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The Hot Hand

Some days I feel like I’m more attuned to what is going on than other days.  Probably it’s just too much Twitter.

About Bob

Bobrovsky, after a gallant effort, has earned a rest.  No point playing the hot hand when the rest of the team is so cold.  I don’t know if that’s what Laviolette was thinking but Boucher will start tomorrow (or so tweeted tpanotch).  I do hope Boucher does not have to endure any more punishment.

Some notes from practice today, also courtesy of Tim Panaccio: “Leino collided w/Pronger. Left ice and never came back…Leino has charley horse; right side. Hopes to play. I asked Pronger if he “killed” Leino. “No,” he said.”

Come on, Tigger team, pull it together, you’re up.

Heady Stuff

Willie Mitchell had some interesting things to say about head shots, made more interesting since he slid them into a chat about that fan who had his personal space invaded by Mr. Rypien.  I haven’t talked about The Rypien Incident because it struck me as too stupid to give any thought to.  No, hockey players should not jostle or frighten anyone who isn’t on the ice with them.  And no, spectators should not bait angry hockey players.  Really it all seemed like a no-brainer to me.

But into that inane topic, Mitchell inserted a valid one:

“…there’s other things that are going on in our game that are much more severe, whether it’s headshots — and I keep going back to that — and the lack of action on that. It’s something we’ve seen the NFL start to do and hopefully our league follows suit.” -The Fabulous Forum

To which Elliott added:

…The NHL has been too inconsistent and lenient in punishing these offenses. Grab a fan’s shirt and you get six games… Hit an opposing player in the head and you might not get any punishment at all — certainly rarely more than three games’ penance. -ibid

The NFL only started to move on the issue after some lawyer challenged the contact sports exception in court.  That was some time ago, and still the debate drags on.  Did that lawyer win?  I don’t know, but obviously he made someone uncomfortable.   Ambulance chasers, wake up.  There’s some legit work for you to do here.  I imagine it pays pretty good too.

Rebound Control

Finally, and I do mean finally!, some clarification on the state of the Sharks’ goaltender coaching.  I am still not sure where Mr. Schwab resides, unless it is in an airplane, but apparently he has made an appearance and gave Niemi 20 minutes of particular attention.  Don’t forget the other guy.  Nitty needs feedback too.  Thank you, Mr. Schwab, and anyone else with input into that decision.

…Antti Niemi spent an extra 20 minutes on the ice with goalie development coach Corey Schwab, deflecting shots by Mike Moore and John McCarthy.

Both Niemi and Antero Niittymaki spent time with both Schwab and Wayne Thomas in training camp. Schwab, who lives in Seattle, basically worked with the team’s younger goalies last year, but he said they are trying something a little different this season and at time he’ll be working with San Jose’s goalies, too.  -Working the Corners, Oct 22

With that bit of news, the fact that Schwab worked with Jeff Reese becomes much more interesting.  I see a plan coming together.  It is good.

It doesn’t clear everything up.  That he lives in Seattle doesn’t help, since his bio still says he coaches goalies in Worcester, MA, and also Kalamazoo, MI.  Unless this is being done via Skype, I am still a little confused.  I’m not tracking his movements, I’m just trying to form a plausible explanation for these widely distributed coaching duties.  But that is secondary.  Maybe it is entirely normal.  The main thing is: someone is helping our goalies.  This is good, even if it is done via Skype.

I still think the Sharks should distribute games evenly between the two goalies.  I saw a poll somewhere that said most fans thought that no, the team should play the hot hand.  It would be ridiculous to say Nitty is the hot hand right now, not after just one game and that one played behind the alter ego of the muddle-sharks.  It is a flawed comparison.

Niemi was playing with mud in his eyes, mud put there by a team sloshing hopelessly in a puddle of confusion.  Yes, I believe Nitty literally has better hands but that isn’t the point.   Neither goalie is spotless, both have their shiny moments.  Get them both polished and show them off.  Revel in the luxury of having options.

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