Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

A grudging ode to three

Three games against the Canucks, three ending 3-2.  In fact, the Sharks’ last three games against anyone ended 3-2.  Last night, the Sharks avoided losing three games in a row, or three to the Canucks.  Thornton was guilty of three turnovers.  The game produced three points, one for the Canucks, two for the Sharks.  The Sharks practiced three times between games against the Canucks. I haven’t counted how many times Nemo taps the posts with his stick between shootout rounds, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s three.

All right, Sharks. FINE, you really like your threes, I get it.  I’ll try not to say things to belittle or mock your faith.  I still think it would be better if…. Oh, never mind.  Bleeding cultists.

I don’t mind being wrong when it means the team wins.  I take absolutely no joy in being right when it means the team loses.  I wasn’t sure the Sharks would lose to the Canucks last night, but I was really very certain it would not end 3-2.  Whatev.

The penalties, the good (who doesn’t feel like chopping a Sedin’s head off once in a while?), the bad (Murray holding? In what reality?) and the ugly (what exactly were you trying to do there, Clowe?) did generate one positive: the Sharks killed most of them.  Tired and frustrated as they had to be from the first nutty call to the sixth, they still killed more penalties than they usually see in a game.

It made me want to see how they’ve done over the last 5 games, and who has really been getting the penalty kill time.  I’m only going to count the penalties that left the team short handed, so I won’t count fighting majors or matching minors.

Sharks v Tampa Bay Lightning, 12/21: killed 4/4

•SH TOI: Boyle(3:26), Burns(3:09), Desi/Couture(3:07), Braun/White(2:55), Thornton(2:30), Zus(2:14**), Marleau(2:13), Vlasic(2:07*), Pavelski(1:57), Demers(1:34), Mitchell(0:42*), McGinn(0:16)

Sharks v LA Kings, 12/23: killed 2/3

•SH TOI: Braun (2:27), White (2:12), Pavelski (2:10), Vlasic (1:52), Couture (1:29*), Marleau (1:28), Thornton (1:10), Boyle (1:04), Desjardins (0:44), Handzus (0:33), Burns/Mitchell (0:33)

Sharks v Anaheim Ducks, 12/26: killed 2/2

•SH TOI: Vlasic (3:02), Boyle (2:11), Desjardins (1:45), Handzus (1:43), Couture (1:35), Burns (1:21), Marleau (1:20), Braun (0:58), Thornton (0:55), Pavelski (0:42), White (0:28**)

Sharks v Vancouver Canucks, 12/28: killed 3/4

•SH TOI: Vlasic (4:42), Marleau (3:52), Boyle (3:46), Pavelski (3:28), D Murray (2:31), Couture (2:04), Braun (2:03), Handzus (2:00), Desjardins (1:51), Burns (1:24**), Mitchell (0:47), Thornton (0:24**)

Sharks v Vancouver Canucks, 1/2: killed 5/6

•SH TOI: Vlasic (5:29), Boyle (4:45), Marleau (4:13), Pavelski (3:43), Couture (2:43), Braun (2:34), D Murray (2:33**), Burns (2:26*), Desjardins (2:11), Handzus (1:36), Thornton (1:13), Demers (0:16**), Mitchell (0:09)

*Player’s SH TOI may be lower due to time spent in the box. **Took more than one penalty or a double minor, or left game due to injury.

There are a few things that surprise me in this data.  One, Desjardins got more penalty killing time than I realized.  That could be in part because when they have to kill a penalty, I spend half that time with a blanket pulled over my head.  Desi isn’t leading in pk time but he is right in the thick of it, so that’s good.  Yay 4th line penalty killers.

I’m surprised Handzus isn’t getting more pk time than he is.  I realize he has other duties too but I expected to see him leading in this area.  His old goalie said he was good at this.

Boyle hasn’t taken any penalties lately.  This is very very good, except that if so many penalties are going to be taken I think I might prefer he be sitting in the box than killing almost all of them.

The penalty kill seems to have been leaning on Colin White a little there, before he got hurt.  That’s no good, the being hurt part.  I hope he comes back soon.  Douglas Murray has jumped right in where White left off, but wouldn’t it be nice to have both available?  Imagine a game where no Shark has to spend five minutes killing penalties.

According to David Pollak, Niittymaki is in one net, Greiss in the other this morning in Anaheim.  That makes me hope we might see Nitty start soon, but I can’t ignore the possibility that Niemi is getting a rest after playing so many games in a row.  Still, why bring Nitty at all if there isn’t even a good possibility he will play?  He wouldn’t be able to practice with the team if he didn’t go with them, but still.  I hope we get to see him play soon, before someone gets sent away like the 8 Ball and most other prognostication devices indicate will happen.

Also according to our trusty Sharks tweeters, Couture is practicing, so no need to panic about that shot that sent him limping from the ice last night.  That is excellent good news.

The Sharks have already lost three to Anaheim.  Is enough enough yet?  McLellan thinks so, he said so before the Canucks game.  He may be saying it again, right now in Anaheim:

@KKurzCSN: “Todd McLellan’s voice booming loudly in the empty Honda Center this afternoon.”

Let us hope.  It’s a brand new year, a brand new push would be an excellent idea.

Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+desjardins, antero+niittymaki, colin+white, dan+boyle, logan+couture, michal+handzus, penalty+kill

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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