Petshark: Talking Stick
by petshark on 10/07/11 at 06:00 PM ET
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.
Greiss is starting. I like to watch spectacular goaltending but I think it can make the rest of the team sloppy. I think really bad goaltending makes the rest of the team tired. Adequate is fine with me. I won’t say I’m worried about who’s in net at this point. If Nemo is going to be worked hard when ready, better to start that later than sooner.
I hope to see an end to this chatter about White and Vandermeer being paired. For a list of hockey commentators who have not suggested this, see DP’s post about what people are saying about the Sharks. At least I don’t think I heard any of them put White with Vandermeer. I can’t recall who has said it but it has been said too often and it makes my ears itch. The only way I see Vandermeer and White being on the ice together not mid-change is due to a rash of injuries or with a 7D lineup during a penalty kill. Alright, so maybe it will take more than one game for this “Vandermeer could push Demers off the roster” crap to stop, but it will be a start.
Tommy Wingels: is he the guy? Will he hang in there, tenacious and creative, is he the elusive 3rd line winger/missing piece/champion we have been waiting for? Yeah, he will probably start on the 2nd line tomorrow but it will be a chance to see if he’s ready to stick. He doesn’t have to do more, just more of the same, according to McLellan:
“I believe that he should still be in that mode of training camp, that I just have to do what I do, I don’t need to play outside my skin. Nobody has sent him any message other than that. If he wanders from there, it’ll be our job to reel him in a little bit, but I don’t see that happening right now.” -Working the Corners (DP)
Jamie McGinn: this game seems more important for him than for Wingels. Than for anyone, really. He needs to show us what spooked the Nucks, with slightly better timing please. I still think that he and Desjardins could be very effective together. Some scoring would be nice, but chances will do. He needs to put the pieces together pronto, make us think he has more to offer than Winchester does, that he isn’t just in the lineup for lack of options. He may have a few more games to perform these amazing feats, but those of us who would really like to see Havlat play hope not. I’m a McGinn fan but he’s running out of time fast.
Andrew Murray: I’m going to pay particular attention to him, because I can’t figure him out. I understand it is very cool to have someone who can play either side, but he’s still mysterious to me. I’m waiting for him to make me say wow.
The what if I have avoided contemplating is: what if Nemo and/or Havlat are out for a really really long time? I think I might develop a persistent tic, or hives, or both, depending on whether it is an “and” or an “or.”
For therapeutic value, I’ll quote Havlat on Havlat:
“I just need to be stronger and it’ll be fine,” said Havlat, who was heading to the training room to work out with weights shortly after talking with the media. “No pain, it’s about strength. Just the way it is. I need to get a little more stronger. Everything else is perfect.” -Working the Corners (DP)
...and McLellan on Niemi:
Antti Niemi “is very close to being ready.” -Working the Corners (ME)
Sigh. I’m such a pessimist. Maybe the podcast on Sharkspage will cheer me up. I’m going to go listen to that now.
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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 email@example.com