Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

Entries with the tag: martin havlat

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

Sharks practice: here a change, there a change

If Burns is practicing next to Stuart, what does that mean?  The other d-pairs were: Murray-Irwin, Boyle-Vlasic, and Demers-Braun.  So, a Stuart-Burns pair could mean something is going to be different tomorrow.  Take your choice: Murray and Irwin sit, or Demers and Braun sit, (I had to take a second to catch my breath after laughing at that one) or Brad Stuart isn't playing tomorrow.  That might also give you a chuckle unless you're like me and you always think people are injured, and you can't believe that Burns is ready to play yet:

‏@PollakOnSharks :Burns paired w/Stuart at #SJSharks practice today, McLellan says he's getting closer to starting. Sat vs. PHX? "That might be pushing it."

And no, Brent Burns has not shaved his beard as he told Brodie Brazil he would do.  He not only said that he'd shave before he played, but that he'd shave when he got close to playing.  I would say today is close to tomorrow, and still there he was all furry faced.

Boyle and Vlasic? Of course they will play, unless Boyle doesn't.  Hey, it was just practice.  Maybe no one will play where they practiced.

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Filed in: hockey, , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: brad+stuart, brent+burns, dan+boyle, martin+havlat, patrick+marleau

It looks like the Ducks, it sounds like the Pond…

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.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, andrew+desjardins, douglas+murray, jason+demers, logan+couture, martin+havlat, michal+handzus, penalty+kill, ryane+clowe, tommy+wingels

Swim. The fall didn’t kill you

The Sharks eased into the end of that winning streak.  There was no sudden crash, though the Ducks game certainly came close.  The team went through a nice smooth arc: Win, WIN, WIN, Win, win, shootout win, shootout win... loss.  See how they kept getting closer to losing?  If you want to nitpick, I guess you could say they are due a regulation loss but there's no need to jump off that bridge yet.  We saw it coming, we had a sense of what the end would feel like, no shock here.

Considering how many lineup changes McLellan made, I thought the Sharks played pretty well against the Predators.  I think more players played better than in the last couple of games.  That doesn't always happen when you change three of four lines, two of three defense pairings, and add a couple guys to the lineup.  There were mistakes, but the most glaring were redeemed by their makers.

The Predators are not an easy team for the Sharks to play.  The Sharks like to be able to play, not scuffle endlessly in the corners and creep up and down the ice.  But they did pretty well.  If you put aside the stuff of nightmares that the non-goal from Martin Havlat was, the Sharks nearly won in regulation.  That isn't to say losing is okay, or that the Sharks didn't.  But the fact of that chance means that the team was not playing badly.  It was a dumb error, but that's all it was. It wasn't the game-defining event that it very well could have been.

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  Tags: brent+burns, jason+demers, marc-edouard+vlasic, martin+havlat, nashville+predators, scott+gomez

Sharks updates after one week of NHL Free Agency

At the arbitration filing deadline, T.J. Galiardi tried to make things a little interesting for Sharks fans.  The matter will not go to arbitration, as yesterday Galiardi announced on Twitter that he had signed a contract.  David Pollak confirmed that the contract is for one year.

I will also take the McCarthy and Matsumoto signings as confirmed despite no official word from San Jose.  Add to those, from the same source:

@210Darryl: “I can confirm that the #WorSharks have signed Ferris State goaltender Taylor Nelson to a contract. He will likely play in ECHL this season.”

John McCarthy’s name appeared on the Sharks web roster a few days ago.  Some days before that, Tim Kennedy’s turned up, though I could find no other mention anywhere that he had accepted the Sharks’ offer.   Surely someone told the webmaster to add his name, so I guess we can consider him signed as well.

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  Tags: john+mccarthy, jon+matsumoto, martin+havlat, patrick+marleau, rumors, t.j.+galiardi, taylor+nelson, worcester+sharks

What was all that about?

What was that Sharks press conference about yesterday?  I can’t begin to answer that.  I don’t blame them that Dreger blabbed the Stuart news before it started, but they weren’t even prepared to confirm that news.  So why did they meet with the press at all?

As the non-news trickled in, I thought maybe this was the owners’ attempt to quash those rude stories about them not being around or not knowing what was going on and nobody knowing who they were.  That works.

