Petshark: Talking Stick
by petshark on 11/09/11 at 08:30 PM ET
The Minnesota Wild are here. It seems strange for that to be an alarming thing, but surprise, surprise they’ve won 5 in a row. Their penalty kill and their goalies are vying for bestest ever in the universe. Yes, the sky could fall.
That pk has been perfect for at least 5 games in a row, 21 or 23 successful penalty kills or something. But against who? Eeek! The Red Wings? Twice in a row no less? And the Canucks? Nobody panic. The Wild were feasting on the bleeding body of a Red Wings losing streak. The Canucks? Well who knows with them. Also the Blues fell in there, shortly before their coach was fired, and the Flames are in a muddle too. Also, the Minny power play hasn’t been as strong as the penalty kill. So, that five game winning streak and flawless penalty kill might be misleading. Certainly Yeo seems to think so, he was not happy with the team in their 3-0 shutout last night:
@Russostrib: Yeo very unhappy with #mnwiId play tonight - scoring chances allowed, penalties taken, lack of physicality”
Heatley and Setoguchi have been helping out. They very well could be the factors that moved the team past the tipping point, from It’s just Minny, they won’t be chasing you up the standings to Demmit, another tough team in the West? Like we don’t have enough!
Great. Oh well, a good team loves a good challenge.
Here’s what the Sharks were doing this morning at practice: newish d-pairs of Burns-Vandermeer, White-Braun, Vlasic-Demers (..and of course Boyle-Murray. If they were split up my head might spin right off my neck). Not sure those d-pairs are indicative of much but there they are.
Practice went pretty long today. That’s not surprising since the team had yesterday off, and a lot of the time was spent going over positioning and explaining strategy. A great big chunk of that practice was spent on the penalty kill, which is good since that needs work but bad since it throws off my d-pair observations. Okay, one of those things is more important than the other so practicing the penalty kill is a good thing.
What if those are our new defense options? How does that make you feel? Remember, this is for posterity, so be honest...
It would be nice to see Demers back out there, and if he and Vlasic can be good then fine. But I’m really cranky that this leaves Burns with a choice of White or Vandermeer. Maybe Vandermeer will be fine, even better than fine, but it still seems like a step back to split up Vlasic and Burns. I feel like we know why New Jersey bought White out but I tend to overreact and jump to bad conclusions.
The practice ended with some time practicing the shootout. You never know when you’ll need that.
Nitty was out skating before the group, in most of his gear. He did some side to side movements and skating around pucks, but, I’m told, no dropping into the butterfly or anything like that. I didn’t see it so I can’t say for sure but it sounds like Stalock is well ahead of Nitty on the recovery road. That isn’t surprising since this is the tail end of a very long recovery for Stalock, and about halfway through Nitty’s presumably much shorter recovery from surgery. Recovery times are like weather predictions: the farther out they are, the less likely they will be accurate. It’s good news but I don’t think the goalie glut is upon us yet.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org