January 31st, 2013, 1:21 pm
The Sharks are off to the best start in franchise history, but not without some close escapes against the Ducks and Coyotes. Mike and Doug talk about all the games, the Landeskog hit by Stuart, the Sharks ownership change, and Gomez’s start as a Shark.
In other news, here’s a computer wallpaper for the rest of the season. Thanks Doug’s daughter (with help from Bryce)!
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March 30th, 2012, 9:22 am
After three good wins, the Sharks manage to lose two critical road games to Anaheim and Phoenix, and they are back out of the playoff picture. We can go over what they did wrong, how Mike Smith is the second coming of Ken Dryden or whatever, but the fact is this: if the Sharks can’t beat Dallas and L.A. for the next four games, they don’t deserve to be in the playoffs anyway. Should they manage to limp in without winning those four games, they will almost certainly get crushed by whomever they face in the first round, playing either St. Louis or Vancouver with no home ice.
March 20th, 2012, 6:30 pm
Mike and Doug talk about the efficacy of the sacrifice, and the lack of efficacy against the Ducks.
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April 6th, 2011, 11:51 pm
The Sharks continue their winning ways against Anaheim and the Kings at home, but lose huge at the Pond. Mike and Doug try to find the correct perspective for this game, try and guess who their first round opponent might be, and talk about what it means to be a Stemmer.
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July 31st, 2010, 12:38 pm
New word on Seto, he got one year, $1.8M. That’s better than we had hoped for, and in line with what Doug said. This is another incarnation of the Ryane Clowe situation from a couple of years ago- we’re not sure if you can take this to the next level, so we’ll give you one year, retain your RFA rights, and see what you can do. There’s no reason to lock up a guy as inconsistent as Seto has been the last year. He scored 31 goals two years ago (on a line with Jumbo) but last year, only 20. Doug Wilson has made two statements in the last week that crystallize his philosophy on this kind of thing. About Joe: “we want to create an environment where people want to stay,” and about Seto: “we have very high expectations.” Translation? You play well this year, meat, and show us you’re a top 6 forward all the time, and we will reward you next year. Could it be a sign-and-trade like the next guy? I doubt it.
Second good news- the Ducks trade their second best defenseman, James Wisniewski, who just got a $3.25M
arbitration award contract, to the Islanders for a third round pick. My first reaction- what a terrible deal for the Ducks. Makes me happy. I read Sleek’s post, and at least according to him, it’s about cash. But to me, you don’t give up your second best defensemen for a third round pick. Stupid. Now, after Visnovsky, the obvious #1, they have Toni Lydman, Luca Sbisa, Sheldon Brookbank, Brendan Mikkelson, and Danny Syvret. Think about that the next time you are bitching about the Sharks’ blue line. Bob Murray may be the best thing to happen to San Jose hockey in a long time.
The one loss is that Antti Niemi got a much lower arbitration award than we had hoped for- only $2.75M. This is probably low enough for the Hawks to do some more shuffling and fit him in somewhere under the cap. There’s little doubt that Huet and his $5M+ contract will be dumped in the minors this year, even if Niemi isn’t re-signed. There’s just no way for the Hawks to afford him, and can you say Huet will really be much better than a minor leaguer? The Hawks dodged a big bullet here- I though $4M was too much to wish for but over $3M was certainly in the cards.
The fourth piece of news is less polarizing – a two year, $2.5M extension for Jason Demers starting next year. He will still make $543k this year. Demers looks like a good young defensemen, one that hopefully will be a bargain a $1.25M a year from now. But it’s uncertain. I like Demers, hope he continues to improve, and this contract is movable if he doesn’t fit into the plans. It’s a safe signing, and not bad for the Sharks, so I call it a small win.
March 14th, 2010, 9:14 pm
Maybe it’s just because I’m fighting the flu, but I’m a little down on everything today, and the Sharks are no exception. After watching the Sharks cough up the game to the #12 seed in the east on Saturday, the Sharks lose big to the western #13 seed tonight. Couldn’t help thinking that the Sharks would lose a series to the Ducks if it started tomorrow, but that could just be a product of my general malaise.
