Week 22

Last week, I called Alex Stalock and Mike Brown “waste[s] of space” and “utterly fucking useless.” And Doug Wilson listened. Seriously, I think Dougie reads this, so…I told you so. On Monday, the Sharks traded away Raffi Torres and 2 2nd round picks (2017 & 2018) to the Toronto Perpetual Sadnesses for D Roman Polak and F Nick Spaling, who would later score on his first shot with the Sharks. The Sharks got another defenseman to shore up their rotation, a forward to fill out the bottom line. They also got a master of banter:

And we’ll need the shade because it’s been in the mid-70s all week in the South Bay.

This trade also rid us of the worst player in Sharks history:

torresing

In 4 seasons, Raffi Torres played in 16 games. That’s including not playing at all this season or last season. He was suspended for 47 total games. The rest of the time, he was on IR. Raffi Torres was an absolute waste of money. Of air. A horrible excuse for a hockey player. Luckily, we found someone dumb enou….savvy enough to turn his career around. He’ll start that turn around by making himself inactive for the rest of this season:

But we weren’t done. Oh no. Wilson had another deal up his sleeve. G James Reimer and F Jeremy Morin from Toronto (again) for G Alex Stalock, F Ben Smith, and a 4th (2018) that could become a 3rd should the Sharks make the Cup Finals. More importantly:

Alex. Stalock. Is. Gone.

It’s got me feeling a lot like Jumbo after his performance against the Blues on Monday:

So I’m going to post this one last time, because it’s the last time I can use it:

ALexStalocksucks

If you’ve read my blurb before, you know I hate Alex Stalock. If you’ve seen him play, you know you hate Alex Stalock. He’s gone and now we have a solid back up to give Martin Jones some rest heading down the stretch into the playoffs. Additionally, we get another Bottom-6 forward to push Mike “Dead Weight” Brown* further out of the picture. In this trade, the Sharks didn’t give much up, as we didn’t want Stalock, Smith was sort of forgotten (though a solid 4th liner when needed), and only one draft pick. Huge win for San Jose on this trade.

Combining both trades together makes it look like Doug Wilson has his magic GM touch back. The first trade was a little heavy on the picks given away, but getting Reimer and Polak for 2 second rounders and clearing deadweight is pretty solid.

Reimer won’t be in for a while, so Aaron Dell, a development goalie who I mentioned last week, will be filling in until Reimer is able to join the Sharks. I’m pumped, because now we’ll have the self-proclaimed “World’s Okayest Goalie” on our bench:

Aaron Dell's shirt. 😂

A post shared by San Jose Barracuda (@sjbarracuda) on

It’s clear that the “rebuild” that was previously talked about is over and the Sharks are committed to winning now.

It’ll be an uphill battle to finish out this season. 21 games remain, 14 of which are at home. The Sharks are getting better at home, but are still 11-13-3. However, they have the most road wins in the league with 22. If San Jose can be close to perfect in their last 7 road games, they may be able to cover any point losses from the home games until they fix whatever juju is preventing them from being dominant at home like in years past.

Oh, I almost forgot about the dumb way the NHL scheduled the Sharks’ season. In their final 22 games, they play the Canucks 5 times with 2 sets of home and homes. They play 3 times this week alone. They also play the Coyotes 3 times in this final month. Currently, the Canucks and Coyotes are 12 points behind the Sharks in 4th and 5th place, respectively. If the Sharks can take out the Canucks and Coyotes in those 8 games, they can secure at least 3rd in the Pacific and try to mount a late season charge to the top 2 spots. Each of those games are really worth 4 point swings in the standings, so it’s imperative the Sharks take care of business. With no Stalock to Stalock things in the 3 remaining back-to-backs, the playoff forecast is looking better and better for this Sharks team and the added rest should only improve Jones’ effectiveness in these final games.

4 points behind the Ducks, 6 behind the Kings.

Let’s go.

***EDIT: As I begin to write this at 9AM PST Sunday: Stalock has been placed on waivers by TOR. Mike Brown has been placed on waivers by SJ. I am a Nostradamus of bad hockey players.***

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Week 22

Week 20

This is weird. I’ve never been down this far on the page before. But, the Ducks have been surging, which is disgusting. We’re gaining on the Kings and putting distance on 4th place in the division so it’s not all bad. Plus, we still have games in hand on the teams from Smog City, so it’s really a fake third place.

