San Jose Sharks: 2015-2016 Season Predictions

27 Aug

We’re 41 days away from the opening puck drop for the San Jose Sharks season in L.A. And we’re less than a month away from the first preseason game, which means hockey is coming up very soon. Yippie! New season, fresh start! Refresh! Oh, wait that sounds familiar.

Along with a reason for living, a new hockey season brings loads of predictions about the upcoming months, most of which are completely wrong and useless. So without further ado…here are the Great White’s guess-timations for the future of Sharks hockey.

Prediction 1: Joe Pavelski will be named the Sharks captain.

OK, so I’m kind of cheating on this one. This was my first prediction from last season, and we all know how that ended up. Vlasic gets the A, with Thornton and Marleau rotating the final one.

Prediction 2: The Sharks will finish 2nd in the Pacific Division.

OK, this one is the same prediction I had last year as well. But last season was no indication of the true talent of the team. There was a lot of internal strife between players and management, players and coach, coach and management–plus did I mention there wasn’t a captain?

The Sharks bounce back big time this year. Pavelski, Couture and Thornton will continue to lead the team in points. Marleau, Hertl and Nieto are primed for a big comeback year. Wingels will continue his forward trajectory from his breakout season last year, and we’ll see a lot of the young guys step up, especially Tierney, Goldobin and Goodrow.

Prediction 3: The Sharks’ defense will be improved, but still middle of the pack.

It’s hard not to be excited about getting another true stay-at-home defensemen in Paul Martin to pair up with Brent Burns on the back end. The more Burnzie is free to terrorize opposing defenses with his size and scoring ability, the better. Especially when Thornton is on the ice.

Yet even with Martin, that gives the Sharks two solid D-lines to work with, and that’s not going to be enough to launch them into the upper echelon of the best in the league.

Prediction 4: Martin Jones will win the starting job easily–and thrive in it.

I think this guy is going to be the real deal. He’s young, he’s agile, and he can help us beat the Kings. He won’t have the same stellar caliber of defense that he had in L.A. (see #3 above), but it will be good enough ahead of him where he’ll be successful.

Stalock on the other hand, will continue to regress (as much as I love the guy), and the Sharks will be looking at a rotation of him and Grosenik as backup.

Prediction 5: The Blue Jackets will be the scariest team no one is talking about.

They’re young. They’re tough. And they play well as a team. Ever since Jarmo Kekäläinen came in as General Manager, #Lumbus has done nothing but improve.

Bobrovski will also win the Vezina…again. Count on it.

Prediction 6: Buffalo will miss the playoffs again.

Yeah, they have Eichel and Evander Kane now, along with new coach Dan Bylsma. I think they’re sure to improve (how could they not), but they’ll still be on the outside looking in come April.

Prediction 7: Edmonton will make the playoffs, but fizzle out early.

McDavid. Hall. Nugent-Hopkins. Yakopov. This young core will make it tough for opposing teams. However, their D still isn’t as strong as a real contender needs it to be. They do have a pretty good coach now, though.

Prediction 8: The Sharks will make it to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history.

But they won’t get there on skill alone. They’ll have some lucky match-ups (hello, Wild) and benefit from some timely injuries to tough opponents. Really, getting to the Cup is as much luck as it is skill, so why not the Sharks?

Prediction 9: The Sharks will not win the Cup.

It is the Sharks, after all. Maybe next year…

I can’t wait for October 7 against L.A. Let’s go Sharks!

Sharks Season Predictions Follow-Up

17 Aug

Last season, I made predictions about the Sharks and the NHL in general, and mainly I did pretty bad. Here’s a quick look back at my predictions and what actually happened.

Prediction Number 1: Joe Pavelski will be the new Sharks captain.

We all know how that one turned out. 4 As, no C. That’s supposedly going to change this season, so maybe I’ll re-use this one.

Prediction Number 2: The Sharks will continue to publicly alienate both Thornton and Marleau.

Eh, not really. It was pretty obvious that there was tension, and the whole “Doug needs to shut his mouth” thing from Jumbo, there wasn’t much. But you could tell it was wearing on the team privately.

Prediction Number 3: Vancouver won’t suck nearly as much.

Hey, I got one right! Although it wasn’t going to be hard to top their Tortorella-level shittiness. I did predict that they’d end up no higher than 4th in the Pacific though. They finished 2nd. I also predicted that the Sharks would beat them in every regular season match-up. The Sharks ended up 2-3-0 against them. So…wrong!

