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

post DOH 229 – Trade-Tastic

April 3rd, 2013, 2:30 pm

Filed under: podcast — Written by Mike

The Sharks have made several trades since the last podcast, trading Ryane Clowe away, and getting Scott Hannan and Raffi Torres in three different deals.  The Dudes break it all down on this very eventful trade deadline day.

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 Stats, Glorious Stats

March 31st, 2011, 10:13 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike

It’s been a while since I wrote a stats-related post, and I figured I’d write one to piggyback on an interesting post on the Behind the Net blog (not to be confused with Behind the Net, the numbers site).  A while back I did a purge on the RSS feeds I read, and for some stupid reason, this blog was amongst the casualties.  I really must have been in a slash-and-burn mood that day, because it’s really one of the best hockey blogs out there if you are statistically inclined. What I want to do today is highlight some of the stats talked about in the linked post, and who on the Sharks are the best at those categories.

First of all, some real quick and dirty explanations of some of the stats referenced there.  I would recommend reading more about them, but not everyone can spend hours reading about advanced hockey metrics.  And as Doug would say, why would you want to?

  • GVT – Goals Versus Threshold.  A complicated stat that tries to create one number for the value of a player, measured in goals in a season versus the value of a replacement-level player.  Similar to VORP in baseball.
  • Rating – a BTN stat that is the difference between your team’s +/- per 60 minutes when you are on the ice versus when you are off the ice.  Unlike the regular +/- stat, it helps level the playing field for those on bad teams.
  • QualComp – quality of competition.   The weighted average of the Rating of the players you face on the ice.
  • Corsi – a +/- stat that counts shots instead of goals.  Actually, it counts all pucks directed towards the net, including missed and blocked shots.  Unfortunately, it’s similar to the +/- stat in that players on good teams generally have better ones.  Of the 28 players that have played a game for the Sharks this season, only 10 have negative Corsi, and most (Moore, Mashinter, Desjardins, McLaren, Wingells) aren’t regulars.
  • Corsi Rel – The difference in your Corsi when you’re on the ice versus off.
  • Corsi Rel QoC – Quality of Competition calculated not by +/- per 60, but Corsi Rel.
  • Zone Starts – the percentage of shift-starting faceoffs being in the offensive zone.

If you’re still reading, pat yourself on the back, because that’s a load of math.  Let’s highlight the different Sharks players leading the categories in the stats that the LOES highlighted, in the order that I think is most important. The following is all 5v5 stats, and I’m not including anyone that’s played fewer than 10 games.

Corsi Rel – Kyle Wellwood – 14.6

It’s surprising, and doubtless related to a red-hot Joe Pavelski and clicking third line since he arrived.  Still, Wellwood leads the team in a stat I believe is miles better than +/-.  One downside to Corsi Rel is that time-on-ice isn’t factored in, and it should be noted Wellwood has averaged only 13.07 minutes of even-strength ice time per game, good enough for 15th on the Sharks.  For this reason, it’s worth mentioning the second place player, Ryane Clowe (14.1), who’s averaging more than two minutes more 5v5 ice time, and who I might argue is the team’s MVP.  Top Corsi Rel among defensemen? Jason Demers (8.6).

QualComp – Patrick Marleau – 0.101

Marleau is way out in front on this stat, with the second place Joe Thornton at 0.087.  Despite the fact that Marleau tends to play the wing more now, traditionally not as defensively important as center, he’s  the go-to guy when the other team’s top line is on the ice.  Top defenseman – Dan Boyle (0.062).

Corsi Rel QoC – Patrick Marleau – 0.885

I’m not sure why the LOES like Corsi so much yet mention QualComp instead CorsiRel QoC.  If Corsi is better than +/-, then Corsi Rel QoC is better than QualComp.  Maybe that’s what they meant.  Anyway, unsurprisingly, Mareau leads again, but there’s a bit of shifting under him.  Jumbo drops to 5th on the team, and Joe Pavelski (0.747) moves up to 2nd.  Boyle moves up to 3rd.

