Petshark: Talking Stick
by petshark on 10/30/11 at 10:00 PM ET
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?
“Another tremendous game from him on a night when one of our key guys kind of played sick on the back end,” Todd McLellan said, referring to an ailing Dan Boyle. -Working the Corners
Also on the not tired list would be Thomas Greiss and Jason Demers. They had no reason to be tired, unless they suffer from severe air sickness. No idea what is up with Demers. Maybe he caught whatever Boyle had before Boyle actually got sick. Speaking of Boyle, he seems to be finding his bearings, despite being under the weather. Maybe it’s because he’s under the weather, he’s being more cautious and is less easily distracted by unhelpful thoughts. Being sick can do that. It might be a good thing if Demers caught that.
Couture had some good moments in there but his line didn’t seem to be firing quite right. Really none of them were. Would everyone have been less tired if Nabokov had been in net? I’m inclined to think so. When a game starts out with overt audience contempt for the home team’s goalie, it has to be a little difficult to get going. As the Islanders showed, that can be dangerous. The Sharks needed a lot of bounces to go their way, and they needed to take full advantage of the bad calls that went their way, since they were not up to giving the game their best. There were bad calls and non calls both ways, but you have to be ready to cope with them or take advantage when possible.
I hope the Sharks power play in OT wasn’t the sum of their karmic payback for the same call going against them last season in the Conference Final Game 7. That isn’t much of a return for a big bad luck deposit like that.
Since I’ve been so hysterical on the subject of using more than one goalie, it seemed like a good idea to look into how the Sharks have actually used their goalies so far. I know it isn’t representative or predictive in any way since Niemi was out with injury, but so far so good. Of Greiss last night, McLellan said:
“There were a few rebounds I’m sure he’d like to have back,” the coach said, “but they’re a very active team around the net as far as shooting off the net and tip-ins and deflections. And he made some really good saves there.” -Working the Corners
If rebounds are the only adjustment the team has to make… Oh, right, that’s Niemi’s Achilles heel too. So, no adjustments? Sounds good. But surely one is better than the other?
Hm. Well, Niemi was unwell, which probably explains the similarity of the numbers in the GP and SV% columns. If that’s as bad as it gets, I think the team is pretty well set for goalies. Not like ironclad set, but fine. No reason to assume it won’t get better and worse as the season rolls along but so far so good.
Greiss made 35 saves last night on 37 shots. That’s the 2nd most shots either goalie has seen in a game this season. Certainly it was a change from his previous starts. He didn’t have any sleepy periods watching his team dominate in the other end. Good for him. I hope that all gets taken into consideration as the season goes on, and he gets to play more often.
Tomorrow the Sharks meet another hungry, cranky opponent. The Rangers are on a bad streak. I hope the Sharks have a little appetite left after consuming so many points so quickly. I’m not a biologist, but do sharks ever get full?
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org