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.

Advertisements
Week 18

Week 17 (Pacific War Room is Back)

Is that…are we in…YES!!!

WE’RE BACK

PWR is back, bitches. Unfortunately, I’m sick this week, so this recap is going to be a little short. Don’t worry y’all, next week will be War and Peace length.

[If this next bit looks the same, that’s because it is.  Pacific War Room started a week later than we were planning.]

Here’s a quick season recap for those of you who ignored us because, well, we weren’t doing much until very recently:

If you’ve missed the first half of the Sharks’ season, don’t worry. You didn’t miss much. Gone are your father’s Sharks. The current iteration of this team likes to play bad hockey and not win. A lot. To summarize the season thus far:

1. We finally have a captain, Joe Pavelski. Really, he should have been given it last year, but w/e, last year was last year. We’re still not bitter. No one is mad still and thinks the franchise is fucking its own face. No one thinks that.

2. Raffi Torres got another suspension and has yet to play a game this season (Surprise).

3. This team likes to be streaky. This includes several 5+ game losing streaks along with an 8 game winning streak. But mostly losing streaks.

4. They don’t like to win at home. Probably because our new goal song this year is utter shite:

Inside the Tank, it sounds like this:

Yes, we know it sucks. Yes, steps are being taken to fix it.

5. There is none scoring depth outside of the top two lines.

6. Martin Jones was a fantastic pick up for this team. Too bad we’re wasting his great play by not scoring goals.

7. I didn’t win the PowerBall

88. Brent Burns is filthy.

So it’s been a tough first year for new head coach and Canadian Louis C.K. impersonator Peter DeBoer. He’s done some ok things with lines and playing style, like getting rid of Joe Thornton’s infuriating drop passes during offensive rushes. He’s even tackled the mindset of the team by doing little things like moving home game morning skates to the practice facility, rather than SAP Center to change how the boys view playing at home. However, injuries to big producers like Logan Couture and severe regressions and mid-season slumps for early producers like Tomas Hertl, Joel Ward, and Patrick Marleau haven’t helped the team much.

So that was the Jonathan Quick & Dirty of the Sharks’ season; here’s what they’ve been up to more recently:

[Here’s the new stuff:]

Though the current standings paint a much better picture of the team compared to what was described, note that the ascension up the Pacific Division standings has only happened recently, due to the idea that maybe we should start playing real hockey.  The Sharks are surging after a lackluster first 2/5ths of the season. Rookie Finnish product Joonas Donskoi, Captain Joe Pavelski, and Jumbo Joe “I’ll whip my cock out if I score 4 goals” Thornton have been producing like early 20th century child labor: All the time. As of Sunday night, the Sharks have 16 out of a possible 18 points for their last 9 games. Nearly every single player off the team is off the schniede. They’ve figured out how to not blow leads and instead are blowing loads all over other teams’ faces. With that stunning visual in mind, let’s recap what faces got a special sauce drenching this week:

4-3 (SO) Loss at home against OTTAWA

Ok, so maybe not every single team they face gets a load dropped on them, but this game was edging close to that kind of finish. If it weren’t for the latest edition of “Stalocking” the Sharks could have won this game. See Exhibit A

He does this at least once a game. Hey Alex, I wonder why you’re still a back up. Add in a few bad choices in the shootout, and you have the Sharks ending their 5 game winning streak. They still get a point though, and continue to climb the Pacific Division standings. Unfortunately, Alex Stalock is still with the team.

3-1 Win at ARIZONA

I don’t remember this game very well. I was playing the Randy Hahn #DesertDogs drinking game. We scored two goals in the first ten minutes and I spent the remainder of the game picking myself up off the floor. The Sharks improved to 16-6-2 on the road and are working with the NHL to move the remainder of their home games to road locations so maybe they can continue to win.

4-3 Win at home against MINNESOTA

One of the most exciting games this year, the Wild and Sharks went back and forth all game long. Luckily, Captain Joe Pavelski is clutch

After this game, Joe Thornton is on an 8 game point streak, as are the Sharks. Illuminati confirmed. Can’t talk much more about the game, since we have another the next night against the Kings.

3-2(OT) Loss at home against Los Angeles

vs LA.png

I hate the Kings.

