Baker & Hedican: Is Niemi the Sharks' weak link on PK?
Sharks new assistant coach Larry Robinson will try to tighten up the PK.
But two of the smartest around that's Jamie baker that is red head again. Let's talk a little hockey here first ball he that we can practice. -- -- NHL gonna look like on Saturday Sunday. Well everybody's I think the first thing most teams are runner trying given to game speed they're trying to do some type of scrimmage during which you can't replicate what goes on in the game because you don't have the physical component. Keep it simple I think your blue line and and attention to detail defensively. Takes a little while to kind of get a feel offensively it'll be easier for some of the guys that have played over in Europe that are employing a little bit. But the offense I think will come. I think you're gonna see it's gonna be a little sloppy a little bit at times for the first five or six games may be a more panel he's hooking holding those types of things but I think the intense he's going to be ratcheted up immensely. Just because every team knows the importance of getting off to a good start -- W -- what do you think how do you think it's gonna come -- start playing this week. We talk about up and down and their attention to details that's exactly how I see it. You you have to get out of the gates no question hopefully doing the things you need to do. To make your team's solid in the defensive zone when you look at what the Sharks been doing in practice taping practice watching film after practice knowing where they can be better in the defensive zone I think that'll make. A big difference Larry Robinson obviously added to the team -- coaching staff and Jim Johnson as well. Two big guys that have been around the game. Long time that I think. Who get these guys structure start the season is the defense for the Sharks suspect going into the season they cheer for any particular reason. Well we -- to -- right now banged up with a broken hand you've got to just abroad who solves you know another guy who's got a broken -- or Utley something's going on this and an end Brent Burns right now we don't think he's gonna start the season we don't even know who played this year he hasn't practiced at all. All this weekend it's doubtful. It in the word is on the street that you might not play so that's a big hole to try to fill Brent Burns who you really were expecting a lot coming from last year kind of settling into his own skin finally here in San Jose -- open you can get a lot from a guy like that are out of the penalty kill levels all the noise last year about this team it has to be better penalty -- will it be better. While we're gonna find out you look at the first just the first two days of practice. You know they had a good flow work and the guys are getting the conditioning and then they did some stationary stuff and and Jimmie Johnson was right in -- work with Todd McLellan Larry -- kind of overseeing it all lots of body position stick position so they've made some tweaks to penalty kill. I you know is it going to be happen right away I don't know. But obviously it's of under -- and so I think I think he'll be better Brett they were near the bottom of the league in penalty kill but is there a silver lining is it a little deceiving. To say that they were twenty ninth and -- -- that's the only way we can look at it was horrible. They were bad and there's no. Polish and that trying to make it look like. Diamond when it's he's a cold that -- no doubt about they had us tough here in the on the penalty kill and I think the biggest reason is is goaltending. Your goaltender has to be your best penalty killer. If you look at the shots that the Sharks faced last year didn't face a lot of shots on the PK and yet they still one of the worst occasionally they've got -- that up. But the other thing is we gotta get that puck down 200 feet they did not do a good job of that last year. And I think one of the things at Larry Robinson Jim Johnson they're gonna bring more aggressive play in the defensive zone. The Sharks have played way too passive for me and I think they're dressing that I think it's going to be a major impact with the PK for Sharks 48 game season it's gonna be a sprint and one uses that phrase but how tough when you factor in the travel. With the number of games what does the physical told these guys going to be there. More than usually see in a regular season it's like a playoff season. So creating three months of playoff intensity before you get to the playoffs I think it's gonna be beneficial and help the Sharks deserve big team. You can't you know some of these -- younger teams that are fast might come out of the gates in the first ten games. But at some point you can't maintain that I mean it's the game almost every other night you're looking at -- games and 99 days that's that's just an immense amount of hockey so. You know when you there's really not settling in but -- around the fifteen to twenty game mark I think everybody is gonna start to get a little bit tired. And that's where I think a big strong Smart hockey team. Can really take advantage of some of the other teams that might be younger less experienced may be quicker but not as big you know you don't carry that extra 2030 pounds. The fatigue factor can affect some of these teams. Unfortunately the NH Ellis had a circumstance happen in its past mid 90s9495. Season they had a forty game season. Can we glean anything from that is or something from that he's always say well this is what we can expect -- what's key from that. Year -- a lot of things have changed for you look at who won the Stanley Cup that year was the New Jersey New Jersey Devils and and what they did was they start out of the gates all three and one I mean you look at look and guess who the common denominator here. Isn't in this situation is Larry Robinson was was an assistant coach for the New Jersey Devils. Really got that team to settle down and really I think that's what you're making some great points -- is that it's gonna take a veteran group. Not only in the coaching staff -- also on the ice that's gonna make a difference of being able to after that roller coaster hits the bottom. All the lol -- that you're finding a group of guys that can manage to get back on the rail. Larry Robinson were with the defense then he also had two. -- have well he has got me going had a Marty Brodeur and permanent -- Martin Brodeur record I think and feel better about the the penalty -- all right guys -- on its going on Sunday Jamie baker Brett -- -- gonna see him pre and postgame live here -- radio unit down the ice as well look at all the -- he brought -- Notes it on the greens and preparation -- so. Yeah gone finally you make me look. One I did you have you have you would see guys on Sunday.