I wish I could point to a specific player (although I do have a stink eye peering in Devin Setoguchi’s direction), but it just seems a general lack of urgency, and the inevitable high turnovers. Couple that with some bad goaltending, and the Sharks lose games. At least the Sharks aren’t alone in losing games they shouldn’t – Chicago managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory today, and I’m sure Doug will be thrilled to chime in to reitierate his theory (which is looking pretty good right now) of Chicago being in deep trouble with Huet in net.
So how worried are you? Sweating like me? Wait, that could be the fever. Dammit.
January 21st, 2010, 12:17 pm
I'm George Clooney...without the beard and guest spot on Facts of Life
News just broke that Dan Boyle will miss tonight’s game with an “upper body injury” and the star of UP IN THE AIR, Jason Demers, will be taking his place.
Normally, I’d be wetting myself at the thought of Dan Boyle not suiting it up tonight, but I’m actually curious to see how they look without him. It’s going to be a telling sign if the Sharks will be business as usual, riding high as they have been for the last two games, playing their best hockey of the season or if they will go totally in the toilet, spiraling into an embarrassing home loss to the Ducks. This is where good teams can come together and overcome the short-term absence of great players to collect a few gritty victories.
How will Jason Demers do with a featured role? Will Vlasic flourish or sink when given more minutes and asked to push the tempo and lead the rush?
The Sharks should be given credit this season for managing their injuries effectively and not rushing players back when they’re not ready to play at their potential. If Boyle is dinged up, I’d rather have him sit out until next Thursday against the Blackhawks than get roughed up tonight against the Ducks. Pick your battles at this point and tonight, the Sharks have made the smart play.
This will also give management a chance to see what hockey life looks like without Boyle. If he went down with a long term injury, I would fear that all Stanley Cup hopes would be dashed. So, if the Sharks stumble and regress tonight, doesn’t Doug Wilson have to consider making that trade of forward depth for another quality puck mover to balance out the roster?
I think the Sharks are riding high, and while the Ducks have been hot winning 7 out of 8, they still aren’t very good on the road. In January, the Ducks are 5-0 at home but a meager 2-3 on the road. Last time I checked, the Sharks have thumped the Ducks four times this year, winning in regulation every time by a total score of 16-6. I expect the Sharks to win a close one without Boyle. Sharks 4 Ducks 2 in regulation. Everything remains right in the world.
GENERAL HOCKEY NEWS
I guess Bob Gainey has carte blanche to do anything he wants in Montreal without any consequence? This latest move from the outside seems pretty tacky, sending enforcer Georges Laraque home and banishing him from the team while he is dealing with the tragedy in Haiti. It’s not just the tackiness of the move, it’s the fact that Gainey gave Laraque a three deal deal with a no movement clause. Who does that with an enforcer? Bob Gainey does. He is one more move away from approaching Mike Milbury status in my book, and it could come when he trades Halak, clearly the better goalie, for some sort of spare part. Good luck Canadiens fans. You’re going to be mediocre for a long time as long as Gainey is running the show. He’s turned into the Don Nelson of hockey. “Sorry Georges. We will tolerate Alex Kovalev’s mediocrity and the illegal gambling of the Kostitsyn’s, but when you underperform on my watch – you’re toast!”. What a joke.
Collect your cash and live to fight another day.
December 27th, 2009, 4:44 pm
Beating the Ducks isn’t quite as sweet as it used to be, now that they are at the bottom of the Pacific, and third worst in the West. But given I think the last two wins against Chicago and Dallas were more of the lucky variety, I will certainly digest last night’s win with relish (ok, pun intended). The Sharks beat Jiggy early and often, and staked themselves to a 5-0 lead before they took their foot off of the gas a bit. It would have been nice to have a 5 goal lead going into the third; I admit a trace of doubt crept in when the Ducks scored a goal late in the second- that’s the kind of thing teams can build on.
