Petshark: Talking Stick
The Sharks wanted to start the season off fast. That sounds like a good plan, even if the NHL schedule made us hurry up and wait for a week before the next game. I also wish these starts were not against the Yotes and the Ducks. The Ducks should offer some resistance but the current incarnation of the Phoenix Coyotes is hardly rigorous competition for what some are calling the best Sharks team ever, or in a very long time. That’s why a blowout was sort of on the agenda Saturday night, especially after that preseason game I can’t seem to remember.
Everything was going according to plan until the end. I imagine it’s hard to keep playing hard when there’s not much push back. The Sharks won 6-3, but for quite a while the score was lots more lopsided than that. There are several good recaps of the game:
If you haven’t already, go read those. I did.
Welcome back NHL hockey. Yesterday’s practice gave me some what ifs to ponder. What if the Sharks had to manage a penalty kill and, for whatever reason, the only forwards on the ice were McGinn & McLaren? What if the team was down two men, and the only forward was Andrew Murray? Apparently, in these situations, the team could make due with White and Vandermeer there too. Something tells me that exercise was more about who was on the power play than the penalty kill but it still made me wonder.
Tomorrow the Sharks play their first game of the season, and there are several things I’m looking forward to, not the least of which is being there to hear the noise.
For those going to the game Saturday, the Sharks will host their annual opening night street rally from 5 to 7, next to HP Pavilion. There will be food, music, carnival festivities (face painting, dunk tank, slap shot hockey, other fun stuff), and a scavenger hunt. For more on the scavenger hunt and a chance to win game tickets, go to: www.sjsharks.com/streetrally.
They’ll have a benefit beer booth and Sharks gear to tempt you. Even if you aren’t going to the game but are in the area, check that out. It’s all subject to change in case of inclement weather, fingers crossed.
Mike Moore and Cameron MacIntyre reported to Worcester today. Evidently MacIntyre got there last night, and was promptly interviewed. Thanks to @worcestersharks for posting the vid.
So, my roster guess is already pretty wrong. That’s okay, I’m usually wrong about things like that.
What does signing Brad Winchester mean? Not only did the Sharks give him a contract, they gave him one of their two remaining contract spots. They obviously thought he could bring more to the team than most of the young players he was competing with during training camp. That makes that contract bigger than it looks at one year for $725k.
The list of players he was competing with includes: Jamie McGinn, Cameron MacIntyre, and John McCarthy. Those are not all similar players but they were all competing for a lower line spot on the NHL roster. McCarthy has already been sent down. I would have put Frazer McLaren on that list but he wasn’t fairly tested during this camp as he was recovering from injury. So I won’t say Winchester beat him out for a spot, but there doesn’t seem to be room left for him.
Just because it seems like the thing to do these days, I’ll share my lineup guesses. Today could be the last chance to do that since tonight is the last exhibition game. Announcement of the final decisions are imminent, though there aren’t a lot of decisions left to make.
Marleau-Thornton-Pavelski, Clowe-Couture-Havlat, Wingels-Handzus-Mitchell, McGinn-Desjardins-A Murray, Ferriero, McCarthy.
Boyle-Murray, Burns-Vlasic, Demers-White, Vandermeer.
There, that’s what I guess the Sharks roster will look like come October. Why? The top six are self-evident (F and D), even if they get moved around a bit. The goalies? It sounds like Niemi will be just fine by the start of the season. If not, no biggie. He’ll be back and Greiss seems to be finding his groove.
Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
Tags: andrew+murray, benn+ferriero, brad+winchester, frazer+mclaren, jamie+mcginn, jim+vandermeer, john+mccarthy, justin+braun, tommy+wingels
Considering that the Sharks won by a score of 3-0, there were a surprising lot of things to get upset about in the preseason game against the Canucks last night. Demers was hit in the head, left for a goodly while. Winchester did something to his knee (groin? ankle? “lower body”) when he went down in the shortest fight in history. He came back, as did Demers. I can’t help thinking that Winchester’s situation just got a whole lot more precarious, which is also disappointing since he looked like such a promising addition. And for no reason I could fathom, both top lines were playing, except that McGinn was holding Havlat’s place on the second line instead of Ferriero, until he lost it to Wingels (I see a pattern here). The lineup looked to me like all bad news for the vast majority of the Worcester guys. Speaking of bad news…
When you know someone has been hurt, you watch them differently than you would watch someone you assume to be healthy. Any little misstep will be cause for doubt. Considering the gravity of the injury sustained by Alex Stalock last season, I think it’s nothing short of a miracle that I only noticed one misstep this morning. He wore lower pads only. I’m no expert and I don’t know how his leg feels but it looked like both legs were doing what he told them to. Between exercises, he tossed the puck around, hitting the wall, and shooting at both nets. Part of me thought “Dude! Don’t even play around with putting the puck in your own net!” But having fun is good for healing, so he should do whatever amuses him for now.
The announcement said there were 16 thousand people there Saturday night to watch the Sharks preseason game against the Coyotes. I thought that was a pretty good turnout.
When people say “don’t hurt yourself,” they usually mean you are slacking off, not putting forward your best effort. In the case of this preseason game, I would say there was some of that. But it really is critical to not hurt yourself, so I couldn’t decide if it bothered me that a few players were just not themselves. It’s still September, the team doesn’t need any more injuries. Besides, in a game they will happen, like it or not. For example:
@PollakOnSharks:...linesman just took puck where nobody wants to get hit by a puck. He’s persevering, but in obvious discomfort.
Ugh. So I’m not going to whine about players with nothing to gain from this game not seeming to over-extend themselves. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Tonight’s lineup features Vlasic’s return but no Burns, the second line on top (minus Havlat, plus Ferriero) and a new mix of lower lines: McCarthy-Desjardins-Wingels, Mashinter-Guite-MacIntyre. Oh, and the McGinn-Handzus-Mitchell line which isn’t at all new.
Nemo was back on the ice for practice. Praise the hockey gods. Petrecki is also ready to play, after quietly finishing hip rehab. I wondered where he was disappearing to during scrimmages. He will be with Vlasic, Braun with Vandermeer and White with Demers. I keep seeing White listed as “C White” instead of just “White.” I know we had another White last season but let it go already, Colin is our new White, I think it is safe to just say “White.”
Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
Tags: brodie+reid, colin+white, james+livingston, marc-edouard+vlasic, marek+viedensky, matt+irwin, mike+connolly, nick+petrecki, pre-season, taylor+doherty, thomas+greiss
Thanks, Brodie, it was nice to get some attention for the new glass and boards system at HP. I agree that we will see a lot more game and a lot less stanchion. I’m not sure it will provide as much of a home ice advantage as suggested in Brodie’s article.
“They are more lively,” Sharks captain Joe Thornton told me. “It will be a nice home ice advantage, you know we’ll get used to those boards. It’s going to be good for us.” -Sharks Talk
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