Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

Entries with the tag: joe thornton

‘Twixt the cup and the lip

Are these recent Sharks' losses nothing more than a slip, a dribble away from being wins?  Are the Sharks just a flinch away from team fusion?

There was a spell during last night's game that made me want to cover my eyes, but I couldn't look away either.  Okay, yes I could, but I had to put the game on pause and go do chores to stop looking.  During those ten minutes or so, the team looked worse than they have in a long time.  The errant passes, failures to clear and general happening of anything that could go wrong also emphasized how suddenly the Sharks pulled it together.  The recovery made me think "see, they can just kick themselves into gear!"

Boyle, who isn’t afraid to be critical of his team’s effort, said: “I don’t say it too often after a loss, and maybe not so much the first 10 minutes, but after that I thought we were the much better team. It was a very good effort. We had lots of chances that we haven’t had in awhile. There was a couple freaky bounces and things that happened out there, but overall for 50 minutes, I think that was a very good effort.” -CSN Bay Area

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  Tags: court+vision, dan+boyle, hockey+iq, hockey+sense, joe+thornton

The Sharks’ Confidence looks SOG-gy

Did the Sharks lack confidence through February?  Well, obviously, but in what?  What has been dragging them down?  Have they dealt with "it" yet?

I had a thought yesterday morning, stemming from something one of the Bulls said to me weeks ago.  He mentioned that the offensive game comes first for most players.  They learn defense later with experience.  It wasn't the first time I've heard that, but it took a while to sink in.  Shouldn't shooting the puck be almost an involuntary reflex for a hockey player?  Wouldn't it take a lot of un-training, or a horrible lack of confidence to suppress it?

Why would the Sharks lack confidence when they were passing the defense test with such high marks?  Didn't they trust themselves yet?  Were they still thinking too much?

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  Tags: confidence, dan+boyle, joe+thornton, shot, standings

Happy day, through a glass darkly

Tuesday afternoon, I heard Walking on Sunshine on the radio and it stuck in my head. I heard a whole lot of songs after that, but I couldn't wash it out. I also felt unaccountably cheerful, sort of the way the Sharks looked at the morning skate. Part of me thought them looking jolly was an ill omen, the way it was the last time I noticed that, before the Ducks beat them some time last season.

Of course, there is no good reason to not be cheerful when you're thinking about a hockey game.  Win or lose, it's still a hockey game and the whole point of the thing is to have fun and make people happy.  Maybe the sun shining and the fluffy merry nature of sport and entertainment would not be suppressed.

It was still derned uncomfortable, being all bouncy happy for no good reason.

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  Tags: joe+pavelski, joe+thornton, michal+handzus, patrick+marleau, scott+gomez, stream+of+consciousness, t.j.+galiardi

Everyone’s a critic

“Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.”
-Kurt Vonnegut

I once had a professor explain the difference between criticism and criticising.  The first is an attentive analysis of the work, the second is just saying mean things.  Obviously that's not how he put it, but it works.  At times like these, the lines blur.  I tried to watch the Sharks play in Dallas without judging.  I started out okay, but I couldn't hold the line:

Couture from second line center to top line winger. Marleau and Pavelski to the second line.  Gomez from healthy scratch to second line center. Kennedy from third line to fourth, Desi back to center, Burish back to the wing.  What a difference some badly-timed roughhousing makes.

Okay, I shouldn't count the Kennedy move as a result of Clowe being out.  That was probably just Sheppard returning to his rightful place on the only line that McLellan didn't dismantle.

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  Tags: critics, doug+wilson, douglas+murray, hasso+plattner, joe+thornton, penalty+kill, scott+gomez, todd+mclellan

Flatlining, or where did the fourth go?

That's six. I hate to think what the farmer's new bride would do to the person who crossed her six times, but I'm sort of relieved that the Sharks got this out of the way. If they were mystified about why they lost again, after doing so many things so much better, well, it could not have happened any other way. Once they lost five, the sixth loss was going to will itself into being no matter what.  That's a good thing, it means that this season isn't last season, it's more like the two seasons before the 2011-12 black hole.