Kevin Compton and Stratton Sclavos explained that they don’t tell Doug Wilson what to do with the team, even if he does run the big ticket items by the owners.  I think that’s nice.  Busy-body owners only muddle things, and what is a General Manager for if you don’t let him manage?  They also mentioned that they are in this to win:

“Mission No. 1 around here is winning the Stanley Cup and that’s what this whole business is about,” Sclavos said. “We’ve been spending to the salary cap every year to put the best team on the ice that we think we can and in aggregate, the performance has been good.  -Working the Corners

Aggregate isn’t a word I use much but I like that idea- don’t go jumping off of bridges over one step back if you’ve made progress over several seasons.  While explaining that they’re not in it for the money, they mentioned that the organization isn’t in debt.  That’s fairly dazzling in this era of debt junkies. 

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Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: brad+stuart, daniel+winnik, doug+wilson, douglas+murray, kevin+compton, martin+havlat, nhl+cba, offseason, stratton+sclavos, tj+galiardi, todd+mclellan, trade

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

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

The ides of March are come (and gone)

The Sharks earned two important points by beating Nashville, but it was a bigger win than two points indicates.  Nashville is a good team, a strong team, a major player these days:

Darin Stephens ‏ @SharksStats: “Entering last night: Nashville 29 wins when scoring first, 26 wins when leading after two periods (both 5th in NHL). #GoodWinByTheSharks”

Beating the Predators was a big deal.  The Sharks haven’t prevailed against anyone in that class for a while.

I think a lot of people associate the Ides of March with dreadful regicide, but really it’s just the middle of March.  Also, the fact that we think of Caesar’s murder as a tragedy on a grand scale and the wrong thing to do… well, hey, we weren’t there.  Neither was Shakespeare.  Maybe Julius Caesar was a jerk. 

For the Sharks, the 15th has come and gone and was not marked by a dagger to the heart, or back, or neck.  No, it was more like a time for settling debts, time to get all those shrieking monkeys off their backs.

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  Tags: dominic+moore, ides+of+march, justin+braun, martin+havlat, ryane+clowe, todd+mclellan

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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  Tags: colin+white, concussion, jim+vandermeer, martin+havlat, oilers, todd+mclellan

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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  Tags: antti+niemi, brad+winchester, joe+thornton, martin+havlat, todd+mclellan

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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  Tags: fan, fear+the+fin, jamie+mcginn, joe+thornton, logan+couture, martin+havlat, michal+handzus, ryane+clowe

The unforgiving minute

Well that was demoralizing.  I’ll just open another beer and try not to think too hard about the Canucks winning twice in a row, in my sight, this time against the Sharks.  Booooo.

In less than a minute, the Canucks @ Sharks game went from wonderfully tied with a goal from the Sharks’ 4th line to a stifling 2 goal lead for the Canucks. In such cases, a fan should close her eyes and think of… somewhere else.

I started the night with my ear to a horse’s stomach, listening for sounds.  I could hear sounds, I didn’t need a stethoscope.  There were lots of gurgles and bubbling sounds in there.  Stethoscopes don’t help.  I can hear all the good sounds with my bare ear, stethoscopes amplify extra noise that is hardly ever what I need to hear.

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  Tags: andrew+murray, czech+hands, martin+havlat, soft+hands

Thanksgiving

It took me a lot longer than I expected to get back online after the trip to Vancouver.  The access was there (even at the Vancouver airport, so very nice of them!), but I couldn’t think clearly at all.  I was distracted by things like what it means that I’m watching a hockey game on my phone in an airport waiting room while a young man in hiking boots across from me is knitting.  Am I sexist for noticing that?  Was that legitimately unusual or am I an old fuddy-duddy?  In any case, the whole moving from place to place left me disoriented and I’m still a little fuzzy.

The Sharks have announced their Black Friday sale.  That would be coming up on Black Friday, which is Friday.  Everything except jerseys will be marked down 30%, and jersey customization will be available on site for $65.

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  Tags: black+friday, colin+white, justin+braun, marc-edouard+vlasic, martin+havlat, sale

Wednesday notes from Sharks Ice

Good news from Sharks Ice: Nitty was on the ice this morning before practice. He wasn’t wearing pads but he was out there so that’s a good sign.

Not at practice were Dan Boyle and Martin Havlat.  Since we did hear that Boyle was under the weather in the last couple of games, him being out today doesn’t worry me much.  To prevent worry, I’m going to hope strongly that Havlat has caught the bug and isn’t missing for any other reason.  Fingers crossed.

