Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

Entries with the tag: jim vandermeer

Let’s review

I’ve been holding my breath about this game against the Oilers.  Even after watching the Sharks run through a lengthy review session on Monday, I couldn’t find much to tell me what is likely to happen tonight.  Is there ever, really, aside from who will start in goal?

As Mark Emmons tweeted, Martin Havlat was skating well yesterday morning.  He participated in all the drills, even line rushes of a sort.  His “line” was three guys in orange, Ferriero and Winchester being the other two.  They all ran the same drills everyone else did.

McLellan spent a lot of time on instruction yesterday.  He was out there talking and directing for the better part of an hour.  He didn’t have the super-sized white board but I think this was pretty close to that episode.

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Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: colin+white, concussion, jim+vandermeer, martin+havlat, oilers, todd+mclellan

Quicksand and Passing

I didn’t expect rain last night.  When I heard it coming down, I worried that I may have left things out. It was so unexpected that I couldn’t even remember what I needed to bring in, I didn’t know where to start battening down the hatches.

I think the Sharks had a similar experience in St. Louis.  Maybe they didn’t skate long enough in the morning to figure the ice out.  Maybe they didn’t practice hard enough to notice.  The result was a bunch of guys who all looked like they were skating with broken feet on dull skate blades.  Once they were in the game, it was too late to fix a problem of that magnitude.  Despite all that horrible bad luck and maybe a touch of poor preparation, the Sharks did some admirable things in this game. 

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Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: brent+burns, douglas+murray, jason+demers, jim+vandermeer, joe+pavelski, michal+neuvirth, mike+knuble, ryane+clowe, washington+capitals

Win for the road

In just over an hour, the Sharks will hit the ice for their first of nine road games.  That’s a long road trip, even for a team used to a lot of travel.  McLellan says he doesn’t put much stock in the theory of road trip bonding, but he does see the benefits of getting away from the distractions of home life:

“Some of the players will get more rest on the road,” McLellan said, “maybe get an afternoon nap when the little ones aren’t jumping on you. The family activities obviously don’t exist on the road, so there is a chance to get a little more rest for some of them.” -Mercury News

That’s why people go on vacation or work retreats, to get away, be in the moment instead of the past and future and all the things other people need from them.  Maybe I need to get away again, my brain is flying in six different directions right now, only a few of which have anything to do with hockey.  At least a few of them do.

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Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, jason+demers, jim+vandermeer, road+trip, st+louis+blues, tommy+wingels

Where are the Sharks now?  A ten game arc

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?

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  Tags: 4th+line, andrew+desjardins, andrew+murray, brad+winchester, jim+vandermeer, john+mccarthy

Dinner with Douglas Murray: 21k. Burns back in the lineup: priceless?

At the last minute I got a break on some tickets to the Sharks Foundation benefit at Club Auto Sport, San Jose (sponsored by Porsche and Joseph Georges wines).  It seemed like the sort of thing I should check out if at all possible so I did.  Granted, I have a moderately bad reaction to wine, and I’m no petrolhead, so it wasn’t the kind of event I would normally attend.  Even so, there were some good wines and a lot of pretty cars that even I could appreciate after I got over the flushed, feverish sick feeling that hits me when I drink wine.  Even a tiny bit of wine, it seems.  They tasted good anyway.  And how can you not love a DeLorean tricked out as a time machine?  Yes, fun and pretty cars.

There were a lot of photos being taken but I didn’t see any autographs being done.  That lent a casual, friendly air to the event.  Of course I could have missed them if they were discreet.  A reliable eye-witness I am not.  I didn’t see anyone climbing inside the cars, it is possible that this was not permitted.  I did not ask. In the back there was a little Ferrari room, with Ferraris in it. 

The silent auction sold mostly large bottles of wine that had been autographed by the team.  The live auction featured the ever-popular dinner for four with Douglas Murray. The high bid for that was around 21k.  Um. Wow.  I’m going to guess the event raised a whole lotta money for the Sharks Foundation.

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  Tags: columbus+blue+jackets, jason+demers, jim+vandermeer, john+mccarthy, ryane+clowe

Point blank

Last night, Benn Ferriero took one shot, got one point, and Antti Niemi blanked the Flames.  No, Niemi didn’t do it by himself, but he gets the special credit for it.

Ferriero’s been kind of quiet lately, but last night he made an effort to point out the obvious: if you can’t hit the target, you need to get closer.

@SharksStats: Benn Ferriero’s 4th career game-winning goal, 3rd this season. All 3 GW goals this season in road games.

The lone goal of the game was Ferriero’s sixth of the season.  It was the only shot he took, if you believe the shot counters, and he took it at point blank range.  I think that might qualify as a teachable moment.  Sounds like McLellan thinks so too:

“We’ve got to get a little hungrier in and around the net, much like the winning goal tonight.” -Mercury News

It was just one goal. It was the Flames. The Flames have been better lately, but they’re still the Flames.