TJ Galiardi, Adam Burish, and Martin Havlat... What in the world happened while I was testing out America One Sports? When I said the Sharks should just play their game, just go out there and do what they know how to do, I wasn't including Todd McLellan in that freestyle instruction. On the other hand, putting that line together touched on something I've been wondering about for years now: why have a traditional fourth line?

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  Tags: adam+burish, fourth+line, joe+thornton, martin+havlat, time+on+ice, tj+galiardi, todd+mclellan

Pre-game notes, Ducks @ Sharks 1/29/13

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:

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  Tags: adam+burish, anaheim+ducks, andrew+desjardins, brent+burns, jason+demers, joe+thornton, justin+braun, patrick+marleau

What’s got in to Patrick Marleau?

Brad Stuart predicted this.

Yesterday, David Pollak published some quotes from Brad Stuart about his career and about the Sharks, what he saw while he was here the first time, and what he saw playing against San Jose later.  One of those answers might explain this mind-boggling start from Team Teal:

Pollak: "...wasn’t last year a step backward?"

Stuart: “Sometimes that can be a bit of a wake-up call and maybe that will motivate the team as a whole to not let that happen again. It all depends on how you handle it as individuals and as a team – who takes responsibility upon themselves to be better. And everybody’s got to do that.” -Working the Corners

So there you have it.  This is what the Sharks look like when they are awake.

I think there's more to it.  I recall many times last season when Joe Thornton would throw passes to no one.  At first I thought this was a positioning issue, like he was too often in the same place or trying something new he wasn't used to.  That doesn't seem to be the case.  Obviously, the Sharks were having problems with their sonar:

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  Tags: brad+stuart, flyers, joe+thornton, patrick+marleau, penalty+kill, standings

Broad strokes: Sharks overseas

Over the past few days, I discovered an impatience I haven't felt for a while, the "hold on, no games today?  Or tomorrow?  Or... I'm supposed to wait how long for a game?" feeling.  It was irritating, but not bad.  It reminded me of a normal hockey season.  It feels like being all adapted to the new hockey universe.

This impatience drove me to start hunting for European and KHL games online.  This is not only difficult because feeds tend to move around, but also because an audio feed will not do. I don't speak most of the languages these games are broadcast in.   I did manage to dig up a Dinamo Minsk game going on yesterday morning.  A video feed was not available to me (which only took me about an hour to figure out) but following the scoreboard was better than nothing. So that was fun, except that Minsk blew a lead and fell 6-3.  At least Pavelski got a goal.

There are several Sharks abroad.   I found the following information online, but I can't be sure how complete it is.  I started with Eurohockey.com because they have an easy search that found most of the Sharks quickly.  From there I sort of wandered:

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  Tags: antti+niemi, bundesliga, del, douglas+murray, jason+demers, joe+pavelski, joe+thornton, justin+braun, khl, logan+couture, michal+handzus, nla, sm-liiga, t.j.+galiardi, thomas+greiss, tommy+wingels

Enough lockout non-news

There's a theory that refusing to give voice to your dark thoughts is more productive than letting rants run riot.  I'm going to try that.  The NHL CBA negotiations are going nowhere, both sides look kind of stupid, childish and not the least concerned with whether or not we see any NHL hockey this season.  That wasn't a rant, just a brief statement of fact.  A more comprehensive discussion of the situation can be found here from Elliotte Friedman.

Here are some bits of info I've picked up about players and teams that matter in my hockey universe: Back on September 29th, Logan Couture's team beat Joe Thornton's now Rick Nashless team in Switzerland:

@Logancouture: Big win for @OfficialGSHC. Also bragging rights over the big guy!

Jason Demers is getting rave (or maybe just good) reviews in Finland.  Really it's hard to get the details via Google Translate and I won't apologize for not speaking Finnish.  I hear it is a very difficult language.