To this point in the season, the road team in this series has won each game. I hate the Kings. So, naturally, following some of their best hockey of the season, the Sharks face the Kings in San Jose to end that streak. I hate the Kings. Of course, the Sharks decided they wanted to win the game, so we started Martin Jones on the second night of a back to back to avoid Stalocking the game away. I hate the Kings. I use this graphic a lot to illustrate my points, but it bears repeating why we hate Alex Stalock:

ALexStalocksucks.png

I hate the Kings. As you can see, he has trouble stopping the puck, on account of all of the possible holes for skaters to shoot the puck through. I hate the Kings. So, Peter DeBoer has no choice but to give Jonesy a heavier workload this week to close in on the Kings and 1st place in the Pacific Division. I hate the Kings.

If you’re a Kings fan, you know how this game went. I hate the Kings. If you’re not a Kings fan:

Pavelski scored a beauty.
Jones committed grand larceny twice to end the 2nd.
Donskoi has slick moves (and a 5 game point streak) and Couture bombs it.
Lecavalier scored with seconds left, and Gaborik finished it in OT.

I hate the Kings.

All in all, it was close, not dirty, and good hockey all night long. The OT period was quite possibly the most exciting one I’ve seen all season long.

The loss sees San Jose finish at 54 points and second place in the Pacific, with a game in hand on LA.

Looking ahead, the Sharks face the Avalanche on Tuesday before Captain Joe Pavelski and Modern Day Caveman Brent Burns head to Nashville to play in a ridiculous 3v3 tourney with the NHL’s best. But hey, at least they let John Scott play. Praise be unto HIM:

JohnScottEliteSavior.png

Base photo credit to JD397 on reddit.com/r/hockey. I added in other stuff.

Week 17 (Pacific War Room is Back)

WEEK 16

AND WE’RE BACK!!!

If you’ve missed the first half of the Sharks’ season, don’t worry. You didn’t miss much. Gone are your father’s Sharks. The current iteration of this team likes to play bad hockey and not win. A lot. To summarize the season thus far:

1. We finally have a captain, Joe Pavelski. Really, he should have been given it last year, but w/e, last year was last year. We’re still not bitter. No one is mad still and thinks the franchise is fucking its own face. No one thinks that.

2. Raffi Torres got another suspension and has yet to play a game this season (Surprise).

3. This team likes to be streaky. This includes several 5+ game losing streaks along with an 8 game winning streak.

4. They don’t like to win at home. Probably because our new goal song this year is utter shite:

Inside the Tank, it sounds like this:

Yes, we know it sucks. Yes, steps are being taken to fix it.

5. There is none scoring depth outside of the top two lines.

6. Martin Jones was a fantastic pick up for this team. Too bad we’re wasting his great play by not scoring goals.

7. I didn’t win the PowerBall

88. Brent Burns is filthy:

http://video.sharks.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20152016,2,619&lang=en

So it’s been a tough first year for new head coach and Canadian Louis C.K. impersonator Peter DeBoer. He’s done some ok things with lines and playing style, like getting rid of Joe Thornton’s infuriating drop passes during offensive rushes. He’s even tackled the mindset of the team by doing little things like moving home game morning skates to the practice facility, rather than SAP Center to change how the boys view playing at home. However, injuries to big producers like Logan Couture and severe regressions and mid-season slumps for players like Tomas Hertl, Joel Ward, and Patrick Marleau haven’t helped the team much. Though the current standings paint a much better picture of the team compared to what was described, note that the ascension up the Pacific Division standings has only happened recently, due to the idea that maybe we should start playing real hockey.

So that was the Jonathan Quick & Dirty of the Sharks’ season; here’s what they’ve been up to more recently:

WEEK 16

5-4 Win in Calgary

Following up their 7-0 thrashing of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Sharks headed to Calgary and continued to be oddly good at hockey. Big games from Thornton and Wookie Brent Burns elevated the Sharks to their 20th win of the season and 14th on the road. I said this team had problems at home, but you probably didn’t think they were that bad. The fortress that was the Shark Tank has turned into a fish in a barrel situation for opposing teams. No wonder attendance is so down:

 

Attendance.png

 

7 Sellouts in 21 games (As of 1/17/16) is terrible by this club’s standard and not the greatest way to kick off our 25th anniversary. And look at that graph again. No one has gone to games 21-41. Not a single person. Does this spell doom for the Sharks franchise? It doesn’t, but it sure does sound like a good Twitter headline to get some clicks.

