipline Czar. Doesn’t matter if it was accidental or intentional. And then the Czar should clearly articulate the criteria for evaluating whether further disciplinary action is needed.

    2. Eric says:

      Dudes,

      Painful, painful end to the season. I am extremely concerned that we will not be able to trade Marleau. I think it is unfair to put all of the blame on Marleau, as Boyle, Vlasic, Pavelski, and Clowe had below average series. That just cannot happen. But, from a franchise standpoint, I think it is clear that it is time for the Sharks to part ways with arguably the greatest Shark ever. Sadly, the only way I can see this working, outside of a gentleman’s agreement between DW and all of the top players, is the media making Marleau’s life miserable in San Jose all summer. I’m not sure that is going to happen. Can the San Jose hockey media make anyone’s life miserable? The best we can hope for is Marleau submitting a list of teams that he is willing to go to, but he would still have veto power.

      Carolina appears to be loaded with prospects, ready to spend more cash next year to compete, and have a willing GM — I’m guessing some deals happen here.

      My untouchable list got significantly smaller after this series. Not it’s: Couture, Burns, Braun. Pavelski and Jumbo are on the borderline.

    3. Ruben says:

      First off, thanks Dudes for the podcast. It was honest and in the moment. I am sure with some reflection, as Doug said, some opinions will change, but I can’t help but think you guys are right for the most part. I’m not sure that TMac will get canned, but I don’t think he gets to keep Jay Woodcroft and Matt Shaw in their same capacities.

      You guys hit on my two most disappointing in the serioes in Pavs and Marleau. Had they been even average, the Sharks would have probably won the series with Thornton as a Conn Smythe contender (that is how well I thought he played, he was the leading goal scorer and #2 in shots! WTF?!?!?).

      Patrick Marleau, though, will not be moved. But will Doug Wilson consider trading Joe Pavelski and Antii Niemi for Rick Nash now? Or Send Antii Niemi and Ryan Clowe and Doug Murray AND a 1st rounder for Nash and then spin Pavelski plus some stuff for a Ryan Miller? For all the focus on Marleau not stepping up in the playoffs, Joe Pavelski has not made an impact in a series against a good team (Hawks in ’10, Red Wings and Nucks’ in 11, and Blues in ’12). He can light up the second tier, but so what?

    4. WingsFanInSharkLand says:

      I’m not so sure that it’s worse to be a Detroit fan.

      1. We know who the coach will be next season and we’re happy with what he’s done with the team.
      2. We know who the GM will be next season and we’re happy with what he’s done with the team.
      3. The Wings have a lot more money to spend next year than San Jose. As has been said here before, Detroit has an easier time signing big name free agents than San Jose does. San Jose will have to make some good trades if they want to improve and Wilson’s recent history doesn’t leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling here.
      4. Personally, I would take the Wings two biggest offensive stars (Z and Datsyuk) over the Sharks (Jumbo and Marleau) ANY DAY OF THE WEEK. Nobody in Hockeytown is questioning their heart or calling for either of those guys to be traded. Nobody. I know there are some Sharks fans who would disagree with me here. So be it.
      5. The Wings future hasn’t been traded away for near term success. Guys like Gustav Nyquist, Cory Emmerton and Brendan Smith have real potential for Detoit. Everyone knows that the Sharks don’t exactly have a wealth of young talent coming through their system.
      6. Recent success.

      We went through this “end of an era” thing with Detroit when Yzerman retired. Many were expecting them to fall to mediocrity but it didn’t happen because Holland and company made the necessary moves in order for the team to remain elite. I’m not saying that Detroit will return to be one of the top 3 powerhouses in the West next season, don’t get me wrong. Hell, they may very well end up finishing 4th in their division next year. However, all Wings fans have faith in Ken Holland’s ability to tweak the team in order for them to stay competitive.

      As for San Jose, here’s my guess: Wilson and McLellan stay. Wilson gets Rick Nash, but overpays because he feels like he has to do something big (again). Marleau doesn’t get traded because he (surprise!) refuses to waive his no trade clause. The team chemistry will improve and they won’t struggle until the last week of the season to make the playoffs. It pains me to admit that LA will probably own the Pacific for the near future.

