Petshark: Talking Stick
by petshark on 11/29/11 at 04:59 PM ET
To go to sleep angry is something you shouldn’t do. So I was glad that CSN showed the new Shark Byte right after that appalling game in LA. It was chock full of fun and cute things and happy cheerful banter. Something other than what was probably going on in the Sharks dressing room and on the plane home tonight. I hope, but that’s because I’m still a little mad. Maybe I should watch it again. The Shark Byte, not the game. That wallaroo was adorable.
I thought the Sharks would give a few strong performances here, since they were facing teams they should take seriously. The Canucks game was depressing but McLellan said it was a good effort. He’s the expert, so I’ll just believe him. But this game in LA was painful to watch. The team could not have been more disjointed if they had itching powder in their gloves and helmets. They were so very much out of sync, it was hard to tell who wasn’t making hasty wrong decisions and bizarre choices.
The record shows that it was a 2-0 loss for San Jose. I remember it as a 3-0 loss. That puck may well have gone off a skate, but the blame still belonged to the Sharks. If it hadn’t been kicked in, we all saw there was a stick right there to finish it right. So to my mind, the Kings scored 3.
Oddly, the one non-flukey goal was from Gagne and Richards. I admit, I wasn’t completely gutted to see that. If someone’s going to beat the Sharks, it might as well be someone I’d be happy to see succeed, in some other game… against some other team.
I saw some comments online critical of Niemi, some called him lazy. Hey, he might have made some dumb moves but he wasn’t and never is lazy. That was how the whole team looked: not exactly sluggish, just not ready. This wasn’t shellfish poisoning, this was something different. Maybe peyote on the plane? Whatever the cause, the game seemed to take them by surprise, just like that first goal.
The few bright spots I did notice: a couple of good shifts late from the makeshift third line of McGinn, Murray and Mitchell (oh look! 3 Ms!) Also, that strange drop off from some King on a breakaway that made it look like Braun asked for the puck and got it, while Vlasic was trying to defend without a stick. That decision was on a par with the odd blind passes, or the “where the hell you sending that?” passes from the Sharks.
The Sharks did okay on the draws. That’s something. I can’t wait to see what the team has to say about this game.
McLellan didn’t say much after the game, aside from not ready, a question of work ethic, disappointed, etc.
There was some certainty that the Sharks would not skate today, that there would be a meeting instead. There may have been a meeting, but around 11am, a few players started to trickle out on the ice.
First out: Niittymaki. Gosh I forgot how quick he moves, and this is only 8 weeks into the 12 week recovery. It will be nice to see him playing again.
It looks like the only players out were the 4th line + McLaren, Greiss, Nitty and Demers: the not guilty parties in the case of the squandered points at Staples Center.
Greiss and Nitty. It may be four weeks away or eight, however many… why can’t they keep 3 goalies? That roster limit is a stupid rule. It is too severe by two or three players. Who doesn’t need three goalies in a season? Really. Of course a team needs extra forwards and defensemen. It’s just not right.
There are some teams who could use another goalie right now. I suppose Greiss might clear waivers but…
In the end, it was only the above-mentioned players who skated today. I wonder if the others were seated at desks downstairs, writing “I will be ready to play, mentally and physically, when the puck drops” 100 times in #2 pencil. They wouldn’t have enough room for enough chalkboards for them to all to write it in chalk.
Whatever discussion, brainstorming, or heated post-mortem went on down there, I hope it was productive. I don’t want to be angry with them after next game.
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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