In other good news from this game, Logan Couture scored his first goal of the season after coming back from Tomas Hertl falling on and breaking Cooch’s leg in practice in October. Though the game was back and forth, the team showed resilience in its ability to not completely implode.

Oh yeah, they won this game by only taking 18 SOG. That’s a 27.8% conversion rate. Sweet.

4-1 Win in Winnipeg

The Sharks lost at home to Winnipeg 1-4 only 10 days ago, so it’s only fair that this game ended with a flipped score in Manitoba. It was actually a very close game until about 6 minutes to go in the 3rd period, with the Sharks up 2-1, when Jets’ Tyler Myers cross checked Wimmy Tongles and was rewarded with a game misconduct, 5 minute major, and a $5,000 fine.

Things got even worse for Winnipeg after Blake Wheeler tripped the slice of Swiss cheese that started the game (backup goalie Alex Stalock) while trying to land a shortie to tie the game (WARNING: Jamie Baker orgasm noises are present in the second half of the video):

If nothing else, at least Winnipeg fans are really good at unison cheers directed at officials.

With 2 full minutes of 5-on-3, Joe Pavelski nabbed one of the sweetest goals from the bottom of the circle:

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/embed?playlist=2015020638-661-a&site=sharks

The Sharks finished off with an empty netter to seal it 4-1. It was a good effort from the boys and completed a sweep on this two game, back-to-back Western Canada swing. It also extended their winning streak to 3 as they head home to face Todd McClellan for the first time at SAP Center since he joined Edmonton.

2-1 (SO) Win against Edmonton

Listen to this for this recap section:

Now sing along:

Sharks shootout in game at home
Watch them deke it
Watch them score
Watch them finally win
4 games in a row
Now watch me watch JOOO-
(-Nas Donskoi)
JOOO-
(-Nas Donskoi)

Ok. Pause that. Watch this:

 

Also, Raffi Torres finished his suspension and will rehab with our AHL affiliate:

Accident-Prevention-Sign-NHE-8486_1000.png

4-3 (OT) Win against Dallas

So I was at this game. Which means I didn’t get a good look at it from my not couch and not DVR, but let me tell you what happened.

First period: Crap.
Second Period: Crap.
Third Period: HOLY SHIT
OT: “Fun must be always”

Most of the goals scored on the Sharks were poor defensive breakdowns, especially a rather egregious error from Defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic right in front of Martin Jones to leave the net minder high and dry. Luckily, Vlasic channeled his inner Brent Burns and finished the night with 2 goals and the assist on Hertl’s OT winner. This makes 3 wins in a row at home and 5 overall.  They continue the home stretch with Ottawa coming to town Monday, which has Sharks fans clamoring for

 

Maybe things aren’t so bad after all?
The Sharks now sit 3rd in the Pacific with 48 points, with 1 game in hand on both Arizona and LA.

EDITORIAL: The NHL can choke on a dick:

 

Next week:
Ottawa at home, Desert Dogs (BOOO) in Glendale, and Minnesota Wild at home.

WEEK 16

Week 3

The Sharks continued their mediocre ways this week, going 1-2. No notable injuries or major roster shake ups, but we are inching closer to the return of Logan Couture, which should help out with a severe lack of forward depth. At this point, the 4th line is pretty useless. With Couture back, the 4th line will only be slightly less useless, as the Sharks would send Bryan Lerg back down to the AHL and could rotate Ben Smith, Chris Tierney, and Barclay Goodrow between the 4th line and the Press Box as healthy scratches.

2-1 Loss to Preds

Pekka Rinne was crazy good. Everything the Sharks threw his way, with the exception of one shot, was blocked. Of course, Martin Jones played well too, but he didn’t look as invincible as the Predators’ netminder. Even though Rinne was unbeatable, the Sharks didn’t shoot as much as they should have. They ended the night with only 21 shots on goal. Now I’m not saying that they would have won had they shot more, but the lack of chances definitely hurt that ability.