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  Tags: jason+demers, joe+thornton, logan+couture, nhl+cba, patrick+marleau, ryane+clowe, sf+bulls, srjc+polar+bears, tommy+wingels

Name calling and other nonsense

In a recent Economist, there's a piece about the NHL lockout. It's called "Greed v pride." My first thought was "yay hockey!" All publicity is good, like when someone says "I don't care what they write about me, so long as they spell my name right."  My second thought was "who's who in the title there?" It really isn't clear. Neither side is hurting for money, not really, and both sides would like to tell the world that no one pushes them around. So who is greedy and who is proud?

"When muscular millionaires and brash billionaires fight, neither side will crumple easily. All are alpha males; most can forego income for a long time. So the lockout could drag on." Greed v pride, The Economist, Sept 22 2012

Makes sense to me.

Players are going overseas in droves, apparently.  They aren't all getting for oodles of money to do so.  Alex Semin, for example, chose the team closest to home.  The team will pay him with change found under the couch cushions.  His couch.  Well, considering what he would have been paid without a lockout it seems that way.

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  Tags: joe+thornton, lockout, rick+nash

Sharks at Mildred Goss Elementary School

While we wait for those reviews to conclude,  today Joe Thornton visited San Jose’s Mildred Goss Elementary School for a dedication ceremony:

San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton recently partnered with the Sharks Foundation and the Good Tidings Foundation to construct a street hockey court at Mildred Goss Elementary School in San Jose. This special dedication ceremony, held in honor of the newly resurfaced street hockey court at Goss, will be followed by an inaugural game.  Thornton will be joined by Sharks broadcasters and other guests to christen the court and battle the students in a game of street hockey.

The ceremony went very smoothly.  After some nice quick speeches, Thornton and Sharkie joined some students for a brief game.  Dan Rusanowsky acted as announcer and occasional coach for the game.  He recommended things like passing the ball.  I think everyone had a good time.  Randy Hahn was there too, as well as Larry Harper, founder of the Good Tidings Foundation.

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  Tags: dan+rusanowsky, joe+thornton, mildred+goss+elementary+school, randy+hahn, sharks+foundation, street+hockey

Sounding the fire alarms in Shark Territory

Here we go, into the offseason blame game.  It should be as fun as a Bud Light ad.  First, you get rid of the most visible under-performers, the players:

From a pure hockey standpoint, the smartest Sharks solution would be a maximum reboot and rebuild.  Older players would go out the door. They would be traded for draft picks or young prospects.  Over a few years, a new core of Sharks would be developed into winners. By 2017 or so, they’d be back among the league’s four or five best teams. -Mercury News

Well, yeah, but only if you keep the new youngsters around.  Train ‘em up and ship ‘em out, assuming you do find a bunch of good ones (which would be safer to assume if present depth could back you up), and you’re right back here.

Besides, if Marleau and Clowe and Niemi and Boyle were all gone, who would fans have to blame?  Well, there’s still Thornton, he will hang around and he’s fun to complain about.  But what if he keeps playing well?  Whose name will we scream in the ecstatic writhings of despair?  Meh, someone will step up.

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  Tags: dan+boyle, doug+wilson, fire, joe+thornton, patrick+marleau, rebuild, todd+mclellan

Elimination Day, April 21, 2012

This is going to be long.  It is, after all, the end of the Sharks’ 2012 playoff run. 

Hands shaking. Why? I’m not even watching the game live.  This has all happened before, it has literally happened already, I am watching on delay because I am that paranoid.  Still with the hands shaking.

Before the game, Boyle said that no one outside the room believed they could do it.  That was a dagger. 

Why is a win so important to me?  I won’t lose pay if the Sharks don’t come back to play another day.  Hell, I might get more paid work done if this is over.

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  Tags: brent+burns, elimination, experience, fan, joe+thornton, justin+braun, playoffs, st.+louis+blues, tommy+wingels

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.

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  Tags: brad+winchester, daniel+winnik, dominic+moore, joe+thornton, michal+handzus, tj+galiardi

Let’s get it going

In the last couple of hours before the game started, there were tweets about cooking, wanting to puke, trouble breathing, and countless calls to “drop the puck already!” After a busy day I was able to engage in some nervous house tidying and, after all those tweets about cooking, I had to make some food.  I put Darla’s orange collar on but had to stop myself before changing Marleau’s to teal.  No need, it was just Wednesday.

