Petshark: Talking Stick
Entries with the tag: Chicago Blackhawks
Winning breeds winning. The Sharks defense is "winning," their offense isn't. It's easier to get your brain into a defensive or reactive mode when you lack confidence. Being aggressive or creative requires confidence, or such a lack of it that you feel fear, like a cornered animal. You don't want to be cornered. The execution of a cornered animal is about as precise as a cannon with one broken wheel. Fear, while it might make you go faster or be stronger, won't help with precision or missed passes. You know the ones I mean, those passes that leave the stick about two seconds before the brain registers "Wait, he's not on my team..."
Ray Emery playing well is never depressing for me. I was in the Emery Comeback Camp from the time I heard he was hoping to return from that hip surgery. I couldn't believe he'd make it back, but I was impressed that he wanted to do it. So part of me is always rooting for Emery. After the game, he was asked about the Sharks:
That's a great power play, those guys they put out there are a great group, so if we keep them off the board, it's a bonus.
Such a nice thing to say, even if it's not true.
The Sharks were missing a couple of Ds last night. Both Jason Demers and Andrew Desjardins missed all or part of the game for no good reason. Is it any surprise then, that the team allowed more goals against than they had all season? The NHL rescinded the match penalty against Andrew Desjardins the same night. I'm sure the Blues know how much not better that made the Sharks feel. It reminds me of a joke about a farmer, his new bride, and a cow: that's two.*
“That doesn’t help a team that’s played a lot of hockey, needed that player and should have been on the power play for four minutes,” said an upset Todd McLellan... -Working the Corners
I beg to differ on the last point. In this case, saying that a power play would help the Sharks is not very accurate. I keep expecting the law of averages or some such normalizing factor to kick in, but the Sharks' power play failure streak is becoming as noteworthy as their penalty killing streak. So on that point I wouldn't have expected much from a power play, four minutes or other.
In just over an hour, the Sharks will hit the ice for their first of nine road games. That’s a long road trip, even for a team used to a lot of travel. McLellan says he doesn’t put much stock in the theory of road trip bonding, but he does see the benefits of getting away from the distractions of home life:
“Some of the players will get more rest on the road,” McLellan said, “maybe get an afternoon nap when the little ones aren’t jumping on you. The family activities obviously don’t exist on the road, so there is a chance to get a little more rest for some of them.” -Mercury News
That’s why people go on vacation or work retreats, to get away, be in the moment instead of the past and future and all the things other people need from them. Maybe I need to get away again, my brain is flying in six different directions right now, only a few of which have anything to do with hockey. At least a few of them do.
Marleau, Pavelski and Niemi are the first on the ice. Marleau sprinkles pucks around one end of the rink, gives the bag to Niemi, who takes it to the other end. Pavelski and Marleau start shooting, others come out on the ice.
McGinn begins doing goalie drills with Niemi, while others do shooting and tipping drills.
I check Twitter. When I look up, Marleau and Pavelski have left. It’s an optional skate I guess.
Boyle is there, smiling.
Clowe is there too, visorless. I think he looks sheepish without it but I must be projecting, imagining he knows he should wear one. I’m sure he doesn’t think so. I hope his head is as hard as it seems. Sigh.