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Sharks Game 2 Recap: Beating the Douchiest Team in Hockey

11 Oct

Yay, the Sharks beat the Ducks who somehow managed to get even more douchey this offseason by bringing on Kevin Bieksa. There’s almost no one left on the Canucks to hate. It’s a weird feeling. At least there’s still Burrows.

OK, let’s get to the game recap. Wow, what a game that was. The Sharks came to play. They’re playing aggressive, they’ve got energy and they are getting it done in all three zones, 5v5, and on special teams. It’s really been a treat thus far.

The Good

Patrick Marleau

This dude straight up came to play. He notched both goals for the Sharks, and both were hard earned, tenacious beauties.

Martin Jones

First game at home. First shutout. Not a bad way to go. Jones kept the Sharks in the game early making one crazy good save after another. This kid is looking to shaping up to be the real deal. And the defense in front of him hasn’t been terrible either!

Peter DeBoer

Forechecking? Net-front presence? Who is this team we’re seeing here? This new system DeBoer and staff have implemented is firing on all cylinders right now, and it’s a beautiful thing to see. The Ducks had no answer for the forecheck, and the Sharks’ best chances came from crashing the net, and getting physical up front.

The Return of Angry Joe

Jumbo lined up across Ryan Getzlaf in the faceoff dot, when Getzlaf started getting physical before the drop. Joe didn’t like that and gave him a swift stick to the abdomen, while getting tossed out. Verbal fisticuffs followed, and it was so good seeing a familiar friend. (Pavelski lost the faceoff)

Brent Burns on Defense!

This is the first game I’ve seen where Brent Burns looked not only competent but downright solid in his defensive role. He played hard, was in good position, and caused an amazing turnover with his stick as he fell to the ice to block the pass. That, and he did his usual damage and disruption in the offensive zone.

The Bad

Frederik Andersen

He didn’t play bad. In fact, he looked straight up nasty. This is bad news for future Sharks/Ducks games, as it’s going to be hard to score on this fool.

Joel Ward’s Empty Net Miss

From center ice, Ward shoots on an empty net to try and get his first goal as a Shark…and it hits the post. D’oh!

The Ugly

The Ducks’ Coaching Staff

Seriously, look at these guys. My god.

Boudreau

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Next Game: Tuesday, Oct. 13, 4:00 @ Washington Capitals

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Sharks Game 1: The Good, The Bad, and The “Brown”-y

7 Oct

After a 20 minute puck drop delay due to the stupid Blackhawks game (which made me miss the first L.A. goal), the Sharks finally started their season on my television. And I gotta say, it wasn’t a bad way to start. Although as we know from last year, winning the first game of the season in L.A. is no guarantee of success. At least this time there’s no banner hanging ceremony to deal with…

The Good

Martin Jones

After giving up his first goal as a Shark on the very first shot he faced, Jones settled into the game and showed why he was so coveted in the offseason. This is a dude who is young, athletic and just about to hit his prime. If he can play at this level consistently over the season, the Sharks will be just fine.

The Penalty Kill

This tweet sums it all up.

The Sharks went 6-6 on the PK.

Captain Pavelski (and the entire top line)

In his first game as Captain, Pavs looked absolutely fantastic, deflecting in a Brent Burns shot in the first, then scooping up a nice rebound in the second (later given to Donskoi). He also set up Burns on a wicked wrist shot that flew past Quick before he knew what was going on. Totally rad.

New System

We Sharks fans have only been saying for years that it might be nice (and effective) to FORECHECK. DeBoer has the boys playing aggressive and wow, what a difference. L.A. had no answer for it, and that was awesome.

Young Guys

Donskoi. Hertl. Tierney. Goodrow. All these guys looked good, especially Donskoi. He was constantly in the right spot on the ice, and is going to really shore up that top line nicely.

The Bad

The Second Line

OK, if I really have to pick something to criticize, the second line was less than stellar. But that’ll happen when you spend most of your time against the Kopitar line. Plus getting punched in the face by Dustin Brown doesn’t help. Honestly though, when the top line plays as well as it did, it’s hard to look as good. This new Marleau-Couture-Ward line is going to be fine.

Draft Kings

As if seeing ten commercials for these guys and Fan Duel every break isn’t enough, now they’ve got dasherboards! Watching sports this season is going to be rough.