But falling out of second place has made me reevaluate my life. Maybe things haven’t been as doom and gloom as I’ve made them out to be so far. Yeah, the beginning of the season started rough, but since the New Year, the Sharks are 13-5-3. That’s a 70% point attainment rate (PAR) [pronounced: par]. In this time, only two of the losses have been back to back, and the Sharks did enjoy a 5 game winning streak. In this time, 3 big things have become apparent:

1. The Sharks Power Play has been spectacular so far. A recent dip has seen them drop to 5th in the league, but for much of this season, they’ve been the #2 PP (Power Play) [pronounced powr plae]. The Sharks have taken advantage of this surge in offensive production and sit 4th in GPG (goals per game) [pronounced: goels pur gaym] with 2.89. 41 of their 165 goals have come with a man advantage, good for 25% of their offensive total. To continue to succeed, the Sharks need this kind of production on special teams. Martin Jones can bail them out on the back end with his 2.33 GAA (goals against average) [pronounced: goels agenst avurej]. But this leads me to the second point:

2. Alex Stalock is a waste of space. It’s no secret that Peter DeBoer won’t play you if you don’t earn it, just ask Mike Brown (More on that in a bit). Stalock has taken his benching pretty hard, as evidenced by his most recent Tumblr posts:

StalocksTumblr3
sometimes the ppl closest 2 u hurt u the most
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just 1 of thz days…
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#foreverbenched

Stalock’s last 2 starts have resulted in 3 and 5 goals against on 17 and 22 total shots, with save percentages (SV%) [pronounced: saav pursentuhjez] of 0.824 and 0.773. 8 goals on 39 shots. That’s bad. Which is why Martin Jones now starts in back-to-backs. Unfortunately, we can’t charge the losses Jones gets on the second straight game to Stalock, but Stalock deserves them.

It’s clear that Stalock is not a solution as a back up and the Sharks have two decent goaltenders in Troy Grosenick and Aaron Dell, of which Dell has put up the better numbers, despite less wins, with the Barracuda. We can’t expect Jones to play every single back-to-back, but we also can’t throw away games with Stalock as a starter. Someone needs to make a move, because sitting with dead weight is a major drag.

3. Speaking of dead weight: Mike Brown.

MikeBrownSucks

He doesn’t get playing time for 9 games as a healthy scratch, takes 4 minutes of penalties on 9:07 TOI (Time On Ice) [pronounced: tym on i-ss]. Such a productive member of this team. His 4 games before that? 6:11, 3:18, 6:04, 5:00 TOI. He does nothing. He averages 1.5 PIM (Penalties In Minutes) [pronounced: peniltees en minuhts] on 7:12 average TOI. 1.5 PIM. Almost a full penalty per game for 11 shifts of work. Not worth it at all. Which is why PDB has been so hesitant to use him. But instead of rolling 11 forwards around, how about we get a productive member of hockey society to fill the void of the 4th line. Maybe someone who can snipe. In an elite manner. I dream of better days…

Sharks have the Blues, Avalanche, and Sabres this week.

Week 20

WEEK 20: The Movie

So the Sharks had a hell of a week. Blanking the Blackhawks, failing and then nearly outlasting the Flames in a shootout, and absolute domination of the Desert Dogs, who only managed 1 shot in the 3rd period of their game Saturday.

But I’ve come to the realization that I’m selfish, so this week’s write up will be all about me and the cool times I’ve had. I expect the past few days to be made into a movie that’ll be bundled as a double feature with “The Untitled John Scott Movie” and blow the doors off the domestic box office record (Suck my dick, Disney).

TITLE CARD:

What you are about to watch is an accurate depiction of real events.  Out of respect for those who survived the ordeal, the names and locations have not been altered.

Viewer’s discretion is advised.

FADE IN:

EXT: SAP Center-Night

CUT TO:

INT: SAP Center

A hockey game is being played between the Sharks and Calgary Flames. It’s a Thursday night. We cut to the broadcast feed of the home team and find two men in suits casually watching the game; what they are discussion is unknown:

Their presence, now known to only a handful of people who watch the broadcast feed, yields a top secret mission. A mission which could decide the fate of a transmission of yet unknown importance:

Brodie ScreenShot

The meeting place had been determined. What would happen now? Unsure of the nature of their mission, the suited men issued a warning:

What awaited them at the rendezvous? Only God knew.

CROSS DISSOLVE TO:
INT: SAP Center-A few days later

Our suited heroes now number 4. Hoping to move through the building undetected, they warn their enemies of what will come:

After grabbing several rounds of liquid courage, our heroes ventured deep undercover, only to be stopped by uncountable numbers of random strangers asking for pictures. [Like, seriously, I think we took a good dozen or so before the game even started.] Their cover now blown, they could only hope that they could make it to the meeting place in time.

But lo! There are two entrances to section 110. And only 1 minute until 1900 Hours. How could they possibly make it in time? A bright light flashes, illuminating a previously hidden location. They spot their target with mere seconds prior to transmission. Locking eyes, the contact gives them signals to indicate when to initiate the strike plan they had crafted only minutes before. And strike they did. [The government is still tracking down footage of this event.  We can re-shoot this once the funding comes through]:

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As the Great Doc Emrick would say: “What Chaos!”

And indeed, it was chaos the likes of which we may never see again.

