Kukla's Korner Hockey
“You know players in the league who dive a lot and embellish a little bit. It’s good to single them out. Maybe they’ll be a little embarrassed.
“We don’t need that in the game. We don’t need it to turn into soccer, where it’s embarrassing and where you get rewarded for it.
“Nobody wants to be known as a diver. I hope it stops, it’s a garbage part of the game and it should be out.”
-John Scott of the San Jose Sharks. More diving reaction and some Edmonton Oilers notes from Robert Tychkowski if the Edmonton Sun.
By Mike Shackil,
The 2013-14 NHL regular season will be remembered fondly as the first full season following the acrimonious lockout the year before. The Los Angeles Kings were able to win the Stanley Cup, winning three seven-game series in the Western Conference portion of the playoffs before beating the New York Rangers in five games.
One of the other greatest moments of the 2013-14 regular season was the introduction of the Stadium Series. Several regular season games last season took place at outdoor venues, an event that historically only took place on January 1st for the Winter Classic. And, thankfully, this year that tradition will return with Los Angeles facing off against the first team they disposed of in last year’s playoffs: the San Jose Sharks.
from Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea,
Logan Couture’s status for the Sharks’ game against Boston on Thursday remains unclear, after the center suffered an apparent head injury against the Flyers on Tuesday night.
Todd McLellan offered a brief update on the center after an optional practice on Wednesday in which Couture did not participate.
“Felt better today,” McLellan said. “There’s still protocol that we need to adhere to. He’ll get through the day. We’ll see how he is in the morning. I can’t even venture to guess which way it will go. We obviously want him in and we know he wants to play, but we have to make sure that he is in a good state and feels good.”
Below, watch how the injury happened...
from David Pollak of the Mercury News,
Their 11-10-4 record puts them on pace to end up with 85 points after reaching 111 last season. If the playoffs began right now, San Jose would be on the outside looking in for the first time since 2003.
The fan base has responded by failing to fill the SAP Center for five of nine home games after a streak of 205 sellouts. Yes, the building has been close to capacity, but when a Saturday night rivalry matchup with the Anaheim Ducks doesn't draw a full house, it's more serious....
So what are the problems?
- Depth, both up front and on the blue line. This isn't a new issue, but the concern is heightened because of the results. In their 10 regulation losses, the Sharks have scored 15 goals -- 13 of them by four guys: Joe Thornton, Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns....
- While the Sharks' top players have carried the bulk of the offense, only Thornton and Pavelski have been consistent. Patrick Marleau and Couture have hit extended dry spells along the way, though both are starting to pick up their scoring of late.
- Despite what players have said publicly, there is evidence that Thornton and Marleau did not take kindly to last summer's comments by Wilson that were seen as hints for them to waive their no-trade clauses and move on just six months after signing three-year contract extensions....
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
The San Jose Sharks lost their fourth straight game Wednesday – this one, a feeble 2-0 defeat at home to the Flames – which meant the heat on San Jose head coach Todd McLellan is only going to increase. And with the franchise falling back in the pack in the Western Conference (their 10-10-4 record has them fifth in the Pacific Division and 10th in the West), McLellan’s six-year tenure behind the Sharks bench could be at an end.
San Jose’s players had already spoken out in support of McLellan prior to Wednesday’s loss, yet in spite of that and Sharks GM Doug Wilson’s well-earned reputation as a man who doesn’t make rash decisions, he may have little choice but to fire his coach and continue the process of remaking this team in a newer, more playoff-productive mold. McLellan is a highly-respected coach whose services likely would be snapped up in short order, but his current team has dropped seven of its past nine games and its most recent five losses haven’t come at the hands of a murderer’s row of opponents (Columbus, Buffalo, Florida, Arizona and the Flames).
"The harder we try right now, it's like the worse it's going."
-Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks after losing 2-0 to the Calgary Flames Wednesday night. More on the Sharks from Curtis Pashelka of the Mercury News.
from Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea,
Despite outshooting Arizona 43-25, including 91 shot attempts to 48, the Sharks lost 4-3 in a shootout to a rival that is now threatening to overtake them in the Pacific Division standings. The Coyotes (9-10-2, 20 points) have played two fewer games than San Jose (10-9-4, 23 points), which still sits in fifth place in the division but is fading fast.
A homestand that was supposed to get the Sharks going in the right direction after some miserable efforts on the road has yet to produce the desired results. San Jose has lost both games, including a shootout to Florida on Thursday, and is just 2-3-2 at SAP Center.
“To have the record at home that we have now is unacceptable,” Joe Pavelski said. “Can’t really make excuses. Come back from a long trip, you’ve got to find a way to win at home, especially if you’re not going to clean up on the road. You’ve got to clean up at home.”
Coach Todd McLellan pointed out that his team has won just six of its last 18 games (6-10-2).
“That’s not a record that puts you in the playoffs, and that’s not a record that allows you to challenge for anything,” he said. “We’re concerned. That’s pretty obvious.”
from David Pollak of the Mercury News,
The Sharks practiced what they've been preaching Saturday, putting veteran forward Adam Burish on waivers in their effort to become a younger team.
Burish, 31, has one goal and two assists in 20 games. More significantly, he is a minus-6 playing an average of 11:08 per game in a limited fourth line role.
"It's where we are as an organization," Coach Todd McLellan said after his team's Saturday morning skate. "We made a commitment to brining some younger players in, and at this point with Adam's position and where he is in the lineup, we are exploring some younger possibilities there."...
"Somebody could use that type of player in the league," the coach said. "He'll get an opportunity to move on and play somewhere else."
a bit more
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
The Stars continued to shake up their defense Friday, sending Brenden Dillon to San Jose for Jason Demers and a third round draft pick, according to an NHL source.
Dallas already traded Sergei Gonchar to Montreal last week and lost Kevin Connauton to Columbus on waivers this week, so this makes the third defenseman to leave in the first two months of the season.
Dallas Stars release is below...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
There are young players that have developed and are ready for bigger roles in the organization. While it’s almost certain they’ll have NHL jobs next fall, they might even have NHL gigs by January if the team’s topsy-turvy play continues.
What’s also in question, I would surmise, is the future of the coaching staff if the team’s play doesn’t improve through this important stretch of home games over the next few weeks.
Todd McLellan is tremendously respected around the league and he wouldn’t be out of a job long if something ever happened. But if the inconsistent play continues -- keeping in mind the losses to bad teams they've already had this season -- it wouldn’t be completely out of the question for Sharks management to consider a coaching change.
I think given the direction of a Sharks team that’s re-building, there are lots of possibilities to ponder if the team’s play doesn’t improve.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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