Havlat's production slows after strong start

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Havlat's production slows after strong start

SAN JOSE Sharks forward Marty Havlat, one of the teams key offseason acquisitions, has hit a bit of a wall.

Havlat missed all of training camp and the first four games of the season while recovering from shoulder surgery. When he returned on Oct. 21 in New Jersey, though, it looked as if he had never missed a beat. In fact, in his first eight games as a Shark, Havlat scored one goal and added seven assists.

Since then, Havlat has just one assist in his last six games. Torrey Mitchell has taken his place on the teams second line with Patrick Marleau and Ryane Clowe, while Havlat skates with Michal Handzus and Jamie McGinn.

Point-wise its not there, but Im just trying to do my best every night and be helpful, said Havlat after Tuesdays practice at Sharks Ice. It doesnt matter what way, but production-wise, Im not happy with that either. It was a good start, I just have to keep working and it will start coming.

We keep winning, and thats the most important thing. Im just trying to chip in like everybody else. Its great we have so many great players here.

Our colleagues at NBCs ProHockeyTalk.com named Havlat as one of its three duds of the week on Monday. That may be a little harsh, as the line change is likely a reflection of Mitchells strong play as much as it is Havlats drop in production.

According to the blog:

His slump is being overlooked because San Jose is on fire and atop the Pacific Division, but its definitely noticeable head coach Todd McLellan bumped Havlat out of the top-six and replaced him with Torrey Mitchell. Havlats now skating on the third line with Jamie McGinn and Michal Handzus while averaging 2.3 shots per game and 2:27 of PP time.

Todd McLellan chimed in on Tuesday with his thoughts on Havlats season.

In my opinion, Martys first seven or eight games were really strong, and then he kind of fell off a little bit, said the coach. That can happen when you havent had training camp, and when you havent been going at game pace, and traveling and grinding it out like everybody else is. You can start and plateau, and maybe take a little dip.

Hes worked hard to pull himself out of it, and I think thats a real positive sign. When he gets rolling again, I think we expect him to maintain that.

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.”