Prediction Number 4: The Ducks will win the Pacific, again.

Yep. Nailed it. Although that one wasn’t that bold of a prediction.

Prediction Number 5: The Sharks will finish 2nd in the Pacific.

Nope. Not even close.

Prediction Number 6: The Avalanche will struggle this year.

Remember two seasons ago when Patrick Roy led the Avalanche to the playoffs in his rookie season as coach? That was fun. They were due to regress, but I had no idea just how far they would fall last season.

Prediction Number 7: The Blackhawks will win the West.

Another one right. Although I thought they’d beat the Kings to get there.

Prediction Number 8: The Penguins will win the Cup.

HAHAHA what was I thinking?!? The way things are going in Pittsburgh, those fools will never win another one.

And, finally…for your viewing pleasure. My final predictions by division, with actual standings in red:

Pacific

Ducks                     Ducks
Sharks                    Canucks
Kings                      Flames (who would have seen this one coming?)
Canucks                 Kings
Oilers                     Sharks
Coyotes                  Oilers
Flames                   Coyotes

Total: 1/7

Central

Blackhawks           Blues
Stars                       Predators
Blues                      Blackhawks
Avalanche             Wild
Predators              Jets
Wild                       Stars (what a disappointment)
Jets                         Avalanche

Total: 0/8

Atlantic

Lightning               Canadiens
Bruins                     Lightning
Canadiens              Red Wings (will these guys ever not be competitive?)
Maple Leafs           Senators
Red Wings             Bruins
Senators                 Panthers
Panthers                 Maple Leafs (will these guys ever be competitive?)
Sabres                     Sabres

Total: 1/8 (thanks, Buffalo!)

Metropolitan

Penguins                Rangers
Rangers                  Capitals
Islanders                Islanders
Capitals                  Penguins
Devils                     Blue Jackets
Blue Jackets          Flyers
Flyers                      Devils
Hurricanes             Hurricanes

Total: 2/8

Not my best showing, but don’t worry. I have another season to get all my predictions wrong. Check back next week.

Sharks Game 1: “We Meet Again”

8 Oct
Sharks forward goes flying into Kings' goaltender Jonathan Quick

Reed Saxon / Associated Press

It’s here, it’s finally here! The NHL opens its season tonight! The Sharks are heading down to L.A. to face their division rivals, the Kings.

Good thing that there’s no bad blood between these two teams.

The last time these two teams fought met?

Joe Thornton is sad.

But hey, all that shit is in the past, right? That’s the beauty of a new season—it’s new! We all can move on from past disappointments, sadness, and heartbreak that occurred last year. And what better way to start off the season than to beat the reigning champs in their own building, something the Sharks struggled to do last season?

San Jose will have to do so with a different leadership group, as the NHL’s best set-up man, Joe Thornton was stripped of the captaincy, perennial 30-goal scorer, Patrick Marleau was deemed ill-fit to be an alternate (meaning he’s now lost the C and the A as a Shark), and Dan Boyle was sent off to the world of free agency, landing with the Rangers.

All signs point to Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic taking over as Captain and two alternates, respectively. No formal announcement has been made, but come on. I mean, come on. Just fucking announce it already, DW.

“The captain? I’ll get back to you on that.”

The other things that haven’t been announced, but we probably can guess:

  • Who will start in net for the Sharks? Niemi.
  • Who will Dustin Brown knee in his first game? Couture.
  • Who will win the game? Kings.

I hate this so much, but I’m also so excited for this season to start.

Go Sharks!

2014-2015 Season Predictions

30 Sep Sharks' forwards Joe Thornton and Brent Burns

It’s almost here. It’s almost fucking here. That wonderful day when a new NHL season begins, and I can go back to comfortably ignoring my obligations while daydreaming about the Sharks hoisting the Cup in the Spring (I mean it has to be their year this time, right?).

Wednesday, October 8 is only eight days away. I can’t wait for it to get here.

But for Sharks players, it will be filled with even more energy, as they have to start their Cup campaign in L.A. against the stupid, butthole, good-for-nothing, Kings. Not only do the Sharks have to play the team that knocked them out right away, but they also have to watch them lift their Stanley Cup Champions banner into the rafters.

 

Dustin Brown of the Kings lifting the Stanley Cup.

I hate the Kings. Fuck.

So now that a new season is nearly upon us, I wanted to take a moment to make my pre-season predictions, for the Sharks, the Pacific Division, and the playoffs altogether.

