Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

The drawing board

As others have pointed out, Winchester and Handzus may play today instead of Galiardi and Moore. Seems like the Sharks roster is back where it started before moving McGinn…except for not having McGinn anymore.  I hope they aren’t taking everything back to the drawing board.  I know I wanted them to throw their keys in the river but I didn’t mean parachute into Antarctica to do it and hope to find your way back by puck drop.

Mark Purdy wrote a piece about Thornton returning to the penalty kill, saying that Moore has been a disappointment after being acquired for that.  He didn’t mention that it’s hardly ideal to rely on someone who’s wearing a cage anyway.  I know a player can play with a cage but I still wouldn’t call him exactly a “healthy scratch” if he has to wear one.

I think it’s interesting that a team would be confident that someone can do a certain job when not all teams do the same job the same way.  Sure, it seems more crazy to expect someone to do a job they have not done before.  I was stunned to hear that Colorado tossed McGinn into the penalty kill in his first game with them.  I don’t think they did that again.  Which is fine, everyone has a skill and he did much better on the power play.  Still, I don’t know how you can expect someone to help your penalty kill unless you see him working in a similar system.

Back to Thornton on the penalty kill… a lot of teams are stretching a little right now.  The Canucks threw Daniel Sedin in, possibly cutting his concussion rehab short.  Nicklas Grossmann was probably playing with an iffy knee when he was (probably) concussed yesterday. 

I am very grateful that the Sharks and the Blues have stopped trying to maim each other.

By comparison to those other cases, upping Thornton’s ice time is a small concession to avoid elimination.  Oh, the Sharks aren’t quite on the verge of elimination yet?  Could have fooled me.  I’m afraid to be writing this, not sure I should go to the game tonight, I’m grasping at signs from the Caps and even the Red Wings for hints of what’s to come.  It is horrible.  As Megalodon said: you’re killing me.

Kevin Kurz had a lot of thing to say about using Handzus, called the situation embarrassing, “a panic move” by the coaching staff.  Well, they wouldn’t be the first to panic Handzus into the lineup.  He was all over the lines in last season’s playoffs since the Kings were so depleted by injury.  That the Kings did not resign him isn’t a clear-cut condemnation of his abilities.  More than one reporter said the Kings regretted losing him.  Embarrassing or not, he hasn’t bolstered the Sharks roster as planned.

I’m a hold-out when it comes to ditching Handzus, I’m still a fan.  Like Moore, he came from a team that did things differently than the Sharks do them, which may be why he was so effective countering what the Sharks do while he was still a King.  But just because you know how to stay in Patrick Marleau’s way doesn’t mean you will be any good at playing the other side.  Still, I hope, as I suppose the Sharks do, that Handzus will find something he hasn’t had since he played with McGinn back at the beginning of the season: a way to use his experience to get the most out of his linemates.

As for Winchester, well, Galiardi has been having a hard time.  He seems to have caught whatever Mitchell had for so long, the worst puck luck you can get.  While I don’t think using Handzus is embarrassing, it is very disappointing to have two of the three deadline acquisitions out.  Good thing we all like what Winnik does.

The Sharks did a lot of jersey juggling yesterday.  I thought it was kind of funny.  By the end of practice there were at least five orange jerseys out there, where there had been only three to start.  I am pretty sure I saw Clowe in one, Mitchell in another.  They really jump out at you when the guys are wearing teal socks, in an omg-my-eyes!-make-it-stop horrible kind of way.  The socks mismatch with a teal or white jersey isn’t nearly so bad… unless you start with orange socks.  In any case, by the final scrimmage it looked a little like a pre-season practice in terms of dress.

By contrast, the Blues were extremely accommodating with their color choices.  They have six colors of practice jersey to the Sharks’ four: red, white, blue, green, yellow and grey.  They use grey for defense and each forward line gets its own color.  I did not notice them switching them around but I had to leave early.  Maybe later they took them all off, threw them in a pile and grabbed a new one randomly, just to mess with observers.

Sateri seems to be here.  Still no word on other Black Aces.  I don’t really think any of them are needed right now, but what’s the hold-up?  Isn’t it the done thing to call up anyone and everyone you might even think of ever using again?

I have every intention of going to tonight’s game.  I will not give in that much to crazy, narcissistic superstition.  Of course, if things go haywire in the first… or even the second… I might make my own panic move and bolt.  That would be hard.  This could be the last time I get to see them this season!  This is awful.  I don’t like this game today, I am very angry with it.

I won’t bother trying to jinx Elliott by saying nice things about him on Twitter again.  I am sure he’s immune to such witchcraft.  But whatever Pavelski has on him, that could actually be useful, guys.  It’s been a while since they played together, Elliott has been down some long winding roads since then, but try everything, anything.

Go Sharks!

Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: brad+winchester, daniel+winnik, dominic+moore, joe+thornton, michal+handzus, tj+galiardi

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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