Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

Category: San-Jose-Sharks

Todd McLellan is a genius

McLellan is an outside-the-box-fearless genius for solving a problem with the pieces at hand instead of waiting for new ones. That declaration is contingent on him keeping Brent Burns at forward. Failure to continue doing so will trigger revocation of said genius status and an indefinite stay inside the box.

Loved Cranky showing off for his dissenters.  Seriously, all the way down and around the net, with a shot reversed through his legs?  Beautiful.  Makes me want to say something vulgar to the haters.

Back to that big fancy new forward Brent Burns. I've liked that idea more by the minute, but I think my liking is maxed out, I don't know if I can keep liking it more. It might give me an aneurysm or something.

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  Tags: andrew+desjardins, antti+niemi, brent+burns, douglas+murray, genius, jason+demers, logan+couture, los+angeles+kings, matt+irwin, ryane+clowe, todd+mclellan

‘Twixt the cup and the lip

Are these recent Sharks' losses nothing more than a slip, a dribble away from being wins?  Are the Sharks just a flinch away from team fusion?

There was a spell during last night's game that made me want to cover my eyes, but I couldn't look away either.  Okay, yes I could, but I had to put the game on pause and go do chores to stop looking.  During those ten minutes or so, the team looked worse than they have in a long time.  The errant passes, failures to clear and general happening of anything that could go wrong also emphasized how suddenly the Sharks pulled it together.  The recovery made me think "see, they can just kick themselves into gear!"

Boyle, who isn’t afraid to be critical of his team’s effort, said: “I don’t say it too often after a loss, and maybe not so much the first 10 minutes, but after that I thought we were the much better team. It was a very good effort. We had lots of chances that we haven’t had in awhile. There was a couple freaky bounces and things that happened out there, but overall for 50 minutes, I think that was a very good effort.” -CSN Bay Area

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  Tags: court+vision, dan+boyle, hockey+iq, hockey+sense, joe+thornton

AHL/ECHL Monday Mentions, March 11

AHL:

News that I completely missed last week: Sena Acolatse is back in the Worcester lineup, has been since March 1st.  I may be inattentive but I think that is exciting, awesome and a good thing for the Sharks.

Worcester only played two games since last Monday, a relatively leisurely schedule for the AHL.  Saturday, Sebastian Stalberg scored the only first period goal to give the Sharks the lead over the Providence Bruins.  The Sharks had a fair chance to take a two goal lead when James Livingston was awarded a penalty shot but Bruins' goalie Niklas Svedberg stopped that.  The Bruins came back in the second to score two power play goals and take the lead away.  A couple of minutes later, James Livingston tied the game back up.  In the third, the Bruins retook the lead and it wasn't until 19:00 of the regulation that John McCarthy tied it again.  The game went to a seven-round shootout that the Bruins won with goals from Craig Cunningham and Trent Whitfield.  The one Sharks shootout goal was scored by Denny Urban.

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  Tags: alaska+aces, bracken+kearns, daniil+tarasov, denny+urban, james+livingston, john+mccarthy, kris+belan, las+vegas+wranglers, niklas+svedberg, peter+sivak, sebastian+stalberg, sena+acolatse, tommy+grant, worcester+sharks, yanni+gourde

Never Disappointed

“If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

That seems like good advice, doesn't it?  Of course if you recognize that it's from a story about a descent into madness and all kinds of sad, you might need to rethink that assessment.

The Sharks have lost eight out of their last twelve games.  Or you could say they have won three of their last five.  One sounds better than the other, and the latter is more relevant since, even though one was a shootout, those games are more recent and probably better indicators of where the team is mentally than nine games ago.  You could also say they lost to Calgary, which sounds pretty awful by itself, and since that was the very most recent game, you could argue that it is the most relevant.

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  Tags: fans, guideline, hope, rule

Winsome

Brad Stuart hasn't given anyone reason to regret that he's a Shark again, but last night he made a particular splash with some extra gritty play and a charming grin to show off the dental work he got during the game.  Stuart made an excellent ambassador for a team that had just scrambled to a shootout win after dropping a two goal lead.

The Sharks were outshot (33-22 in regulation), out chanced, and generally out-played through much of the game, but how can you be angry when Stuey lost a tooth and hardly missed a beat?  Not to mention the short-handed goal from Adam Burish (which Stuart also made possible) and Scott Gomez finally scoring.  The Sharks still make me wonder.

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  Tags: adam+burish, brad+stuart, bret+hedican, drew+remenda, jamie+baker, ray+ratto, scott+gomez

AHL/ECHL Monday Mentions, March 4

AHL:

The Worcester Sharks had a lukewarm weekend.   Perhaps it was closer to tepid.  They lost two of three games in three days.  Friday they played at Providence, scoring first but losing 3-1.  That first goal was a short handed tally by Marek Viendensky, at 19:15 of the second period.  It held up until the mid-point of the third period when the Bruins tied the game.  The Bruins scored two more in the last three minutes of the third, including an empty netter.  The final SOG count was 23-19 Bruins, Alex Stalock made 20 saves.