      • Mike says:

        #3 and #4 are undisputed. Maybe I didn’t say it right, but I think the Sharks and the Wings might be both facing the same question- what if their top tier players aren’t making the team top tier? For the Sharks, that translates to – “what if Jumbo, Marleau, and Boyle aren’t enough?” and for the Wings, it’s Datsyuk, Zetterberg, and Lidstrom. You take those groups away, I feel like the Sharks have a better core to rebuild with- Pavs, Burns, Couture, Clowe. I’ll leave Havlat out of it for now. I think Filppula is definitely there, not as sure about Hudler. Nyquist (18GP), Emmerton (71GP) , and Smith (14GP) may develop into good NHL players, I don’t see them as maintaining the Wings’ position should Pasha and Hank leave immediately. The D seems even more fragile- only Smith, Kindl, Quincey, and White are under 30, and I would rather have Braun, Burns, Demers, Vlasic, and Murray.

        The wild card is free agency. The Wings can reload with a guy like Rafalski (or Weber or Suter) and the Sharks can’t.

        • WingsFanInSharkLand says:

          OK, yeah, this is a little different than the way I had interpreted it while listening to the podcast because you said something like “it might be worse to be a Wings fan.” I get your point now and I’d agree: in terms of the young core, yes, the Sharks are in better shape TODAY than Detroit. Our seasons are over though and all things considered, I’ll take the Wings’ situation over the Sharks’.

          Hudler is probably gone after this year. At least that’s the rumor. And I think Lidstrom will retire. He made some really uncharacteristic mistakes in that Nashville series and I don’t see him continuing to play if it’s not at an elite level. Kindl is a good name to bring up. Lots of hype and could move up the ladder on their defensive depth chart as early as next year. I like what I’ve seen from him as well as Tomas Tatar. That’s a name I expect to see in the lineup in a couple seasons.

          In SJ: Burns I’m not sold on yet. The potential is there but he doesn’t seem to play the style of game he’s built for. And Murray? He’s too slow to be effective in the playoffs. His size and tenacity are great for the regular season but he didn’t look so hot against STL. Braun and Demers I like a lot. Solid young defensemen there. Logan Couture is awesome but he’s almost as ugly as Mike Ricci. Yes, that’s beside the point.

          • Ruben says:

            Have to agree for the most part. I think Burns will get there, but Murray is not a #4 Dman on a championship calibur defense.

            In the end, I think it is a wash between the Sharks and Wings. Farm systems are wildly overrated in hockey, the best and most impactful players almost always make the jump within a year if not right off the bat. But Detroit is much better in FA than San Jose, no doubt. I think both Holland and Wilson are going to be very busy in the offseason, as both are probably going have to sellout this year if they want to return their teams to elite status in the near term.

            • James says:

              Both the Sharks and the Wings suck right now. Who cares who sucks more? Their management is facing irrefutable evidence that the “window” has closed.

      • Tom says:

        I’d agree that Datsyuk is the best player of the 4. But I’d take Jumbo over the rest everytime. He’s been our best player hands-down for several seasons now and his defensive edge is something I think lacking on Detroit.

        But Marelau… yeah.. I’m done defending him.

        • WingsFanInSharkLand says:

          You think Datsyuk and Zetterberg lack defensive edge?

          • Tom says:

            Datsyuk – of course not.

            But Jumbo is better I’d argue that Zetterburg on both ends.

            And overall I think the D game on Detroit is lacking beyond the top forwards.

            • WingsFanInSharkLand says:

              Glad you’ve come around on Datsyuk. I remember you once saying you’d rather have H Sedin or (gasp!) Heatley than him.

              • Tom says:

                Ill take your word for it…

                But I think Datsyuk has gotten better defensively in the last few years…

    5. Andy C says:

      I think the official Sharks website has done a good job of summing up the year for us…
      At the bottom, they have a poll “What is your favorite memory from this season?” – One of the 4 options is “Opening Night”. Ouch.

      Speaking of polls, time for an update on here – how about a nice simple “who is to blame?” e.g.
      - DW
      - TMac
      - The players collectively
      - Patrick Marleau
      - Joe Pavelski
      - other…?

    6. Patrick says:

      This St. Louis team was historically good defensively, so I think it’s a bit myopic to say “Marleau didn’t score, trade him!” Or any of the others who didn’t “step up” or “raise their game” or whatever other playoff cliche you want to apply.

