Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

Let’s review

I’ve been holding my breath about this game against the Oilers.  Even after watching the Sharks run through a lengthy review session on Monday, I couldn’t find much to tell me what is likely to happen tonight.  Is there ever, really, aside from who will start in goal?

As Mark Emmons tweeted, Martin Havlat was skating well yesterday morning.  He participated in all the drills, even line rushes of a sort.  His “line” was three guys in orange, Ferriero and Winchester being the other two.  They all ran the same drills everyone else did.

McLellan spent a lot of time on instruction yesterday.  He was out there talking and directing for the better part of an hour.  He didn’t have the super-sized white board but I think this was pretty close to that episode.

“Everybody has to be on the same page,” Moore added. “But the games are where that really needs to happen.”

Added Logan Couture on Monday’s practice: “It basically was training camp stuff.” -Working the Corners

Sounds like they were working on finding that page.  I didn’t see any dictionaries but I don’t think training camp is out of line for this bunch right now.

In the early part of Monday’s practice, the lines looked like this:

  • Marleau, Thornton, Pavelski
  • Clowe, Couture, Wingels
  • Galiardi, Handzus, Desjardins
  • Moore, Winnick, Mitchell

Later, the bottom six switched around:

  • Winnick, Galiardi, Desjardins
  • Handzus, Moore, Mitchell.

Defensive pairings were as follows:

  • Vandermeer w/ Demers
  • Boyle w/ Vlasic
  • Burns w/ Murray
  • Braun w/ White

At least yesterday, Vandermeer was back in black.  The fact that White was with Braun makes me think we will continue to see lots of White.  I don’t think it’s very likely Braun will sit in lieu of Demers, but stranger things have happened, like this:

David Pollak ‏ @PollakOnSharks: “...Demers and White both off ice this a.m. before Vandermeer or Braun. And it’ll be Niemi in net for #sjsharks based on that, too.”

Oh!  The Sharks are so sneaky with their practice lines.

Of McLellan’s absence, Thornton said yesterday:

“We miss him,” Sharks captain Joe Thornton said. “He’s a comforting voice behind the bench and he calms everybody down. He has a good feeling for the game and for this team. He can adjust things on the fly..” -Working the Corners

Despite McLellan’s insistence that he should not be the focus of attention, that his presence really should not make the difference, he is obviously very important to the group psyche.  Some people are like that, even if they don’t realize it.  This is not the time to try and fix that, just give the team their coach back please.

McLellan will at least start out behind the bench tonight:

Kevin Kurz ‏ @KKurzCSN: “McLellan: “I’m going to go on the bench, give the bench my full attention, and I’ll see how it goes from there.”“

I hope he is back to stay, but I also believe that the lengthy review/crash course session yesterday was not wasted.

I also need to pause for a second to contemplate the oddity of this fact: tonight’s head coaches are the two who have been concussed this season.  I don’t have a count on it but I think two concussed head coaches in one NHL season is a lot, isn’t it?

Today the team was in St. Patrick’s Day colors, with their names adjusted accordingly:

David Pollak ‏ @PollakOnSharks: “...Optional skate for #sjsharks this morning. Team wearing St. Patrick’s Day gear—MacClowe, for example.”

I suppose trying on a new name can help you find your identity, it’s a tradition in many cultures.  Between that and the clovers (a leaf short or not), let’s hope Saint Patrick takes note.

I’ve noticed that games against the Oilers seem to be watershed games.  Losses to the Oilers have twice capped off six-game losing streaks, and preceded good runs from the Sharks: in March 2010, and January 2011.  Since the Sharks have not lost five in a row (yet), it’s a little different from the last two seasons, except that the team is struggling and it is the second half of the season.  Now is like then in that regard.

Oh heck, who’s counting?  I’ll just hope the magic is in the Oilers and not the loss count.  Maybe the formula could work even without losing to Edmonton.

Go Sharks!

Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: colin+white, concussion, jim+vandermeer, martin+havlat, oilers, 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