Petshark: Talking Stick
Entries with the tag: brad winchester
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.
It felt uncomfortably warm in San Jose, even before noon. After the dramatic storms seen here during Game 1 and in St. Louis for Game 2, a windless warm day seems ominous. It’s hard-to-breathe weather. Or maybe it’s just me.
Looking back to those last regular season games against the LA Kings, it sure looks like the Kings won by losing. We’ve only had the two games so far, but it feels like the Sharks are so far behind already.
Todd McLellan hasn’t said he will change the lineup for tonight’s game, but Kevin Kurz tweeted that Colin White left the ice early. I saw some fan tweets during and after Saturday’s game saying White could be an option if the Sharks anticipated any more fighting. I’m not sure I follow that. I remember a game where McGinn said he jumped in so White would not have to fight. I’m sure he can do it but I don’t think it’s his thing anymore. More likely, McLellan felt that the Demers-Braun pair was overwhelmed. I’m not sure I believe White will be an improvement there but who knows. Maybe Murray will come out. I don’t think that’s likely, I don’t like what it would imply, but it could happen.
Today we learned that Owen Nolan is making an announcement about his career on Tuesday. The Sharks will give him a forum at HP for the press conference but Brodie Brazil has already said it will be a retirement announcement. Thank goodness Brazil cleared that up. No one could have guessed that. Then Darren Dreger congratulated Nolan on Twitter using a tweet and not even an @ message or a DM. I’ll go ahead and save the congrats until Nolan has a chance to speak for himself. But I’m not a news hound.
Niemi is feeling better, so Sexsmith has been sent back to Worcester. Not sure what they’ll do with Nitty now. He didn’t play today, although he was sent there to, you know, play. Whatev. It’s one loss not on his record.
Last night I wrote down several impressions of the Sharks game against Dallas. I decided that, since they were not playing today, I would finish it in the morning. I woke up and was completely sick of hockey. This has never happened before. Well, it may have happened a decade ago, I don’t remember. It took me so much by surprise that I didn’t know what it meant. But the Sharks won! And without any fighting! What is WRONG with me?
In college, I read about a ritual in some Native American cultures where you give away all your possessions. This is supposed to get rid of your bad luck, spiritual crisis or mental funk. Is that what the Sharks are doing, giving away the puck and fan patience, bit by bit each game? I think doing it by accident misses the point.
And still their even strength scoring plummets, their power play ails, points slip away. Their penalty kill seems better than before, but is that just compared to the fall off of the rest? Last night, Kevin Kurz tweeted:
“Blues may have played well defensively, but I’m not completely buying some of the post game quotes. Final recap, here: http://t.co/nm2BubxJ”
Before even reading those quotes, I thought “I don’t buy them either.” The Sharks are usually understated in their postgamers (which has to make you wonder what Clowe or Boyle say off camera). Even so, there just doesn’t seem to be any valid excuse for this loss. Perhaps a mea culpa on a par with Bryzgalov’s “lost in the woods” speech. Maybe that would do.
During a broadcast of a Worcester Sharks game the other day, Ben Guite mentioned goalie drills. He wasn’t very specific, but he said that shooting drills were more fun than goalie drills, if you’re not a goalie, which he isn’t. I don’t remember if he used those terms, but this answered a question I had some time ago about goalies at team practice. I wondered if goalies get enough or the right kind of practice when they practice with the team. The answer seems to be: not really.
Even when the goalie is engaged in the drills, seeing a lot of shots, if those shots are practice for the shooters, they will probably be varied, the kind of shot that particular skater needs to practice. The goalie will get work, he will get some practice, but it’s not comprehensive.
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.
I don’t know exactly what a red card is but I suspect it has to do with misbehaving in a soccer game. So I think it’s kind of ironic that I watched the Sharks @ Stars game at a sports bar called Red Card. I usually lean toward older, danker places where the wood (there’s got to be lots of wood) was steeped for years in cigar smoke and the leather upholstery is a bit alive with the scent of many bodies.
Red Card isn’t like that. It’s got shiny metal highlights and a lit bar that changes colors. It also has exposed brick walls and black and red leather upholstery. You know it’s a pub, even if the chairs and bar stools are of a distinctly modern design. It also has a bunch of satellite feeds so it gets pretty much any sports event you need to see.
I order soup and beer and watch the Sharks game begin.