Prediction Number 1: Joe Pavelski will be the new Sharks captain.
Not that this is a real earth-shattering prediction. I think most people expect Pavs to take over the C this season. And if the Sharks’ new marketing efforts are any indication, they’re looking at Pavelski, Logan Couture, and Tomas Hertl to take over as their captain and two alternates. But if they don’t make Vlasic at least an alternate, that’s a huge mistake.

Prediction Number 2: The Sharks will continue to publicly alienate both Thornton and Marleau.
But privately, they’ll suck up as much as possible. Not because they respect them as players like all of us fans do, but because they want to find a way to move them. Still. I just don’t get it.

Prediction Number 3: Vancouver won’t suck nearly as much.
They’ll still finish no higher than 4th in the Pacific, but the Canucks will improve upon last season. The Sedins will play well. Ryan Miller will too. Nick Bonino will be alright, and they won’t even miss Ryan Kesler that much. The Sharks will still find a way to beat them every time, though.

Prediction Number 4: The Ducks will win the Pacific, Again.
I hate to say this, because of how much I hate the Ducks and all, but they are going to win the division again. They’ve added Ryan Kesler and Dany Heatley, both of whom I think will help them. However, because this is a Bruce Boudreau coached team, they’ll lose in Game 7 of the first round of the playoffs. Brucey likes doing that.

Prediction Number 5: The Sharks will finish 2nd in the Pacific.
Because they’re good like at in the regular season.

Prediction Number 6: The Avalanche will struggle this year.
The Avs will be the surprise disappointment this season, finishing 4th in the Central division.

Prediction Number 6: The Blackhawks will win the West.
I mean, it’s their turn after all. The Blackhawks will beat the Kings to get there.

Prediction Number 7: The Penguins will win the Cup.
I honestly don’t know why I’m saying this, but it has to happen again sometime, right? Maybe a new coach will get them over the hump.

Go Sharks!

Here’s my final predictions, by division:

Pacific

Ducks
Sharks
Kings
Canucks
Oilers
Coyotes
Flames

Central

Blackhawks
Stars
Blues
Avalanche
Predators
Wild
Jets

Metropolitan

Lightning
Bruins
Canadiens
Maple Leafs
Red Wings
Senators
Panthers
Sabres

Atlantic

Penguins
Rangers
Islanders
Capitals
Devils
Blue Jackets
Flyers
Hurricanes

Maybe We’re Not Screwed (The Case For the Sharks) – Offseason Recap #3

25 Aug sad shark is here to party

sad shark is here to party

As you all have noticed, it’s been somewhat of a strange offseason to say the least. The Sharks management has pissed off the entire fan base by signing John Scott, resigning Mike Brown, and adding Ice Girls this season. They’ve also confused everyone (including themselves) as to what the hell their plan is exactly. But worst of all, they’ve effectively alienated their best players, first by saying to the media that they wanted players who “wanted to play here, not just live here,” then by trying to trade said players even though they have contracts with no-trade clauses.

Then, as we’ve all heard this week, the Sharks stripped Jumbo of the captaincy, and once again, the Sharks have a team without a captain (and no As at the moment either).

But even with all that, I don’t think the Sharks are as screwed as everyone thinks they are. Here’s my case for the Sharks this season.

Continue reading

Great White and Teal is on Puck Daddy!

13 Aug

As part of Puck Daddy’s Summer of Disappointment series, I had the privilege (if you can call it that) of writing about the Sharks’ most disappointing moments, no easy task I assure you.

Go check it out, it’s pretty good if I do say so myself.

Read GWaT on Puck Daddy >>

Goons, Buffoons, and Ice Girls! Offseason Recap #2

3 Jul

There’s an old expression that goes like, “the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today.” That has nothing to do with the San Jose Sharks, because I don’t even think they know what a tree is at this point; they’re looking for a solid “stump” to help protect their leaves.

The Sharks have announced that they’re bringing back Mike Brown, signing him to a two-year deal worth $2.4 million dollars. For Mike Brown. The Mike Brown who had a whole five points last season. The same Mike Brown who is used sparingly on the fourth line, when he isn’t hanging out in the press box on yet another healthy scratch.

Yeah, this fucking guy is making $1.15 million next season.

But that’s not all, ladies and gentlemen, the Sharks are also bringing in John Scott for $700,000 this season, which is great for Mike Brown, because he is no longer the worst player on the San Jose Sharks. No that honor now belongs to this other fucking guy.