One reason I thought the Sharks would press for another goal is Marleau had two already. Lots of times I’ve seen a team make utterly ridiculous plays trying to get a guy a hat trick. But last night, I can’t remember a decent hat trick chance. This despite Ryan Getzlaf cutting himself with his own skate and leaving the game. I guess they all try and pitch in when Pronger is gone.
Now that the ship has been officially righted, winning four in a row, the Sharks face this week arguably the toughest opponent in the NHL right now- the Washington Capitals. This after a Monday night game against the resident pain in the ass Phoenix Coyotes. Doug is back in town, so we will be attending and reporting on all the great games in the next seven days, complete with bonus material – a report on the Stockton Thunder game Tuesday night against Bakersfield. I expect some good old fashioned minor league hockey, with die hard fans, cheap tickets, and some knuckle chucking.
Also tune in tonight to ChompTalk on KDOW 1220AM (or stream it) at 9pm- Chetan and I will be talking to the radio voice of the Sharks, Dan Rusanowsky.
December 22nd, 2009, 11:37 am
Happy Holidays, everyone. The Sharks have delivered an early gift, in beating Dallas and Anaheim right before Christmas, and the Dudes wonder whether that gift was well-earned, or will be short-lived. Doug and Mike identify an aspect of the Sharks’ roster that changed right before they started winning again, and wonder if that’s the key. And as it has become custom, the Dudes ask Santa for some hockey-related gifts.
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December 18th, 2009, 8:49 am
Hey Seto! Want to go to the mall later?
The Sharks finally got off the train to Loserville last night with a convincing 4-1 win over the hated Ducks. While this is certainly nothing to be too proud of, the Ducks are the worst team in the Western Conference by record so far this year at 13-14-7 and are a woeful 4-6-5 on the road, Anaheim had been playing better of late and had managed points in their last six games in a row until losing last night at the Tank. There was one bad thing from last night, they almost did it again! Did what you say? Lay a giant turd in the third period. The Ducks emerged from the 2nd intermission with a powerplay, promptly scored before you could get comfortable in your chair with your freshly scooped Rainbow Ice Dip’N'Dots, and proceeded to put endless pressure on the Sharks for about ten minutes. It was like Groundhog Day, but this time what Bill Murray was seeing wasn’t that dude Ned, it was Ryan, Perry and Getzlaf.
This aside, there were a lot of good things to take away from the game. Here’s my list:
- Seto scored! He looked more relieved than he did avoiding me at the mall on Tuesday (listen to the podcast here for that whole story) and we saw what kind of roll Ryane Clowe got on once he finally broke through. The Sharks biggest problem during this skid was their inability to score goals, and they need Seto (obviously) to make that happen.
- Jason Demers was back and looked good. Ready for something dramatic? The Sharks record without Demers is 2-2-3 and coincided with their recent five game slide. With Demers, the team is 18-6-4. While the kid has some growing to do, there’s no doubt the effect he has on the puck movement of this team, (Exhibit A: their four goal output tonight). It’s tough to take away your 2nd highest scoring D-man for a seven game stretch and still succeed, and I think Doug Wilson and company recognized that punishing Demers to the detriment of this team isn’t worth it. Let him learn on the job.
- I thought all four lines were rolling strong last night and the Sharks fourth line of Nichol/Ortmeyer and McLaren outclassed the Ducks fourth line all night, which was a huge problem for San Jose last season vs. this team. I didn’t notice Mike Brown or Parros at all.
- I got a hearty chuckle when Mike got angry at Joe Thornton for not shooting and then right as the words were coming out of his mouth, he feathered a pass to Seto and they scored. Timing is everything.
I hope this is the wake up call that’s needed before the Sharks head into a critical stretch of games in December and early January. With an outstanding long homestand and two key road match-ups this week, the Sharks have a chance to make a statement against two teams in Dallas and Chicago that have had San Jose’s numero this year. I think anything less than three points on this two game swing is unacceptable. If San Jose loses again to Chicago, I doubt Doug Wilson’s patience and understanding will carry over into the New Year.
We’ve got a pretty exciting guest on the podcast next week when local Bay Area NHL prospect and current USHL player, Ben Paulides, is joining us on the air. Don’t miss it.