Sharks' lesson from playoff past: 'We hate to lose'


Sharks' lesson from playoff past: 'We hate to lose'

May 15, 2011
Tim Panaccio

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Everyone knows the Sharks were swept in last springs Western Conference finals against eventual Stanley Cup champion Chicago.

Team captain Joe Thornton was asked what, if anything, he takes from that series that perhaps carries over against Vancouver that he can use.

We'll see after the series is done, Thornton said. We really can'tsay until it's done. Hopefully we learn that -- we hate to lose. Wewant to extend this. We're having a lot of fun right now. Just ask methe question after the series and hopefully I can say that we've grown.

RATTO: Three keys for Game 1

Really, when you get to this point, both teams are excellent teams.What have we learned? We haven't even stepped on the ice yet, so I'mnot even sure. Like I said before, we'll find out after.

What's next?: Canucks coach Alain Vigneault is 7-1 in playoff openers as coach of Vancouver. His teams always open well even if they dont finish well. He is 6-0 on home ice. This series will mark the seventh time in nine tries that the Canucks have opened on home ice during his five years as coach.

So whats the encore? Thats what people are wondering here about Ryan Kesler, who has pretty much carried the Canucks through two rounds with a team-high 15 points.

RELATED: Vancouver, Sharks flirt with ghosts of playoff past

I think you just got to continue getting better, Kesler said. You forget about the past and you focus on San Jose. We did a good job of that after we probably won the most emotional, important series of the guys that played here in years past, beating Chicago in seven.

I thought we did a good job of moving on and focusing on Nashville. I don't see any way different. We need to move on. Me personally, I need to move on and continue getting better.

Power(less) play: You look at San Joses power play and its well below where it should be at a lowly 13.7 percent with just seven power play goals in 51 chances.

When you look at it from a numbers perspective, the 13 percent, 14 percent, wherever we're at, not very impressive, Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. When you look at the goals we scored? The power-play, you have to be pretty pleased. It's won us some games, allowed us to move on.

I'm a big believer that when you close a series and you move on, you start with fresh numbers. We're at zero or at a hundred. I don't know where you want to start us at. But we're fresh.

We have a huge challenge ahead of us, because they're a very good penalty-killing team, obviously the best in the league. We expect our power-play to have an impact on the series.

On the other side of the discussion, Vigneault was asked whether the Sharks power play resembles a sleeping giant going into the series.

Well, I mean, they've got a lot of skill up front, he replied. They got Dan Boyle on D, who is one of the best power-play defensemen in the league. It's obviously not something I'd like to do, give them a lot of power-plays. We're going to play hard, I know they're going to play hard, we'll see what happens.

Tim Panaccio is the Flyers Insider for Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.

Giants hammer Taillon, return favor with 11-3 win over Pirates

Giants hammer Taillon, return favor with 11-3 win over Pirates


SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner saw no reason to make a big deal over his first win of the year, even if it came far deeper into the season than anyone expected.

In a season that long ago spun out of control for both San Francisco and its ace, Bumgarner was happier seeing the struggling Giants have one of their best games of the year.

Bumgarner allowed one run over five innings for his first win of the season, and the Giants beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-3 on Tuesday night.

"It was nice to be on the board now individually," Bumgarner said. "But that's not what it's about. It's about us winning games, and we played really good tonight."

Eduardo Nunez drove in two runs in his final game with San Francisco as he was traded to Boston for two minor leaguers. The veteran infielder was pulled in the fifth inning and was later seen on television shaking hands with several teammates in the Giants' clubhouse. The deal was announced after a few minutes after the final out.

Bumgarner also singled and scored, Buster Posey had three hits and an RBI and Joe Panik added a bases-loaded triple as struggling San Francisco won for only the fifth time in 16 games.

Josh Harrison singled twice for the Pirates, who fell behind 9-0 and couldn't recover. Pittsburgh stranded seven runners in the first five innings, including four in scoring position.

Making his third start since coming off the disabled list after nearly three months following a dirt bike accident in Colorado on April 20, Bumgarner (1-4) was mostly sharp while quieting a potent Pittsburgh lineup and ending the Pirates' seven-game winning streak at AT&T Park.

Three years after pitching a complete game to beat Pittsburgh in the NL wild card on his way to winning the 2014 World Series MVP, Bumgarner pitched out of a pair of early jams, allowed six hits and had four strikeouts.

"He did a nice job," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "I'm sure he's glad to get that (first win) taken care of. Once he went five that was enough."

It's the first win by a Giants starting pitcher since July 5.

Jameson Taillon (6-4) took the loss, giving up 10 runs in three innings.

"I didn't make good pitches once they got runners on," Taillon said. "They didn't waste any time. They had a merry-go-round going."

Posey lined a single that hit second base umpire Ed Hickox in the foot and knocked him down in the fifth inning. Hickox slowly got to his feet and was attended to by a member of the Giants medical staff but remained in the game.

Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto may need to make a rehab start before rejoining the rotation. Cueto has been hindered by blisters on multiple fingers of his pitching hand, an issue that has lingered for much of the past month. The right-hander played catch from 105 feet before the game. Pablo Sandoval moved from Single-A San Jose to Triple-A Sacramento as he continues to try to work his way back into the big leagues. RHP Chris Stratton was recalled from Sacramento and IF Orlando Calixte was optioned down.

RHP Jeff Samardzija (4-11, 5.05 ERA) pitches the finale for the Giants seeking to beat Pittsburgh for the second time this season while RHP Trevor Williams (4-4, 4.74 ERA) takes the mound for the Pirates looking for his fourth win in the last five road starts.

Giants trade Eduardo Nunez to Red Sox

Giants trade Eduardo Nunez to Red Sox

Eduardo Nunez's time with the Giants is up as they have traded the third baseman to the Boston Red Sox.

The teams announced the trade shortly after the Giants beat the Pirates 11-3 on Tuesday night.

Fox Sports was the first to report the news.

The Giants will acquire minor league pitchers Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos.

Anderson, Boston's third-round pick out of Florida in 2016, has a 3.42 ERA in 97.1 innings between Low-A Greenville and High-A Salem this season.

Santos, a 17-year-old right-handed pitcher, was signed by Boston out of the Dominican Republic in 2015. Pitching in the Dominican Summer League this season, Santos has allowed just three earned runs in 30 innings pitched.

Nunez was lifted for pinch-hitter in the bottom of the fifth inning Tuesday night and was seen hugging teammates as he left the dugout.

In 75 games with the Giants this season, Nunez hit .308/.334/.417 with 21 doubles, four home runs, 29 RBI and 17 stolen bases.

Nunez was acquired from the Twins last summer for two prospects.