Sharks fans had to wait an extra day for the playoffs to start, or that’s how it feels anyway.  Through all that waiting I still couldn’t make any sense of the noise, the predictions, the hype.  It’s nerve-wracking, I can’t imagine how fans do it for more than one sport.

“Everybody looks good and looks healthy,” Joe Thornton said. “Let’s get it going.” -Working the Corners

I couldn’t agree more.

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  Tags: joe+thornton, playoffs, ryane+clowe, saint+joseph, saint+louis

O me of little faith

Here’s another interesting word: doubt.  Nowadays it means “I don’t think it will happen but I’m not sure.”  It used to mean “I think it will happen but I’m not sure.”  It’s a subtle difference but it’s noteworthy.

Tickets for the Sharks’ first round of the playoffs go on sale tomorrow morning, though the dates of those games have yet to be announced.  I guess everyone has a general idea, give or take a day.  The tickets will be on sale Saturday at 10:00 am, online at Ticketmaster (Game A, Game B) or from the HP ticket office using a wristband procedure detailed here.

I wouldn’t say I doubted that the Sharks would make it into the playoffs (by either definition) but I certainly didn’t have faith that they would.  I can’t say what the Sharks’ frame of mind was, surely they must have had some faith.  But prior to the game, the Sharks were certainly not expecting any help from outside sources:

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  Tags: doubt, douglas+murray, faith, joe+thornton, playoff, ryane+clowe, tickets, todd+mclellan

New signings and other tween day bits

Saturday’s Stars @ Sharks game was certainly the most suspenseful 3 goal lead I can remember watching, but my memory is slipping lately.  It was a shame to end it with a crummy, unproductive 5 on 3 power play, but the rest of the game was well-managed.  The Stars didn’t bring their best to the game but everyone will have another go at it tomorrow.  Fingers and toes crossed and all that.

This morning’s lines, for what tween-game-day lines are worth, were the same as in Saturday’s game.  The Joes skated with Marleau, Havlat with Couture and Clowe.  Your bottom six, hard to precisely label with numbers were: Wingels-Desjardins-Winnik and Galiardi-Moore-Mitchell.

On defense we saw White with Braun, Demers with Burns and Boyle with Vlasic.  Murray, though chipper as all get out, was skating with Vandermeer so he is by no means a shoe-in to play tomorrow, not yet.  The fifth line wore orange today.  They were Ferriero, Winchester and Handzus.

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  Tags: joe+thornton, lost+teeth, matt+tennyson, sebastian+stalberg, superstition, travis+oleksuk, worcester+sharks

Jason Demers and other game day thoughts

This morning, Brent Burns was skating with Colin White. No one skated for long,  but that’s what I saw. Predictably, the other two pair were Boyle with Vlasic and Braun with Demers.  Forward lines pretty much the same as in the last game.  From David Pollak’s observations, don’t expect to see Douglas Murray.  Niemi starts.  I mean, I assume he will.  He left the ice first and there’s been no breaking news to the contrary.

The Stars, as could be expected since they played last night in Vancouver, mostly didn’t skate.

“The players know where we’re at. The time crunch is on them. They know what’s left. They know what the standings are. We can pretend it’s game 31, but it doesn’t feel that.” -Todd McLellan, Working the Corners

Neither team has an edge in the “we feel really pissed off about losing in our last game” standings.  They should both be a little testy tonight.  Have at it, fellas.

Yesterday, Kevin Kurz tried to answer the question of “What’s gone wrong with the Sharks?”  His general points seem sound enough, but I was surprised to see which two defensemen he singled out as problems:

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  Tags: jamie+mcginn, jason+demers, joe+thornton, justin+braun, leadership, veteran

Once more into the Pond, dear Sharks


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?

