Sharks spotlight: Daniel Winnik

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Sharks spotlight: Daniel Winnik

Editor's note: Over the next month, CSNCalifornia.com Sharks Insider Kevin Kurz and Postgame Live reporter Brodie Brazil will evaluate the 2011-12 performance of each player on the roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in numerical order.

Sharks spotlight -- the series
Sharks spotlight: Daniel WinnikAge: 27 F

Daniel Winnik was acquired by the Sharks at the trade deadline, and had two goals and three assists for five points and 10 penalty minutes in 21 games. In 84 games total between the Sharks and Avalanche, Winnik had eight goals and 15 assists for 23 points. In five playoff games, Winnik had one assist.
Kurz says: Although the trade to bring in Winnik seemed to derail the Sharks already thin offense at the time, the big winger did provide good energy and physicality on the teams third and fourth lines. Unfortunately, though, Winnik wasnt able to help the Sharks penalty killing, which was one of the reasons he was acquired along withTJ Galiardi in exchange for Jamie McGinn. Winnik was used to a much more aggressive PK philosophy in Colorado, while San Jose had a much more passive, technical approach something thats expected to change before next season.

SLIDESHOW: Grading the Sharks

Brodie says: Of all San Joses acquisitions this season, Winnik had among the least amount of time to acclimate to the team, but also took the least duration to do exactly that. His minutes in 26 total games for the Sharks were steady, but fluctuated: logging as few as 9-10, and as many as 17. Still, a lesser amount than the 18-20 he was regularly skating in Colorado.

Winnik is listed as 62, 210 lbs, but seemed to play much bigger than that. Although Id prefer to use fancy, eloquent words here: the best way to describe Dans game, is that he just flat out plays hard. Lots of skating, and lots of body-work below the dots in the offensive zone. And in that same vein, he brings a certain simplicity: a 2-way player who is strong on the puck and responsible in both ends of the ice.

Interesting fact: Winnik was the only player in the NHL to tally 84 games this season. Cody Hodgson played 83 with Vancouver and Buffalo. Ninety-seven other skaters played in 82 games for their respective teams.

2012-13 expectations

Kurz says: If the Sharks do in fact change their philosophy on the penalty kill, keeping the unrestricted free agent-to-be would make sense. Winnik is a guy that can bring energy to the bottom two lines, as the Sharks witnessed in his brief time here, as well as allow top players to rest while the team is shorthanded. Winnik certainly appeared to enjoy San Jose, but at the same time, is probably tempted to test the open market for the first time in his career. Hes not a guy thats going to command a huge salary, of course, but it only takes two teams to up the price.

Furthermore, you have to wonder if theres extra incentive for the Sharks to ink Winnik to an extension, in that the McGinn trade will look that much worse if he walks.

Related: Winniks stats splits game logs
Brodie says: While difficult to judge the full scope of Winniks potential in San Jose after just one-quarter of a season, the team would be best off to find out for the course of a full schedule long as both parties can agree to a mutually beneficial contract. As mentioned, hes a player who could help impose that new aggressive style on the Penalty Kill, in addition to his Clowe-esque game at even strength. In essence, he is the kind of depth forward the Sharks are looking to acquire, so why not utilize Winnik instead of continuing the search?

NHL Gameday: Sharks host Bruins in final game before week of rest

NHL Gameday: Sharks host Bruins in final game before week of rest

Programming note – Sharks-Bruins coverage starts today at 5:30 p.m. on NBCSN

WHERE THEY STAND

Sharks: 35-18-6, 76 points, 1st Pacific Division
Bruins: 29-23-6, 64 points, 4th Atlantic Division

PREGAME NEWS AND NOTES

***The Sharks will be playing their second of a back-to-back, and final game before the bye week, in a rare matinee start time at SAP Center against Boston. Saturday’s 4-1 win in Arizona was just San Jose’s second in its last seven games, although they have points in six of those (2-1-4). San Jose is 4-2-4 since reeling off six straight wins from Jan. 16 – 24, and has a four-point lead on Edmonton for first place in the Pacific Division.

***Boston will be playing for the first time since its bye week, which may not have come at a good time. The Bruins reeled off three straight wins after changing coaches from Claude Julien to interim Bruce Cassidy, the first of which came against the Sharks at TD Garden on Feb. 9. The Bruins haven’t played since last Sunday, a 4-0 home win over Montreal.

***Joe Thornton brings a five-game point streak into tonight’s game (2g, 4a). He sits two assists shy of becoming the 13th player in NHL history to reach 1000 assists.

KEEP AN EYE ON...