3/1/13 scores & saves:
Worcester: Marek Viedensky(2)(SHG).  Alex Stalock made 20 saves for the Sharks.  The Sharks power play went 0/4, their penalty kill 5/6.
Providence: Kyle MacKinnon(10)(PPG, Tardif, Cunningham), Alden Hirschfeld(3), Trent Whitfield(5)(ENG, Hanson, Exelby)

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  Tags: ahl, alex+stalock, bracken+kearns, dean+ouellet, frazer+mclaren, harri+sateri, marke+viedensky, taylor+nelson, thomas+heemskerk, worcester+sharks, yanni+gourde

Practice what you preach

Many years ago, I trained a horse that was so smart it was difficult to train him.  He learned everything instantly.  Half the time, I didn't realize what I was teaching him.  "Seriously?" I wondered, "Is he really shaking his head every time I scratch my nose?  Does it matter if I use my left hand or my right?"  People are just like that horse.  We might think we're practicing one thing, but we're also practicing everything we do before and after that thing.  This is the basis for all those superstitions hockey players talk about.

Practice what you preach.  I don't mean it the way Ratto meant "just win the game!"  I mean it quite literally.  Need to shoot more? Practice that.  Want defensemen to shoot quickly, at game speed?  Practice that.  Need to execute better? Practice that.  Now practice it all together and don't stop until you get it right.

Two lines stood out in the last two games, one line in each, by performing above expectations.  Sheppard, Burish and Galiardi were surprisingly effective in the game against Colorado, especially since they weren't even a line before the game.  Kennedy, Handzus and Clowe stood out in last night's game against Detroit, by getting crazy close chances through hard work and relentless digging.  Both lines had this in common: they were playing their first game as a line.

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  Tags: habits, practice, shots

Happy day, through a glass darkly

Tuesday afternoon, I heard Walking on Sunshine on the radio and it stuck in my head. I heard a whole lot of songs after that, but I couldn't wash it out. I also felt unaccountably cheerful, sort of the way the Sharks looked at the morning skate. Part of me thought them looking jolly was an ill omen, the way it was the last time I noticed that, before the Ducks beat them some time last season.

Of course, there is no good reason to not be cheerful when you're thinking about a hockey game.  Win or lose, it's still a hockey game and the whole point of the thing is to have fun and make people happy.  Maybe the sun shining and the fluffy merry nature of sport and entertainment would not be suppressed.

It was still derned uncomfortable, being all bouncy happy for no good reason.

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  Tags: joe+pavelski, joe+thornton, michal+handzus, patrick+marleau, scott+gomez, stream+of+consciousness, t.j.+galiardi

AHL/ECHL Monday Mentions, Feb 25

AHL:

The Worcester Sharks started the weekend badly but it ended well.  Friday they lost at home, 7-2 to the Manchester Monarchs.  Worcester goals were scored by Matt Tennyson (PPG, Irwin, Kearns) and Jon Matsumoto (Kearns, Doherty).  Harri Sateri made 24 saves on 31 shots.  The power play went 1/3, the penalty kill 4/5.  Everyone who suited up for the Monarchs scored, so I'm going to skip them.  (Not really, only 1/3 of them not counting the goalie, and even he got an assist.  I'm still skipping them.  If you really must see the scoring carnage, go to the AHL site.)

As mentioned, things got better from there, with the Sharks winning Saturday 4-1, again at home, this time against the Portland Pirates.   Worcester goals were scored by: Danny Groulx (Tennyson, Oleksuk), Bracken Kearns(13) (SHG, McCarthy), Jimmy Bonneau(1), Matt Tennyson(5) (Livingston, Viedensky). Worcester's power play was an abysmal 0/6, but their penalty kill was perfect at 6/6.  Stalock made 36 saves for the win.  His shutout was spoiled in the third period by Portland's Phil Lane(5) (Klinkhammer).  For Portland, Mike Lee made 11 saves on 14 shots, and Louis Domingue made 22 saves on 23 shots.

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  Tags: alex+stalock, alex+tuckerman, america+one+sports, bryan+cameron, dean+ouellet, harri+sateri, marek++viedensky, martin+lee, matt+pelech, rylan+galiardi, simon+danis-pepin, taylor+nelson, tristan+king, worcester+sharks

Everyone’s a critic

“Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.”
-Kurt Vonnegut

I once had a professor explain the difference between criticism and criticising.  The first is an attentive analysis of the work, the second is just saying mean things.  Obviously that's not how he put it, but it works.  At times like these, the lines blur.  I tried to watch the Sharks play in Dallas without judging.  I started out okay, but I couldn't hold the line:

Couture from second line center to top line winger. Marleau and Pavelski to the second line.  Gomez from healthy scratch to second line center. Kennedy from third line to fourth, Desi back to center, Burish back to the wing.  What a difference some badly-timed roughhousing makes.

Okay, I shouldn't count the Kennedy move as a result of Clowe being out.  That was probably just Sheppard returning to his rightful place on the only line that McLellan didn't dismantle.

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  Tags: critics, doug+wilson, douglas+murray, hasso+plattner, joe+thornton, penalty+kill, scott+gomez, todd+mclellan

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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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