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Sorry for the crummy resolution. 

 

The Ugly

Fuck Dustin Brown. Seriously, this guy is a roach who shouldn’t be playing in the league, and please God never ever again for Team USA.

Also, Milan Lucic, a guy who looks like the love child between Stallone and a bloodhound. The best part is that he’s not even the worst on the ice.

Next game: Saturday, Shark Tank, 7:30 vs. Ducks. Ew…getting all the turds out of the way early.

Sharks actually look good, win a game

15 Mar

Brent Burns being awesome.

Hey, the Sharks just won a game. In regulation. Against the defending Stanley Cup champs. Their struggling offense scored four goals. All lines were fast, energetic, and physical. Niemi played great the entire game. Brent Burns looked amazing in his second game up at forward.

This is the Sharks team we’ve all been waiting to see.

The forechecking came alive. Brent Burns had three amazing steals in the offensive zone that led to three high quality chances, two of which went in the net. The defense got involved in the scoring. Hell, even Douglas Murray had a nice chance on a backhand wrap-around.

It was definitely an exciting game from start to finish, but I’m feeling left with more questions now than answers.

How long will Brent Burns stay at forward?

It’s scary how good he was up front against the Kings. He’s got a big body that’s hard to push around, he’s established chemistry with Logan Couture, and because of his defensive acumen, he’s able to jump back when needed, allowing the defensemen to pinch up on the play. Wow, seriously, I don’t know when he’ll head back to D, but I’m loving him up front right now.

Is Burns the cure for the lack of secondary scoring?

The Sharks scored four goals against the defending Stanley Cup champs, and drove their Conn Smythe goaltender out of net in the process. Burns was active on three goals, getting himself a goal and an assist in the process. He had another fantastic chance off of a steal that he almost knocked in.

Matt Irwin has stepped up as well, and looks like he will no doubt take the torch from Dan Boyle, firing pucks on net from the point. He’s got a huge blast, and already has three goals this season.

The rest of the team? Still not so hot.

Clowe, Sheppard, Burish, Handzus, Wingels, Kennedy, Gomez, and Galliardi have a combined eight goals this season. Hell, even Havlat has three goals. While it’s exciting to see Burns going at the rate he is, it’s tough to look at this team and not be concerned about staying in games without more scoring from unlikely sources.

What kind of fight does this team have?

The most concerning thing I saw in this game was the lack of fight from the Sharks once they got a comfortable lead. They went in to the third period up 3-1, and they came out flat. They stopped playing the physical game that got them the lead in the first place, and instead looked like they were on the penalty kill. They were complacent, they looked tired, and they lacked the urgency to score, even when the Kings made a late push.

This passive style has been the norm this season for the Sharks. They need to figure out how to play a full game, an intense, physical, sharp 60 minutes. Against the Kings, they played 45 minutes at best. Without some luck on the power play and Brent Burns’ crazy forechecking, I think the Sharks walk out of the Tank with zero points.

This was a great game, and a much needed win and confidence boost for the Sharks, but this is only the beginning. Saturday is a big test to see what kind of fight this team has.

March Madness: the good and not so good from this weekend

11 Mar

blues player tackles sharks player

The Sharks continued their usual up and down rollercoaster style of play this weekend, playing against a tough Blues team and a Colorado Avalanche squad who finally ended the Blackhawks’ historic run. All three teams are fighting for position in a tight Western Conference, meaning every point is critical.

There was some good and some bad from this weekend. So let’s just get right into it.

Good: The Sharks scored three goals in a game.

The offense got going against the Blues, putting up three goals, and going into the third period up 3-1.

Not so good: The Blues scored four, including the overtime winner.

Antti Niemi had six minutes of poor goaltending. It was arguably his only bad six minutes all season. Unfortunately, it led to two St. Louis goals, and he was quickly yanked in favor of backup, Alex Stalock. You have to wonder though if TMac makes that call if Greiss is still in the lineup…

Good: Scott Gomez got it going against the Blues.

Gomez is playing well right now, getting his second goal in three games and an assist against the Blues.

Not so good: Ryane Clowe is still struggling.

Clowe is set to have a breakout game soon, right? Right now, he’s doing two things: generating chances and turning over the puck. Unfortunately, I saw the turnover machine operating at full speed this weekend.

