Sharks' schedule released, host Phoenix in opener

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Sharks' schedule released, host Phoenix in opener

June 23, 2011SHARKS PAGE SHARKS VIDEO

CSNBayArea.com staff

The Sharks will open the regular season at home on Oct. 8, hosting the rival Phoenix Coyotes at HP Pavilion.

The schedule provides an early rematch of the Western Conference Final when the Vancouver Canucks visit San Jose on Nov. 26.

The Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins will host the Sharks on Oct. 22.

Other playoff opponents on the upcoming calendar are Detroit (Oct. 28) and Los Angeles (Nov. 7).

The Sharks' three-way intra-state rivalry continues with the Anaheim Ducks (Oct. 17, Dec. 26, March 19) and the Los Angeles Kings (Nov. 7, Dec. 23, April 7) each making three visits to San Jose.

Full detail on the Sharks' 2011-12 schedule can be found here.

Three takeaways: Sharks getting regular production from fourth line

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Three takeaways: Sharks getting regular production from fourth line

LOS ANGELES – It’s a bit strange that the Sharks and Kings won’t play again this season, and the way things are going for Los Angeles, there’s a good chance a playoff matchup won’t possible, either. Here are the three takeaways from Wednesday’s 3-2 Sharks win at Staples Center, giving them three wins in five games over their primary adversary.

1 – Shutting down the Kings’ top guys

While goal scoring has come and gone for the Sharks, as long as they keep putting up defensive efforts like they did on Wednesday, they’re going to be fine more nights than not. Jeff Carter was held in check, while Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty both failed to record a single shot on goal.

Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter was critical of his stars after the game.

“When it’s that close going into the third period, you need your top guys to step up and make a difference in the third. That wasn’t the case,” Sutter told LAKingsinsider.com.

“You need your big guys to score. I think other than Jeff, there hasn’t been a whole lot of that.”

On the other side, the Sharks got goals from Brent Burns and Joe Pavelski, while Joe Thornton had a pair of assists in one of his better games of late. 

2 – Strong special teams

Pavelski shot down a suggestion that special teams was the biggest difference in the game, but in a one-goal win, the Sharks got a power play goal from their captain while completely shutting down the Kings’ power play.

San Jose is 3-for-13 on the power play over the last four games, and the top unit looked dangerous all night, even without Logan Couture. Pavelski was especially jazzed after his goal, perhaps wiping away some lingering visions of his missed net against the Blues last Saturday.

The Sharks’ penalty kill, though, was brilliant. Los Angeles had just one shot in seven minutes and 39 seconds of time on the man advantage.

“I think we did a good job up the ice. We stopped a couple on the breakout,” Burns said. “That’s huge to keep it down.”

3 – Fourth line contributors

Over the last six games, the Sharks’ fourth line – featuring some different players at different times – has contributed 12 points (that includes Mikkel Boedker’s hat trick in Edmonton).

Against the Kings, it was Micheal Haley, Tommy Wingels and Ryan Carpenter giving the team good minutes. Wingels scored the Sharks’ second goal on a nifty setup by Haley on a two-on-one, while Carpenter looked comfortable in his 12 minutes of ice time despite not playing an NHL game in a month and a half.

“I thought [Carpenter] came up and gave us some real good minutes, and Hales has been great all year,” Pete DeBoer said. “Big goal by Wingels coming into the lineup after sitting for awhile.”

Haley said: “It’s definitely nice to get a goal. That’s always a positive. I think we’ve been saying all year our job is to try and be in their end and get a good forecheck. Luckily of late we’ve been getting some points, so that’s good.”

Source: Packers executive Wolf withdraws from 49ers' GM race

Source: Packers executive Wolf withdraws from 49ers' GM race

Executive Eliot Wolf has agreed to a new contract to remain with the Green Bay Packers and has pulled out of the running to become the 49ers’ next general manager, a league source confirmed.

Wolf’s decision to remain with the Packers, as first reported by USA Today’s Tom Pelissero, leaves the 49ers with three known candidates for the job to replace Trent Baalke as general manager.

The 49ers this week informed a handful of candidates they would not be given second interviews for the position. Wolf and Brian Gutekunst, also of Green Bay, George Paton of Minnesota and Arizona’s Terry McDonough remain under consideration for the job after the initial list was pared down.

The 49ers are expected to involve presumptive coach Kyle Shanahan in the process to name the next general manager. Shanahan, Atlanta's offensive coordintor, is prohibited from officially becoming the 49ers' next head coach until after the Falcons' season is over. The Falcons play the Packers on Sunday in the NFC Championship Game.

Wolf, 32, is in his first season as Green Bay’s director of football operations after receiving a promotion after being denied an opportunity to interview with the Detroit Lions last year. Wolf is widely considered the heir apparent to Packers general manager Ted Thompson.

The 49ers interviewed Wolf on Jan. 5, along with Gutekunst, the Packers’ director of player personnel. Wolf is the son Hall of Fame executive Ron Wolf.