Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

Every which way to lose

Holy flashbacks, Batman.  This is what Sharks fans mean when they say "these are the same old Sharks," when they start making suggestions like the ones described in this tweet:

@BroThornton: bring back irwin! trade marleau! go back to the cow palace!

It was the sort of game that leaves you speechless.  You could go rant somewhere about this or that mistake, but... where do you start?  Where does it end?  Beaten by Columbus 6-2?  It makes me tired just thinking about it.  I don't know if I've got a rant left in me to do it justice.  McLellan described that speechless, astonished feeling very well  post-game:

"It's a pretty simple league -- the team that works the hardest wins," a visibly intense McLellan began. His team, he added, was "outworked, out-executed, out-detailed, out-goaltended, out- a lot of things."

The team lost in every way they could.  In that respect, they succeeded with flying colors.

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  Tags: brent+burns, flashbacks, justin+braun, larry+robinson, todd+mclellan

AHL/ECHL Monday mentions, Feb 11

AHL:

Last week, the Worcester Sharks played two games in Newfoundland against the Ice Caps.  The Sharks won both games, 3-2 and 4-0.

Tuesday's game was a nail-biter.  Daniil Tarasov opened the scoring at 1:32 of the first with assists from Tim Kennedy and Bracken Kearns.  The Sharks gave up a short-handed goal to Jason Jaffrey (assist to Maxime Macenauer) in the middle of that period.  Then the teams went scoreless through the second, each team taking an assortment of penalties.  At 6:31 of the third period, Jaffrey scored a power play goal for St. John's (assists to Raymond Sawada and Derek Meech).  The Sharks didn't get that goal back until 16:42, with a power play goal from Bracken Kearns (assists to Tim Kennedy and Denny Urban).  Less than two minutes later, Tarasov scored the game winner with 1:31 left in the game (assists to Kearns and Kennedy).  The Sharks scored on one power play out of three and they killed four of five penalties.  Harri Sateri made 30 saves for the win, Eddie Pasquale made 29 saves for the Ice Caps.

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Filed in: , hockey, , San Jose Sharks, , | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: bracken+kearns, harri+sateri, john+mccarthy, marek+viedensky, matt+pelech, michael+pelch, mikael+tam, peter+sivak, rylan+galiardi, taylor+nelson, tim+kennedy, tyson+sexsmith, worcester+sharks

Too familiar by half

The pre-game transaction news gave me more to think about than yesterday's game, and it wasn't unexpected news at all:  Burns activated, Irwin reassigned, Petrecki waived.  All this was bound to happen.  As for the game, I couldn't decide whether the Sharks were all playing with flu symptoms, or if Tippett's Coyotes and McLellan's Sharks are way too familiar with each other.

They say that familiarity breeds contempt.  Contempt seems like a waste of perfectly good scouting reports, but it might have been more entertaining than yesterday's stalemate.   The game felt lost even before the shootout started.

But that's crazy, if they are so familiar with each other, wouldn't they be able to anticipate each other's moves, and compensate accordingly?  Yep.  And if they were both doing that, I think it would look exactly the way it looked, like a choreographed, scoreless skate.

@SharksStats: Today was the 2nd 1-0 shootout loss in Sharks history. Nabokov was the losing goalie in the other instance, Oct. 12, 2009, also vs Phoenix.

There's that.

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  Tags: andrew+desjardins, brent+burns, douglas+murray, matt+irwin, nick+petrecki, penalty+kill, phoenix+coyotes, shut+out

Sharks practice: here a change, there a change

If Burns is practicing next to Stuart, what does that mean?  The other d-pairs were: Murray-Irwin, Boyle-Vlasic, and Demers-Braun.  So, a Stuart-Burns pair could mean something is going to be different tomorrow.  Take your choice: Murray and Irwin sit, or Demers and Braun sit, (I had to take a second to catch my breath after laughing at that one) or Brad Stuart isn't playing tomorrow.  That might also give you a chuckle unless you're like me and you always think people are injured, and you can't believe that Burns is ready to play yet:

‏@PollakOnSharks :Burns paired w/Stuart at #SJSharks practice today, McLellan says he's getting closer to starting. Sat vs. PHX? "That might be pushing it."

And no, Brent Burns has not shaved his beard as he told Brodie Brazil he would do.  He not only said that he'd shave before he played, but that he'd shave when he got close to playing.  I would say today is close to tomorrow, and still there he was all furry faced.

Boyle and Vlasic? Of course they will play, unless Boyle doesn't.  Hey, it was just practice.  Maybe no one will play where they practiced.

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  Tags: brad+stuart, brent+burns, dan+boyle, martin+havlat, patrick+marleau

The Sharks’ missing Ds

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.

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  Tags: andrew+desjardins, chicago+blackhawks, jamal+mayers, jason+demers, power+play

It looks like the Ducks, it sounds like the Pond…

I'd really have to see them walk to be sure.  These don't seem like the Ducks we all knew, didn't like, and that the Sharks could usually beat back in the day.   Last season was one thing.  The Ducks beating the Sharks so often seemed like one of many very strange happenings in a very bad season.  But this season?  What do the Ducks know that the Sharks don't?

The Ducks blocked 24 shots to the Sharks 15. Maybe this game was about slowing the future Ducks down since they obviously have San Jose's number.  Hitting them with a lot of shots is one way to do that.  Another stat that was kind of interesting was that the Ducks out-hit the Sharks 23-19, and out-shot them 32-26.  Doesn't the team without the puck usually hit the most?  So the Sharks had the puck, and didn't shoot it?   I guess if you count the blocked shots in there it isn't so bad.

