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

post DOH 234 – SWEEP

May 9th, 2013, 5:04 pm

Filed under: podcast — Written by Mike

Incredibly, the Sharks sweep the Canucks in the first round, with Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, and Logan Couture leading the charge.  Mike and Doug try to determine whether it was the Sharks winning the series or the Vancouver losing it, then move on to other 1st round matchups, and who the Sharks might face in the second round (rhymes with snackhawks).

post DOH 233 – Canucks In the First Round

April 29th, 2013, 9:01 pm

Filed under: podcast — Written by Mike

The Sharks (cunningly) lose their last two games and draw the Vancouver Canucks in the first round.  The Dudes give their first round playoff predictions, and talk about other NHL moves that have already happened, since some teams are in the offseason already.

You can make your predictions here:  http://playoffschallenge.nhl.com/playoff_challenge .  Find the “DOH” league and use the password ‘burns’.

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 152- The Hockey Gods Hate Us

May 25th, 2011, 7:17 pm

Filed under: podcast — Written by Mike

Another year, another disappointing loss.  The Sharks drop game 5 to Vancouver on some crazy plays, and the Dudes try to suss out if it was a Sharks choke job or a Vancouver domination.  And while there’s plenty of time yet, Mike and Doug try to call what philosophy the Sharks should contemplate.

post DOH 151 – Two Minutes For Talking

May 18th, 2011, 9:57 pm

Filed under: podcast — Written by Mike

After a beatdown in game 2 versus Vancouver, the Dudes have few answers.  At least there’s a lot of room for improvement by the Sharks.

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 DOH 132 – Hello, It’s Garth Snow…

January 25th, 2011, 11:09 pm

Filed under: podcast — Written by Mike

The Dudes are thrilled about the wins over Vancouver and Minnesota, and hope the good streak continues.  Also, the Nabokov saga is interesting fodder for the podcast, as well as your emails…

post Round Dos – Here We Go

April 29th, 2010, 11:01 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Doug

Game 1 at the Tank tonight. The city of San Jose doesn’t take kindly to people arriving late to an early 6pm start, so I hope the Red Wings plan it better than their Tuesday night arrival. Here’s the Dudes thoughts on the four conference semis. Chime in with your predictions as well.

Montreal (8) vs. Pittsburgh (4)
Doug: The buck has to stop somewhere and it would be mission impossible for the Canadiens to knock off both the Eastern Conference titans, right? Pittsburgh has the experience, talent and heart to overcome a little Jacques Martin mojo. Penguins in five.

Mike: Pittsburgh got a huge gift in the 6-8 seeds winning, and them not going to the Stanley Cup Finals for the third straight year would be a choke job on their part.  Pens in six, and it only goes that long because Josh Gorges PWNS.

Philadelphia (7) vs. Boston (6)
Doug: This series might have more grinding than a weekend with Wilt Chamberlin. It has the potential to be the most entertaining, if you like old school, blood and teeth cocktail hockey. I’ll be watching and as usual, Chris Pronger will still be standing at the end. Flyers in seven.

Mike: Marc Savard is back, and this emotional high will last until he skates through the middle with his head down (or up) and Pronger sticks him in the nuts.  Then cross-checks him in the head.  Then stomps on him.  Flyers in six.

Vancouver (3) vs. Chicago (2)
Doug: The dislike between these two teams is delicious. The Hawks were criticized in Round 1 for not playing with much heart, but they showed me a lot at the end of Game 5 when they refused to go down. I would love to pick Vancouver, but when have they ever made the Conf. Finals? Not since their Stanley Cup run in 1994 behind Bure and Linden. Hawks in six.

Mike: It’s disappointing to see Doug abandon his prescient observation that Chicago’s goaltending is a ticking time bomb.  I now take the reins of that bandwagon.  Canucks in seven.  Steve Bernier has 27 points in the series.

San Jose (1) vs. Detroit (5)
Doug: The path to glory has been determined and the Sharks are going to have to earn it. If ever there was a year for our boys to oust the mighty Wings, this is their best chance. We have the talent, depth and a goalie who knows he could be looking for a new team if he doesn’t make this happen. Daniel-san kicks Mr. Miyagi in the nuts. Sharks in six.

Mike: Past DOH guests Craig Custance (DOH 94) and Mark Purdy (DOH 88 and 51) have written about this series already.  It appears that both have picked the Wings to win, so now I’m questioning my decision to link to the them.  No matter.  As Custance said, this could change the reputation of the entire franchise.  This is the best team the Sharks have ever had in the playoffs, and you can’t say that for the Wings.  Sharks in seven.

post The Eagle Has Landed, the Storm Has Lifted, etc.

March 26th, 2010, 10:05 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike

Not to say the Sharks couldn’t immediately fall into another slump starting Saturday in Vancouver, but the play over the last two games has shown to me real promise.  Less east-west drop passes and stickhandling, more north-south drives to the net and grit in the corners.  And although the win last night against Dallas was far from perfect, it’s the general approach to the game that seems the most encouraging.  Less fuss, more effort.  Clowe with a move on Robidas that looked like the dressing-down he gave Ehrhoff a week ago.  Seto going a thousand miles per hour and hitting everything possible.  Nabby challenging shooters.  Steve Ott playing like a cheap-ass.  Nice to see the world is back on its axis.

Certainly the biggest downside of last night’s game was Rob Blake’s early exit.  Sure, we’ve been on him quite a bit lately, but his play the last two games was on par with the best he’s had as a Shark.  Although I still would like to seem him get a couple of fewer minutes, especially since Vlasic is back, it’s hard to argue with his success the last two games.  The question is, can he keep it up?  If he’s a little banged up and needs to sit out a couple of games, that could be a blessing in disguise.  We can certainly use him battling in front of the net and getting the point shots on net like he’s been doing recently.  What we don’t need is him fatigued and looking a bit like the proverbial pylon.

Also nice to see the ice-time has settled out a little, defense-wise.  I was just looking at the Vancouver box score from last week, and Huskins had over 22 minutes of ice time to Wallin’s 14.  Very strange.  But last night, Wallin had 15:08, Huskins 14:18.  That’s more like it.  Although Boyle had almost 30 minutes, with a whopping 7:40 on the PP.  That’s three minutes more than anyone else.

Speaking of Wallin, thanks to Jeremy for creating this YouTube gem.  Make sure to comment and rate.  I’ve watched this at least 5 times already, and laughed out loud every time.  Well done, sir.  It’s no doubt the best video on YouTube that combines Wallin, techno, and food.  YouTube Preview Image

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