Kukla's Korner Hockey
It is no secret that 10 p.m. EST starts for games are the bane of the the east coast hockey fans existence - especially if their team is the one scheduled to play that late on the left coast.
Last night may have been a night to stay up to watch the battle of California though as the San Jose Sharks erupted with seven goals, putting 40 shots on goal, against the Kings.
You sort of get the feeling Sutter did not want to be at this post-game press conference.
The Sharks had a 5-0 lead after 2 peiods, Quick was pulled to start the 3rd period and then the Kings scored 3 goals to make it a game but did lose 6-3.
from Curtis Pashelka of the Mercury News,
"I'm ready to name him," McLellan reiterated Monday. "I'm just not going to name him."
Niemi -- the Sharks' No. 1 goalie since he arrived in San Jose before the 2010-2011 season -- struggled down the stretch with three losses in five starts before Saturday, when he rebounded to make 30 saves to help lead the Sharks to a 3-2 win at Phoenix. Niemi has started all 34 playoff games since joining the Sharks, going 16-17.
Stalock has had an impressive season in spot duty, going 12-5-2 with a 1.87 goals against average. On Friday, he made 32 saves in the Sharks' 5-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche.
Regarding the amount of consideration that went into the decision on who will start in net, McLellan said it's "the same amount that has gone into every other game that we've played in the playoffs and the regular season for the last six full seasons. That's the debate we have. We're a close staff. We include everybody, and we make decisions that we think are the best."
via Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea,
Sharks rookie Tomas Hertl could return to the Sharks’ lineup soon.
The 20-year-old forward is expected to be ready in time for the Sharks’ first playoff game next week against the Los Angeles Kings, according to a source, and pending medical approval.
Hertl, who has been skating with the team since Feb. 26, may even try to play in one of the Sharks’ final two regular season games, should be he cleared in time. The Sharks host Colorado on Friday and visit Phoenix on Saturday to conclude the 82-game slate.
from David Pollak of Working the Corners at the Mercury News,
Players rarely talk about giving up soft goals because that pretty much reflects on the man in the pads who was the last line of defense.
But they used that term Wednesday night after the Sharks lost 5-2 to the Anaheim Ducks and no one would challenge the usage. The Sharks played well, undermined by three goals that got past Antti Niemi before Todd McLellan replaced him with Alex Stalock just before the game’s midpoint.
“We played a heck of a game,” said Joe Thornton, who professed he was fine despite leaving the game late in obvious pain (more on that later). “We were in their end the majority of the night, but a couple soft goals and you lose the game. That’s all.”
All season McLellan has done everything possible to quash any hint of a goalie debate – let’s not even call it a controversy. Niemi was his No. 1, Stalock was the backup.
But Wednesday night, when asked directly if Niemi was “his guy going into the playoffs,” McLellan was hedged.
continued and watch the game highlights below...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Tune in for the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks and you might be confused, because the spectacle you'll be treated to will resemble a no-holds-barred postseason affair.
Kind of like when the Sharks beat the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday 2-1. Or when the Sharks beat the Ducks 3-2 on March 20. Or when the Ducks beat the Kings 2-1 on March 15.
If this were soccer, we might be able to create a separate competition during the season, calling it the California Cup, perhaps. I'd pay to watch every single game between these three teams.
Two of them are guaranteed to face off in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs next week, with the Kings -- in third place in the Pacific Division -- waiting to see whether it's the Ducks or Sharks who finish second in the division and get rewarded with an all-out war with the 2012 Cup champs in the opening round.
So, yeah, there's definitely something on the line Wednesday night. The Ducks can clinch the Pacific Division title with a win in regulation over San Jose.
via Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider,
Drew Doughty, who did not return after issuing a hit on San Jose’s Tyler Kennedy in the first period of Thursday’s 2-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks, will travel with the team to Vancouver. Certainly this is not bad news, though the extent and nature of the injury – other than being described as “upper-body” by the team – is not known at this time. More will be learned in Vancouver over the coming days.
The Kings lost to the Sharks 2-1.
Too bad it is goalie Al Montoya...
No penalty on the play.
Did Perry try to "draw" the call?
from Brian Cazeneuve of Sports Illustrated,
They do it to us every single year, don't they? Just when you assume that it's OK to dismiss the San Jose Sharks as a regular-season points magnet that will fray and fade in the heat of late spring, they get rolling again and look like one of the NHL's hottest teams heading into the postseason.
Then they make you wonder again.
Coming into this week, that Sharks had won 10 of their past 12 games. Though their six-game winning streak was snapped by Florida on Tuesday, their 97 points were good for the league's third-highest total going into a Thursday night battle with the Anaheim Ducks for the Pacific Division lead.
So the question once again is which Sharks do you believe in? The team that was challenging for the Presidents' Trophy, hot on the heels of the St. Louis Blues, or the one that sank to the depths of a rare home-ice loss to the woeful Panthers just when it seemed like it was making a serious run at the league's best record?
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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