FADE TO BLACK

END

WEEK 20: The Movie

Week 19

Since this has been going for a few weeks now, I’m starting to get some really good feedback about this whole blogging thing. It’s been helpful and constructive with comments like, “Wow, you fucking suck.” Or, “You’re not funny.” Or, “Gutless.” So taking all of my mom’s critiques into account, I’m going full bore into the numbers game this week. You think I was dry and uninspiring before? Well suck on this week’s write up in video form:

It’s been such a long time since I’ve seen that logo and the number 1 paired together:

SI is really dumb.PNG

That’s right, we’re number 1. Of course, SI.com is heavy on recency bias, so really, they’re just saying we had the best Last 10 during that ranking period. Which we did. Up until this week.

More accurately, out of all water-themed teams in the NHL, the Sharks currently sit in 3rd:

StandingsWater.PNG

More numbers: The Sharks are 4th in the NHL in Points per 60 Minutes. Which means we pass the puck around a lot instead of skating it in, because we’re averaging 4.83 Assists/60 minutes on 2.85 Goals/60 minutes. Or something.

Speaking of assists, Mr. Joe Thornton is closing in on some pretty historic stuff as long as he stops scoring goals ( 2 goals in the last 2 games):

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Anyway, let’s get even more advanced with our statistics because I accidentally clicked on those instead of the “Close Window” button.

Looking at SPSv% (Save percentage + shot conversion into goals. The average should be at 100.0%, represented as 1000 on nhl.com/stats/), you find some things that are pretty obvious when looking at the Sharks’ bottom lines. Guys like Tommy Wingels, Chris Tierney, and Matt Nieto are sitting at 941, 957, and 961, respectively. Which means that they are effectively producing negatively for the Sharks. Goals are being scored on them at a faster rate than they can score. While this looks a lot like the +/- category, the important thing to note here is the focus on percentages, which does a much better job of describing the on-ice play and production than a raw numbers results system like +/-.

Surprisingly, Patrick Marleau is not far off from our lower level forwards and sits at an SPSv% of 966. However, when the Sharks are behind and Marleau is on the ice, the Sharks do have a majority (53.75%) of all shots taken during the game under those parameters. Given that Marleau is sitting at a -17 in point production and is at a -34 in Team Shot Attempts over the course of the season (despite being included in those shot-dominant late-game “Hero” lines and Power Play units), it’s pretty obvious that most of his time during 5 on 5 is being spent in the defensive third of the ice.

Which lead me to a philosophical question: Is it still considered a slump if a player’s defensive responsibilities diminish his capacity to score goals? Is it really one guy’s fault if he’s left with nothing to work with? Now I get that most of the numbers don’t mean anything if the production isn’t there, since there are a lot of factors to consider. In fact, the numbers mean even less if production is there. And, to be fair, Patty is on pace for 25 goals this season. But, this being my first time looking at any sort of advanced analytics in depth has caused me to question my understanding of standard production measures. People are too quick to call out a player without looking at the other circumstances surrounding why that player is playing the way they are. And just by a very quick check of Marleau’s numbers (because they don’t pay me enough to figure everything out) I’m currently erring on the side of the players around him aren’t doing him many favors, which could be a result of playing with new acquisitions (Joel Ward) or young guys (Donskoi, Hertl, etc.) which could cause a lack of chemistry and prevent consistent, meaningful offensive pressure, leading to less shots and more defensive zone time. Or is it that Coach DeBoer’s system doesn’t fit Patty’s style. Or is Patty himself the liability? Further investigation is definitely warranted.

On the flip side, when Joe Thornton is on the ice, the team is shooting at +164, no doubt due to:
1. Being on the first line.
2. His shot creation ability.
3. Tons of PP time.

Thornton has spent some time with newer, younger guys like Donskoi (from time to time), but his GOAT passing ability and consistent pairing with Pavelski would far outweigh any drop in production caused by a lack of line chemistry with a 3rd Forward.

Oh hey, I mentioned power plays: did you know the Sharks are 3rd in the league at 22.1%? They’ve scored 37 goals with man advantages, which accounts for 25% of their goals this year. And how!

I didn’t go to school for math, so I’m going to stop with the numbers before I look even more stupid.   I also didn’t go to school for writing, so we’ll consider this week’s article finished.  This past week, the Sharks lost to the Ducks (barely), destroyed the Blues, and then didn’t even bother showing up for a game against the Predators. Seriously, that game was over after the first period even though they were down by 1. Hopefully a few days of rest gets their heads back on straight. This week the Sharks continue their tour of the Central division by playing the Blackhawks in Chicago before returning home to take on the Flames and #DesertDogs.

Week 19

Week 18

So the Sharks had one game earlier this week before the All Star break. They beat Colorado 6-1. The team looks good.

Whatever.

More important are 3 things:

1. The evolution of Brent Burns shootout.

2. Lil Pavs and Lil Burns shootout.

3. The People’s Champion Reigns.

The Sharks play the Ducks, Blues, and Preds next week on the road.

Week 18