'Snow showers' a Red Wings issue before Gm. 3

'Snow showers' a Red Wings issue before Gm. 3

May 3, 2011

SHARKS (6-2) vs.
RED WINGS (4-2)

Coverage begins at 4:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet California

DETROIT (AP) The San Jose Sharks have been skating hard to the net against the Red Wings, stopping just short of Jimmy Howard while delivering plenty of sprayed ice - the so-called hockey snow shower.

Are they bugging the Detroit goaltender?

"Nope," he insisted Tuesday.

Part of the game?

"Yep," Howard said. "They're just trying to get under my skin. I don't care. They can come in and pitchfork me all they want. They can do whatever they want. They're not going to take me off my game."

If Howard gets pitchforked - speared by the blade of a stick - the Sharks will get called for a penalty if the officials see it happen. If skate blades spray ice in Howard's face, well, he'll probably have to live with it.

The Red Wings have done some lobbying to get San Jose called for unsportsmanlike penalties for what has appeared to be gamesmanship in the Western Conference semifinal they trail 0-2. Game 3 is Wednesday night at Joe Louis Arena.

Sharks coach Todd McLellan said he is not pushing his players to rattle Howard with snow showers.

"I have no time for gimmicks and circus acts," McLellan said. "I will address it with my players. My feedback from them is that there's no intent. We are going to the blue paint. No one is going to take that away from us. We're going to stop in the blue paint and we're going to stand there.

"I guess we have to be a little more cautious about where we stop in the blue paint."

RATTO: McLellan still taking aim at former mentor

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said he told his players to focus on being disciplined and determined and not sweat the ice sprays.

"We have a general manager and he looks after that stuff," Babcock said.

The Sharks aren't apologizing for their actions, pointing out Howard has failed to secure pucks at times and that has created scoring opportunities in the crease that they've tried to take advantage of.

At the other end of the rink, the Red Wings might try to annoy Antti Niemi with similar tactics.

"Maybe we should start snow showering," Detroit forward Danny Cleary said. "The referees got to make a decision. We don't want them doing that. If you let them get away with it, they're going to do it again. So, you have to take liberties."

Niemi just hopes it doesn't happen when the puck is loose.

"If you can do it during the play, you can make the goalie blind for a second," he said.

Niemi, who helped Chicago win the Stanley Cup last year as a rookie, has seen and stopped a lot of pucks after opening the postseason with a shaky series.

He gave up only one goal in each of the first two games after giving up 19 in six starts against Los Angeles in the first round. Detroit had 59 shots in Games 1 and 2 - both of which it lost 2-1 - but wants to put more pucks and bodies in and around Niemi.

"He's a great goalie, but I don't think he's been tested enough," Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall said.

Giants hammer three homers in third straight spring training win

Giants hammer three homers in third straight spring training win

BOX SCORE

At Goodyear, Arizona, Joe Panik, Conor Gillaspie and Jarrett Parker homered for San Francisco. Jimmy Rollins singled and scored twice.

Giants lefty Matt Moore went 1 1/3 innings in his first start of the spring, allowing one run and one hit. He walked two and struck out three.

Cincinnati starter Tim Adleman pitched two innings, giving up four hits and two runs.

A's spring training Day 13: Gossett part of fifth starter mix

A's spring training Day 13: Gossett part of fifth starter mix

MESA, Ariz. — An unexpected opportunity came Daniel Gossett’s way Sunday, and the young right-hander took it in stride.

When the A’s adjusted their starting rotation, Kendall Graveman got bumped to Monday and Gossett learned he’d be taking the ball to start Sunday’s Cactus League home opener against the Los Angeles Angels.

“I’m here for what they need me for,” Gossett said. “So anything they need, gimme the ball.”

He spun two scoreless innings in a game Oakland lost 5-3 at Hohokam Stadium. A nice first impression for Gossett, indeed, but the truth is A’s officials were already quite familiar with him.

A second-round pick out of Clemson in 2014, Gossett impressed at three levels of the farm system in 2016, beginning the year with Single-A Stockton and finishing it with Triple-A Nashville.

This is his first big league camp, and manager Bob Melvin even mentioned Gossett as being part of the fifth starter conversation.

“He impressed everybody in the organization last year, so when talking about that fifth spot, who knows?” Melvin said before the game.

The only blemishes on Gossett’s day were the pair of walks he issued. After walking Jefrey Marte to lead off the second, he got a lift from his catcher, as Josh Phegley fired a strike to second to nail Marte trying to steal.

“A pitcher’s best friend, I guess,” Gossett said. He went 10-6 with a 2.69 ERA across 27 starts at all three levels of the minors last year, and his 151 strikeouts led the A’s farm system. Gossett’s fastball ranges anywhere from 90-95 on the gun. He throws a changeup that gets the most swings and misses, plus a slider and curve.

Grady Fuson, an A’s special assistant to the general manager, liked the adjustments he saw with Gossett over the course of last season.

“He’s a super kid, a grinder,” Fuson said over the winter. “He’s a guy that hadn’t struck many guys out and had been very hittable in the strike zone. (In 2016), he started executing to different parts of the zone that limits the hard contact.”

CAMP BATTLE: Alejandro De Aza sparked the A’s first rally in the third Sunday with a triple, then scored on Mark Canha’s double. With Jake Smolinski sidelined currently by a shoulder issue, it’s a good time for De Aza, a non-roster invitee to camp, to make his mark. The door could be open for him to make a push to make the roster as a fifth outfielder.

“He’s an interesting guy,” Melvin said of the nine-year veteran. “He knows how to play the game, he can play all three outfield spots. We’ve seen him before when he’s given us trouble, too, with the White Sox.”

Another contender for a reserve outfield spot is Jaycob Brugman, who has yet to crack the majors but is already on the 40-man roster. He singled home a run in the seventh. Like De Aza and Smolinski, Brugman can play center field, and it stands to reason the A’s will want to carry someone who can back up Rajai Davis at that position.

NOTEWORTHY: Phegley admitted to some butterflies before getting behind the plate for his first game since July, when a right knee injury wiped out the rest of his season.

But he looked good springing up to nail Marte on the second-inning steal attempt. The A’s are counting on Phegley returning to his role as the right-handed hitting platoon partner with Stephen Vogt behind the plate.

STOCK RISING: Melvin was impressed, and entertained, by the first look he got at reliever Simon Castro on Saturday against the Chicago Cubs. Castro retired Kris Bryant to strand a runner at third, the only hitter he faced. But it was what happened before the at-bat that caught Melvin’s attention.

“When he came to the mound he was pretty vocal,” Melvin noted. “He was fired up, telling the guys ‘Let’s go!’ I haven’t heard that too many times out of pitchers, let alone in spring training. So he impressed me with his eagerness to pitch.”

FAMILIAR FACES: Campy Campaneris and Blue Moon Odom each threw out ceremonial first pitches before Sunday’s exhibition home opener, which drew a smallish crowd of 4,072.