Good: Niemi bounced back against the Avs.

Niemi looked good against Colorado, making huge save after huge save, and helped the Sharks battle back from a 2-0 deficit.

Not so good: The offense didn’t.

Again, the offense managed to get no more than two goals, while going 0-5 on the power play.

Good: The Sharks got two points.

Not so good: The points both came in overtime losses, giving opponents valuable points in a tight race.

Additional Notes:

Tommy Wingels is back, and looks fantastic up on the top line with Thornton and Couture. He brings the speed and tenacity that is needed in the top six. Matt Irwin looks like the real deal. He’s playing solid defense and has a straight up canon from the point. I hope he stays in the lineup long term. With Irwin playing well, the Sharks have an excess of outstanding defensemen. It looks like it might be time to try to move some pieces to add offense.

Next game is at St. Louis on Tuesday. A win would be nice. Let’s go Sharks.

fuuuuuuuuuuuuck…

7 Mar

Flames score on Sharks

Well, that wasn’t good. No, that was way worse than not good. That was atrocious. The Sharks got beat by a Calgary team that is mediocre on its good nights.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t watch the entire game. I had to leave before the third period for my own hockey game (our team also only scored one goal). I’m also not one to call out players for their misgivings, but I’m fucking tired of this. There are common themes that continue to emerge game after game, and it’s time to call them out.

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Sharks lose again; it might be time to make some changes.

1 Mar

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The Sharks lost again, dropping one against Detroit 2-1 in another goddamn shootout. They are in a tailspin. It’s time to shake it up, and make some moves.

Editor’s Note: I wanted to make a Saturday Night Fever reference here, but then I’d have to wait until tomorrow. It’s probably for the best.

The best explanation of this game’s letdown comes from Fear The Fin’s game preview:

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Sharks take team ranked 14th in the west to a shootout, finally win

27 Feb

I hate non-sequiturs, but hey, two points is two points.

San Jose finally won a game by beating the lowly Colorado Avalanche 3-2 that went to round four of the shootout. The two big stories of this game? The secondary scoring finally got going, and let’s face it, Semyon Varlomov was pretty fantastic tonight.

First off, how about that Sheppard-Burish-Galiardi line? Wow. James Sheppard is beginning to look like a legitimate threat in San Jose’s bottom six. And once the Sharks get Wingels back, I could see a very solid third line of Sheppard-Handzus-Wingels. And again, Jumbo showed why he is one of the best with that sick set up on Logan Couture’s goal 25 seconds into the game.

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Sharks drop another, end this god forsaken road trip

23 Feb

Dallas beat San Jose 3-1. The Sharks are now 1-4-1 on this road trip. The next game is at home against Colorado on Tuesday, and it couldn’t come any faster. Hopefully a game back in the Tank is just the thing this team needs to get things back on track, before this season becomes lost.

The Sharks just look out of sorts, and more importantly, out of answers. No matter what line combinations get thrown out there, or what players are scratched, it just doesn’t seem to matter. This game was really tough to swallow. This team is far too talented to be playing the way it is right now. I mean, the Sharks had 32 shots against Steve Buscemi look alike and AHL goaltender, Christopher Nilstorp. This game had everything the Sharks needed to get the offense rolling again. The goals just aren’t coming.

Tough loss, but now is not the time to give up on this team. All teams go through adversity throughout the season, and if the Sharks can pull themselves out of this situation, I like their chances.

Next Game: Colorado @ San Jose, Tuesday, 7:30 pm

Here we go again, Hawks beat Sharks. What is this, 2010?

22 Feb

Chicago beat San Jose in a game that blah blah blah blah. This story has been written too many times already.

San Jose had four power plays in this game. The total result? One goal against. The power play right now is atrocious, as the Sharks have only converted two of their last 46 opportunities with the man advantage, the last one coming in garbage time against Columbus. I think at this point, it goes without saying that San Jose lives and dies by the 5 on 4.

The Sharks looked good at the start of this game. They came out with intensity, they finished checks, they moved the puck cleanly through the neutral zone, and got some quality chances, especially from Ryane Clowe. Luckily, Patrick Marleau was able to slip one past Ray Emery late in the first, after a great rush by Joe Pavelski.

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