Filed in: hockey, , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
Tags: antti+niemi, brad+winchester, brent+burns, jamie+mcginn, jason+demers, jim+vandermeer, red+card, ryane+clowe, todd+mclellan, travel
I was surprised by how difficult it was to find a place to watch Sharks or Flyers games the first day I was here. I spoke to bartenders, hostesses, a hotel concierge and one bar-restaurant manager, and none could answer me the simple question: where can I watch a Sharks/Flyers game?
Answers I received:
-“We might show that if it’s on CBC and nothing else is on. But I can’t promise anything.”
-“Right upstairs”, to which upstairs responded “what channel is it on? Oh, no, we only show Canadian teams.” To which downstairs retorted “I used to work upstairs, I know they have a lot more hockey channels than we do down here.”
I did not go back upstairs to pursue this matter.
Filed in: hockey, , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
Tags: andrew+desjardins, andrew+murray, antti+niemi, brad+winchester, colin+white, jason+demers, marc-edouard+vlasic, todd+mclellan, travel
Four goals for the Sharks’ fourth win in a row, half-played without a fourth line.
It isn’t right to start by talking about the 4th line. The correct thing to do, I know, is say how the top lines were awesome and scored and the Sharks won. Yes, all that. And Nemo, lots of good things he did. He was unflappable as he often is. Well done. Yay top guys we expect so much from and hardly ever properly appreciate for doing amazing things like being super fast and crazy clever. They can be difference makers in the playoffs, but only if they get proper support, and I don’t mean applause or a meticulous laundry service. I mean effective play from the lower lines.
So, my roster guess is already pretty wrong. That’s okay, I’m usually wrong about things like that.
What does signing Brad Winchester mean? Not only did the Sharks give him a contract, they gave him one of their two remaining contract spots. They obviously thought he could bring more to the team than most of the young players he was competing with during training camp. That makes that contract bigger than it looks at one year for $725k.
The list of players he was competing with includes: Jamie McGinn, Cameron MacIntyre, and John McCarthy. Those are not all similar players but they were all competing for a lower line spot on the NHL roster. McCarthy has already been sent down. I would have put Frazer McLaren on that list but he wasn’t fairly tested during this camp as he was recovering from injury. So I won’t say Winchester beat him out for a spot, but there doesn’t seem to be room left for him.
Just because it seems like the thing to do these days, I’ll share my lineup guesses. Today could be the last chance to do that since tonight is the last exhibition game. Announcement of the final decisions are imminent, though there aren’t a lot of decisions left to make.
Marleau-Thornton-Pavelski, Clowe-Couture-Havlat, Wingels-Handzus-Mitchell, McGinn-Desjardins-A Murray, Ferriero, McCarthy.
Boyle-Murray, Burns-Vlasic, Demers-White, Vandermeer.
There, that’s what I guess the Sharks roster will look like come October. Why? The top six are self-evident (F and D), even if they get moved around a bit. The goalies? It sounds like Niemi will be just fine by the start of the season. If not, no biggie. He’ll be back and Greiss seems to be finding his groove.
Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
Tags: andrew+murray, benn+ferriero, brad+winchester, frazer+mclaren, jamie+mcginn, jim+vandermeer, john+mccarthy, justin+braun, tommy+wingels
Chicken Little checking in from Sharks Ice.
The Czech word for the color orange is not the same as the word for orange the fruit. I find that curious. Similarly, I wonder how it is that I avoided ascribing any significance to Havlat wearing orange, then panicked when it did occur to me that it was odd, then took comfort in the news that the Sharks no-contact color is NOT orange, only to be flung back into a state of alarm by the news that Havlat is, in fact, not 100%. Yet. I guess orange doesn’t mean what I thought it did, and yet there it is, sitting right next to what I thought it was. It’s not fair, it’s way too confusing.
As I ran back and forth thus headless, more than one person told me to chill, that there was no need to panic. Intellectually, I know this. Viscerally, I can’t stop freaking out. It’s just too much information of the wrong kind.
I wasn’t supposed to be here today. I don’t mean I’m not allowed, I mean I’m so bad at reading schedules that I didn’t realize there were more Captain’s Practices this week so when I said last week was my last that was inaccurate.
There’s a big heater hanging over the bleachers in the East rink. This rink does not have the new glass and boards system. The zamboni demonstrates how much less flexible it is by giving it a sound bump before the skaters arrive.
Pavs, Mitchell, McCarthy, Couture, McGinn, Havlat take the ice. Now Jumbo and Burnzie and Ferriero and Andrew Murray. Then Douglas Murray and Demers and a number 10.