Petshark: Talking Stick
Entries with the tag: anaheim ducks
I'd really have to see them walk to be sure. These don't seem like the Ducks we all knew, didn't like, and that the Sharks could usually beat back in the day. Last season was one thing. The Ducks beating the Sharks so often seemed like one of many very strange happenings in a very bad season. But this season? What do the Ducks know that the Sharks don't?
The Ducks blocked 24 shots to the Sharks 15. Maybe this game was about slowing the future Ducks down since they obviously have San Jose's number. Hitting them with a lot of shots is one way to do that. Another stat that was kind of interesting was that the Ducks out-hit the Sharks 23-19, and out-shot them 32-26. Doesn't the team without the puck usually hit the most? So the Sharks had the puck, and didn't shoot it? I guess if you count the blocked shots in there it isn't so bad.
Couture scored the only Sharks goal. That wasn't so unusual, but to have the assists go to Andrew Desjardins from fourth line, and Tommy Wingels from the third, that was kind of cool and unlikely. I guess that's what happens to the lines when Clowe gets sent away for nearly a third of the game.
Filed in: hockey, , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
Tags: anaheim+ducks, andrew+desjardins, douglas+murray, jason+demers, logan+couture, martin+havlat, michal+handzus, penalty+kill, ryane+clowe, tommy+wingels
Some ex-Worcester Shuttle frequent flyers have been on the move lately, and for some reason this is as interesting to me as pre-game thoughts about the Sharks in Anaheim. I have only one thought about tonight's game: the Sharks need to avenge that near loss they suffered at home on the 29th. I just hope it isn't with a near win like the Ducks got. Something on the order of a regulation win would be better.
Reports say Greiss will start, and Boyle missed the morning skate again due to lingering flu symptoms:
@PollakOnSharks: McLellan says Boyle missed practice because of flu symptoms, but should play. Note: #SJSharks coach said same when teams met 1/29. Hmm.
@PollakOnSharks: To be precise (and fair), #SJSharks McLellan said of Boyle that he "antcipates him playing."
Precise and fair it is. I did wonder if playing while sick or after just being sick would be a bad idea. I'll dwell on how perfectly rational that explanation is instead of getting all worked up about it. Right.
Filed in: hockey, , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
Tags: ahl, anaheim+ducks, benn+ferriero, brad+staubitz, brandon+mashinter, connecticut+whale, dan+boyle, frazer+mclaren, new+york+rangers, thomas+greiss, tommy+grant, toronto+maple+leafs, victor+fasth
The reports about Jason Demers and Brent Burns should be considered positive developments. The reports I mean are things like:
Jason Demers practiced with the team and took line rushes with Matt Irwin this morning while Nick Petrecki and Brent Burns skated together. Still, McLellan stopped short of declaring Demers good-to-go. -Working the Corners
Even if Demers isn't expected to play tonight, he isn't far off. With him available to play, the team will have choices to make but they are good choices. Like sitting Sheppard to make room for Gomez, it is more a wealth of riches than a shortage of options.
Brent Burns, while probably not as close to playing as Demers, also showed visible improvement. His merely being in the practice tells us that. Still, what he told David Pollak doesn't inspire confidence:
Happy Birthday, Logan Couture. He says that all he wants for his birthday is a win. That’s very mature of him, planning to give us a present on his birthday, or, at least, to go get his own.
So, the Sharks play in Anaheim tonight. What have we got?
We have stats to tell us what we know has already happened: Sharks lost 4 of 5 to the Ducks. We have dinosaurs. We have the Ducks who won’t lie down. Wait. I don’t think I have ever seen a duck lie down. How would a duck lie down? To lie down, I think you have to put your head on the ground, or a pillow, or… Wouldn’t a duck have to be dead to do that?
I’m not really going to talk about that Ducks @ Sharks game. It does not merit the effort. I pity the souls who were obliged to do it. As I tweeted last night, the time I spent watching that game would have been better spent gouging my eyes out with a plastic fork. So I’ll tell you about driving from the Bay Area to Los Angeles instead.
You need to drive California to get a sense of it. Flying over it will not do and often takes as long. I don’t know how the first Euro-Californians could even conceive of California as a single geographical unit. There are states back East and countries in Europe that could fit on a cattle ranch in California. I think General Vallejo, when he designated his Northern California ranch, he must have said “I do not want to be able to find the boundaries of my land. If I can find the end of it, it is too small.”
One of the things that stuck out for me in the Sharks’ Tuesday loss to Minnesota was how many times Niemi got run into or buried under bodies. He seems like a sturdy fellow but that has to be kind of tough on a goalie. That’s a special kind of failure to defend. That was just one symptom of breakdowns from the Sharks. There were enough such to have McLellan shuffling the lines and looking very cross. I just hope Niemi didn’t get banged up, bent wrong or otherwise harmed under there.