It was just the first win for the Sharks after three losses.

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Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: 4+on+4, alex+stalock, antti+niemi, benn+ferriero, calgary+flames, dan+boyle, goalie+dances, jim+vandermeer, john+mccarthy

Working holiday for the Sharks

Friday the Sharks had a long practice, were on the ice for about 90 minutes.  They seemed to be working on the power play in particular.  Nitty and Greiss shared one net, Nemo had the other.

Someone yelled “*#$%@&!” but I was looking the wrong way to know who it was. I think maybe it was Greiss because there was a puck in his net, but it didn’t exactly sound like him. Then again, I don’t hear him yelling anything a lot out there so I couldn’t be sure. I don’t think the children heard it.

Seeing Boyle looking well and playing well made me glad, a reassuring feeling like when you have a paycheck in your pocket or a full tank of gas. Everything felt okay.

Well that was a strange thing to be thinking, what with the Sharks having lost those two games, those two terribly important games to end the home stand. It should feel like being on the losing side at the Alamo, not reassuring at all. But it didn’t, it didn’t feel like the last stand before the end of the world as we know it.

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  Tags: antero+niittymaki, antti+niemi, autographs, colin+white, dan+boyle, douglas+murray, jim+vandermeer

Ducks in December, October revisited

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.”

Sounds reasonable.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, antti+niemi, benn+ferriero, dan+boyle, douglas+murray, eric+stephens, jim+vandermeer, thomas+greiss

The curious case of Benn Ferriero

Martin Havlat is out of the Sharks lineup, no one knows for how long:

@markedwinemmons: “Todd McLellan said don’t expect to see Marty Havlat back until at least after Christmas. That means at least two games out.”

@KKurzCSN:  “Havlat out at least through this weekend. Surgery? “At this point, not that I know of,” said McLellan.”

So Benn Obi-Wan Ferriero is back, just in time for the holiday roster freeze. If he plays one more NHL game he loses his waiver exempt status.  Isn’t it time anyway?  The Sharks could have called up Wingels if they wanted to use someone who could be sent back safely.  The curious case of Benn Ferriero might be close to resolution.

Will he stay for an extended period?  Get traded?  Sent back down?  Would he clear waivers?  Doug Wilson didn’t comment on the long term plan for Ferriero, why would he?  There are many possibilities.  NHL rosters have to function as on multiple timelines, in several alternate universes.  In one universe, Ferriero is in Carolina, in another he’s right here on San Jose’s third line, in another he’s back in Worcester, and then there’s the universe populated entirely by shrimp where he has to work as a salt water filtration technician.

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Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: benn+ferriero, colin+white, doug+wilson, douglas+murray, jim+vandermeer

Red Card: Sharks @ Stars

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.

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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

The green coats are coming!

The Minnesota Wild are here.  It seems strange for that to be an alarming thing, but surprise, surprise they’ve won 5 in a row.  Their penalty kill and their goalies are vying for bestest ever in the universe.  Yes, the sky could fall.

That pk has been perfect for at least 5 games in a row, 21 or 23 successful penalty kills or something.  But against who?  Eeek!  The Red Wings?  Twice in a row no less?  And the Canucks?  Nobody panic.  The Wild were feasting on the bleeding body of a Red Wings losing streak.  The Canucks? Well who knows with them.  Also the Blues fell in there, shortly before their coach was fired, and the Flames are in a muddle too.  Also, the Minny power play hasn’t been as strong as the penalty kill.  So, that five game winning streak and flawless penalty kill might be misleading.  Certainly Yeo seems to think so, he was not happy with the team in their 3-0 shutout last night:

@Russostrib: Yeo very unhappy with #mnwiId play tonight - scoring chances allowed, penalties taken, lack of physicality”

Um… yeah.

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  Tags: brent+burns, colin+white, jason+demers, jim+vandermeer, justin+braun, marc-edouard+vlasic, minnesota+wild

Sharks hockey starts tomorrow, and so does Greiss

Welcome back NHL hockey.  Yesterday’s practice gave me some what ifs to ponder.  What if the Sharks had to manage a penalty kill and, for whatever reason, the only forwards on the ice were McGinn & McLaren?  What if the team was down two men, and the only forward was Andrew Murray?  Apparently, in these situations, the team could make due with White and Vandermeer there too. Something tells me that exercise was more about who was on the power play than the penalty kill but it still made me wonder. 

Tomorrow the Sharks play their first game of the season, and there are several things I’m looking forward to, not the least of which is being there to hear the noise.

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Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+murray, antti+niemi, jamie+mcginn, jim+vandermeer, martin+havlat, thomas+greiss, tommy+wingels

Sharks roster taking shape?  All set?

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.
Niemi, Greiss.

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.

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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

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