It’s all going to be ok though, Sharks fans, not to worry. The San Jose Sharks organization has also decided to bring on a team of ice girls to help soothe your troubles (or a “co-ed” “Ice Team” if you will). You know, the scantily-clad woman with shovels who smooth out the ice surface during game breaks and intermissions, and who lead between-period entertainment.

But wait. Maybe the Sharks are actually committed to icing a progressive, co-ed entertainment team. Let’s take a look at the proposed uniforms.

ice-team

Picture includes both men and women, that’s good. A full-body shot of women are dressed in tight-fighting yoga pants and jerseys with high midriffs, showing off thin, athletic bodies. The man is dressed in a full jacket, and shown only from the waist up.

Well they only say that a picture is worth a thousand words. What about the actual words?

what-to-expect

 

They do seem to be pretty detailed and prepared for the women to try out, not as much for the men. Guess we’ll have to check back, eh?

Let’s just say the feedback online hasn’t been so hot thus far.

madtweets

Full article (with more fun tweets) here:
http://storify.com/madebymiedema/san-jose-sharks-fans-have-plenty-to-say-about-ice/embed?border=false

In other quick hits, the Sharks actually did something cool by signing Tye McGinn, the younger brother of former-Shark, Jamie McGinn. However, they did get Tye from the Flyers, which means he’s probably either an insufferable douchebag or a dumb ass.

I don’t know what the rest of the offseason will bring, but I just hope it will end soon. I can’t take much more.

 

Sharks Offseason Recap #1

23 Jun

Holy shit, what in God’s name is happening to the Sharks?!?!?

sad shark is back

This is the new San Jose Sharks mascot.

That’s seems to be the sentiment of Sharks fans out there in the nether regions of the interwebz. The Sharks are imploding, they’re panicking, they’re driving away their best player and fan favorite, they’re moving to Seattle, they’re smoking crack with Rob Ford, they’re not watching the World Cup, I mean come on you guys, these are some serious accusations.

But let’s not forget that many of these things haven’t actually happened yet, and they’re all called rumors for a reason. Here’s what has been going on so far.

Dan Boyle and Martin Havlat are no longer on the team.

Martin Havlat never quite fit in with the Sharks. And now he’s gone, getting bought out of his stupid $5 million salary, which was really just a less stupid salary than the $7.5 million the Sharks were paying to Dany Heatley, and the Wild were stupid enough to take on. Win win, sort of.

Obviously Boyle is the bigger name on this one. He’s the Sharks’ most prolific scoring defenseman in history, he’s been the point man on the top power play unit (and done a bang up job at it, I must add), and some other third thing. But the problem with Boyle is the problem with many of the Sharks core: he’s old. Boyle’s game has been slowing down the past few seasons, but ever since getting knocked out by Maxim Lapierre (if you don’t know who he is, look up “hillbilly scum bag”) he never looked like the same player. I hate to see him go – he’s a great guy, a good veteran leader, and it leaves a giant-sized hole in our defense.

Which leads me to…

Brent Burns is moving back to defense.

Brent Burns image. He looks like a wolverine.

The ladies can’t get enough of Burns’ D.

I’m mixed on this one. It seemed like the Burns-Thornton-Hertl line was killing it, so this feels like a panic move. Plus in Burns’ short time spent on defense with the Sharks, he was mediocre at best. If he can be a bruising guy that plays with a lot of skill, a la Drew Doughty, that’d be cool. Much less, and I think it’s an overreaction, and a mistake that leads to more problems than solutions. The Sharks have enough young defensemen to form a solid group, and Burns is more needed up front.

The Sharks open the season in L.A.

And they get to watch the Kings raise their Stanley Cup Champions banner into the rafters of the Staples Center. Fuck me.

NHL Awards!

Brent Burns and Patrick Marleau are up for some awards or something.

Now, the rumors!

Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are leaving!

Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.

Peace, bitches!

This is stupid. Or at least would be really stupid if it actually happened. Trading your two best forwards doesn’t make your team better. Let’s not forget Thornton had 61 assists last year, and if you think Pavelski ever tops 40 goals without Jumbo as his centerman, you must be crazier than Raffi Torres. Look, I love the young core (which somehow includes the soon-to-be 30 year-old Joe Pavelski), but this team needs Thornton and Marleau to push for the Cup, and probably needs them in order to make the playoffs.

The team is leaving!

It was reported that the Sharks made some bad TV deal and wanted more money. That somehow got transformed into “the Sharks are moving.” I highly doubt this happens, but I also never thought Dustin Hillbilly Brown would ever lift the Stanley Cup – let alone twice. God I hate that he’s won it twice. And now he’s making more money than our captain, with far less production and skill.

