Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
Nine months later Roenick is thankful that he went to see his former Blackhawks teammate (Doug) Wilson and grateful to Wilson for giving me “a chance to hold my head high again.”
Roenick said he was “blown away” by the respect that Wilson showed him that day.
“He told me that he didn’t want me to retire the way that it was going,” Roenick said, still touched by that meeting. “That meant the world to me because respect is huge to me.”
From Pierre LeBrun at CP,
Along with the NHL-leading Detroit Red Wings, we argue the three Pacific Division contenders make up the best four teams in the NHL. And one will almost surely be out in the first round. Hence the urgency of the six total games involving the Sharks, Ducks and Stars.
“Those games against Dallas and San Jose are critical,” said Carlyle.
If you think you’ve seen this movie before, it’s because you have. The same three clubs also came down to the wire last season and finished three points apart, the Ducks winning the division with 110 points followed by San Jose (107) and Dallas (107).
Update 4:58pm ET: Link fixed, changed to the original CP report via Google. Sorry ‘bout the botched one earlier.
From the AP via the Santa Barbara News-Press,
After the longest winning streak in franchise history, Roenick’s only remaining question is whether the Sharks can ride this wave all the way into June.
San Jose’s club-record 11-game roll ended Sunday night, but the 2-1 shootout loss to Edmonton still produced the Sharks’ 23rd point in 12 games. Led by a rejuvenated captain, a new defenseman and a tireless goalie, San Jose has replied to the doubters who saw the preseason Stanley Cup favorites’ first 60 games as a disappointment - particularly the five before their winning run.
‘‘We had that five-game losing streak, and when you’re in a playoff race and you get scared of actually missing the playoffs, it gets your attention,’’ said Roenick, recalling a miserable trip from New Jersey to Philadelphia right before the streak began.
from Gary Peterson of the Contra Costa Times via Inside Bay Area,
We have seen over the past three weeks that Marleau still has jump in those 29-year-old legs, and that the Sharks are better off when he’s on top of his game. But there are bigger questions afoot that cannot be answered until the regular season ends, and the mission shifts from playoff positioning to legend making and legacy building.
Question No. 1: Speaking of interpretive data: Does Marleau rise to the level of competition, or does he shrink from it? In 2004, he scored seven goals as the Sharks defeated St. Louis and Colorado in the first two rounds of the playoffs. He was held to one goal and was a minus-5 in the conference final loss to Calgary.
In 2006, he scalded Nashville for seven goals as the Sharks won in five games. He scored two goals as they were eliminated by Edmonton.
from Jamie Baker at Seagate Broadcaster Blog (before the suspension came down),
I haven’t seen the video of Chris Prongor who allegedly stomped on Ryan Kesler. I do know this however; Prongor is sending a message to everyone that he means business. I know fans love to hate him, but the reality is he tries to hurt players. Teams have a few options for this type of intimidating tactic. One, complain to the league and say Prongor does not inhibit sportsmanship. Two, go after Prongor. Three, go after someone else on the Ducks, say Getzlaf or Kunitz or Scott Niedermeyer.
from Ross McKeon at Yahoo Sports,
“This season is going to get played out,” said Campbell, who appeared in his 400th game Friday. “It’s nothing against nobody; I just need to be in the best frame of mind to play my best hockey, and by leaving that on the back burner is the best for me.
“It bothered me a lot in Buffalo – it just got to me so much that it affected my play,” he added. “There’s too much at stake, too much on the line, and it’s not fair to me or the guys in the locker room probably. I haven’t heard anything anyway.”
He hasn’t heard anything from the Sharks, but in this case actions speak louder than words. San Jose has had success keeping talent from wandering off.
via Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,
The Jackets’ desire for a No. 1 center is well-known, but the free-agent market is short on top-flight centers, so they might need to explore the trade route. Could the Jackets and Sharks be a match? Maybe. The Adam Foote deal gave the Jackets another first-round draft pick (assuming the Avs make the playoffs), so it’s possible they could package one pick with a good player or two and come out with someone to play next to Rick Nash.
Marleau, 28, has struggled this season, with 14 goals and 22 assists and a minus-16 rating, but his track record is impressive. He had 87 and 78 points the previous two seasons.
Do remember, Marleau has a NTC kick-in this summer, so he will have to approve any trade.
from Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle,
The Sharks are among the best in the West, but not by so much that they don’t have teams they want to avoid come the playoffs. And toward that end, they have some standings manipulations to consider between now and that start of the real regular season in four weeks.
Here’s what they want to do. Finish second. Not first, or third, or anywhere else. Second. And only if they can somehow be confident that Calgary won’t try to finish seventh just to spite them.
San Jose is in an interesting stage of its season - the one in which it wins about 170 percent of its games and looks as good as a team possibly can.
from Pierre LeBrun of the CP via Yahoo,
There isn’t a hotter team in the NHL right now than the San Jose Sharks and they don’t sound like they’re done winning, either….
“I feel like we’re peaking at the right time,” Thornton, named the NHL’s third star Monday after putting up seven points in four games last week, said on a league conference call.
“Really everybody is just playing really good hockey,” he added. “We don’t have have one thing necessarily that’s going incredibly well, we’re just playing every game real solid. Good defensive hockey. We’re getting production from our second, third and fourth lines. And obviously the acquisition of Brian Campbell really helped as well.”
from Working the Corners,
Ron Wilson talked afterward about how his captain must feel as if a weight has been lifted off his shoulder because the trade deadline passed and, despite mutliple rumors to the contrary, Patrick Marleau was still a Shark. Part of Wilson’s remarks were generic on the negative vibe that trade rumors can have on a player. But he also too a specific shot at one writer in particular:
“I’m surprised the one guy who makes the most stuff up isn’t over here. He’s run for cover tonight,” Wilson said. And though he mentioned no one by name, it was a pretty obvious reference to Bruce Garrioch, who was covering the game for the Ottawa Sun and probably in the Senators’ locker room at the time.
more on the Sharks…
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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.
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