Zone Starts – Scott Nichol – 39.4

This means when Nichol took a faceoff to start a shift, 60% of the time it was in the defensive zone.  That’s a lot of trust from the coaching staff, and certainly related to the fact that Nichol is the best faceoff guy on the team. Like the last stat, it’s a way of measuring how sheltered a guy is.  It’s been calculated that you give up about 0.25 shots every time you take a faceoff in the defensive zone, so this is why Nichol’s Corsi isn’t so good.  With that in mind, it’s unsurprising that Marc-Edouard Vlasic (46.8) has the lowest zone start percentage among defensemen.

Time on Ice – Dan Boyle – 19.13

No doubt Boyle is the workhorse, and even strength is no exception.  He also plays the most PP and ES time.  Contrast this to the Ducks (for instance), with Vish leading the category, but if you look for #2, you see that Toni Lydman and Cam Fowler play about the same amount.  However, Fowler plays almost no PK, and three and a half minutes per game on the PP.  Lydman is the opposite, almost no PP time, but is way out in front of PK time. Certainly important when trying to evaluate a player.

I didn’t include GVT here because there isn’t a day-by-day calculation of GVT that I know of, and to be honest, GVT makes a lot of assumptions about the weights of various measures that I don’t necessarily agree with.  I won’t go so far as to say the attempt to create one stat that measures everything is a fool’s errand, but I feel like I get a better picture of a player when I look at several stats, and not just one.

Just a note for tonight- Jamie Benn and Alex Gologoski lead the Stars in Corsi Rel, so watch out for those guys.

post Well, That Was Surprising, Part 2

December 8th, 2010, 8:13 pm

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike

Sharks well on their way to another disappointing loss, and they wake up again.  I think I need a mood stabilizer.  I shut off the TV a couple of times in anger during the game, then the Sharks roar back, get a couple of decent calls, have the clock expire literally hundredths of a second before the puck goes in, and then show up Bobrovsky in overtime.  Two fantastic moves by Clowe and Couture, both going to their “bread and butter”- deke to the backhand.  Clowe goes for the roof, Couture the five hole.

Again I’m impressed by the Sharks mettle.  And again I’m disappointed they have to get their butts kicked for a while before they figure out what to do.  On a road trip, against a Stanley Cup finalist, I’ll give them a little more latitude.  But I still feel the same way about tomorrow as I did about tonight- the Sharks could get murdered, we just have to wait and see.

Don’t forget to listen to the podcast.

post Captain Jumbo

October 7th, 2010, 10:03 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike

They waited until the very last minute as expected.  Joe Thornton is the new captain of the Sharks.  It’s a bit of a surprise, though not to everyone.   After talking with Randy, I’m certainly not as surprised as I would have been if it was announced a month ago.  If one guy ‘stirs the drink’ as Randy put it, it makes sense.  The other contender, Dan Boyle, gets the “permanent ‘A’”, with the other ‘A’ rotating.  Maybe the most surprising thing about the announcement is the news that Clowe will share the ‘A’.  No mention of Pavelski.

Of course this is going to be covered and debated in Sharks Nation with zeal, and we’ve had our fair share of captaincy discussions over the past couple of years.  The more I think about it, the less I think I know about it.  This quote from McLellan is a bit of a clue:

The verbal leadership gets way overrated. We don’t  need cheerleaders on our team by any means. We need people  who speak their mind and then back it up on the ice.

Let’s face it, it’s not about us.  It’s not about how good or bad a guy is at a press conference after a game.  It’s not about whether we think a guy is too sunny, or too laid-back, or too intense.  The captain is the PR face of the franchise, and for that reason, we think we should have a say, and what we see is all there is.  Sure, it’d be nice if those two things agreed, and many times they do.  But the real measure is wins, losses, and Cups.  Warm fuzzies in the fan base aren’t counted.  Would you really want it any other way?

post Clowe Seeks Redemption

March 20th, 2010, 12:21 pm

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike
How much do you make?  Less than a million?  Let's fight!

How much do you make? Less than a million? Let's fight!

A few days ago, Ryane Clowe had a rather unfortunate quote in a Pollak blog post.  That quote?

