March 23rd, 2012, 8:29 am
After two terrible games against division opponents this week, the Sharks staunch the bleeding somewhat by edging the defending champs, the Bruins, 2-1. Just when you think the Sharks are ready to give up the ghost, they come back like a Monty Python sketch. “But I don’t want to go in the cart! I’m not dead.”
There are still several signs that are very troubling about this team, mostly in the scoring department. The last time the Sharks won a game by more than one goal was five weeks ago, against the Caps (thanks Kevin Kurz). That’s also the last time the Sharks have scored more than three goals in a win. The last time they scored more than three goals period was also five weeks ago, in a 6-5 loss in OT to the Lightning. That’s 18 games ago, almost a quarter of the season. In those 18 games where the Sharks didn’t score more than three, they scored three goals (supposedly the magic number) only four times. Let’s put that a different context. In the 55 games previous to that, the Sharks scored 3 or more goals 33 times, or 60% of the time. That doesn’t include wins like 2-1, 2-0, etc. Since, the Sharks have scored three or more goals only 22% of the time. That’s not a decline. That’s an anvil falling out of the sky.
The good thing about last night is they stayed step for step with the Stanley Cup Champions, and the 4th line was more than just a non-liability. They were an asset, matching up well with the Bruins very respectable fourth line of Dan Paille, Shawn Thornton and Greg Campbell. The bad thing is the Sharks still are not scoring in bunches. They score once, have some good quality chances not go in, then slowly fade. Whether they hold on or chip in another one seems to be a coin flip at best. Looking at the stat sheet, another bad thing was the return of Michal Hanzus. He was -1, and lost 5 of the 7 faceoffs he took. T.J. Galiardi can’t come back fast enough.
There’s no more time for the Sharks to turn this around. They have to be going in the right direction now. Another game or two of disappointing losses will put them in an ugly position to make the playoffs. Let’s hope the win against Boston was the turn, and now the Sharks are sailing in clear waters and strong wind to the finish line.
March 15th, 2012, 9:20 am
The Sharks have thirteen games to play, and 78 points. Here’s the point totals of the 8 seed every year since the lockout.
For the math nerds, the West average is 94.17, East is 92, overall average is 93.08, and standard deviation is 2.5. The conventional wisdom is that the Sharks need 95 points to make the playoffs, and these numbers support that. However, assuming the distribution is normal, there’s about a 15% chance the 8 seed will need 97 points to make it.
To get to 94 points, the Sharks need to go 8-5-0, or 7-3-2. To get to 95 points, that’s 8-4-1 or 7-2-3. To get to 97, that’s 9-3-1 or 8-1-3.
The last time the Sharks got 16 points or more in a 13-game span was January 5th to February 2nd, which included 8 games against teams that are not currently in the playoffs. The final thirteen, the Sharks will have 6 games against such opponents, and three of them against the Kings, with whom the Sharks are tied.
Ain’t gonna be easy.
March 12th, 2012, 4:05 pm
Here we are, in all of our glory, with some of our esteemed colleagues.
For those of you that wanted to hear some ‘real’ opinions (or as real as DOH can get), try that on for size.
March 9th, 2012, 9:25 am
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.
February 27th, 2012, 5:40 pm
Another trade deadline day has passed, and the Sharks are again active, trading Jamie McGinn, Michael Sgarbossa, and Mike Kennedy to Colorado for T.J. Galliardi, Daniel Winnik, and a 7th. The Dudes talk about the trade, the worst road trip in memory, and all the other deals that happened.
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February 14th, 2012, 3:38 pm
But I want to know the way to San Jose, Mommy!
It appears Columbus star winger, Rick Nash, has been officially posted on the auction block. I’m honestly shocked that the BJ’s are going to let what appears to be a lame duck GM in Scott Howson make the biggest move in franchise history, trading away their only star player and star draft pick. That makes no sense to me at all. Howson has had one year of success with this team and the rest has been pure famine. Now…he can’t control injuries, but he can control who they draft and so far, under his watch, they haven’t produced Jack or Squat.
The return for Rick Nash needs to be stunning, like Kate Upton!! or something that remakes the outlook of this franchise in the short term and the long term. The team on the other end is getting a star player that is signed for the long haul. Columbus needs to look no further for a blueprint on this deal than the trade they made to acquire Jeff Carter and the trade LA made to acquire Mike Richards.
To Flyers: Jakub Voracek, 2011 1st round pick (#8 overall/Sean Couturier) and a 3rd rounder.
To BJs: Jeff Carter
To Flyers: Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn (their top position prospect) and a mystery pick.