Anyway, I’m probably wrong about all of this and will have to eat my words in a few weeks (maybe in the form of pie? mmm…pie), but I hope not. The Sharks are a savvy organization and I think once the sting of defeat heals up, they’ll see the light and do what’s right to find their way out of this plight. Otherwise, it’s a long season and a tough fight.

Good night!

Sharks/Penguins: Is that national television I see?

6 Mar

The Sharks are actually on national television, not that it matters much to my cable-challenged self. But hey, any and all exposure to Sharks hockey is good.

The Sharks are taking on the Pittsburgh Penguins at home in the Tank, which is probably better for them, as they’ve struggled against sub-par teams on the road (Buffalo, Carolina anyone?). San Jose is 14-2-1-1 in their last 18 matchups against the Pens, and 9-0-1-0 at home. In fact, the Sharks haven’t lost to Pittsburgh on home ice since 1997, the same day the Marlins beat the Indians in the 7th game of the World Series.

Let’s just hope the trend continues. My ex-girlfriend was a huge Penguins fan, so I would love nothing more than to see the Sharks completely dominate tonight. If you think I’m a bad guy for saying that, keep in mind that she took my dog in the break up. Not cool. I mean, look at this face…

The cutest most awesome dog ever with his favorite toy

My dog, Chief with his favorite toy.

Getting back to hockey, the Sharks need a spark if they plan on catching the fucking Ducks in the division. They finally got Burnzie and Havlat going last game against Carolina, even though they lost. It’s important to get that secondary scoring going, as Pavelski can’t score every goal (although he’s sure trying to).

Speaking of scoring, I’ve been seeing a lot of chatter online about Joe Thornton’s prolific assist total, about how he’s the best set-up guy, about how he’s a true playmaker, etc. While I definitely don’t disagree, I will say the same thing everyone else has said at one point or another while watching the Sharks: Thornton needs to shoot the puck more.

NHL Top 30 Scorers

Currently, Jumbo is second in the league in assists with 51, but is 16th in total points. The reason? He only has 84 shots on the season. David Kreji of Boston has the next lowest total of all skaters in the top 30 for scoring with 132 shots. That’s 48 shots, or as I like to call it, a slow Tuesday. At Thornton’s current shooting percentage of 9.5%, that’s 4.56 more goals with just those additional shots, which would nearly double his goal total on the season.

Anyway, enough babbling. I’m just hoping for a solid win against a team that I really want to hate, but respect the hell out of.

Prediction: Sharks win 3-1, with Thornton getting 2 goals and an assist, just to make me look like an asshole.

Taking crappy to a whole new level

5 Mar

Crappy blogs are usually characterized by a lack of content for long stretches of time, and for unrealistic apology posts. And unfortunately, as owner of Great White and Teal, I have taken this little crummy blog and made it truly shitty one for me and for all 14 of you who read it. For that, I am truly sorry.

So as a token of good faith and restored motivation, it is my imperative to put together a little post explaining my intentions for this thing moving forward.

Great White and Teal has been as silent as the Sharks at the trade deadline. What’s the deal?

Like all crappy blogs, posts stop coming because the owner either (a) is lazy, (b) can’t decide what to do on a post, (c) lost motivation, (d) lost his job and in turn, Internet, or in my case (e) all of the above.

So what now? Are you going to do this or not?

Yes. I can’t guarantee how much time I will spend toward this, but I think it’s reasonable to promise at least one post a week – and yes, the twitter should be much more active. Finally, I’m sure you’re all thinking. What would the world do without amazingly spot-on insight like this?

What can I expect if I read this crummy thing?

Not much honestly. You’ll still get the self-depreciating, roller coaster voice of your average Sharks fan. You won’t get a daily blast or live in-game analysis. There are plenty of other blogs for that sort of thing. Hell, I don’t even watch every game. I’m a fan, just like you. So I’m just sharing what being a Sharks fan is like. There is no major insight or analysis. Mainly what you’ll get is the same you’d find at a Korean restaurant: a good helping of incoherent rambling with (hopefully) some really tasty bits here and there.

I’d love at some point to do a podcast or some other additional content in the future, but that is more of a pipe dream as of now. Essentially, I can’t promise much right now, but if you stick it out, I can promise that Great White and Teal will deliver some quality Sharks fan content to your life at some point.

Until then, go Sharks!

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