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  Tags: antero+niittymaki, benn+ferriero, jamie+mcginn, martin+havlat

Fix it please, fix it now

When I first saw that Benn Ferriero had been called up for the Sharks’ road trip, I worried that this meant Martin Havlat’s visit to the doctor had not gone well.  After all, Ferriero was the Havlat placeholder for the majority of training camp.  It might be safe to say he wasn’t used anywhere else but with Couture and Clowe on the second line.

Of course it is a relief to discover that Havlat will in fact be starting, that the trip to Cleveland went very well.  Yay!  Granted, there is no way he can live up to the hype this wait has generated but yay anyway.

So what the heck was Ferriero doing with the team yesterday, and, according to Kevin Kurz, practicing on the 4th line?  Ferriero ended up on the 3rd line, but why would they even try him on the 4th?  Once I start to worry a subject, I have to worry it to death.

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  Tags: andrew+desjardins, benn+ferriero, dany+heatley, jamie+mcginn, logan+couture, martin+havlat

“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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  Tags: brent+burns, harri+stateri, joe+thornton, martin+havlat, out+of+sync, road+trip, ryane+clowe, thomas+heemskerk, twitter

Turn, turn, turn: time to win one

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.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, andrew+desjardins, andrew+murray, antti+niemi, jamie+mcginn, martin+havlat, silly+prediction+methods, tommy+wingels, torrey+mitchell

Suite charities

As reported last weekend, Martin Havlat and Brent Burns have each purchased suites for use by people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to go to hockey games.  Both are continuing traditions they started elsewhere.  Havlat donated such a suite in Minnesota, according to the press release, and also in Chicago, according to Twitter.  I’m having trouble verifying that last bit, these guys don’t broadcast this stuff.  That’s nice.  It’s inconvenient for nosy people like me but it is laudable.

Burns established Burnzie’s Battalion, part of Defending the Blue Line, when he was in Minnesota.  His suite will be available to members of the Armed Services and their families.  Havlat, in conjunction with the Sharks Foundation, will make tickets available through Bay Area organizations for underprivileged families and children with illnesses and their families.

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  Tags: brent+burns, defending+the+blue+line, martin+havlat, sharks+charities

Niemi and Havlat still on hold

No news is as much good news as we’ll get about the Sharks’ injured players today:

“From my understanding, he’s close,” said McLellan, before adding he still hadn’t talked to the team trainers or doctors yet about his number one netminder. -Sharks Talk

Eeek gads but that is discouraging.  Time to interview the doctors, guys.  Get on that, would you?

News on Havlat is better but no more conclusive.  Saturday before the game, he was on the ice early and late, ending with some board work in the corners with Vandermeer and McLaren.  As expected, there was a lot of pushing and shoving involved in that.  According to Kurz, he was out there for the full practice today.  So that all sounds good. Still, waiting for strength to return is a slow thing.  So I won’t expect him back on Friday, but he will be back.

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  Tags: antti+niemi, injury, martin+havlat

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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  Tags: andrew+murray, antti+niemi, jamie+mcginn, jim+vandermeer, martin+havlat, thomas+greiss, tommy+wingels

Questions and a few answers

For those going to the game Saturday, the Sharks will host their annual opening night street rally from 5 to 7, next to HP Pavilion.  There will be food, music, carnival festivities (face painting, dunk tank, slap shot hockey, other fun stuff), and a scavenger hunt.  For more on the scavenger hunt and a chance to win game tickets, go to: www.sjsharks.com/streetrally.

They’ll have a benefit beer booth and Sharks gear to tempt you.  Even if you aren’t going to the game but are in the area, check that out.  It’s all subject to change in case of inclement weather, fingers crossed.

Mike Moore and Cameron MacIntyre reported to Worcester today.  Evidently MacIntyre got there last night, and was promptly interviewed.  Thanks to @worcestersharks for posting the vid.

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  Tags: antti+niemi, cameron+macintyre, frazer+mclaren, jamie+mcginn, martin+havlat, sharks+street+fair, tommy+wingels

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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  Tags: benn+ferriero, joe+pavelski, joe+thornton, line+combinations, logan+couture, martin+havlat, patrick+marleau, ryane+clowe

Chill, it’s only September

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.

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  Tags: andrew+murray, antti+niemi, brad+winchester, chicken+little, fans, james+marcou, martin+havlat, sharks+ice, taylor+doherty, todd+mclellan

The gang’s all here… nearly

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.

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  Tags: antero+nittymaki, brad+winchester, martin+havlat, practice

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