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

post DOH 187 – Moore Aggravation

February 20th, 2012, 8:59 am

Filed under: podcast — Written by Mike

The Sharks continue their road trip with a win against the Caps, but losses to the Lightning, Hurricanes, and Red Wings.  The addition of Dominic Moore is another point of conversation, and Mike and Doug try to gauge the going rate for certain types of players, and whether the Sharks will make further moves.

post TLDR – Third Line Strategy

June 18th, 2011, 5:28 pm

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike

The first of several TLDR (too long, didn’t read) posts this summer concerns a key aspect of this Sharks team- the third line.  Generally on most teams, the third line is a defensively minded trio that should shut down the opponents’ best players, maybe contribute 20-25 points per player, and have the trust of the coaching staff to kick in some PK time.  However, some teams go another way, a road less traveled, yet more treacherous.  These teams like to continue to pour on the pressure in the offensive zone, field three scoring lines, and dare their opponents to keep up.

So where did the Sharks reside in this spectrum?  Mostly on the offensive side- Pavelski/Mitchell/Wellwood had some great scoring punch (102 points in the regular season, 22 in the playoffs, mostly due to Pavelski’s 66 and 10, respectively), but Pavs was the 2nd most used shorthanded forward, with Mitchell 6th.  And as many Sharks fans have noted, they did not serve a ‘shutdown’ role, T-Mac likes to match power with power.

This is pretty similar to Detroit’s style (sound familiar?).  Detroit’s third line this year was largely Hudler, Filppula, and Modano/spare parts, tallying around 100 points if we include Modano’s 15 points contribution in the 40 games he didn’t play.  Detroit went even more offensive with these guys- none of them played significant PK time.

Or we could look at Vancouver, as Tom mentioned in a comment in the last post, with Malhotra/Hansen/Torres (not always Torres, but probably close enough).  All agitators or defensively-minded, all tough to play against, all can play the kill.  Tom also accused us of flip-flopping a bit, since we seemed to endorse more of the Vancouver style third line instead of the Detroit model in the last podcast.  Admittedly, this would be a sea change for the Sharks.

My opinion is based on what a wise man once said to Woodward and Bernstein- “follow the money.”  I furtively wish that the Sharks could go and gather as many great players as they possibly can, pay them Yankees money, go win the Stanley Cup, and I’ll live out my days watching the championship DVDs over and over again.

Unfortunately, reality intercedes.  Two inconvenient truths:

  1. The Sharks defense is not amongst the best in the West.  In fact, it might be considered merely average.
  2. The Sharks do not have a lot of money to spare on said defense.

For me, it comes down to a question of salary mix.  Detroit is spending good money on their third line, around $7.5M, for the privilege of third line scoring punch.  And why can they afford it?  Because they are only spending around $24M on their top 6 forwards.  Vancouver had a good shutdown third line, for which they only spent an economical $4.5 or so.  And why?  Because they spent a ton on their D, about $24M.

In contrast, the Sharks spent only $18M on their defense last year, but they spent $24 on their top three forwards- Jumbo, Heater, and Patty.  Then another $7M and change on the second line, which was unquestionably a great deal.  Only the Kings and Caps spent more than the Sharks on forwards last year, and it was close- the Kings spent less than $100k more, the Caps spent about a million more.

So my opinion has to be based on this reality- the Sharks are extremely forward heavy in terms of salary distribution, and I believe a #2/#3 defenseman is their highest acquisition priority.  This means something has to give, and that must be the third line.  I don’t believe it’s wise for the Sharks to have a $4M third line center, even if he puts of 66 points.  You keep him, but he should be playing the second line.  Maybe that means Seto is the odd man out.  Or maybe it’s Pavs.  Or maybe it’s one of the big 3.  It would be incredibly difficult to make that call, and I don’t envy Doug Wilson’s position here.

The bad news is, I believe if the Sharks defense remains middle-of-the-pack, which it probably will be, even with Ian White, it will be the same old playoff slog next year.  The Kings are improving.  The Blackhawks will probably be better next year.  Vancouver might re-sign some or all of their free agents.  Now that Feaster is the GM, Calgary might do something worthwhile.  My new position is resources must be shifted.  They must be shifted to defense, and the third line should again serve a more traditional role.

Did I flip-flop?  Like a fish out of water on ketamine.  But as the proverb says, a wise man changes his mind, a fool never will.

post DOH 150 – Collect On a Bet 2 – Electric Boogaloo

May 14th, 2011, 5:17 pm

Filed under: podcast — Written by Mike

Mike, Doug, and WingsFan from SharksLand finally put the Wings series to bed, with the now-annual reading of funny lines about the Wings.  It’s also time for the Vancouver preview, with the Dudes identifying the keys to the series, and how Game 1 is extremely important.

post Planning For the Weekend

May 13th, 2011, 9:39 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike

Although Doug and I are both still riding the high of last night, we are actively planning for our weekend podcast, in which we will collect on our bet from WingsFan From SharksLand, same one as last year.  I recommend refreshing your memory by listening to last year’s equivalent episode – Episode 99.  This year, we will also take your suggestions for lines, either through Twitter or email.  Get those in if you have any comedy inspiration.

