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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Are The Ducks Catching Up To Themselves?

Is math happening to the Anaheim Ducks? Is their early success catching up to them, the same way they caught up to opponents in 14 games this season? Prior to last weekend, they were hard on the heels of Chicago. They had as many regulation wins as the super-streak record-breaking Blackhawks. There still isn’t a team in the Western Conference with a better chance of catching the Blackhawks, but Anaheim is losing ground.

Since defeating the Blackhawks last Wednesday, the Ducks have lost three in a row. What gives? Were they succeeding at an unsustainable level? Corey Perry admitted that it is possible, maybe the team was due to hit a rough patch:

There’s always peaks and valleys but we try to get over the valleys as quick as possible, and start climbing back in the right direction. That’s what we have to focus on.

That isn’t to say the team is comfortable with losing three in a row for the first time this season, as Perry explains: (more…)

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May the Road Rise Up to Meet You

(Originally published at Kukla’s Korner, March 16, 2013)

It is time to put down my talking stick and admit that I’ve taken up residence at the Cow Palace. It’s all good.  If you have enough saddle blankets under the sleeping bag, the concrete floor isn’t too cold. No, no, no, I’m not working for the Bulls, I’m just haunting the old barn.

It’s been an improbable, enjoyable, unpredictable trip. If I hadn’t written down just about every thought I had along the way, I wouldn’t be able to remember where I started. Blogs are better than breadcrumbs, everybody should have one. Blogs don’t fall in a straight line, they twist and turn and sometimes retrace the path, sometimes hit a dead end. Sometimes a stray crumb points you in a new and exciting direction, sometimes your blood sugar is low and you have to eat it. (more…)

Todd McLellan is a Genius

(Originally published at Kukla’s Korner, March 15, 2013)

McLellan is an outside-the-box-fearless genius for solving a problem with the pieces at hand instead of waiting for new ones. That declaration is contingent on him keeping Brent Burns at forward. Failure to continue doing so will trigger revocation of said genius status and an indefinite stay inside the box.

Loved Cranky showing off for his dissenters.  Seriously, all the way down and around the net, with a shot reversed through his legs?  Beautiful.  Makes me want to say something vulgar to the haters.

Back to that big fancy new forward Brent Burns. I’ve liked that idea more by the minute, but I think my liking is maxed out, I don’t know if I can keep liking it more. It might give me an aneurysm or something. (more…)

‘Twixt the cup and the lip

(Originally published at Kukla’s Korner, March 13, 2013)

Are these recent Sharks’ losses nothing more than a slip, a dribble away from being wins?  Are the Sharks just a flinch away from team fusion?

There was a spell during last night’s game that made me want to cover my eyes, but I couldn’t look away either.  Okay, yes I could, but I had to put the game on pause and go do chores to stop looking.  During those ten minutes or so, the team looked worse than they have in a long time.  The errant passes, failures to clear and general happening of anything that could go wrong also emphasized how suddenly the Sharks pulled it together.  The recovery made me think “see, they can just kick themselves into gear!”

Boyle, who isn’t afraid to be critical of his team’s effort, said: “I don’t say it too often after a loss, and maybe not so much the first 10 minutes, but after that I thought we were the much better team. It was a very good effort. We had lots of chances that we haven’t had in awhile. There was a couple freaky bounces and things that happened out there, but overall for 50 minutes, I think that was a very good effort.” -CSN Bay Area

(more…)

In-confidence

(Originally published at Kukla’s Korner, March 11, 2013)

One does not simply walk into the NHL. To get there, your confidence has to overcome challenges as pesky as orcs, possibly as ferocious as uruk-hai. Certainly there’s a spider big enough to suck the last drop of self-assurance out of you, you had to have seen her along the way.  If a player makes it to the NHL, he has obviously lived to tell the tale.

Confidence is a funny thing, all made up of memories and habits and hormones, recent events and old. Oddly, it can be increased by the most ridiculous exercises. You can sit cross-legged on the floor, repeating things like “I am an attractive person, people will respond positively to me, they will help me achieve my goals.” That sort of exercise can actually make you feel braver and more confident, even if your logical mind thinks it is a load of horse-poop. But that’s all confidence is: a state of mind.  If events from a week or a day ago can change how you see unrelated present events, isn’t that as ridiculous as chanting self-praise?  Ridiculous and inevitable. (more…)

AHL/ECHL Monday Mentions, March 11

(Originally published at Kukla’s Korner, March 11, 2013)

AHL:

News that I completely missed last week: Sena Acolatse is back in the Worcester lineup, has been since March 1st.  I may be inattentive but I think that is exciting, awesome and a good thing for the Sharks.

Worcester only played two games since last Monday, a relatively leisurely schedule for the AHL.  Saturday, Sebastian Stalberg scored the only first period goal to give the Sharks the lead over the Providence Bruins.  The Sharks had a fair chance to take a two goal lead when James Livingston was awarded a penalty shot but Bruins’ goalie Niklas Svedberg stopped that.  The Bruins came back in the second to score two power play goals and take the lead away.  A couple of minutes later, James Livingston tied the game back up.  In the third, the Bruins retook the lead and it wasn’t until 19:00 of the regulation that John McCarthy tied it again.  The game went to a seven-round shootout that the Bruins won with goals from Craig Cunningham and Trent Whitfield.  The one Sharks shootout goal was scored by Denny Urban. (more…)

Never Disappointed

(Originally published at Kukla’s Korner, March 9, 2013)

“If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

That seems like good advice, isn’t it?  Of course if you recognize that it’s from a story about a descent into madness and all kinds of sad, you might need to rethink that assessment.

The Sharks have lost eight out of their last twelve games.  Or you could say they have won three of their last five.  One sounds better than the other, and the latter is more relevant since, even though one was a shootout, those games are more recent and probably better indicators of where the team is mentally than nine games ago.  You could also say they lost to Calgary, which sounds pretty awful by itself, and since that was the very most recent game, you could argue that it is the most relevant. (more…)