January 14th, 2010, 12:19 am
After some disappointing games against key opponents, the Sharks rebound again with strong wins on the road against Los Angeles and Phoenix. But the Dudes still have to break down the loss against the Red Wings. After addressing some listener emails, Mike and Doug do a little roleplay with Doug playing Doug Wilson, and Mike playing other GMs around the league entertaining some trade offers.
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January 12th, 2010, 2:32 pm
NEW PODCAST THIS WEEK ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT.
After winning a close one last night in LA and semi-redeeming themselves for laying two eggs on home ice last week, the Sharks might have some fans feeling pretty good. So then why do I fully expect the Coyotes to dump us like Conan O’Brien at an 11:30pm timeslot?
Jay Leno is the Steve Ott of Late Night.
Because this is the Sharks pattern. Up then down. Up then down. Winning two tough back to back games on the road would be a major statement to each other, as teammates, that they are ready for adversity and capable of beating two teams who have given them fits all year long. Last night the Sharks got solid PK work, a hard luck but hard fought performance from their second line, great goaltending from Nabby and two goals from two superstars in Boyle and Heatley. A solid effort against a good team.
Now do it again.
The Coyotes are going to play hard and are extremely well coached by Dave Tippett, but aren’t we one of the best teams in hockey? Don’t we have a Jack Adams nominee for a coach? Then go out there and kick this mediocre team in the Vrbata.
Mike and I have recently questioned Brad Staubitz’s presence on the Sharks roster, and of course he responds with his best game of the season last night, almost tipping in Boyle’s goal in the 1st period – but let’s not get carried away here. McLellan was so impressed that he didn’t play Staubitz for one single second in the third period, while Scott Nichol got seven shifts. There’s a ton of differences between Staubby and Nichol in my book – Nichol is one of the top faceoff men in the entire NHL and one of our best PK’ers. Staubitz is one of the best at taking a penalty. Here’s the thing – if Staubitz didn’t beat the tar out of the hated Tootoo last year, would you even know his name from Dennis McCauley?(BTW, McCauley is an enforcer for the Worcester Sharks…)
Doug Wilson and his staff met last week in Worcester to discuss the organization and was profiled last night at the first intermission. I thought his comments were pretty standard, but his admiration for Couture and his development was evident. He called him “one of the best players in the AHL”. Would it be far fetched to think that Couture could make this same contribution for San Jose in the playoffs, or at the very least, in 2010-11? This could be the most important player to watch come trade deadline, because his presence and success gives the Sharks the option to trade some forward depth to get help on the blueline.
January 11th, 2010, 9:15 am
That would be the Kings and ‘Yotes, who the Sharks face tonight and tomorrow. This season, the Sharks are 3-3-2 against L.A. and Phoenix, with all three wins coming in OT or the shootout. Just to recap, in 8 games against the top two divisional rivals, those rivals have gotten at least one point in every game. I thought I was being all smart when I found that, then it turns out it was printed in the Merc this morning. And I said “more teams”, because we faced yet another team with our number this past Saturday, the Detroit Red Wings. Sharks lost 2-1 in the shootout at the Joe on November 5, and the dispiriting 4-1 beatdown on Saturday night. If you listened to the podcast last week, you’d know that I predicted the Sharks would face one of those three teams in the first round (with Doug sure it would be the hated Detroit), and now we know the combined record against those three teams is 3-5-2. Not good.
So what are the Sharks to do? First of all, forget about all this number crap, and go out and win some games. These teams are all below us in the standings, and while dwelling on season records is fun (or depressing) for mere bloggers like me, it’s not going to help Setoguchi put pucks in the net. And Lord knows he needs to start doing that. Pavelski and Seto have 0 points combined this calendar year, and if reading the tea leaves helps, Malhotra is going to be on the shelf for a while. Couple that with the salary cap problems translating into Jamie McGinn flying to Boston and back twice a week, and we’ve got ourselves a bit of a scoring problem.
Second of all, we need to pick on these teams’ worst players. Right now, that’s Ivanans, Brandon Segal, and Scott Parse for the Kings, and Paul Bissonette, Lauri Korpikoski, and Peter Mueller for the Coyotes. Of course, if the Sharks insist of throwing out Shelley, Staubitz, and McCarthy, we are as suseptible to that tactic as anyone, but since the big bully is down in the dumps right now, it’s time to pick on the weaker kids.
If we look at the glass as half full right now, which is tough to do, we can say the Sharks have plenty of time to turn this boat around, and get those matchup records going our way between now and April. This week will be a big part of that.
January 6th, 2010, 8:16 am
In a stunning reversal, the United States wins the World Junior Hockey Championship, beating Canada. In other news, the Sharks went on an eight-game winning streak, which then came to a screeching halt against the Kings. The Dudes break it all down, talk about the yo-yo action of Jason Demers to the minors, and wrap up the show giving three predictions for the second half of the season.
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January 2nd, 2010, 12:08 pm
Well, I guess we know what John Davidson’s New Year’s resolution was.
Poor Andy Murray. Wasn’t this guy just praised for leading this team to a playoff run and rewarded with a Jack Adams nomination six months ago? What a difference a year makes…and the worst home record in the NHL. My advice to John Davidson? Avoid more panic moves like this one, big guy. Wait for someone to make an even bigger panic move, say, Bob Murray trying to save his skin by canning Randy Carlyle sometime in the next two months (my bold New Years Prediction) and hire that guy to give this team a personality in the off season.
How about a few more bold predictions in 2010 before the Sharks tangle with the Oilers tonight.
Prediction #2 (since Carlyle was #1): The Dallas Stars will be shaken up at the deadline, not stirred. The new GM has been suspiciously quiet, and I think he won’t be able to help himself by dealing Turco, Lehtinen, Brunnstrom, and even the legend himself, Mike Modano. Why not deal him to a team that has a real Cup shot and give him a final shot at glory? He’d look pretty good in a J.R. role on the Blackhawks, just saying.
Prediction #3: Dean Lombardi is going to add another veteran player down the stretch to make the Kings even more dangerous and Frolov will be his bait. I’m thinking something like getting Jeff Carter from the Flyers for Frolov and a 2010 2nd round pick. This gives the Flyers some salary cap flexibility while not killing their playoff hopes, and the Kings just get better with Carter.
Prediction #4: The Coyotes will fall harder than Tara Reid at Carlos and Charlie’s. I’m thinking they disappear from the playoff picture all together. They’ve played their hockey cards and the verdict is boredom.
Prediction #5: The Sharks, after much deliberation, will not pull a deadline deal for the first time in four years. Even though I still think we need another D, the Sharks and Doug Wilson will be the Gambler the other way and will take their chances and hold onto their 1st round pick.
Someone beats the ever loving snot out of Jacques tonight at the Tank. I’m thinking it might be Ryane Clowe who does the honors. Let’s start 2010 with a big win.