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San Jose Sharks

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I still think they're a bad matchup for the Wings. We didn't do much in the offseason to change that in my mind.

They have a big, physical team and I don't think our forwards are big or physical enough to bring it every game on the forecheck against them. The Wings played well towards the end of the series, but still lost. I just don't like our chances if we play them again.

I also agree that San Jose folds in the Conference Finals, but that didn't matter against the Wings since we faced them in the 2nd round.

The fact that the Sharks got all the important bounces in the series and the Wings got none certainly swayed things in their favor.

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They also haven't learned from running Nabokov into the ground. You can't run a goalie 70+ games and then expect excellent playoff performances, they do break down. They HAVE to work Niemi and Greiss as an actual tandem, something they've failed to do.

nittymakki getting injured + niemi going on a long hot streak = more games

they were in no position to hand a bunch of games to an ahl goalie since they were struggling to make the playoffs

Edited by echos myron

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nittymakki getting injured + niemi going on a long hot streak = more games

they were in no position to hand a bunch of games to an ahl goalie since they were struggling to make the playoffs

Why do you think they are able to hand a bunch of games to an AHL goaltender this season?

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You have to respect a team that's beaten the Wings two years in a row. Bounces, injuries, refs, whatever. They won and the Wings didn't. Period.

They also don't want to rest on the laurels of losing in the WCF for the last two years. I don't think they have the chemistry to win this time around either, but kudos to them for looking outside the box for solutions and trying to find different pieces of the puzzle.

Uncle Danny likes this

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The Sharks are overrated and have been besieged with expectations in the postseason they have not and cannot fulfil with the teams they keep rostering. Much like other Bay Area sports teams, like the 49ers and Alex Smith as the best example, the Sharks can't seem to shed dead weight when it's necessary.

I respect the fact that they've become Red Wing killers the last couple seasons, but what makes me respect them is winning in respectable fashion and actually winning a Cup. Nearly every season the last 5-8 years we've heard how awesome the Sharks are in the regular season and how it's a different season, year after year, and how they're going to turn it around come playoffs time, that everyone is underrating them and they are well past those years of postseason choking and failure.. with the same results. Nothing will change until it changes.

Edited by Shoreline
hillbillywingsfan and Barrie like this

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The only reason they escaped from losing a 3-0 from the red wings wad because franzen AND datstuk were hurt...no excuse but if they're 100% or not so freakin hurt the red wings would've beat them. Lets not forget that they also got an extremely lucky bounce in game 1 OT when a shot rode up Stuarts stick and into the net.

And why were we down 3-0?

You have to look at the series as a whole, and not just concentrate on the last 4 games.

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There are MANY factors that determine who wins the Cup each year. Only one of those factors is who looks best on paper. How many people predicted Boston would win this year? It's really more about who has a chance to win the Cup. In order to actually win, they have to have luck, intangibles, etc. So really, it comes down to who has a chance. IMO it's:

Detroit

Vancouver

San Jose

Los Angeles

Philly

Boston

Tampa

Washington

Years ago, you could predict who would win but now not so much. Just last year, we saw 2 different teams come from a 0-3 hole to force a game 7. This is almost unheard of. The year before, we saw a team come from an 0-3 hole and win in game seven for the first time in 35 years.

Last year Boston came back in the finals from being down 0-2 and then 2-3 to win the Cup as the visiting team. Pittsburgh did the same thing in 2009.

AND Boston won the Cup by winning 3 series in game 7. This never happened before.

Forget about predicting who will win the Cup. You will be wrong.

Uncle Danny likes this

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I don't think it's even a guarantee that the Sharks will win their division, watch out for LA! Also you have to think these consistent playoff loses are weighing on them more and more every year.

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And why were we down 3-0?

You have to look at the series as a whole, and not just concentrate on the last 4 games.

Franzen was already hurt, and the Sharks got two extremely lucky bounces in OT.

hillbillywingsfan likes this

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really good call.

it's simple - sharks got better, wings got worse.

i like what kenny holland did this summer. he picked up a solid puck moving dman in white and a big body dman in commodore who won a cup with the canes and the wings still have cap space for the deadline. he didn't blow the wad on trying to get a concussion prone burns. the sharks are in desperation mode cause they choke every year and are without a cup so they have to take wild stabs to try and be the team to "get the big player" while the wings make a couple good acquisitions and still have great team chemistry and people are choked about every free agent we didn't acquire...

what happens if kenny signs burns who may get injured anyways, and he's right up against the cap and lets say zach parise becomes available at the deadline...getting him would catapult the wings over the sharks right to the cup. kenny's patience gets new wings signed at respectable cap hits. and conklin is back for cheap too.

as well, rafalski has been injured for the past 3 seasons. everytime someone comes in on him with a forcheck and a hard hit is laid on him, he gets more hurt. rafs was a limping old dog and he made the right decision by retiring and spending time with his family before his health is gone and he can't run and play with his kids and s***. ozzy and drapes had great careers, but it was their time. they're all replacable and smith and tatar need to make the wings this year.

the sharks won't be that hard to beat. havlat and burns will get injured and they'll have to rely on marleau and thornton who will be outshined by couture when they slump from pressure.