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, brent+burns, bruce+boudreau, fans, joe+thornton, tj+galiardi

The forgotten funk

The Sharks have not forgotten that stretch of frustrating losses and uninspired play they called a funk.  They are not clear of it yet:

“We haven’t done anything yet,” Thornton said. “We’ve got six games left, and we’ve got to win some games just to get into the playoffs. It’s great getting all the way up to third, but we still have to keep going and working hard every night.” -Mercury News

When I wrote about the word “funk,” I didn’t really forget about another, fairly conspicuous definition of the word, but I did omit it, planning to bring it up again if the situation called for it.  I don’t know if now really is the time but just in case I don’t get another chance….

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  Tags: dan+boyle, joe+thornton, martin+havlat, ray+ratto

Glint

“Don’t write the obituary just yet,” tweeted David Pollak last night.  Put that big syringe with the scary blue stuff in it down.  Give the Sharks’ playoff hopes a few hours, they might be stabilizing. 

Just before the Sharks beat the Bruins, Minnesota won too, with Devin Setoguchi’s help:

Michael Russo ‏ @Russostrib: “Since Setoguchi fell March 1 in Montreal in the shootout, he’s gone 2 for 2 on shootouts, 1 for 1 on a penalty shot. Impressive #mnwild”

If that isn’t Shark behavior in a nutshell, I don’t know what is.  Good for you, Seto.  I would take a low-light reel embarrassing fall down in a shootout over the full season fall down the Sharks have demonstrated any day.

Maybe.

The story of the prodigal son cruelly illustrates how doing good and right all the time doesn’t necessarily make you a favorite.  People are so excited to see the drifters or the missing come back, they forget all about the diligent, hard-working, loyal ones who never left.  Oh well.  Life’s a bitch and then you die.

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  Tags: bully, joe+thornton, tommy+wingels, you+can+play

May Day 2012

FTF hears the Sound of Silence.  I hear other things in my head right now.  Like “Mike Richards wants all the shorties.  Easy ones, tough ones, dirty ones pretty ones, all the shorties.  There’s nothing like a short-handed chance to get Mike Richards off the schneid.”

That’s what I was thinking Monday night. Why weren’t the Sharks thinking that by Tuesday night?  I hear my cousin saying “I’m sorry your team forgot their skates tonight,” after that game in LA.  But that isn’t an imaginary sound in my head. Someone actually said that.

I also hear “we have our answer” to the question being posed by the Year of the Dragon: who is for real, who are the pretenders?  This year will show it.  Not like the Year of the Tiger when chaos reigns and long shots have a chance.  It is really noisy in my head right now.

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  Tags: euthanasia, joe+thornton, mike+richards

Red Wings at Sharks: oh, my stars and garters!

A lot of teams have been having trouble stringing wins together lately.  Two in a row against playoff teams is very nice for the Sharks and their fans.  The press does three stars for the game, so tried my hand at three stars for each period of the St. Patrick’s Day game.

David Pollak ‏ @PollakOnSharks: “Nah, same old same old. RT @markedwinemmons So, now that I’m off Warriors’ deadline, were there Sharks doing anything interesting tonight?”

First Period:

Third star of the first: Pavel Datsyuk for the Red Wings’ first goal of the game. If someone else made that shot, he’d be first star of the game. Since it’s Datsyuk, he’d have to make the shot through a wall of fire to be really surprising.  He would also have to cause the wall of fire appear without a bunch of equipment or no one would be surprised to see a wall of fire on the ice.

Second star of the first: Martin Havlat for scoring in his second game back and for scoring the second goal of the game, which the Sharks have not always done when they score the first so quickly.

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  Tags: daniel+winnick, joe+pavelski, joe+thornton, martin+havlat, pavel+datsyuk, tomas+holmstrom

Fragile

Todd McLellan had to leave the game for treatment after a Wild stick hit him in the head when a Sharks player not to be named here pushed that Wild player into the bench. Please let McLellan be okay, least of all because the Sharks need him.

“Man is harder than iron, stronger than stone and more fragile than a rose.” -Turkish proverb

Then the Sharks lost, 4-3.  That stung.  I spent the day reviewing this “first to three” notion.  I don’t think winning teams abide by it.