I told him I wasn’t going to fight him, that I’d fight Barch.  I probably should have fought him (Morrow), but I have a hard time fighting guys who are the top players on other teams. I don’t know.”

Really the only way to take this is, “I get my ass kicked in fights against great players, so I’ll try and save myself some embarrassment and fight Kris Barch instead.”  Although Krys Barch, in both of his fights against Clowe and Jay Leach had a perfectly placed grab hand (right in front of the opponent’s right shoulder), effectively taking the right hand away from both guys.  And as I mentioned on the podcast this week, neither elected to go to the left, like Brad Staubitz does.  Say what you will about Staubitz, but he’s the best pound-for-pound fighter on the team, and it’s not even close.  That being said, it certainly doesn’t make up for his consistency in taking idiotic penalties.

Unfortunately as a result, Clowe looks like a wuss, passing up an opportunity to put the Stars’ best player in the box for 5 minutes.  Not a whole lot of hay was made about this quote, though I did see a couple of comments in the thread, and Doug was pretty incensed about it.  I didn’t really give it much thought, until last night when I was trying to ignore the Sharks getting worked by Calgary.

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I’m not sure if someone talked to Clowe about his aversion to fighting top players, but he made a statement, maybe one of the only high points in the Sharks’ collective game all night.  It was an active and entertaining scrap, with Clowe fighting one of the biggest stars in the game-  probably the best-fighting big star in the game to boot.  My little theory is Clowe was trying to redeem himself for running away from Morrow.  These two things have to be a little related, right?

I can’t endorse the sentiment Clowe expressed above, but I admire his balls for taking on Iginla.  You can handle yourself against top players just fine, big guy.  Don’t back away anymore.

post Get Kaberle and “Respect the Window”?

February 19th, 2010, 11:50 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Doug
When the NHL clock thaws, will Doug Wilson have a Spring surprise for us?

When the NHL clock thaws, will Doug Wilson have a Spring surprise for us?

As we wait with baited breath during this roster freeze, Sharks fans are on pins and needles over whether or not Doug Wilson has another big splash up his sleeve come March 3rd. There’s been much debate on the podcast and the blog over whether the Sharks window of opportunity in the Western Conference is currently cracked open, but could be shutting. With a new powerhouse in town in Chicago and a budding threat in Los Angeles, is it possible Doug Wilson should pull out all the stops and pay whatever price is necessary to get Dan Boyle a suitable sidekick for the playoffs?

Is it time to pony up and get Tomas Kaberle?

The price has been fairly public. A top six forward, a prospect and a 1st rounder. The Sharks can meet this price with an offer of Ryane Clowe, Jamie McGinn and Mike Moore (instead of the 1st rounder). Is that a high price to pay for one player? Hellz yes – but should they pay it? That’s the question.

Kaberle gives the Sharks a 2nd top notch puck moving blueliner that activates the attack and makes the Teal powerplay just crazy dangerous. Like Tara Reid dangerous. The good news is, Kaberle isn’t a rental – he would be a Shark for another season at a reasonable 4.25M for a player with his kind of output, currently with 46 points on a fairly dreadful Leafs team. In the process, the Sharks dump Clowe’s overpriced deal, give up a guy who you hate to part with in McGinn, and an AHL d-man whose NHL future is an unknown.

With the uncertain status of Marleau and Nabby and the virtual certainty that this is this current rosters last hurrah at lifting the Cup – I have made up my mind. We need to Respect the Window. Make the final bold move and pay the high price. Give the Leafs a top six forward, a very strong prospect in McGinn and go get Tomas Kaberle and try and win it all this year. Couldn’t Couture (if healthy) fill in for Clowe on the 2nd line and provide the same production? I say absolutely. The Sharks have never been shy about plugging in their best young talent for a playoff run – and letting the talented and maturing Couture loose on the 2nd line with Seto and Pavs could be energetic and dynamic. And I understand getting Kaberle and adding that salary would mean a 2nd side deal of shipping Kent Huskins to another playoff team looking for depth on the blueline, but I would have to think someone would be interested – perhaps Buffalo, Boston or New Jersey would part with a draft pick.