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Hey, everyone is talking about the wings being better than san jose (which is true). The only reason we lost both years is because we got injured (which is true). Well why did we get injured MORE than they did both years? Maybe because they are a bigger more physical team. So yes, injury did cost us the series because lack of size and aggression. Wings are about the same in terms of talent but lack in size and aggression. We need to make a couple changes to get meaner and bigger.

Oh, i def think the 3rd and 4th line, especially, need to be tweaked. Miller, abbie, and prolly a minor this year will make up the 4th. I think we need a big and physical veteran on that 4th to replace miller. I guess the 3rd line looks OK.

GO WINGS!

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Am I the only one that thinks the Sharks got worse?

As of now, their lines look like this:

FORWARDS:

Marleau - Thornton - Havlat

Clowe - Pavelski - Handzus

Mitchell - Couture - McGinn

Ferreiro - Desjardins - Murray

DEFENSE:

Burns - Boyle

Murray - Vlasic

Demers - Vandermeer

^or something like that, i didn't really put much effort into what position would be best for each player.

As opposed to last year:

FORWARDS

Marleau - Thornton - Heatley

Clowe - Pavelski - Setoguchi

McGinn - Couture - Ferreiro

Eager - Wellwood - Mayers

DEFENSE

Boyle - Murray

Vlasic - White

Demers - Huskins

Anyone agree....?

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I'm not going to deny that they are a great team and I can see a cup in their future but not next season. They may have been able to beat us two year in a row in the playoffs but look at how they lost both series in the West Finals. In 10 to Chicago and 11 to Vacouver they basically flat-lined IMO both series. They don't have what it takes right now to make it to the SCF. Plus I can't see how everyone is still bashing on our young kids. I know everyone has a right to their own opnion but Helm and Abs have not been up with the Wings long enough to make any major pushes. They are both good young quality players and I think in another season or so they will start to prove it.

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Hey, everyone is talking about the wings being better than san jose (which is true). The only reason we lost both years is because we got injured (which is true). Well why did we get injured MORE than they did both years? Maybe because they are a bigger more physical team. So yes, injury did cost us the series because lack of size and aggression. Wings are about the same in terms of talent but lack in size and aggression. We need to make a couple changes to get meaner and bigger.

Oh, i def think the 3rd and 4th line, especially, need to be tweaked. Miller, abbie, and prolly a minor this year will make up the 4th. I think we need a big and physical veteran on that 4th to replace miller. I guess the 3rd line looks OK.

GO WINGS!

Good point.

However, it's more age than size related. We seem to have more injuries in the playoffs than anyone else. Same thing with the regular season in recent seasons. Cleary, Bertuzzi, Homer and Franzen are injury prone players. They're not smallish players, but they are aging or already "old" players.

We need some new blood in our secondary scoring, and not these older fragile players who can't finish out a series without some mishap. We just have too many injury prone players right now on the roster, and that's never a good thing.

Funny how everyone here is expecting Burns or Havlat to be injured. Sharks fans could say the same thing about our guys.

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Why do you think they are able to hand a bunch of games to an AHL goaltender this season?

what?

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Good point.

However, it's more age than size related. We seem to have more injuries in the playoffs than anyone else. Same thing with the regular season in recent seasons. Cleary, Bertuzzi, Homer and Franzen are injury prone players. They're not smallish players, but they are aging or already "old" players.

We need some new blood in our secondary scoring, and not these older fragile players who can't finish out a series without some mishap. We just have too many injury prone players right now on the roster, and that's never a good thing.

Funny how everyone here is expecting Burns or Havlat to be injured. Sharks fans could say the same thing about our guys.

Something tells me, GMR, that anyone who suffers a severe collision with another player or who gets hit in the head will have a chance of sustaining a collision. That this occurred to Cleary and Bertuzzi does not make them injury-prone. Recall with the latter that he has played more games over the last two season than any other forward on the team. Also recall that with the former, it's almost always freak injuries that have nothing to do with being injury-prone. As for the major injury this playoff seaosn, Franzen was injured because of bad luck.

Havlat is horribly injury-prone. He's known for it.

As usual, I don't understand your need to look on the bad side--even to the extent of saying things that just aren't true.

Replace the "s" with a swastika and he'll be able to understand your question.

He got banned.

