Petshark: Talking Stick
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”
Here’s what’s been said about last night’s game against the LA Kings: “Sharks hold court over Kings in 4-2 win,” “Sharks learn from mistakes, trump Kings 4-2,” “San Jose Sharks defeat Los Angeles Kings 4-2.” Now that’s more like it, Sharks.
During the second intermission, I heard a man say behind me “3-1, huh? Isn’t that what the score was last time…” But another man cut him off saying “What the hell… saying that…. What are you trying to do?!?”
I kept telling myself “lightning never strikes the same spot twice, right?” Of course we all know that isn’t true, especially if you set up a lightning rod.
Todd McLellan wanted a good start against the Predators, a good first period from the Sharks. He got one. I guess he phrased his wish incorrectly because the genie forgot to include a good finish with that good start. Apparently McLellan isn’t as upset about Saturday’s loss as he was about Thursday’s win:
“... I thought we had a much better game, we just didn’t win. There was about a 10-minute lull in the third period where we weren’t our best. But, sometimes we don’t give enough credit to the other team… They were better for that 10 and 12 minutes, and we didn’t stop them.
“... The whole was better than it was two nights earlier.” -Shark Talk
When the game ended, I felt the same way, and wasn’t sure why. Maybe I was still drunk from the Flyers win earlier. Or maybe it’s the surgeon’s logic: the operation was a success, but the patient died.
There are a few ways to do good this November. One is to vote and make a donation to the Movember project. Here are your Sharks candidates for the 2011 Movember contest:
I was late to the Penguins @ Sharks game and had to play DVR catch-up. I missed most of the first period. Apparently so did the Sharks. I’m flattered, really, that they waited for me, but in the larger scheme of things it might have been better for them to go ahead and start without me.
I guess if you have to have a bad period it is more satisfying for the audience if it is the first period instead of the last. Still, a little less suspense would go a long way with me. I feel slightly battered by that game.
Greiss was heroic. He seemed to do everything right. Oh, sure, he wandered into traffic a couple of times behind the net but hey, that goes hand in hand with all that jumping out to make aggressive stops. He needs a loose rein. Besides, that gave his team a chance to make it up to him, make up for that hideous spectacle that was most of the game.
Good news from Sharks Ice: Nitty was on the ice this morning before practice. He wasn’t wearing pads but he was out there so that’s a good sign.
Not at practice were Dan Boyle and Martin Havlat. Since we did hear that Boyle was under the weather in the last couple of games, him being out today doesn’t worry me much. To prevent worry, I’m going to hope strongly that Havlat has caught the bug and isn’t missing for any other reason. Fingers crossed.
6: too many men on the ice
6: too many goals to score
6: too many games to win in a row.
Three sixes on Halloween just can’t be good. I think I can come up with a couple more. Couture and Pavelski both made it to six game point streaks. The Sharks took six penalties, if you count Clowe’s fighting major. In this case, I don’t see any reason not to. That’s six sixes. This is not helping.
They weren’t in Hawaii, but they were visiting Islanders, and now the Sharks are 5-0 on this trip. Their performance last night was lackluster. They won anyway, them’s the breaks, no point asking why.
@PollakOnSharks: Couture on #SJSharks 3-2 OT win: “I didn’t think we were very good, but good teams find a way to win games when they’re not at their best.”
A few things did have to work. Like Pickles. While the rest of the team seemed fairly convinced that they were tired, Vlasic doesn’t believe in tired. Probably he does believe in it, he just doesn’t believe he is old enough to suffer from it. We saw a clever and energetic performance from him. Vlasic is on a tear, isn’t he?
Four goals for the Sharks’ fourth win in a row, half-played without a fourth line.
It isn’t right to start by talking about the 4th line. The correct thing to do, I know, is say how the top lines were awesome and scored and the Sharks won. Yes, all that. And Nemo, lots of good things he did. He was unflappable as he often is. Well done. Yay top guys we expect so much from and hardly ever properly appreciate for doing amazing things like being super fast and crazy clever. They can be difference makers in the playoffs, but only if they get proper support, and I don’t mean applause or a meticulous laundry service. I mean effective play from the lower lines.
It is early still to say whether or not the Sharks’ plans for the 2011-12 season are working, but there is some data available.
First part of the plan was to get Dan Boyle’s minutes down. It does look like his TOI is creeping down. At least from the first game (27:28) to the last (22:49) there’s a reduction, with a spike of in the middle there. Boyle’s time on the penalty kill isn’t dropping off as much as some would like but overall others are balancing out his minutes. The drop is not drastic but it is there, probably because Vlasic and Burns are looking better.
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