Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

Entries with the tag: penalty kill

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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Filed in: hockey, , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: critics, doug+wilson, douglas+murray, hasso+plattner, joe+thornton, penalty+kill, scott+gomez, todd+mclellan

Too familiar by half

The pre-game transaction news gave me more to think about than yesterday's game, and it wasn't unexpected news at all:  Burns activated, Irwin reassigned, Petrecki waived.  All this was bound to happen.  As for the game, I couldn't decide whether the Sharks were all playing with flu symptoms, or if Tippett's Coyotes and McLellan's Sharks are way too familiar with each other.

They say that familiarity breeds contempt.  Contempt seems like a waste of perfectly good scouting reports, but it might have been more entertaining than yesterday's stalemate.   The game felt lost even before the shootout started.

But that's crazy, if they are so familiar with each other, wouldn't they be able to anticipate each other's moves, and compensate accordingly?  Yep.  And if they were both doing that, I think it would look exactly the way it looked, like a choreographed, scoreless skate.

@SharksStats: Today was the 2nd 1-0 shootout loss in Sharks history. Nabokov was the losing goalie in the other instance, Oct. 12, 2009, also vs Phoenix.

There's that.

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Filed in: | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+desjardins, brent+burns, douglas+murray, matt+irwin, nick+petrecki, penalty+kill, phoenix+coyotes, shut+out

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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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

The checklist: things to track while your team is just winning

The Sharks appear to be working from a checklist.  Obviously scoring in the first period is on that list.  They have done that ever since that disappointing game in Calgary.    Also, power play goals are important, their power play lacked some shock and awe last season.   Needed to fix that.

Patrick Marleau had his two-goals-a-game objective.  Perhaps that was drawing too much public attention away from the team, so he skipped it last night.  Making NHL history would be way too high profile for such a modest guy.  Still, it was clear that the Sharks wanted to get that 2nd goal for Marleau, because historic records are fun to hold.  Too bad they were so worn out from back to back games.  

Who were they playing against last night?  I thought I heard it was some team that had a winning streak at HP Pavilion to defend.  Does it even matter who the Sharks play anymore?

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Filed in: hockey, , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+desjardins, antti+niemi, dan+boyle, patrick+marleau, penalty+kill, post, power+play, ryane+clowe

Patrick Marleau: still smokin’

With tedious regularity, Patrick Marleau scores two goals. Of course it's not tedious at all, it's a beautiful thing. Someone should write a song about it.

He scores two goals in Alberta,
And two in the next game.
He scores two goals before he scores two goals,
And then...*

Well, we're not to game five yet.  But he's already done something that hasn't been done in nearly 100 years:

@SharksStats: "Patrick Marleau 2nd player in NHL history to begin a season with 4 multi-goal games (Cy Denneny, 1917-18 Ottawa Senators). #Elias"

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Filed in: hockey, , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: matt+irwin, patrick+marleau, penalty+kill, thomas+greiss

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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Filed in: hockey, , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: brad+stuart, flyers, joe+thornton, patrick+marleau, penalty+kill, standings

SF Bulls in Vegas tonight

The Bulls play the Las Vegas Wranglers tonight.  It's been four days since the Bulls' last game.  Such breaks are fairly common in the ECHL.  Pat Curcio explained how the team handles that:

"The biggest thing for us is we want to stick to the plan.  We want to make sure we're working as hard as we can.  Win or lose... push a little harder when you've got an extra day or two."

This break is noteworthy because it is the first to follow a winning streak for the Bulls:

@Clendenning49: 4s gotta be a winning streak, Rollin.. @SFBulls @k_belan43 @1986jmorrison

I usually call it a streak at three but certainly four works too.  It's another test for the Bulls: will the break make a difference?  I can feel the suspense building.

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Filed in: , hockey, , San Jose Sharks, , | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: echl, jordan+morrison, pat+curcio, penalty+kill, sf+bulls

A grudging ode to three

Three games against the Canucks, three ending 3-2.  In fact, the Sharks’ last three games against anyone ended 3-2.  Last night, the Sharks avoided losing three games in a row, or three to the Canucks.  Thornton was guilty of three turnovers.  The game produced three points, one for the Canucks, two for the Sharks.  The Sharks practiced three times between games against the Canucks. I haven’t counted how many times Nemo taps the posts with his stick between shootout rounds, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s three.

All right, Sharks. FINE, you really like your threes, I get it.  I’ll try not to say things to belittle or mock your faith.  I still think it would be better if…. Oh, never mind.  Bleeding cultists.

I don’t mind being wrong when it means the team wins.  I take absolutely no joy in being right when it means the team loses.  I wasn’t sure the Sharks would lose to the Canucks last night, but I was really very certain it would not end 3-2.  Whatev.

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Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+desjardins, antero+niittymaki, colin+white, dan+boyle, logan+couture, michal+handzus, penalty+kill

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