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What makes you think Niemi won't have a huge workload?

eh. he got banned. The Idea that SJ will be "fighting for a playoff spot" and can't turn any games over to an "ahl goalie" is dumb. The only thing SJ fights for toward the end of the season is the president's trophy. Why in the world would you start a goalie, say 40 of 55 games, you're at or near 80 pts, and are virtually assured a playoff spot, and then run him the rest of the 28 games at that point? I would seriously go 1, 2, 2, 1, 2, 1, 1, 2, 2 at that point. Unless the backup gets hot, in which case, run him. SJ has never utilized their backup, and it has hurt them badly. Also since my last post, I saw the lines another user posted. That's lookin pretty baretable below the top 6. If they thought running the top 6 vs Detroit last year was bad, they'll have to do that in the 1st round if they get an opponent like Chicago, Vancouver, Detroit, or even LA this year.

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eh. he got banned. The Idea that SJ will be "fighting for a playoff spot" and can't turn any games over to an "ahl goalie" is dumb. The only thing SJ fights for toward the end of the season is the president's trophy. Why in the world would you start a goalie, say 40 of 55 games, you're at or near 80 pts, and are virtually assured a playoff spot, and then run him the rest of the 28 games at that point? I would seriously go 1, 2, 2, 1, 2, 1, 1, 2, 2 at that point. Unless the backup gets hot, in which case, run him. SJ has never utilized their backup, and it has hurt them badly. Also since my last post, I saw the lines another user posted. That's lookin pretty baretable below the top 6. If they thought running the top 6 vs Detroit last year was bad, they'll have to do that in the 1st round if they get an opponent like Chicago, Vancouver, Detroit, or even LA this year.

Antti Niemi: 60 GP

Evgeni Nabokov: 71, 62, 77 GP

They haven't ever had a quality backup to give them 25-30 starts (at least not in San Jose's mind). And we all know how important it can be to have a 2 or 1 seed in the playoffs.

Edited by Doc Holliday

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Something tells me, GMR, that anyone who suffers a severe collision with another player or who gets hit in the head will have a chance of sustaining a collision. That this occurred to Cleary and Bertuzzi does not make them injury-prone. Recall with the latter that he has played more games over the last two season than any other forward on the team. Also recall that with the former, it's almost always freak injuries that have nothing to do with being injury-prone. As for the major injury this playoff seaosn, Franzen was injured because of bad luck.

Havlat is horribly injury-prone. He's known for it.

As usual, I don't understand your need to look on the bad side--even to the extent of saying things that just aren't true.

What's not true?

We've been among the league leaders the last several seasons in injuries to important players and man games lost.

There's no reason to expect us magically to get healthier despite having the same injury prone players around, minus Rafalski.

I know we can't move Datsyuk or Zetterberg, but some of these secondary scorers are hardly untouchable. We'll have to move in a younger direction eventually.

Edited by GMRwings1983

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Looks like their team is improving each and every year. I can track back to three years ago when their third line center was Wellwood and they just traded for Boyle. Pavelski was youngser back then. Next year Couture emerged and they signed Malhotra. Still no Cup. Now they have excellent three-centers punch in Thornton, Couture, Pavelski and they just signed big body Handzus. In addition to that they traded for Burns, signed him, and signed White as well. I see then way better than they were last year. Personally, I think there is no way for us to get past them in the play-offs with Helm and Abdelkader as 3rd and 4th line centers. So, the actual question. Does someone see them as champions next year? To be honest, I do. I wouldn't bet a dime if we meet them in the play-offs.

Yep, anything is possible. They got the personnel, they just need to produce. You could definitely say the same thing about our favorite team with personnel and playoff trouble for most of the 90s until we finally broke through in 1997.

And while I get that there can be a playoff jinx or not going to the next step or whatnot, I think most times it is often overblown by media outlets in general. Sure they might have underperformed, but with 3-point games and so much parity in the NHL today and no real playoff series being a slam dunk for any one team, whether you are the #1 seed or #8 seed, I don't completely buy into the playoff choker deal or whatever you want to call it.

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Antti Niemi: 60 GP

Evgeni Nabokov: 71, 62, 77 GP

They haven't ever had a quality backup to give them 25-30 starts (at least not in San Jose's mind). And we all know how important it can be to have a 2 or 1 seed in the playoffs.

Out of Niemi's 60 GP, he's probably had some stretches of 20-25 in a row before getting some rest.

Nabokov's numbers are telling though. 71, 62, and 77. That's Nuts. And yes, a 1 or 2 seed is important, but if that team is good enough and the goalie is rested, they shouldn't have a problem period, on the road or at home.

Edit: Checked Wiki. Niemi started every game from 1/15-4/6. Nearly 3 straight MONTHS, and 34 GAMES. 34 GAMES IN A ROW OF NHL HOCKEY.

Edited by Hiei

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