Of course, the weekend episode will also include a Western Conference Finals preview.

post DOH 149 – Holy $#!*

May 12th, 2011, 11:37 pm

Filed under: podcast — Written by Mike

Mike and Doug give their initial reactions to the close game 7 matchup, a series that was decided on the most razor-thin of margins.

post Franchise at a Crossroads

May 11th, 2011, 8:57 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Doug

Game Seven is tomorrow night at the Tank. I don’t think it’s overly dramatic to say that this is the biggest game in franchise history. Fitting it should happen when the Sharks are celebrating their 20th year of existence as an NHL franchise.

There are two obvious outcomes here:

  1. The Sharks deliver a dramatic victory at the Tank and move forward to face Vancouver in the Conference Finals and all is forgotten, like a bad dream. It becomes a landmark series for the franchise and Stanley Cup hopes are still alive. Just another bump in the long road to winning it all. Gumdrops and lollipops and whiskey.
  2. Sharks complete operation meltdown and lose on Thursday night and the franchise officially hits a new all-time low. Worse than losing to the 8th seeded Ducks. Worse than being swept by the Blackhawks. Worse than losing to the Oilers after leading 2-0 in the series. This is rock bottom.

I feel like this has not been a heart healthy sports year, but I’m absolutely refusing to throw in the towel and I hope you will join me in bringing the fighting spirit to the Tank tomorrow. Do we want to boys to go into to tomorrow expecting to lose? I remember the atmosphere in Vancouver in Round One when the Canucks played Game Seven two weeks ago. The crowd was rabid and the victory was sweet. Vancouver fans were probably feeling as bad as we are, perhaps worse.

If the Sharks win or lose, I am going down a raving madman in the stands. Join me in taking the following pledge.

  • I will wave whatever towel or frilly pom pom like plastic material they give me.
  • I will hug strangers and especially the guy who looks like Keyser Soze that’s always on the big screen.
  • I will shake my junk with the Dancing Bear.
  • I will scream Teriyaki Rice Bowl at the top of my lungs in the concourse.
  • I will consume an overpriced jack and coke.
  • I will try and fight Bertuzzi myself, if need be, and I will beat his ass.
  • I will not sit down during the final period if we are winning.
  • I will not utter the word “Vancouver” until the game is over. No matter what the score. No lead is safe.
  • I am going to will them to victory…. or go down in flames trying.

Tomorrow night will either be the best memory in franchise history or the worst.

Choose your road, Sharks.

I’ve chosen mine. I am not giving up.

post See You Thursday

May 10th, 2011, 10:35 am

Filed under: podcast — Written by Mike

Ryane Clowe, the Sharks’ leading scorer in the playoffs, is out for game 6.  This is not good.  While I’ve certainly softened from the position I stated on the podcast, I can’t help but think the Sharks are significant underdogs tonight in Detroit.

If they do close the series out, I will be fixing myself a gigantic plate of crow.  Mmmm, crow.

post DOH 148 – WTF

May 8th, 2011, 10:09 pm

Filed under: podcast — Written by Mike

Sharks lose game five in a ‘gutless’ fashion, as Jeremy Roenick might say, and the Dudes have some strong emotions about it.

post “They found a way, that’s what good teams do.”

May 5th, 2011, 8:25 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike

The quote is from Mike Babcock, and you couldn’t find a better one to sum up game 3.  Thoroughly outplayed for most of the contest, the Sharks managed to prevent the Wings from blowing the game wide open.  I imagine Wings fans felt the same in the 3rd period last night as I did in game 2, when the Sharks were just curb-stomping the Wings, yet couldn’t find a way to put the game out of reach.  ”One bad bounce, one bad play, and this game is tied, with Wings having all the momentum,” I thought to myself.  At that point, we witnessed a little force of nature I like to call Hamburgers.  The Wings did not have their own Hamburgers in the lineup last night- they only had a Zetterberger (2 A, but still managed to be -1). Instead, the Sharks bent but did not break, with Dan Boyle continuing his redemption by roofing one with less than five minutes left.

Still, as good teams do, the Wings persisted, creating several more chances, including one right near the end of regulation.  And the old take-a-penalty-in-overtime-but-kill-it-and-score-afterwards trick worked to perfection, one the Sharks had already whipped out in game 6 against the Kings.  The Canucks also pulled it off in game 7 versus the Blackhawks.  I think I can say now that going on the PP in overtime is decidedly a bad thing.  It’s basically the hockey equivalent of the two minute drill- score and you win, don’t score and you will lose.

I’m really enjoying this one, even more so than last year.  Despite the bad headline of this piece, Ken Campbell says what Doug and I said this week – this team could really do it. They are built as well now as they have ever been in their history.

post DOH 147 – Deja Vu After Game 2

May 3rd, 2011, 4:59 pm

Filed under: podcast — Written by Mike

The Dudes couldn’t me more thrilled that the Sharks take a 2-0 lead in the Wings series, same as last year.  Mike and Doug discuss what has led the Sharks to be so successful so far, the Snowgate controversy, and what changes Detroit will make for game 3, and if the Sharks should counter them.

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