Couture scored the only Sharks goal.  That wasn't so unusual, but to have the assists go to Andrew Desjardins from fourth line, and Tommy Wingels from the third, that was kind of cool and unlikely.  I guess that's what happens to the lines when Clowe gets sent away for nearly a third of the game.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, andrew+desjardins, douglas+murray, jason+demers, logan+couture, martin+havlat, michal+handzus, penalty+kill, ryane+clowe, tommy+wingels

Ex-Sharks on the move, minor grudge match tonight

Some ex-Worcester Shuttle frequent flyers have been on the move lately, and for some reason this is as interesting to me as pre-game thoughts about the Sharks in Anaheim.  I have only one thought about tonight's game: the Sharks need to avenge that near loss they suffered at home on the 29th.  I just hope it isn't with a near win like the Ducks got.  Something on the order of a regulation win would be better.

Reports say Greiss will start, and Boyle missed the morning skate again due to lingering flu symptoms:

@PollakOnSharks: McLellan says Boyle missed practice because of flu symptoms, but should play. Note: #SJSharks coach said same when teams met 1/29. Hmm.
@PollakOnSharks: To be precise (and fair),  #SJSharks McLellan said of Boyle that he "antcipates him playing."

Precise and fair it is.  I did wonder if playing while sick or after just being sick would be a bad idea.  I'll dwell on how perfectly rational that explanation is instead of getting all worked up about it.  Right.

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  Tags: ahl, anaheim+ducks, benn+ferriero, brad+staubitz, brandon+mashinter, connecticut+whale, dan+boyle, frazer+mclaren, new+york+rangers, thomas+greiss, tommy+grant, toronto+maple+leafs, victor+fasth

AHL/ECHL Monday mentions, Feb 4

AHL:

The performance of the Worcester Sharks recently inspired one of their close observers to tweet this:

@210Darryl: I think it's time for some changes for the #WorSharks...this team has way too much talent to be playing this poorly.

The Worcester Sharks only played two games last week, due in part to the AHL All Star break.   The first game was Friday in Portland, against the Phoenix Coyotes' AHL affiliate the Pirates.  They lost in a shootout, with goals from Tim Kennedy (PPG, assists to Tarasov and Kearns) and Daniil Tarasov (assists to Urban and Kennedy).  It was Kennedy's 13th goal of the season, Tarasov's 3rd.  Harri Sateri stopped 28 shots before the shootout, where he was beaten by the Pirates' Chris Brown.  Worcester's power play went 1/9, their penalty kill was 6/7.  Goals for the Pirates were scored by Rob Klinkhammer (assists to Lane and Sinkewich) and Ethan Werek (PPG, assists to Klinkhammer and Summers).  Pirates goalie Mike Lee made 36 saves for the win.

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  Tags: christian+ouellet, daniil+tarasov, dean+ouellet, marek+viedensky, nick+petrecki, ontario+reign, peter+sivak, rylan+galiardi, stockton+thunder, tim+kennedy, worcester+sharks

Swim. The fall didn’t kill you

The Sharks eased into the end of that winning streak.  There was no sudden crash, though the Ducks game certainly came close.  The team went through a nice smooth arc: Win, WIN, WIN, Win, win, shootout win, shootout win... loss.  See how they kept getting closer to losing?  If you want to nitpick, I guess you could say they are due a regulation loss but there's no need to jump off that bridge yet.  We saw it coming, we had a sense of what the end would feel like, no shock here.

Considering how many lineup changes McLellan made, I thought the Sharks played pretty well against the Predators.  I think more players played better than in the last couple of games.  That doesn't always happen when you change three of four lines, two of three defense pairings, and add a couple guys to the lineup.  There were mistakes, but the most glaring were redeemed by their makers.

The Predators are not an easy team for the Sharks to play.  The Sharks like to be able to play, not scuffle endlessly in the corners and creep up and down the ice.  But they did pretty well.  If you put aside the stuff of nightmares that the non-goal from Martin Havlat was, the Sharks nearly won in regulation.  That isn't to say losing is okay, or that the Sharks didn't.  But the fact of that chance means that the team was not playing badly.  It was a dumb error, but that's all it was. It wasn't the game-defining event that it very well could have been.

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Filed in: hockey, , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: brent+burns, jason+demers, marc-edouard+vlasic, martin+havlat, nashville+predators, scott+gomez

Unassisted

It's fairly unusual to have no assists given when a team scores four times in a game, especially when they are the only goals that team scored.  It almost makes you think of the dread hazard: "playing like individuals instead of a team."  In the case of the Sharks last night, I don't think that was the situation at all, though all of their goals were unassisted or shootout goals. 

Yet none of those goals only belonged to the guys who got credit for them.  Even the shootout goals were the result of the team making it through overtime.  Couture's goal was beholden to Scott Gomez, who successfully got the puck away from Whitney at the perfect time for Couture to take it.  Joe Pavelski's goal... well, yes, he did race up the ice, take the puck away from two players and put it in the net.  But he had help getting that opportunity too: Boyle and Clowe closed on Yakupov at the same time.  Boyle got the puck off the stick, and Clowe was in the way so the talented Edmonton forward couldn't get right after Pavelski.  "Unassisted" sounds so solitary, it makes you think a whole bunch of players are going uncredited.

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Filed in: hockey, , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: bret+hedican, commentary, dan+boyle, edmonton+oilers, fear+the+fin, jamie+baker, joe+pavelski, michal+handzus, ryane+clowe

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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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