Is it possible by standing pat, the Sharks risk another 2nd round disappointment and then being lapped by younger teams like LA next season? It’s all a gamble. He’ll be criticized if he makes the move and criticized if he doesn’t – but I don’t want to wait anymore. When July rolls around and the Sharks have lost again in the early rounds and Nabby has signed with Philly and the Sharks are debating whether to keep Marleau, trade Jumbo Joe or trade Seto or Pavs because you can’t afford to keep them both – it will be too late. Let’s give this roster the best chance to win a Cup and use our forward depth to get it done.

What do you say? Respect the Window or Stay the Course?

Here’s another take on the possibility of Kaberle with a slightly different offer at Fear the Fin.

post Breaking Up The Band

January 22nd, 2010, 10:51 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Doug
Me no like Blake. Me want Boyle or Demers.

Me no like Blake. Me want Boyle or Demers.

Just a quick hit from last night’s game. The Sharks responded as we all hoped they would and have now made it five in a row over the Ducks. You think that’s not intentional? I can only imagine it is an unwritten team goal to sweep the season series with the Ducks this year and they are one more win away from just that. It makes me tingle inside with giddiness.

What did everyone think of the new D pairing last night? It certainly brought out the best in Vlasic and Blake, so has the coaching staff stumbled onto something here in Boyle’s absence? I thought Vlasic played his most aggressive game of the season, tying his career high of five shots and burying a goal from the point. Rob Blake got into the action and scored as well, activating from the point and batting in a Joe Thornton laser. So, is it coincidence that Blake and Vlasic played more effectively without each other, or are they just a mismatched couple to begin with? On paper, Blake and Murray seems like an immobile disaster, but they played pretty effectively together. They were out there for the Ducks goal, but Blake and Murray were out there in some form for every goal last night. Demers and Vlasic were fun to watch, pushed the tempo and it seemed to free up Vlasic’s game – which was also odd. But, whatever works baby.

So, is it time to break up the band? When Boyle returns, slide him next to Pickles, or if they decide to scratch Leach, play Boyle with Huskins. Could this solve the Sharks inconsistent returns on the blueline this year?

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT, HERE’ S CLOWE BEATING THE TAR OUT OF RON JEREMY.

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post Dammit, Tall Guy

January 15th, 2010, 7:58 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike

The story of last night was three guys, two of which you probably expected- Joe Thornton and Tim Thomas.  The third?  Daniel Paille.   This guy, who was drafted in the first round in 2002, was being ground into obscurity in Buffalo before being traded to Boston this year for a third and a fourth round draft pick.  Paille, who played not a single second on the power play (that would be zero point zero) managed seven shots and a goal, and from my vantage point, seemed to be either creating chances or in on them all night.  And although this article sings his praises in Boston, it’s about his prowess as a penalty killer, not as a offensive juggernaut, which he seemed to be last night.  I certainly noticed him much more than Marco Sturm, who played four more minutes and (allegedly) registered six shots.

Tim Thomas, being the unconventional, floppy goaltender he is, came up big several times, to keep the Sharks almost off the board, the only goal coming from a flukey loopy duck of a shot that fluttered over his head before big Joe put it in.  He did manage to crack the tough nut (I’m being sarcastic here) of Ryane Clowe in the shootout, not biting or freezing at all on Clowe’s forward fake, easily gloving Clowe’s predictable backhand roof shot.  Really Clowe.  It’s a great move.  Great.  But you need more than one, if only to give the appearance you’re not going to use it every single time.

So the title refers to Chara scoring in the shootout on a slap shot, a move about a predictable as Clowe’s.  As soon as I saw the lumbering Slovak throw his gigantic feet over the boards, I though to myself, “slap shot between the circles” and I was right.  Not that it takes a genius to figure that one out, he’s got fewer moves than the new guy on The Pickup Artist.  But the 87-inch stick (or whatever the hell it is, I’m sure it’s taller than Scott Nichol) flexed almost in half when he beat Nabby on the stick side.

The second line continues to struggle, with Seto gripping the stick so hard it’s leaving impressions.  There’s no fun in his game right now, it’s a grit-your-teeth, I-need-a-point-so-bad-I-peed situation.  I have no idea how you relax when you’re in a brutal slump in a contract year, but he has to find a way.  Yoga.  Trancendental meditation.  Mescaline.  Whatever.