      Of course the players share in the blame. I also think the GM shares in the blame (my biggest concern is team speed, but that’s a discussion for another day).

      But I place the lion’s share of the blame on the coaching staff, that putrid penalty kill, and the complete inability to adapt their game. Forget the fact that the Blues series would have been much different without the atrocious special teams. With a competent penalty kill they would have comfortably won the Pacific division and wouldn’t have even played the Blues until the conference finals. And Doug Wilson wouldn’t have had to try to address the PK with the Moore and Winnik trades, and instead could have focused on a scoring forward. And we’d still have Jamie McGinn, who maybe didn’t deserve to spend so much time in the coaching dog house after all.

    7. Patrick says:

      Also, I totally disagree that it’s essential to have an elite goaltender. Mike Smith and Brian Elliot are playing great, but nobody ever considered either of them elite prior to this run. They’re both products of a system.

      Quick and Rinne are clearly considered elite, but so is Luongo (who’s out), Ryan Miller (who didn’t even make it), Lundquist and Thomas (who are on the brink of embarrassing upsets), and Bryzgalov (who has been a sieve).

      The fact is, there are lots of different ways to build a winning NHL team, and I think it’s a big, big mistake to just look in the rear-view mirror and mimic the teams that have had recent success.

      • WingsFanInSharkLand says:

        I couldn’t agree more. That last statement is Doug Wilson in a nutshell and I wonder if he’ll try to go that route this offseason.

        • Ruben says:

          That’s my biggest problem with DW, is too often he copies instead of innovates. We get beat by the Wings, so he goes with scoring depth. We get beat by the Hawks with an inexperienced goalie, so he goes that route (exactly, as he signed their goalie), get beat by the Canucks and their tough 3rd line and deep D corp, he goes out and gets bigger 3rd liners (Handzus, promotes McGinn, adds Winchester to compete for a spot there, brings in White). Now what, is he really going to change the coach? Because that is what the Blues were better at, IMO, not personnel.

          • Andy C says:

            Ruben – given those copying comments, you’ll probably have been pleased to see TMac’s quote:

            “I think we would be enormously ignorant not to evaluate the way teams are graduating and moving on, the way they play.

            “It’s very much a copy cat league. If somebody has something that they’re doing well, everybody tries to do it so we’ll watch every night, just as if we’re playing. We’ll look for trends, find ways to implement the good, to make the changes that we need to make and hopefully produce a better team.

            “To me, the grind style of game exists more now than in the past, league-wide. And I think our team, in the four years of evolution, we’re more of a grind team, too.”

    8. Tom says:

      So, I waited a few days to make any comments on the Sharks just to let myself think clearly… and I have to say I havent changed my tune a bit…

      I think this coaching staff is mostly to blame for this season. Not becuase I don’t think the players arent to blame, but becuase at some level any coach is responsible for leading and directing any team towards change, and Tmac pretty much refused to do that. He almost seemed that it was in his intentional philosophy NOT to change anything and just “let the players work it out”…

      The only real concern that I have going forward this team is no one can really say for sure what state SVSE as a group is in and more importantly in what direction this team will be going as a result.

      I realize these are just rumors at best and probably more speculation, but I grow concerned about this ownership groups’ ability to lead this team with Jameson no longer at the helm… Will they allow DW to spend to the cap and soley focus on winning, or will financial considerations take primary concern now?

      Mike, I liked yor answer a few podcast ago regarding your philosophy regarding season tickets. You said that you should keep your season tickets as long as you beleive that the organization is focused on winning and going in the right direction. For the first time as a STH’er, I have doubts that winning will be the priority, ESPECIALLY in light of the comments that DW made to you regarding eliminating the option of a “full rebuild” for this team. Honestly, I struggle thinking that it’s wise for any GM to completely rule out that as an option for a team that currently finds its self in the position the Sharks currently are.

      I’m lost confidence in this coaching staff and I’m losing confidence that DW is the guy to bring us to the promised land.

      My final thoughts on this series and season are this;

      - In find it interesting and sad that the supposed “best Sharks team ever assembled on paper” had the shorest exit in franchise history in the playoffs… In MY OPINION the “balanced roster” approach in today’s NHL is garbage. If you want to win, find what you do well – and go and do it the best in the NHL… The Blues are an excellent example fo this.. The Sharks dismantled their greatest strength (offensive power) and hodge-podged their team into something that appeared more balanced but never really had an identity, and lost the very thing which got them four conseq. Pacific titles, and two b2b conference finals appeareances.