The television cameras gave us a good indication of why Ryane Clowe will be wearing a cage for the next week. Apparently the treatment of bleeding noses makes good tv.
Of course the last-minute comeback to push the game to overtime was fun also. That those goals came from the team’s usual suspects made me wonder about a couple of things.
That tweeted reaction to Wednesday’s win courtesy of the tweeter known as @TeamNiemiClowe. I may have left out some exclamation points. I try to stay positive, I wish I had the cheerleader mentality some have attributed to me, but when I saw that tweet I thought “really? Has it come to this? Shouldn’t beating the Ducks be less of a big deal?” I am in the clutches of the dark side, the angry CB cackling in my head. During the game, I took it out on the number three:
Numbers more important than 3:
- First two goals scored by #10.
- First period ended with score at 1-0, which neither contains nor is divisible by three.
- 2 Sharks goals scored 22 seconds apart, by guys with names that start with B and have 4 letters: Brad and Benn. There’s no “b” in three.
We thought The Big Three was thing of the past, to be contemplated only to the tune of Auld Lang Syne: Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton and Dany Heatley playing on the same line. Apparently, the number three never dies. It is as big today as ever it was:
“We have to have the understanding that three is a very important number for us. Three is the be-all and end-all,” McLellan said. “It’s either hurting us when we give up three or helping us when we score three.” -Working the Corners
Like a holy trinity, three goals are the secret to everything: “the first to three,” “a 3-2 league,” “the most dangerous lead.” Well, that last one is pretty old. I like it because it illustrates my reason for being highly suspicious of any psychological or predictive theory that turns a number into a grail: you get ahead by three and you get sloppy. It’s hogwash, of course. A team can fall apart or get it together at any time, but people take it into their heads and their hearts and give it power.
Thanks to a special shark fin turnover recipe, the Ducks came back to life and won a road game. It was a Boxing Day miracle, possibly the first on record:
@PollakOnSharks: “Perspective: Ducks have won 10 of 35 games this season, three against #sjsharks. Of only three Anaheim road wins, two are at HP Pavilion.”
Ugh. What more can I say? There was Colin White’s disappearance. He played a little over 8 minutes, and not at all in the third. That bodes ill. Who would have guessed the Sharks would need more than eight defensemen? Beyond that, let me refer you to Fear the Fin, Working the Corners, and Sharks Talk for all the gory details of how the Sharks lost yet again to the Ducks.
The sidebar story to the Sharks losing is that someone brought a dead duck into the Tank, held onto it through two periods and two intermissions, and threw it on the ice during the third. Eeeee-yuck.
Niemi will start for the Sharks tonight, Greiss will backup again. Aside from distracting us from the usual question about who will start, the answer to “who will backup?” doesn’t really tell us a lot. Which goalie will they move? Based on who sits on the bench, you could argue either way.
Douglas Murray and Jim Vandermeer are still out. It goes without saying, but I don’t want to forget about him: Martin Havlat is out too, as he will be for a long while. According to Kevin Kurz, the lines looked unchanged from the last game at the Sharks’ morning skate.
That skate was a long one, according to tweets from Brodie Brazil.
@brodiebrazilCSN: Boyle on #sjsharks long skate today: “trying to get our mindset back into the game and not in the clouds and Christmas presents, and stuff.”
Turn the page. Turn it around. Turn up the volume. Okay, not sure how that last one works but I think it is time for the Sharks to take a turn for the better. Yes yes, they did win one already but that was ages ago. We’re ready for another.
The odds of losing three in a row are not a lot better than the odds of winning three in a row. I guess you could say three’s a charm. The Ducks already won three in a row, has to be harder to win four, right?
The odds of the Sharks starting two seasons in a row by winning one and losing three in a row have to be very long.
Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
Tags: anaheim+ducks, andrew+desjardins, andrew+murray, antti+niemi, jamie+mcginn, martin+havlat, silly+prediction+methods, tommy+wingels, torrey+mitchell
People get hurt in all kinds of situations but it’s more likely when people are confused and scrambling. Last night, the Ducks’ Jason Blake was the unlucky party:
“It was a weird, freak play – the battle in the faceoff and I didn’t really know he fell right away. He was kind of behind me” Burns, continued: ” ...the puck was there and I was trying to kick the puck up and I think he was trying to get the puck. It was just a battle and I didn’t even know he was on the ground.” -David Pollak’s Twitter feed
All seem to agree that it was a freak accident, but one of the things that tends to happen when things are going badly is someone gets hurt.