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?

Notes: Injured Sharks Hansen, Karlsson return to practice

Notes: Injured Sharks Hansen, Karlsson return to practice

DALLAS – Injured Sharks forwards Jannik Hansen and Melker Karlsson both returned to the ice for Thursday’s practice in Dallas, in what Pete DeBoer called “a good first step” in their recoveries.

The coach left open the possibility that one or both could play against the Stars on Friday night, even though neither was skating on a set line for practice.

“We’ll have to wait and see how they feel [Friday] morning and what the recovery is,” DeBoer said. “I’m not prepared to say they’re in tomorrow, but it’s a good sign they’re on the ice and participated.”

Hansen has been out for the past two games since getting a stick in the head from defenseman Brandon Montour on Saturday against Anaheim. 

“Took a couple days [off] to make sure everything was aright,” Hansen said. “Getting better, back on the ice today.”

Officially, it’s an upper body injury. When pressed if it was a concussion issue, Hansen said: “I don’t know. It’s tough to say to begin with, but obviously you do all the precautionary things that [are] involved now.”

Although he has just one assist in his first six games with the Sharks, Hansen seemed to spark the Sharks’ top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski, as the line generated one even strength goal in each of the first four games Hansen played.

Karlsson has missed the last six games with a lower body injury. He has 19 points (9g, 10a) in 60 games with a plus-nine rating.

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The lines remained the same for Thursday’s practice. Patrick Marleau was with Thornton and Pavelski; Logan Couture centered Joel Ward and Mikkel Boedker; Tomas Hertl was between Joonas Donskoi and Marcus Sorensen, while the fourth line sweaters were worn by Chris Tierney, Micheal Haley, Timo Meier and Danny O’Regan.

San Jose stayed over in St. Paul on Tuesday night and flew to Dallas on Wednesday morning on their day off.

The Wild game, a 3-2 loss, was the Sharks’ fourth straight. They’ve generated just four goals over that span.

That game also capped off a stretch of seven games in 11 days for the Sharks, who now have just a two-point lead on Anaheim for first place in the Pacific Division – a lead that was nine points before the losing streak began.

Was the day off good?

“Yeah. We’ve been kind of struggling scoring goals, so just to kind of relax yesterday and then kind of get back and refocus today,” Thornton said. “But sometimes you just need a little time away from the rink. I think yesterday was needed.”

DeBoer said: “I think our group is pretty mature. I don’t think we’re overeating to the situation. No one’s happy we’ve lost a few, but we also know that we’ve done enough good things that we could have won two or three of those games. We’ve just got to stick with it, clean up a couple things, and score some goals.”

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Defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic skated after missing Tuesday’s game with the flu. Tierney missed Monday’s game in Dallas, also due to illness.

Is that all gone now?

“Knock on wood. Nothing today. Hope so,” DeBoer said.

Meier back with Sharks after working on his game in AHL

Meier back with Sharks after working on his game in AHL

ST. PAUL – On paper, Timo Meier’s production after he was reassigned to the AHL Barracuda on Feb. 16 was down. The former first-round pick had just six points (3g, 3a) in 14 games, and was scoreless in his last five, a far cry from what he was doing there earlier in the season and way off his numbers in juniors.

But at just 20 years old, Meier is still in the learning phase of his professional career. And as impressive as the Barracuda have been this season, they’re still playing in a developmental league, first and foremost. Meier got a chance to work on some of the aspects of his game he needed to work on.

“It was obviously hard going back,” said Meier, who has three goals and two assists in 28 games, before Tuesday’s game in Minnesota. “Sometimes you go back there and you try too much, but they told me to work on some things in my game, and I tried to do that.

“For me, going down there it was all about learning stuff on the ice, off the ice. … It’s my first year [in pro hockey], so as a young guy you want to learn and listen to the coaches, too. Just get better.”

Coach Pete DeBoer went into pretty good detail on what the ninth overall pick in the 2015 draft needed to do with the Barracuda, and what he needs to show now that he’s back in the NHL.

“I think with a lot of big, talented young guys, they have to realize when they can make an extra play with the puck and when they have to chip it in,” DeBoer said. “They’re so used to dominating at the levels they’ve been at for so long, that [it’s] easier said than done. It’s habits you have to learn, and you don’t learn unless you’re doing them on a consistent basis.”

Meier’s shot selection, too, is something that needed some improvement, according to the coach. While the power winger might be generating plenty of shot attempts, no doubt pleasing the advanced stats crowd, there’s more to being an effective forward than running up numbers on the Excel spreadsheets.

“You don’t want to shoot [just] to shoot up here, or to just get shots on net. You’re not scoring on NHL goalies like you are on junior goalies from 30 or 40 feet out,” DeBoer said. “You’ve got to pick your spots. Sometimes you have to look for a better play than a shot.”

Meier said: “It’s a really tough league. As a young guy coming in, sometimes you’ve got to stay patient, too, try not [to do] too much. … Sometimes I tried [to do] a little too much.”

Meier has been in the Sharks’ lineup for each of the last two games. He started on the fourth line before getting bumped up to Tomas Hertl’s third line on Monday in Dallas, and returned to the fourth line with Chris Tierney and Micheal Haley for Tuesday’s tilt in Minnesota. He is scoreless with two shots on goal over those two games.

He could be a temporary fill in for Jannik Hansen, who remains out with an upper body injury but could potentially return before the end of the road trip this weekend. Or, perhaps Meier does enough to stick around for the stretch run and the playoffs. There would seem to be an opportunity to push someone else out of the lineup, as the Sharks’ depth scoring has been a season-long problem.

“It’s a great opportunity for me, getting that chance again later on in the season,” Meier said. “I want to put it all on the ice, leave it all out there and just make the best out of every shift I get. Play my game, play within my strengths, [do] the things that got me here, and I’m sure I’ll be successful like that.”