      But after all that, I also realize that every 5-7 years all the best teams just lose in the first round at the same time… It happened in 2005-2006 and it happened this year. It’s prety amazing that Detroit, VAncouver, Chicago, San Jose, and Pittsburgh ALL lost in the first round. And NY and NJ could go too…

      One final thought… and I’ll be the first to kick of the off-season with a crazy trade proposal:

      To PITT:
      Patrick Marleau
      and
      Antii Neimi

      To SJ:
      (one of either) Paul Martin or Zbynek Michalek
      and
      Marc-André Fleury

      Booya :)

      • Ruben says:

        Lol, boom that is a major trade

        Spot on regarding the “balance” approach. How about just go out, get the best players you can get that create goals and prevent goals, and go. Enough of this “checking line” or “one offensive dman and one defensive dman” or “good face off guy” or “phsycial guy” baloney. Does the guy create more goals than he allows? Yes? Go after him. Obviously, it is more complex in analyzing which players do that, but when you put irrelevant or only marginally important limits on who you are willing to select (i.e. because he doesn’t take faceoffs well, or he doesn’t hit as much) you immediately reduce your chances of finding the best guys.

        • Mike says:

          That’s an unfortunate amount of hand-waving. Context does matter. You can say, for instance, that Alec Martinez is the best defenseman in the NHL, because he’s #1 in Corsi On for all players that played in more than 50 games. But his quality of competition is atrocious. So what this turns into is, “go after the guy that creates more goals than he allows, and play him in exactly the same types of situations he played in to create those numbers.” What you end up with is a bunch of guys that play against terrible competition and start in the offensive zone a lot, and a bunch of guys that get thrown to the wolves. Basically the Canucks. Didn’t work out great for them, and that’s why things are messy.

          • Ruben says:

            True true, I didn’t mean to signify that context doesn’t matter. What I meant to convey was more of the “we need a X-type of guy,” whether it is a guy with speed, or a guy who is good at faceoffs, or is a “sandpaper” guy, or a “shutdown” guy.

            Though, Ill be honest, Colin White would have been one of those guys I would have targeted. A guy that isn’t flashy or anything, but played against tough competition, held his own, and now we would place him on the 3rd pair? Sign me up!

            I think I am just cranky still about the dismissal of Wellwood for Handzus, all because Handzus was a “big body shutdown guy” who would help on the PK, and the amount of time it took for the Sharks to just finally play Demers and Braun together despite not being the typical stle of a 3rd pairing.

    9. Tom says:

      I have a question for everyone…

      Will your opinion of the Sharks and their first round loss change, if St. Louis loses to LA?

      As for me I think the most interesting final would be a Mike Richards and Jeff Cater return to Philly for the cup final. And I’ll be rooting for the Flyers all the way.

      • Ruben says:

        Not really for me. I considered LA the 2nd most talented team in the west behind Vancouver (and maybe San Jose) and, if Jon Quick continued his play, the best build playoff team right with St. Louis.

        I’d prefer a Phoenix-Philly matchup, where I will cheer for the absurdity of Gary Bettman handing himself the Stanley Cup, and then announcing the move to Seattle!

        And looking at the all analysis done at FTF, I am convinced that this series was much closer than a 5 game loss indicates. There are things to improve, sure (Doug Murray, for me, showed that he is only a bottom pair defenseman, and we simply need goals from the 3rd line) but I think the window is still 2-3 years long for this squad.

      • Ian says:

        No, I think that I’ll feel the same regardless of what happens from here on. I hate the arguments of LA beat Vancouver and we beat LA therefor all we needed to do was lose to LA and beat Vancouver ignoring the fact that LA beat Vancouver in goal and that Vancouvers PP would have thrashed us as badly if not worse than St. Louis did. The Sharks never looked like a team that would make a deep run anytime after the all star break so how the dominoes fall from here on is irrelevant.

    10. jeremyb says:

      just wanted to congratulate daddy doug for being mayor of CRAAAAZzzyyy Town. hope you were able to count 20 fingers and toes.

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