San Jose Sharks

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In The Rear View: The Sharks' First Month in Review

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It was almost exactly a month ago when the Sharks kicked off their 2011-12 season with an opening night win against the Phoenix Coyotes at the Shark Tank. San Jose dominated that game by a score of 6-3, which doesn't really do it justice, considering just how much better the Sharks actually were. This was the first time fans and coaches alike had a chance to see just what this new, and hopefully improved, Sharks team would look like, and it looked good.

 

But then there were the dark times. A three game stretch where the Sharks played Anaheim, St. Louis, and Anahe...

Islanders Get Hammered Up By The Sharks

Depending on who you speak to after a game, you might find someone who is very eager to say that the refs cost the home team a game. But in regards to last night's Islanders game against the Sharks, that person might be right.

The New York Islanders decided to honor the 1992-1993 team prior to puck drop, with several memorable players making their way onto the ice. Such players included Benoit Hogue, Mick Vukota, Darius Kasparitis, Vladimir Malakhov and of course, Pierre Turgeon. Al Arbour could not be in attendance but had a recorded video air on the overhead to try to inspire the current squad while paying their respects to a team that many thought would make their way to the ...

Six Games In

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Instead of writing some game recaps, I decided to give my take on some players that are playing well, some that aren't, and some keys to winning games.

 

 

Looking Good:

 

Michal Handzus – This guy might be the prototypical 3rd line center that every team needs. Remember Malhotra? Handzus is the bottom six player the Sharks needed last year, and he has not disappointed. Defensively he is really good, he is always above 50% in the...

It's Time To Step It Up

The Sharks are too talented of a team to play the way they did in back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday. After laying a huge egg against the Ducks, losing 1-0, the Sharks headed back home to play the Blues. Hoping for a better effort, the Sharks came out fairly flat, but did carry a 2-1 lead into the 3rd period. Unfortunately, they gave up 3 goals (one empty netter) in the final period (deja-vu?) and lost 4-2. It isn't like this team to play two games and not pull out at least one point, and this kind of play cannot continue. The western conference, and the Pacific Division even more so, is too competitive to only win one game out of three.  The worst part of these losses is that ...

Are You Ready For Some Hockey?

...Too bad the sharks aren't playing any today. We still have to wait until Friday to watch another Shark's game. But maybe, just maybe, what seems like a punishment might actually be a blessing in disguise. You see, a myriad of Sharks are out right now with various injuries and would not have been ready to go on an earlier date. Havlat is still recuperating from a shoulder injury. Niemi is recovering from minor surgery that removed a cyst from his knee. And Marleau has missed every practice this week with the flu. Two of these three players, sans Marleau, also missed the opening game of the season. Which is a real testament to how stacked this Sharks team is with depth at all position...

That Was Easy (Better Luck Next Time, Phoenix)

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Coyotes @ Sharks

 

That was almost exactly how the Sharks would have wanted to start the 2011-12 season. Sure, it would have been nice if less starters had been injured and if they could kill a freaking penalty, but all in all, a 6-3 win against the Phoenix Coyotes at the home opener is a great start to what hopes to be a great season.

 

No starting goalie? No backup goalie? No problem. Enter Thomas Greiss, who is just two years removed from backing up Evgeni Nabokov. He played...

Western Conference Predictions

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Before the season begins, i thought I'd take a stab at predicting where each team will fall in the 2011-12 season. So, without further ado:

 

Vancouver Canucks – They might have a slow start coming out of the gate, as two of their top six players in Kesler and Raymond are out to start the season, but this is still a darn good hockey team. The Canucks will be icing basically the same roster as they did last season, minus Christian Ehrhoff, and I do not see any reason why they won&#...

San Jose Sharks Line Profiles: Defense

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We all know how this works, right? Here are my predictions for the points totals and line combinations of the San Jose Sharks:

 

Pairing One: Boyle-Murray

Why mess with success, right? While this pair was obviously not always up to the challenge of stopping the Sedins on every shift, they still compliment each other very well. With the addition of Brent Burns, they will not be asked to play as many minutes each night. Boyle isn't getting any younger, so this sh...

Logan Couture and the Runner Ups

As you may have heard, Logan Couture signed a contract extension with the San Jose Sharks this past week. The contract will bind him to the Sharks through the 2013-14 season and pays Couture $5.75 million ($2.75M the first year, $3M the second year). This was a smart move by Doug Wilson; now the Sharks top two forward lines, top defensive pairs, and number one goalie are all signed through 2012-13, security that many other teams would die for (namely the Devils and Predators with Parise and Weber, respectively). In light of his new contract, I decided to post this story I wrote a while ago shortly after the NHL Awards.

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San Jose Sharks Line Profiles - Bottom Six

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In the first part of this blog series I profiled the Sharks' top six forwards. Optimistically, those six players should all have very good seasons and San Jose will once again have one of the best top six in the league. This time I will be profiling the less-spectacular bottom six.

 

Line Three: McGinn-Handzus-Mitchell

Last season, one of the Sharks' biggest strengths was their ability to run three potent scor...