I was so happy for those days after the Sharks won a game… oh… wait, how long ago was that? Maybe it was the Flyers. Yep, it was the Flyers, last night. I cannot recall when the Sharks last won. I was so happy about that too, I was afraid to write anything in case I jinxed it.

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  Tags: bret+hedican, drew+remenda, fragile, joe+thornton, logan+couture, psychology

Kick the cat, or the goalie

Of ending Detroit’s record-setting home win streak, Todd McLellan said:

“There have been a lot of teams that came in and tried to do it. Some have come extremely close, others haven’t,” McLellan said. “We’re going to take our kick at the cat and see what we can do.” -Working the Corners

Was Todd McLellan’s peculiar choice of words a malapropism or a Freudian slip? Could it be both?  Cats, unlike cans, are famous for quick, evasive action. There’s a high likelihood that the cat is unharmed and the kicker ends up on his caboose.  Is that what McLellan is trying not to think about?

Beating Detroit will not be easy, it hardly ever is with or without a winning streak on the line. McLellan has been slow to say who the starting goalie will be. I really don’t think it matters right now.

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  Tags: antti+niemi, douglas+murray, goalies, joe+pavelski, joe+thornton, malapropism

Welcome to the Year of the Dragon

Luck and legend distinguish the Dragon from the other symbols in the Chinese and Mongolian zodiac.  It is said to be the very luckiest birth year, the sign of the emperor.  Unlike the other symbols, a dragon is not the sort of critter most of us will see in our lifetimes.  Since there are twelve signs in this system, that is a little surprising.  The year starts today and ends around this time in 2013.

As someone who grew up in San Francisco, I guess I should say something about the Niners.  They lost.  Bummer for Niners fans.  I wasn’t all that anxious for them to win because I feel that trips to championship finals disperse geographically in such a way that if the Niners had gone on, this would have been bad news for the Sharks.  Look what happened with the Giants- the other Giants I mean.  Condolences to Niners fans, may the loss not be in vain.

The Sharks begin the year in Edmonton.  I don’t know if any of them attended a parade, but a big spectacle like an NHL game should do.  Wow… that would be cool, if someone brought a paper and silk dragon to the game and sent it around the stands… I know, that probably won’t happen.

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  Tags: dan+boyle, james+sheppard, jamie+mcginn, jason+demers, joe+thornton, logan+couture, patrick+marleau, thomas+greiss, todd+mclellan, tommy+wingels, year+of+the+dragon

Will and trust and hunting polar bears

Apparently Todd McLellan chose “trust” as the theme of the season for the Sharks.  If the team has been doing trust exercises, I bet there are a lot of bruised derrieres right now.  This morning Twitter was fairly quiet regarding the Sharks.  Two lone tweets came out from practice saying only that the gates were closed and the injured defensemen were skating before the group.  It was an unsettling silence, a silence that allowed for all manner of speculation after yesterday’s loss.

@FTFsTCY: “There are definitely rumors floating around today. Just an FYI that any involving Marleau are bunk. He has a full NMC.”

It turns out that David Pollak was still in transit from Denver, and his internet access was limited. Kevin Kurz was ill. I guess Mark Emmons just didn’t feel very chatty.  Nothing much came out today in terms of Sharks news, especially about the NHL issues of the day. No one has a concussion and McLellan has not been fired.  And no, Marleau is not being traded (as far as we know).

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Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: dan+boyle, doug+wilson, joe+thornton, leadership, todd+mclellan, trust

Out of gas

First, some news:  Desjardins only got fined for boarding Sami Lepisto, no suspension.  Thank goodness, don’t need the lower lines destabilized right now.  Also, Terry Murray got fired.  His place is being filled by John Stevens.  Finally, Nitty is off IR and going to Worcester for conditioning.  He can stay there for a maximum of 14 days and could conceivably play in 6 games, if he plays 3 in 3 days.  Uh huh.