Sharks: Melker Karlsson. The fourth line winger was the star of last night’s game in Arizona, posting one goal and two assists, and getting credit for the game-winning goal. Karlsson, second on the Sharks in shorthanded time on ice per game, has two goals and three points in three career games against the Bruins.

Bruins: Patrice Bergeron. The three-time Selke Trophy winner posted four points (1g, 3a) against the Sharks in Boston 10 days ago, and is third on the team in scoring with 33 points (14g, 19a). The 31-year-old is just one assist shy of 400 for his career, and is eighth on the Bruins’ all-time scoring list.

PROBABLE LINES

Sharks
Kevin Labanc – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Mikkel Boedker
Nikolay Goldobin – Tomas Hertl – Joel Ward
Micheal Haley – Chris Tierney – Melker Karlsson

Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko

Martin Jones
Aaron Dell

Bruins
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Backes
Peter Cehlarik – David Krejci – David Pasternak
Frank Vatrano – Ryan Spooner – Jimmy Hayes
Tim Schaller – Dominic Moore – Riley Nash

Zdeno Chara – Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug – Adam McQuaid
Kevan Miller – Colin Miller

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

INJURIES

Sharks: Joonas Donskoi (upper body) and Dylan DeMelo (broken wrist) are out.

Bruins: Austin Czarnik (lower body) is out.

QUOTEABLE

“He’s having an MVP season. He’s been that good for us all year and it’s every night. I don’t know what else to say. In my mind right now he’s the best player in the league, and we’re happy to have him on our team.” – Pete DeBoer on Brent Burns after Saturday’s Sharks win in Arizona, in which Burns had two goals

Three takeaways: Fourth line leads the way for Sharks in Arizona

Three takeaways: Fourth line leads the way for Sharks in Arizona

For the first time in five tries this season the Sharks managed to secure a regulation win over the last place Coyotes, 4-1 at Gila River Arena on Saturday. They keep their four-point lead over Edmonton, and are assured of going into the bye week in sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division.

Here are our three takeaways from the win…

1 – Burns turns the tide…again

For the second time in a week, Brent Burns changed the momentum of a game with his deadly wrist shot. The Sharks were on their heels early – Arizona had a 16-9 shot advantage in the first period, perhaps jolted be a pregame ceremony – but Burns’ shot through traffic staked the Sharks a 1-0 lead and they were on their way.

“We kind of weathered their storm early,” Joe Pavelski told reporters. “There was a lot of energy in the building.”

It was similar to a game in New Jersey last Sunday, when Burns had a pair of second period goals, erasing a 1-0 deficit and putting his team on the track to victory.

According to Elias, Burns – who added a third period power play goal, too – is the first defenseman to score 18 goals on the road since Paul Coffey’s 22 in 1983-84. His 26 goals equal his total from last season, tying his franchise record.

“He’s having an MVP season,” Pete DeBoer told reporters. “He’s been that good for us all year and it’s every night. I don’t know what else to say. In my mind right now he’s the best player in the league, and we’re happy to have him on our team.”

Burns remains in third in the league in scoring with 63 points, four points behind Edmonton’s Connor McDavid.

2 – Dell gets the job done…again

Getting his second start in a week, Aaron Dell made a new season high (and, thus, career high) with 36 saves. His best stop was early in the second period on Radim Vrbata, when he managed to snag a pin-balling puck from crossing the line, keeping the Sharks ahead 2-0. Had that one trickled over, the Coyotes might have been able to seize the momentum.

“I think I had it the whole time,” Dell told reporters. “I kind of saw it for a second and then when I turned back I was able to find it and scoop it underneath me.”

DeBoer said: “He’s been good every time we’ve put him in there.”

Dell, whose goals-against average is down to 1.95, outplayed Sharks nemesis Mike Smith, who had stopped 121 of 127 San Jose shots in three games this season.

“We got to Smitty in the first period, which was great,” Pavelski said. “We kind of know what he’s done to us the past few games, stopping a lot of pucks. … That was a big key for us.”

3 – Fourth line magic

Through two periods, the Sharks’ top two lines had generated a total of three shots on goal – one each from Joe Thornton, Kevin Labanc and Patrick Marleau.

Fortunately for the big guys, the fourth line was there to pick up the slack. Melker Karlsson posted three points (1g, 2a), Micheal Haley had one goal and one assist, and the fourth line generated all three of San Jose’s goals through 40 minutes.

One goal from the fourth line is a bonus. Three is virtually unheard of. 

“They showed up and played the right way,” DeBoer said. “Right from the drop of the puck they put pucks behind the other teams defense, they had good support, they created a lot of chances, and got rewarded for it. I think Dell and them were the difference in the game early through the first half, until we got going a little bit.”