Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Working the Corners,
Limit teams to only four skaters in their own defensive zone. That does two things — unclogs the scoring areas and legitimizes the cherry-picking scoring threat who never wanted to worry about defense anyway. Opposing coaches would have to decide whether to have someone hang with the cherry-picker or go for the man advantage in the offensive zone. Linesmen would have responsibility for whistling a new penalty — too many men inside the blue line.
Wilson acknowledges that he and his fellow coaches deserve some of the blame for the current drop in scoring since play resumed after the lockout.
from Working the Corners at the Mercury News,
Ron Wilson had the entire team standing near him, but not huddled together as players usually are when he’s providing direction. And as soon as I got within earshot, it was clear he was upset.
He talked about a lack of professional pride. He talked about being mentally prepared. He questioned why his players didn’t apply more pressure on the player with the NHL’s worst plus-minus rating, their former teammate Scott Hannan. And he clearly was unhappy with his team’s attention to detail — an important matter throughout the Sharks’ hierarchy — when it comes to things like short passes and clearing the puck out of the defensive zone.
“I feel when we’re confident and playing our best, there aren’t too many teams that can compete with us,” Thornton said. “That’s the raw deal. But we just haven’t been getting it from everybody right now. But I really do still believe that after 20-something games, we haven’t even hit the sky yet. We’ve got a lot to improve, but we’ll get there this year.”
more on the Sharks in this piece from Scott Burnside of ESPN.
from the Mercury News,
And of course, when you’re talking about a hockey team’s attitude, you tend to look at the captain. That would be Patrick Marleau. He is the ultimate Mr. Climate Control. A coincidence?
Marleau’s biggest asset might also be his biggest weakness. His demeanor seems to stay the same, no matter what goes on around him. He’s never too excited. He’s never too depressed.
But when Marleau is stuck in a scoring slump, as he is right now, his climate-control personality
makes his critics want to smash their thermometers in frustration. They would like to see - heck, so would I - him show a little more fire on crucial shifts.
more (reg. may be req.)
from Media News via Inside Bay Area,
Sharks coach Ron Wilson knows that his name has been kicked around in the hockey media at various points this season as someone who needs to be worried about his job.
He routinely shrugs that off. And Tuesday, he used his team’s strong play in its own zone — second fewest goals allowed, second fewest shots allowed — to help explain why.
“If we were bad defensively, yeah, I’d be, ‘It’s me,’” Wilson said. “The only way you can play defense is if you have a team committed to doing something. If I’ve lost the whole team, why are we playing so well defensively?”
via the San Jose Sharks,
San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the team has signed defenseman Matt Carle to a four-year contract extension. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“When you look at the number of players that have committed to this organization over the last few years – guys like Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton, Jonathan Cheechoo, Evgeni Nabokov, Craig Rivet, Milan Michalek – it’s easy to want to be here,” said Carle. “The front office has proven that they are serious about winning multiple Stanley Cups and that’s something I want to be a part of.”
from the Mercury News,
The NHL’s Board of Governors will gather in Pebble Beach next week to ponder a new schedule format and pass judgment on the sale of the Nashville Predators to an investment group with strong Silicon Valley ties.
But don’t be surprised if conversations on the golf courses or in wood-paneled bars turn to trade talk.
“A lot of the G.M.s come out here, too,” Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson said Monday. “Everybody seems to have the opportunity after 20 games to talk and revisit where they’re at.”...
The NHL rumor mill continues to link San Jose with other teams in potential trades. This week, there was a report in Ottawa that had Calgary General Manager Darryl Sutter trying to pry center Patrick Marleau away, but a source in the Sharks’ front office shot that down Monday, saying no one from the Flames had even inquired about the Sharks captain.
From Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet.ca,
The San Jose Sharks have finally shown signs of why so many people picked them to win the Stanley Cup this season (including me). They’ve picked up points in six straight games (4-0-2) to take first place in the Pacific Division with 25 points (11-7-3).
“We like what we have, it’s just a matter of applying it on a nightly basis,” Sharks GM Doug Wilson told sportsnet.ca. “When we do apply ourselves, we’re a pretty good hockey team. When we don’t, we’re an average hockey team.”
from Working the Corners at the Mercury News,
A couple of you have asked about the amount of access I get to players and coaches. Here’s a snapshot of the way things are set up.
As soon as the first player leaves the ice at practice, the room is considered open. Reporters (and, yes, I’m the only beat writer covering the team this season, but AP does show up now and then as do columnists and other bloggers) can go into the room where players take off their skates and uniforms. I’m free to approach anyone I want at that point.
Most of the interviews are very informal, one-on-one, though in some cases – say the buildup to Jeremy Roenick’s 500th goal — there might be two or three people talking with him at once,
from MediaNews via Inside Bay Area,
Apparently something is left in Ozolinsh’s tank. He has a goal and an assist in six games, and already is averaging 21:30 of ice time per game. Ozolinsh has become a take-charge presence, giving the Sharks a legitimate blue-line scoring threat.
“If I was coming back, I was going to try to play the way I know I could, or not come back at all,” Ozolinsh said. “I don’t really want to remember the recent past, but I didn’t want to be out there again, squeezing the stick so hard that I could see my fingerprints in it, or sitting back and worried to death about making a mistake. If I wanted to play hockey, I had to do it the way I played before.”
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.
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