To Kings: Mike Richards
They are very good players, Carter and Richards. Nash is a two time 40 goal scorer, a Rocket Richard winner, a former overall 1st round pick and a multi-gold medal winning athlete for Canada. The price will be more than what is listed above for the Cheesesteak Twins. The Blue Jackets should require a top NHL ready prospect or a top ten pick and a quality, young NHL 2nd line forward signed to a cap friendly deal and another very strong, close to NHL ready player in this deal.
That having been said, this is Scott Howson. He could screw the whole thing up, Wile E. Coyote style and run into a hole in a painted mountain. Would be a perfect final chapter.
Where am I going with this? Well, both ESPN Cross Checks Blog and Craig Custance discussed the San Jose Sharks as a potential landing spot for Rick Nash, given his desire to win and his friendship with a certain shirtless Jumbo Joe. (No mention of his recent tiffs with Danny Boyle, but I’m thinking that could be patched pretty quickly over a Blue Moon. Derek Brassard is a wuss anyways).
Would we want Rick Nash? Of course. We’re not loco pants …but can we pay the price, or does it even make sense to pay it? The Sharks can’t offer a prospect like Brayden Schenn. We have no such player in our system – but Columbus will demand an NHL sure thing in this deal. They must.We will have a mid-high 20’s first round pick. Not a ton of value in a big deal like this – not for Rick Nash. They need players with a track record of some kind.
After talking it over with Mike, here is the Dudes on Hockey guess at what it would take for the Sharks to land Rich Nash:
To Columbus: Joe Pavelski (in place of a Brayden Schenn type signed long term),Jamie McGinn
Justin Braun (top NHL ready D prospect),Their pick of Tyson Sexsmith, Harri Sateri or Alex Stalock.
To San Jose: Rick Nash and Samuel Pahlsson
This isn’t going to be a Doug Wilson fleecing situation. Any GM is going to have to give up a ransom to land Rick Nash, and while he would look smooth on Jumbo’s wing, we should just put the thought out of our pretty little heads and hope he ends up kicking it on the East Coast and far away from our conference. LA could offer a package around Jonathan Bernier and Jack Johnson. VAN could offer Corey Schneider and Alexandre Burrows for starters.
He will go somewhere. Just not Silicon Valley. Let’s focus up on Paul Gaustad kids.
February 9th, 2012, 10:31 am
A great moment last night with Owen Nolan at center ice, the entire crowd standing, cheering, not wanting the cheers to end. I’m sure Nolan felt the same. Both the Sharks and Flames giving it up for the veteran of both teams, the #1 overall pick in 1990, who, like so many others, had a long industrious career that didn’t quite end the way he wanted.
Basically, a microcosm of the game last night. The Sharks played just well enough to stay in it, but the Flames would take control whenever the Sharks tied it up. Olli Jokinen, of all people, looking like he was playing in his Florida Panthers heyday, dropping a hat trick on the Sharks. And most of all, the Sharks breakout defense being completely hamstrung without Dan Boyle in the lineup. The game winning goal in particular was a comedy of errors that was worthy of the Three Stooges, with Colin White assuming the role of Shemp. I half-expected Niemi to put the flat of his hand between his eyes so Jokinen wouldn’t be able to do the two-fingered poke.
The best part of the game was when the Sharks were down 2-0, then came roaring back in the space of 90 seconds. But true to form, the Flames regained the lead four minutes later, in perhaps the textbook definition of “how not to defend a 2-on-2”. It looks like a 2-on-1 for a moment, with Murray backing up, but Burns is quickly back in the play. Iginla passes to Jokinen, and Murray slides over to take Jokinen. Burns decides to hang out in no-man’s-land, leaving Iginla uncovered between the hash marks, who promptly buries the return pass from Jokinen. For good measure, there’s a third guy coming into the frame, also uncovered, who probably would have scored on the rebound if Iginla somehow failed to score from 15 feet out.
I’m hoping the Sharks were just looking forward to Friday, when they’ll come out with the same dominance they showed against Dallas and Columbus last week. It’s not all puppies and rainbows in Chicago either, I read this, and it cheered me up a little.
January 15th, 2012, 4:28 pm
We will record the podcast tomorrow, since it would be a crime not to watch and talk about the Hawks game.
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January 6th, 2012, 7:58 am
Sorry about the delay everyone, we will have a new podcast posted this weekend, probably Sunday, so we can talk about the Caps game.
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December 14th, 2011, 9:11 am
That’s a curse my dad used to use, and it applies to the Sharks’ latest streak. There’s really nothing positive, or even productive for me to say now, so I will leave you with this, in case you haven’t seen it. It didn’t cheer me all the way up, but it did help a little.