Game notes: Sharks vs. Kings, Game 3

407846.jpg

Game notes: Sharks vs. Kings, Game 3

April 19, 2011

By Kevin Kurz
CSNBayArea.com
SHARKS PAGE SHARKS VIDEO
NHL STANDINGS NHL SCOREBOARD

Series tied 1-1
Starting Goalies

Jonathan Quick has outplayed Antti Niemi to this point, and the numbers reflect that. Quick has a 1.34 goals against average and .962 save percentage, while Niemis Game 2 struggles give him a 2.68 and .897 statline. Quick has benefited from a better defense, though, and the Sharks defenders have to do a better job of allowing Niemi to see the puck on shots from the point or block them at the point of contact.
Previous games

An evenly played Game 1 in which Joe Pavelskis overtime goal was the difference, was followed by a dominant performance by Los Angeles in Saturday nights 4-0 Game 2 Kings win. Drew Doughtys four-point night paced Los Angeles.

The series now shifts to Los Angeles, where the Sharks were 1-0-2 this season and scored just six combined goals in the three games.

Roster watch

It looks like the Sharks will get Ian White back for Game 3 after he had to sit out Saturday with the dreaded upper body injury. Los Angeles will have forward Jarret Stoll back from a one-game suspension levied upon him for hitting White into the boards from behind.

In news that wont have any impact on the game, Sharks rookie forward Logan Couture was named as a Calder Trophy finalist earlier in the day.

Whos hot?

Doughtys career night was the big story in Game 2, as he scored twice and added two assists. Quick is leading the league in save percentage through two games.

On the San Jose side, Ryane Clowe has three assists to lead the team in points, but no one has more than a single point otherwise.

Storylines

The annual search for Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau in a first round playoff series is well underway. The players who make up two-thirds of the teams top scoring line are both without a point. Devin Setoguchi, the final cog in that line, has also not found the scoresheet. At some point these guys, who are a combined -5, will have to put the puck in the net.

The Sharks are also losing the special teams battle. They are 0-for-7 with the man advantage through two games, and have allowed three power play goals to Los Angeles.

The Kings seem intent on out-working the Sharks, especially after many had written them off when leading scorer Anze Kopitar went down with a leg injury. Whether or not the Sharks can match their intensity the rest of the series will be paramount.

Sound off

San Jose is one of just two NHL teams to have seven 20-goal scorers on its roster. That being said, can the Sharks win the series if their top line fails to produce?

A's spring training Day 8: Top pick AJ Puk attracts a crowd

A's spring training Day 8: Top pick AJ Puk attracts a crowd

MESA, Ariz. — The A’s are excited about 2016 top pick A.J. Puk, that much was apparent by the crowd the lefty attracted for his first “live” bullpen session Tuesday.

Among those watching closely were executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane, general manager David Forst, manager Bob Melvin and pitching coach Curt Young.

Puk, who shaved about 20 pounds off his 6-foot-7 frame over the winter, looked strong against a group of hitters that included touted infield prospects Franklin Barreto and Yairo Munoz.

Melvin in particular liked the way Puk, the No. 6 overall pick out of the University of Florida, worked his curve ball into the mix. That’s a pitch he hadn’t used since high school, but he dusted it off back in the fall instructional league with some encouragement from minor league pitching coordinator Gil Patterson, and he’s working to sharpen it this spring as a complement to his fastball, slider and changeup.

“It’s just nice to have another pitch that’s slower than my other three pitches,” Puk said before Tuesday’s workout.

“It’s a four-pitch mix,” Melvin said. “He’s really starting to distinguish between this slider and curve ball. It was quite a crowd around his cage too. When you’re a young kid you tend to notice that, but I thought he responded really well.”

Puk, 21, is rooming with shortstop Richie Martin, a teammate at Florida whom the A’s made their top pick in 2015. They also lived near each other in Tampa this offseason and worked out together.

Puk comes off very quiet upon meeting him, but Martin warns against being fooled.

“It takes him a while, but once he feels comfortable he’ll break out. You’ll see.”

Melvin was impressed with Puk’s physical shape, saying he’s fielded his position well in pitchers’ fielding drills.

CAMP BATTLE Jesse Hahn will start the A’s Cactus League opener Saturday against the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs. It’ll be a chance for Hahn to make an early impression in his bid for the fifth starter spot.

“After the year he had (in 2016), it’s important for him this year. We have to show some faith in him,” Melvin said. “He performed well for us the year before. Last year wasn’t really consistent. We’ll try to get him out there and get him off to a good start.”

Kendall Graveman will take the ball in Sunday’s spring home opener against the Angels. Sonny Gray and Sean Manaea both will pitch Monday against the Giants and Jharel Cotton and Andrew Triggs will be among the group throwing Tuesday against the Indians.

PROSPECT WATCH: Sean Murphy, the A’s third-round pick in June, has shown a very strong throwing arm early in camp. Is it any wonder Melvin, an ex-catcher, was impressed?

“The kid can throw, it’s special,” Melvin said. “We really like him.”

NOTEWORTHY: Still no word on when reliever Santiago Casilla will arrive at camp from the Dominican Republic. Melvin said he isn’t concerned at this stage, and noted that Casilla has been working out at the team’s complex in the Dominican Republic and gave a motivational talk to the younger players there.

Cousins thanks Sacramento: 'Wouldn't trade it for anything'

Cousins thanks Sacramento: 'Wouldn't trade it for anything'

The Kings traded DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, prompting the All-Star big man to post a heartfelt message on his Instagram account.

Words can't even express how hard it is for me to have to leave the city of Sacramento and all of the amazing people that I have met while out here. I gave it my all for you and you gave it right back. The most amazing fans on the planet and I just want you to know that your support has meant everything to me. It's hard to believe that it was seven years ago that this young kid from Alabama showed up in Sacramento scared and not knowing a soul. As I look back upon my time here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have met so many amazing people, many of whom went out of their way to make me feel right at home from day one. Each and every one of you have played such an important part in my life and helping me become the person I am today. I don't just consider you all as fans, you all are my family...and a couple thousand miles aren't going to change a thing. Thank you Sacramento. 
#LoyaltyisLove #sactownkingforever

Cousins, 26, averaged 27.8 points, 10.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.3 blocks and 34.4 minutes per game for the Kings this year.

Words can't even express how hard it is for me to have to leave the city of Sacramento and all of the amazing people that I have met while out here. I gave it my all for you and you gave it right back. The most amazing fans on the planet and I just want you to know that your support has meant everything to me. It's hard to believe that it was seven years ago that this young kid from Alabama showed up in Sacramento scared and not knowing a soul. As I look back upon my time here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have met so many amazing people, many of whom went out of their way to make me feel right at home from day one. Each and every one of you have played such an important part in my life and helping me become the person I am today. I don't just consider you all as fans, you all are my family...and a couple thousand miles aren't going to change a thing. Thank you Sacramento. #LoyaltyisLove

A post shared by DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) on