Petshark: Talking Stick
Logan Couture was picked last in the NHL All Star Draft. Antero Niittymaki wasn’t picked off waivers at all. Couture will be remembered for being picked last, he got a car and donations to his favorite hockey charities and it’s possible he will get a superincredible season in 2012-13. That last one isn’t guaranteed because the sample size is too small to call it a pattern.
But all’s well that ends well and the award for best sportsman on Twitter goes to Logan Couture (@Logancouture), the San Jose Shark who went last in the draft. -Kevin McGran
@Logancouture: “Is it me or is it getting hotter back here after every pick?”
@Logancouture: “Who went last? I missed the end of the draft?”
@Logancouture: “First order of business. Pimping that Honda out”
Apparently the car will go to Logan’s brother. Couture did handle himself well. Several players were less composed than he was during the proceedings. Carey Price was so flustered by not realizing he had been called that he dissed his All Star Captain on his way to the holding box.
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.
There’s dragons and there’s Dragons. That Sharks @ Oilers game wasn’t what I had in mind to start the Year of the Dragon. There were some good things, like Logan Couture earned his 100th NHL point. The Sharks did control much of the game. They just couldn’t score accordingly, so they lost.
When I wrote about Dragons, I was thinking of something like this:
From Dark Wallpapers
See the nice color, and the water and how big and scary that guy is? Storms don’t bother him. Certainly no little oil spill would slow him down.
Luck and legend distinguish the Dragon from the other symbols in the Chinese and Mongolian zodiac. It is said to be the very luckiest birth year, the sign of the emperor. Unlike the other symbols, a dragon is not the sort of critter most of us will see in our lifetimes. Since there are twelve signs in this system, that is a little surprising. The year starts today and ends around this time in 2013.
As someone who grew up in San Francisco, I guess I should say something about the Niners. They lost. Bummer for Niners fans. I wasn’t all that anxious for them to win because I feel that trips to championship finals disperse geographically in such a way that if the Niners had gone on, this would have been bad news for the Sharks. Look what happened with the Giants- the other Giants I mean. Condolences to Niners fans, may the loss not be in vain.
The Sharks begin the year in Edmonton. I don’t know if any of them attended a parade, but a big spectacle like an NHL game should do. Wow… that would be cool, if someone brought a paper and silk dragon to the game and sent it around the stands… I know, that probably won’t happen.
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Tags: dan+boyle, james+sheppard, jamie+mcginn, jason+demers, joe+thornton, logan+couture, patrick+marleau, thomas+greiss, todd+mclellan, tommy+wingels, year+of+the+dragon
Niittymaki’s back in Worcester for conditioning. McLaren’s on waivers, probably going to the Woo. Wingels joins Clowe on the injured list. What does it all mean?
Nitty: maybe when he played in that first conditioning stint, he discovered he wasn’t 100% yet? Maybe now he is? Or… what, the Sharks wanted him elsewhere when the Tampa Bay scouts came to town? Why? They weren’t going to see him anyway, and they’ve seen him before. Seems most likely a function of reconditioning, plain and simple. No reason to “showcase” him in the AHL.
McLaren: maybe the team thought he did pretty well game before last, so he was back against the Sens. I guess they rethought that after seeing him against the Sens. I don’t know, didn’t seem like he did anything too dreadful. He took a penalty, who didn’t? I think he spent less time in the box than Pavs did. I think anything sub-par from him would hardly stand out in the mess that was that game.
Tonight the Sharks face the Ottawa Senators for the one and only time this season. Ottawa’s team has been, yes, I know, this is bad… sensational. But they have been. Merriam Webster defines sensational as “exceedingly or unexpectedly excellent or great.” With so many players who are either oft injured, old or very young, the team was not expected to do so well this season. Here are some comments from back in October about the Sens’ prospects for this season:
In the final pre-season, we caught a glimpse of the future.
Plucky upstart roster squeaks win thanks to stellar goaltending. You could have turned off the lights in the Gardens, and the combined gleaming grins of Sens management would have kept the building well-lit. The win was a paint by numbers Picasso, nothing beautiful, but as close as possible to the real thing as could be expected from a squad of mostly rookies. -Sen Say, October 3
So what if it hasn’t been those rookies carrying the scoring? Who expected Michalek’s resurgence, or Alfredsson’s renaissance? Certainly not Sens fans. Who saw Turris getting his act together so quickly? No one who was watching him out here. But here Sens fans are in January, and their team hasn’t fallen on its face yet. This wasn’t even the plan, which was to rebuild:
The Sharks game against the Calgary Flames was the last one to end last night. I think it’ unfair to blame them for going to a shoot out. They also had the latest start time and they were not the only game to go to a shoot out.
The Sharks had some tough breaks in the game, some shots they wish they’d scored on, a laughable goalie interference call in OT. The Flames had some of the same, so it was even… until that grossly bad call in OT.
Anyway, the Sharks won.
@FearthefInGame: “Beast mode activated by Brent Burns, who shakes off a defender on the wall before the puck finds Handzus. Torrey Mitchell bangs home rebound”
That’s how they tied it up.
As has happened so many times this season, a player was hit hard in the head and went to the quiet room. Andrew Desjardins was able to get to his feet but he had to be helped off the ice:
“I got up and my legs fell under me a little bit, so obviously he caught me pretty good,” he said.-Sharks Talk
Now Sharks fans wait, and that’s pretty much what the team does too. During the game, one of the announcers mentioned something to the effect of “we hope he can return to the game.” This comment made me angry which is why I won’t repeat who said it. I absolutely did not want to see Desjardins back on the ice in this game. He looked distinctly woozy, he clearly needed to be treated as if he had a concussion. You can’t wish it away, you take care of it.
When talking about the Sharks and the Jets, I think you have to mention West Side Story, so I did. The Sharks @ Winnipeg was not a surprising game, unless you consider shut outs surprising. The better ranked team won, there were no calamitous incidents, no very strange penalties. The Sharks don’t have very many shut outs this season, so another does add some needed sparkle to their 2011-12 record. That record is looking better and better, as Jamie Baker points out:
@Bakes_Jamie13: “Sharks have only lost 1 game in regulation since Dec 14 - it was on boxing day against Anaheim. in last 14, Sharks are 9-1-4. #KeepErGoin”
One thing they are keeping going is their NHL shots per game lead:
@SharksStats: “Elias Says: Sharks have had 35+ shots in each of their last 11 games. Longest streak since ‘83-84, when Flyers had 35+ shots in 12 straight.”
I know, they always shoot a lot but it is neat to break long-standing records. The fact that the Flyers hold that record now does make it more interesting to me but I won’t mind if the Sharks break it.
One of the things that stuck out for me in the Sharks’ Tuesday loss to Minnesota was how many times Niemi got run into or buried under bodies. He seems like a sturdy fellow but that has to be kind of tough on a goalie. That’s a special kind of failure to defend. That was just one symptom of breakdowns from the Sharks. There were enough such to have McLellan shuffling the lines and looking very cross. I just hope Niemi didn’t get banged up, bent wrong or otherwise harmed under there.
The television cameras gave us a good indication of why Ryane Clowe will be wearing a cage for the next week. Apparently the treatment of bleeding noses makes good tv.
Of course the last-minute comeback to push the game to overtime was fun also. That those goals came from the team’s usual suspects made me wonder about a couple of things.
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 email@example.com