Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

Point blank

Last night, Benn Ferriero took one shot, got one point, and Antti Niemi blanked the Flames.  No, Niemi didn’t do it by himself, but he gets the special credit for it.

Ferriero’s been kind of quiet lately, but last night he made an effort to point out the obvious: if you can’t hit the target, you need to get closer.

@SharksStats: Benn Ferriero’s 4th career game-winning goal, 3rd this season. All 3 GW goals this season in road games.

The lone goal of the game was Ferriero’s sixth of the season.  It was the only shot he took, if you believe the shot counters, and he took it at point blank range.  I think that might qualify as a teachable moment.  Sounds like McLellan thinks so too:

“We’ve got to get a little hungrier in and around the net, much like the winning goal tonight.” -Mercury News

It was just one goal. It was the Flames. The Flames have been better lately, but they’re still the Flames.

It was just the first win for the Sharks after three losses.

It still makes me ridiculously happy.  I notice the coffee table in front of me and think “it’s a good, sturdy coffee table.” I take pride in the refinishing job I did on it.  My tv is more beautiful than it was last night. I go to the store, the weather is mild and wonderful. I come out of the store and see my car waiting for me.  I love my car.

Everything is better after the Sharks win.

Joe Thornton took a shot.  Pavelski and Couture led the team in shots, as aggressive top six forwards should.  John McCarthy got time on the third line, and his minutes have been creeping up with each game.

Dan Boyle got his 150th point as a Shark, an assist on that lone goal:

@SharksStats: Dan Boyle’s assist on Benn Ferriero’s goal was his 150th with the Sharks. He now has 150+ with two teams. He had 187 with the Lightning.

Jim Vandermeer returned to the lineup, but played as a left wing.  That seems like the obvious thing to do when you use seven defensemen, but I don’t think it’s the way McLellan usually does it. He does have the option of using the 7th D to spell another defenseman, which leaves that d-man and the fourth line with hardly any minutes.  It also messes with blue line chemistry, swapping partners in and out.  I think it was a risky choice and I don’t quite understand why Vandermeer seemed a better choice than Andrew Murray.  Why not just use six defensemen, unless you really think Vandermeer would be a better fourth line… oh.  That could be why.  The fourth line doesn’t get many minutes and if you’re introducing someone back in after injury, you don’t want to give him too many minutes.  Play him as a forward and you don’t mess with any defensive pairings.  I guess that could be it- risk one line instead of a line and a pair. 

The team survived a 4 on 4.  I don’t know about other fans but the Sharks playing 4 on 4 makes me as nervous as a penalty kill.  January 17 against the Sens, the Sharks gave up a goal during a 4 on 4.  Marleau was in the box for that one.  He would be very much missed in either a penalty kill or 4 on 4.  That game was sort of a mess anyway.  The Sharks got through 4 on 4s on Jan 7 (Caps), Jan 10 (Wild) and Jan 17 (Jets).  I suppose getting through a 4 on 4 isn’t the highest measure of success.  A team could score, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  Baby steps.

What about 4 on 4 against a team that isn’t struggling?  The Canucks are only team the Sharks have faced 4 on 4 lately that I would put in this category.  The Sharks made it through 4 on 4s in two of their last three meetings with the Canucks.  One of those was cut short by an additional penalty to the Canucks, cut in half actually.  But no one scored.

Maybe I can stop worrying about the Sharks 4 on 4.

Brent Burns seems to be getting less horribly injured by the day.  He showed up in the press box during last night’s game, and could return as soon as after the break.  Happy news.

Speaking of happy, another thing happened yesterday which is only tangentially Sharks-related but it expresses my mood well as we head into the All Star break. Sergei Bobrovsky won his first NHL shootout.  It’s something he’s been struggling with.  I remember last season when the Sharks @ Flyers game went to a shootout, I thought “oh, the Sharks have this.  Bob can’t stop anything in a shootout.”  He has been working hard on it, he was very happy to finally win one:

There was a lot of Twitter chatter about this dance, and I noticed right away that it looked like Nabby’s happy feet dance:

Goalies don’t have a lot of options when it comes to antics on their feet, due to all that gear, so I wonder how many goalies have done this dance?  Is it a Russian thing?

More happy news: Alex Stalock appears to be all recovered:

@bigjonallred: “Alex Stalock stopped 29-of-30 shots in net for the Stockton Thunder tonight in their 4-1 win over the Idaho Steelheads. #SJSharks #WorSharks”

He’s played a few games with the Stockton Thunder recently.  I think they won them, but most importantly, Stalock is healthy. 

A win and good news: a great way to start the All Star break. 


Late edit: so much for all happy news:

@TSNBobMcKenzie: “Anyone want a goalie? SJ has put netminder Antero Nittymaki on waivers.”

Bummer. Dude.


Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: 4+on+4, alex+stalock, antti+niemi, benn+ferriero, calgary+flames, dan+boyle, goalie+dances, jim+vandermeer, john+mccarthy


Matt Fry's avatar

I’m actually glad to see Nitty go on waivers.  I’m sure he was itching for playing time and wasn’t getting anything.  Right now, I think he’d rather to be somewhere he can play.

Posted by Matt Fry from Winnipeg on 01/25/12 at 03:47 PM ET

petshark's avatar

I just wish the Sharks had given him an NHL start or two this season, to either boost his trade value or make him claimable (not that the sharks have any interest in seeing him claimed).

Posted by petshark from Nor Cal, and on Twitter @petshark47 on 01/25/12 at 04:27 PM ET

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About Petshark: Talking Stick

Native of Northern California.  Hockey fan since 1998... sort of... there's a hiatus in there that I still can't explain.

I want to know about anything and everything related to the sport and the spectacle.  I watch, I react, I write it down.

My interest in the Sharks was initially a matter of geographic convenience and regional loyalty because that seemed to be how it worked.  I had no prior interest (at all-- AT ALL) in professional sports of any kind.  When I met hockey, it might have set off a chain reaction of general sports fandom.  It hasn't, I don't think it will.  At all.

Since then, that interest developed into full blown (mostly sort of usually almost completely) exclusive loyalty to the Sharks.

I started blogging a couple years ago on wordpress. I still occasionally put things there that I don't think fit here because they are not about the Sharks. Wherever my words wander, here on Kuklas Korner, they will (usually) hang on to a teal thread.

I can be found in cyberspace on Twitter @petshark47, or emailed at talkingstick@petshark.net

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