Petshark: Talking Stick
Entries with the tag: phoenix coyotes
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.
Last night, Teemu Selanne scored his 66th career goal against the Sharks, in the 6th meeting this season. That’s three sixes. Lordy.
Jonas Hiller described the performance of the Ducks lately:
“Everybody is really motivated and we didn’t want to eliminate ourselves. We are still trying to play good hockey. We don’t want to just give up. That is what we did tonight, and that’s why we won.” -Sharks Talk
I thought that was interesting because lame ducks do not just give up, except on the long game. Knowing you have nothing left to lose is liberating and often frees people to do things they wouldn’t have done were they considering the next stage. But what the Ducks are doing it isn’t quite lame duck behavior.
The coyotes are back. Haven’t heard them in a while but last night there it was, that familiar, creepy yipping sound not so very far away.
From February 16-28, the Phoenix Coyotes went 6-0. Since then, they are 0-5. During that six-game winning streak, three games went to shootouts and one to overtime. During this losing streak, only one game went beyond regulation, Thursday’s shootout with Minnesota. During the winning streak, they only won one game by more than one goal. During the losing streak they have lost two by two or more goals.
During the winning streak, the largest shots on goal discrepancy came against the Canucks on the 28th. The Coyotes were outshot 40-35. That isn’t a glaring gap. In the five games they have just lost, the Coyotes outshot their opponents by as few as 6 shots and as many as 17. In Calgary the shots were even. Doesn’t look like winning on the shot clock has been helping the Coyotes any more than it helps the Sharks.
It was said on Twitter. McLellan was quoted saying it on Working the Corners and in Kurz’s CSN blog. It was discussed during the pregame show. It was the big story before Saturday’s game in the mostly empty Jobing.com arena: how very dangerous, unpredictable, hungry and possibly tough to play against the Phoenix Coyotes would be. What were they thinking? Here’s what I was thinking:
I didn’t get it. Why would the Coyotes be more frantic than Dallas? Isn’t that losing streak they’ve been on an indication that they are not playing well? Was everyone trying to say the Coyotes have the Sharks’ number?
If that’s the case, I thought, it’s a very bad sign for the Sharks. I hoped fervently that it was all a bunch of manufactured drama, like the endless euphemism-filled discussion of where Niemi was hit by that puck, why he missed the last game. I’m still not clear. As Brodie pointed out during the pregame show, women don’t understand these things. Someone will have to be more specific.
Sharks fans thought we had it bad when the Sharks embarrassed themselves and us by losing 3-0 to the Coyotes. That was bad, but it could have been worse. Coyotes do stuff like that all the time, sneak up on you and steal your chickens (or your cats, or your toy dogs) when you’re not looking. Imagine being a Wings fan and watching the Blues… oh. Right, done that too. Some Wings fans are pretty mad about that. Like, really pissed off. I wonder if Mr. Babcock is also pissed off.
Ok, well, what about Stars fans, however many there are? They have to be pretty angry about a 6-0 loss to the Panthers. Sure, the Panthers are on a streak of road wins but still, it’s the Panthers, and Dallas has forgotten they were doing amazingly well. They’ve started dropping games like pennies in a wishing well. So it could be worse.
I did harp on how important the third period would be in last night’s Coyotes @ Sharks game. I’d like to start with how obvious it was that the Sharks took the third period very seriously, worked hard and had their heads in the game, even if the first and the second periods slipped through the cracks.
I’d like to, but I have to settle for giving the team the benefit of the doubt and supposing they were trying really hard to get their act together, in some subtle way I just couldn’t see. They were more frantic but no more effective. After all, Thornton was bleeding from his face. He must have been trying to do something.
The Sharks again outshot their opponent, in the second 2 periods by 11-5 and 13-7. So they were doing something.
Tonight the Sharks play the Coyotes. Greiss will be in net. Wow. I mean yay! and also wow. Maybe the Coyotes games will be Greiss’ games this season?
The Coyotes are in 8th place in the Western Conference right now. That’s four spots behind the Sharks but only two points behind. I could say the Coyotes are nipping at the Sharks’ heels but sharks don’t have feet.
I don’t think many people thought Mike Smith was a great replacement for Ilya Bryzgalov, but considering Bryz was given the elite streets of gold treatment last Summer, I don’t think replacing him was ever in the cards for the Coyotes. But I also think a lot of people underestimate Smith. He made a pretty good showing in the playoffs for Tampa Bay. Combined with the Yotes’ tendency to show up and work hard, Smith and company might be one of those teams you have to be very careful not to take for granted, even if your last meeting was a blow-out in your favor. Remember the 3rd, Sharks, remember the 3rd!
Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
Tags: colin+white, dany+heatley, devin+setoguchi, douglas+murray, jason+demers, justin+braun, marc-edouard+vlasic, mike+smith, minnesota+wild, phoenix+coyotes, todd+mclellan
The Sharks wanted to start the season off fast. That sounds like a good plan, even if the NHL schedule made us hurry up and wait for a week before the next game. I also wish these starts were not against the Yotes and the Ducks. The Ducks should offer some resistance but the current incarnation of the Phoenix Coyotes is hardly rigorous competition for what some are calling the best Sharks team ever, or in a very long time. That’s why a blowout was sort of on the agenda Saturday night, especially after that preseason game I can’t seem to remember.
Everything was going according to plan until the end. I imagine it’s hard to keep playing hard when there’s not much push back. The Sharks won 6-3, but for quite a while the score was lots more lopsided than that. There are several good recaps of the game:
If you haven’t already, go read those. I did.