With goaltenders in the game playing that well, it almost doesn’t matter who’s out (Marc Savard, Patrice Bergeron) or how much you dominate in the faceoff circle (42-24, jeezus).  While it’s certainly disappointing, with Thomas and the new one-man wrecking crew Paille on their respective games, I actually feel fortunate the Sharks got a point.  But Clowe still needs a new move.

post What We Need Right Now is D, D, D

December 7th, 2009, 10:42 pm

Filed under: blog — Written by Doug

Thanks to everyone who was able to tune in to the radio show last night. We hope to have a replay available for download on the website. The show was a blast, especially our interview with former Sharks player Mark Smith – who was amazingly candid and really entertaining. Great stuff.

One hot topic that we heard from some callers on the radio show has been in line with my final rallying cry to Sharks management. Doug Wilson has to be looking for an upgrade on the blueline. Now, I’m not talking about someone to come in and play a Kent Huskins type #5 role – I’m looking for a guy who can log big minutes, do the dirty works like block shots, kill penalties, dish out big hits – and also not be a total stiff offensively. It’s clear the Sharks 0-2-1 record against the Flames and Hawks is reason for concern, and the main difference between the Sharks and the other two teams are their top four d-men are flat out better than ours. I think Doug Wilson did an outstanding job in the offseason of making a Naughty and Nice list and managed to get rid of the three players currently under contract who were at the top of the Naughty list in Ehrhoff, Michalek and Cheechoo. So, who is next on the Naughty list? I think it has to be Vlasic.

Dan Boyle and Douglas Murray are untouchable. The team has made a commitment to Rob Blake by making him the Captain for this season, and I also suspect for next season – I’m 99.9% sure that there is a handshake, wink/wink, nudge/nudge, say no more agreement between Blake and DW that he is coming back for 2010-11. That leaves Vlasic in a put up or shut up situation, and I think he might be beginning to go silent…So, Doug Wilson should parlay his depth at the forward position and find a guy who can jump in and take this team over the top. Guys like Phaneuf, Shea Weber and Chara are not worth discussing – so I’m going to kick off a new weekly series where I’m going to bring a top four blueliner to your attention and why I think he’d be a good fit for the Sharks and what I think it would cost Doug Wilson to acquire him.

This weeks target:

St. Louis Blues/Barett Jackman

St. Louis Blues/Barret Jackman

Jackman is a stud and doesn’t get a ton of press because he’s been playing for a bad team that finally broke through and made the playoffs last year. In case you’re not familiar with Jackman, let me introduce you. He is the guy who stands in the net and blocks an empty net slap shot attempt like a human brick wall.

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That is a guy willing to do anything to win a game. I doubt Nabby would have to ask him twice to block a shot. Jackman’s resume is impressive, he won the Calder Trophy in 2004 with 19 points and 190 PIM’s, beating that hack Henrik Zetterberg – not bad. After battling early career injury problems, he has responded by playing three full seasons back to back, averaging around 22 points and 86 PIM’s. He represented Canada at the World Juniors twice and was a member of the 2007 IIHF Canadian World Championship team in Russia, playing in all nine games.

This St. Louis blogger believes Jackman can be had, and possibly not for much of a return because of his 3.6M cap hit until 2012. If I were Doug Wilson, I would offer Vlasic straight up and if St. Louis didn’t like that offer, I would keep Vlasic and offer power forward Ryane Clowe. It would kill me to lose Clowe, but I’m not sure it would kill the Sharks. Moving Clowe allows a permanent top six forward slot for either Malhotra or McGinn, and they can certainly get the j-o-b done.

What do you say? Take one more look and tell me you wouldn’t love to see this guy in Teal.

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MY OFFICIAL PROPOSAL: I think St. Louis might be looking for a change and the potential to get younger.

To St. Louis: Marc-Edouard Vlasic (signed until 2013@3.1M)
To San Jose: Barret Jackman (signed until 2012 @ 3.6M)

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