Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

Game 82, Kings @ Sharks

The Sharks will once again wear black for the playoffs.  Of course this disappoints me and I cannot understand why the team can’t get teal jerseys that they like as much as the black ones. I can see how the design could require more fabric or a heavier one, but figure it out already!  It doesn’t matter if you like the style of the teal ones, if you’re not going to wear them.  You can’t be Team Teal in black. It is ridiculous.

So new teal jerseys as comfy as the black ones, these are on my off-season wish list.

David Pollak @PollakOnSharks: Handzus in for ailing #sjshark Mitchell in finale tonite vs. LAK.

That word “ailing"alarmed me.  For some reason it makes me think of a worsening condition instead of a regular injury.  I’m sure that isn’t what he meant, but the situation is still disturbing.  Douglas Murray stayed out with the last players to leave the ice, so I would guess he’ll be out tonight too.

Of Handzus playing, McLellan said:

...the fact his four lines have been playing well has kept Handzus out of the lineup, but it also gave him time to heal.

“Now him drawing an assignment tonight does two things,” he continued. “It gives us a big body, it gives us a faceoff guy, which we were poor in in LA for most of the game. It gives us a guy that can penalty kill and play on the power play. And it also gives him an opportunity to get his game together at least once before the playoffs start.” -Working the Corners

With all that going for him, he certainly must have been injured more than was announced, but it clears up a lot.  He has not looked like himself this season.  I hope he is indeed all healed.

The Coyotes have first dibs on the number 3 seed tonight.  Minnesota has caused some trouble for other teams lately but not nearly as much as, say, the Blue Jackets.  Minny seems to like the shootout wins if I’m remembering correctly.  In any case, that will be mostly done by the time the puck drops between the Sharks and the Kings.

Jeff Carter will not play tonight.  He did skate but didn’t do the drills with the rest of the team.  I have an unfounded suspicion he won’t be back for the first playoff game.  His feet give him such grief.  There were a lot of skaters missing from the Kings’ morning skate, but I was surprised Mike Richards wasn’t out there.  There were only two skaters missing for the Sharks (Marleau and Mitchell).  Maybe the Kings skated a lot harder yesterday than the Sharks did. 

Near the end of the last game, someone tweeted that both teams would probably be working on the penalty kill the next day.  I don’t know what the Kings did but I didn’t see the Sharks working on it much, and that’s not so surprising.  Clowe’s comment about his uncalled stick infraction could apply to much of that game for both teams: a brain cramp.  It was group stupid everywhere and there isn’t any way to fix that except to forget it.  I hope it’s out of everyone’s system not only because the Sharks need to play better.  I’d also like to think the dangerous plays were a result of stupidity and I’d rather the Kings not injure any more Sharks.

Then again, the Sharks have had some very strange games against the Kings:

Darin Stephens ‏ @SharksStats: “Sharks won both games this season in which the Kings scored a 5-on-3 PP goal (Nov. 7 at SJ and Apr. 5 at LA).”

That is just weird.  Weird is fine, but it would be great for everyone to also be smart tonight.

Darryl Sutter had some interesting things to say about Jonathan Quick, and goaltending in general:

“...San Jose has a goaltender [Antti Niemi] that has won a Stanley Cup. He quietly goes about his business and doesn’t get much credit, just criticism. And we have one that gets a lot of credit.” -LA Kings Insider

  I’m sure Sutter knows what he’s doing there but it sounds nuts to question the Kings’ goalie.  If it helps undermine Quick’s confidence for the next few weeks, that’s fine with me but it seems unfair.  Quick has kept his team in contention longer than they deserved to be there, under either coach.  I wonder how many games Sutter thinks Quick won for his team this season?  I’d bet it’s more than five the way many people count.

The Sharks have won a few critical games in the last few weeks.  They managed to get into the playoffs.  How far they can go now is unclear.  They will have to be better than they have been.  Dallas was never a problem for them this season.  The Kings were not at their best Thursday. So the Sharks are in but are they ready?

As exciting was Thursday’s game was, it was awful for both teams.  No one stuck to their plan, the Sharks were damn lucky to get to the shootout.  That won’t be good enough to get past the first round.  What ails them?  It could be a nagging systemic problem, or it could be a lack of jump from a few critical players.  The latter could be fixed by the pressure and excitement of the playoffs.  The former won’t go away.

We’ll see.  For now, we have one last regular season game for 2011-12.  We will not be seeing the teal jerseys, not until next Fall.  It will be another black and white game like we saw so often during last playoffs.  I wonder what portends about the refs?

Go Sharks!

Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: darryl+sutter, douglas+murray, jonathan+quick, la+kings, michal+handzus, 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