“Out of gas.”  That’s the title of one of my favorite episodes of Firefly.  It’s also one of the things folks said about the Sharks third period and OT in Chicago.  What did the team think?  The coach?  Hard to tell.  Their quotes are as opaque as ever.  So I decided to look up some better quotes.  Here’s one from the above-mentioned episode of Firefly:

Mal: Ship like this, be with you ‘til the day you die.
Zoë Washburne: ‘Cause it’s a deathtrap.

They’re both right, it’s the classic problem of one thing seen from two different perspectives.

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Filed in: | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+desjardins, dan+boyle, firefly, jamie+mcginn, joe+thornton, patrick+marleau, pillars+of+the+earth

Giveaway

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.

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Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: antti+niemi, brad+winchester, joe+thornton, martin+havlat, todd+mclellan

The crooked fence rule

Things might be about to get a little crazy in Shark territory. That whole philosophy of always pairing an offensive defenseman with a shut down guy could very well be scrapped tonight.  Those who called for Braun and Demers to be paired, or for Ian White to have never been let go… well, you probably won’t get your wish but the sands are shifting on the blue line, according to Kevin Kurz and Brodie Brazil.

@brodiebrazilCSN: “Pretty sure #sjsharks will not dress 7 d based on how long Colin White was on the ice after practice.”

@KKurzCSN: “White and McLaren skated long today, so looks like they are scratches. As far as D pairs, look for 22-44, 88-61 and 2-60 if I had to guess.”

88 and 61?  Burns and Braun?  Even if it isn’t that pair, the team is short a DD without White, since Murray is out.  This could get very interesting.

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Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: brent+burns, defense, joe+thornton, justin+braun, ryane+clowe

The Right Hand of Zus

You know how those stories about Greek gods always involve or imply the torment and suffering of mortals?  That’s what being a fan is like sometimes.  Even though the players are doing the hard work, the bleeding and breaking and rushing about, we spectators watch and hope our fragile little village will be spared by the storm.  So it has to be a good thing to have a guy named Zus on the team.  No way your church tower gets blown over by the western wind storm of the century, not with Zus on your side.

I heard a lot about those perilous high winds, but they never came to my neighborhood.  If I really thought this was connected to my NHL team allegiance, I would have to build a shrine or something.  Surely it isn’t just Michal Handzus making things happen or not happen.  Surely he must have some help.

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Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: fan, fear+the+fin, jamie+mcginn, joe+thornton, logan+couture, martin+havlat, michal+handzus, ryane+clowe

6: too many

6: too many men on the ice

6: too many goals to score

6: too many games to win in a row.

Three sixes on Halloween just can’t be good.  I think I can come up with a couple more.  Couture and Pavelski both made it to six game point streaks.  The Sharks took six penalties, if you count Clowe’s fighting major.  In this case, I don’t see any reason not to.  That’s six sixes.  This is not helping.

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Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: joe+pavelski, joe+thornton, logan+couture

“Your game is out of sync…”

Despite the fact that the above message is usually accompanied by instructions for a very simple solution (“please refresh your browser”), droves of Zynga game players feel impatience and even rage when they see that.  It means that the game is probably loading slowly to begin with because the programmers made some change or another, and simply clicking “refresh” will mean more waiting and may not even solve the problem.

So when I thought the Sharks seem just a little out of sync, it was with mixed emotions. You don’t know really how long it will take to get everyone moving in harmony, even if you know that this is all that’s needed.  The pieces are there, they just need to be pulled together.

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Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: brent+burns, harri+stateri, joe+thornton, martin+havlat, out+of+sync, road+trip, ryane+clowe, thomas+heemskerk, twitter

Sharks top lines, all set (?)

Brodie Brazil had a few things to say about how the Sharks’ top lines will look when the season starts:

Go ahead and ink in Joe Thornton, centering Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski.  There’s San Jose’s top line to begin the season…it’s pretty clear to see Todd McLellan following that with Logan Couture, flanked by Ryane Clowe and Martin Havlat. -Sharks Talk

I must have missed the quote where McLellan says he’s sorted out the 3rd slots on the top lines and isn’t giving it another thought.

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Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: benn+ferriero, joe+pavelski, joe+thornton, line+combinations, logan+couture, martin+havlat, patrick+marleau, ryane+clowe

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