Sharks to face Detroit Red Wings in Round 2

456142.jpg

Sharks to face Detroit Red Wings in Round 2

April 26, 2011RATTO ARCHIVESHARKS PAGE SHARKS VIDEO
Ray RattoCSNBayArea.com
Now that the Sharks fate has been decided, here are five things you need to know about the same old scary Red Wings:SAME OLD FACES, SAME OLD PLACESThe only true differences between these Red Wings and the ones the Sharks beat last year are health and rest. The only real issue is whether Johan Franzen, normally the right wing on the Pavel Datsyuk line, will be available after injuring his ankle during the Phoenix series. Franzen is hugely important to the Wings for both his skill and his flint, and if he cant play, Mike Modano wont be able to replace his game. On the other hand, the rest of the old faces Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Nicklas Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom, Valtteri Filppula, Dan Cleary, Todd Bertuzzi, Justin Abdelkader, Brian Rafalski, Niklas Kronwall and former Shark Brad Stuart.SAME OLD GAMEThey like possession. They like to cycle, they like to outshoot you by a factor of 2-1, they like to clog your net with their people, and they like to win draws in your end, and they like doing this even though you know theyre coming, because theyre also good at all of these things, night in and night out. Sound familiar? Well, Todd McLellan worked for the Wings before he got to San Jose. Draw your own conclusions.RATTO: Sharks need to sharpen game for run at Cup
SAME OLD GOALIEJimmy Howard had a so-so year as the undisputed starter, and his backups, the redoubtable Chris Osgood and Joey MacDonald, saw about 15 percent of the available minutes this year. People have been waiting for that breakout year for awhile now, and this wasnt that year, but the options dont seem to excite head coach Mike Babcock all that much.SAME OLD BRAINIACMike Babcock can do this drill in his sleep, so loaded with familiar faces is he. He is like Todd McLellan, only more animated, and he is matter-of-fact-snarky when answering questions, as he was when someone asked about defenseman Ruslan Saleis injury: He has a boo-boo. Hes done this his way long enough that it has become the players way as well, so he can allow his veterans more rope. If Franzen is healthy, he will have the team he had three years ago, and it will be well rested after routing Phoenix in the first round.THE LINESProbable, as alwaysLEFT WING CENTER RIGHT WINGTomas Holmstrom Pavel Datsyuk Mike Modano
Dan Cleary Henrik Zetterberg Todd Bertuzzi
Valtteri Filppula Justin Abdelkader Jiri Hudler
Kris Draper Darren Helm Patrick EavesDEFENSE
Nicklas Lidstrom Brian Rafalski
Niklas Kronwall Brad Stuart
Jonathan Ericsson Ruslan SaleiGOALIES
Jimmy Howard
Chris Osgood

Sharks need to 'figure it out pretty soon' after another thrashing

Sharks need to 'figure it out pretty soon' after another thrashing

NASHVILLE – Apparently, one wake up call wasn’t good enough for the plummeting San Jose Sharks.
 
Just one day after suffering what was arguably their worst game under coach Pete DeBoer, Nashville put up a touchdown on the Sharks in a 7-2 win, giving San Jose its sixth straight defeat – all in regulation.
 
After getting outscored 13-3 the last two nights, including Friday’s 6-1 loss in Dallas, where do they go from here?
 
“In two years, last year and this year so far, we haven’t had one night like this almost. Now we have back-to-back nights,” Joe Pavelski said. “I think it’s just a reality check. A gut-check time.
 
“It’s on us as players. Bottom line is we haven’t put the effort in that we need to have right now, and it snowballed on us a little bit at times. I think we’ve got to take a deep breath and really take a look in the mirror, refocus a little bit and understand there’s hockey out there, but it’s not going to fix itself.”
 
What has to be fixed immediately is the defensive structure that has been so vital to the Sharks’ success in the Pete DeBoer era. Even when the club was going through stretches of struggling to score, as it was earlier in the season, it was still collecting points in the standings with its ability to limit the opposition’s scoring chances.
 
While the game against the Predators was actually a little better in that regard, believe it or not, it was still nowhere near the level it needs to be for the postseason. Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s absence was partly to blame for that, but the Brent Burns-Paul Martin pair has been a disaster lately. Both have a minus-nine rating during the six-game losing streak, and that number is indicative of how they’ve looked, too.
 
“We’re giving up some goals. It’s a combination of things,” DeBoer said. “Obviously it’s not good enough to win games, so we’ve got to figure it out. I don’t have an answer standing here for you, but I know our group. Every team I’ve ever coached has a tough part of the season. This is obviously ours. We’ll regroup, and figure it out.”
 
Burns, who admitted to a “bad read” on Nashville’s second goal when Roman Josi sped around him, said: “It’s a tough league when you’re not executing little things.”
 
The Sharks actually looked strong early, poised to put the Dallas disaster behind them. The first few shifts, they had the puck in the Nashville end.
 
But Tomas Hertl was outmuscled behind the net by Colin Wilson on Colton Sissons’ goal at 4:14, Burns got beat on the second, and the Sharks never recovered. Patrick Marleau’s second period power play goal offered life, but that was extinguished 24 seconds later when James Neal answered with a power play goal of his own. The Sharks never got closer than two goals after that.
 
“When things are going bad, those are the things that are happening,” Burns said of Neal’s response to Marleau’s marker. “So, you’ve just got work through it."
 
Will they be able to work through it with just seven games left in the regular season, though? That this cold spell is happening in late March doesn’t speak well to the Sharks’ chances in the postseason, which begins in just two-and-a-half weeks.
 
Burns said: “Right now we should be just tightening up everything. … We've got figure it out pretty soon.”

Sharks forward Haley could face supplemental discipline from NHL

Sharks forward Haley could face supplemental discipline from NHL

NASHVILLE – Sharks forward Micheal Haley could be in line for supplemental discipline from the league, after earning a match penalty in the third period of Saturday’s 7-2 loss in Nashville.
 
After absorbing a borderline hit from behind by Calle Jarnkrok, Haley tracked down the Predators forward and promptly delivered a left jab to Jarnkrok’s face at 12:56 of the final frame, with the Sharks trailing 5-2 at the time.
 
Naturally, there were differing opinions from the two head coaches on the play.
 
Pete DeBoer said: “When you run someone from behind in a game like that, you probably deserve to get a punch in the mouth.”
 
Predators coach Peter Laviolette told reporters: "It's an ugly play. This isn't the wild, wild west. I mean, Calle hit him. We took a penalty. If we start doing that, we're in trouble, so hopefully it gets looked at."
 
Any player who earns a match penalty "shall be automatically suspended from further competition until the commissioner has ruled on the issue,” according to league rules.
 
In 54 games this season, Haley has two goals and nine assists for 11 points. His 110 penalty minutes is fifth in the league.
 
Jarnkrok did not return after the punch, but told reporters after the game he felt “OK.”
 
"I feel pretty good," Jarnkrok said. "Obviously, I saw him coming. There were a couple other guys coming, too. I didn't really know what to do. He got in a good punch on me.”