3-5 Loss to Stars

Since this was game one of a double header for the Sharks this weekend, Peter DeBoer had to start his backup goalie for one of those games. So naturally he picked the one against the better offensive team. This resulted in crap from Stalock all night long. Stalock sucks, though. So I’m not sure that the Stars made him look bad so much as Stalock reminded us why he doesn’t start. The bulk of this analysis won’t be about how well the rest of the team fought to bail out future cobweb collector and career backup goalie Alex Stalock. Instead, I’m going to nitpick everything he did that led to the team losing the game.

Ever heard of Manuel Neuer? It’s the guy sliding into the play in neon yellow here:

He’s arguably the best keeper in soccer at the moment and pulls off crazy stuff like this all the time. The thing is, he’s allowed to do that because: 1. He’s good at it. 2. He doesn’t usually mess up his team when he does it.

Alex Stalock thinks he’s Manuel Neuer and plays hockey like Neuer would, except for one rather important thing: Stalock isn’t that good. So when he moves far out of his crease, he spends more time worrying about skating back than actually, you know, making saves. This has been a problem with him for as long as he’s been involved with the Sharks organization. I mean, look at all that space behind him:

495139520_slide

You could literally drive a zamboni behind him. Seriously, the crease extends 4 feet out, plus he’s at least another 3 out from that. A Zamboni 545 is 84 inches at its widest:

Zamboni

I’m not very good at math, but my friends at Google tell me that’s about 7 feet:

7 feet

Sure, he cuts off the available space to shoot at by coming that far out, but that only works if the shooter is coming directly at you, down the center of the ice. If he veers off towards the faceoff dots, congrats, you give him a wide open shot because you’re 8 feet away from sealing off the post.

Even when he is in position, Stalock isn’t good at saving. Most hockey goalies have 5 possible holes where shooters can score:

Goalie-holes

However, Alex Stalock has many, many more:

ALexStalocksucks

In any case, it is clear that Martin Jones is the starter and goalie of the future. Honestly, the best thing the Sharks can do is keep Stalock where he is, but call up AHL goalies when they actually feel like using a backup. This way, the young guys stay fresh, develop against talent they can handle, and Stalock never has to play a game at the NHL level.

4-3 Win over Avs

Ever been on a seesaw? That was the Sharks during this game. Coming back in the 1st. And losing the lead in the 2nd. And barely holding on in the 3rd. Actually, when they went up 2-1 in the 2nd was the very first time they held a lead this entire road trip. Which was cool in a not cool way. Peter DeBoer definitely had a plan for this game, and the boys did their best to execute:

Everything looked neat and wrapped up when Brent Burns scored his second of the game and Joe Pavelski hit an empty net with only 1:20 to go. But, a very Alex Stalock save from Martin Jones lead to Colorado scoring with 1:05 to go:

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/embed?playlist=2015020164-577-h&site=sharks

Notice how Jones didn’t control the rebound on the first shot? Imagine that for every shot, and that’s still only half as bad as Stalock usually plays. Luckily, the Avs couldn’t pull out another miracle from the rubble of the Sharks near-collapse. Moving forward, it’d be nice if the Sharks didn’t let things get this close. I’ll chalk it up to this incident earlier that morning:

If I can borrow another minute of your time, I’d like to praise Joel Ward for being the Sharks’ leading goal scorer thus far. And it’s due primarily to stuff like this:

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/embed?playlist=2015020164-70-h&site=sharks

Watch Ward (#42) as he fights down low, stays low as Marleau (#12) wins the puck, and then uses the low defenseman to screen and knock over Varlomov, leaving the other side of the net completely open for the easy goal. You can see he also felt the pressure of the defender coming in from center ice and hustled to get the goal before he’d have to fight through 2 defensemen, instead of 1. Smart guy. And leads the Sharks with 7 goals in 11 games. This is how other teams will see him for the foreseeable future:

Spoopy.

Looking Ahead:

The Sharks see the Jackets, Panthers, and Ducks all at home next week. They really need to get all of the points from these games before a 6 game road trip from Nov 13 to 22.

Week 3