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Monthly Archives: March 2014

“Must Win” Marathon Could Benefit Sharks

(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

The San Jose Sharks fell behind the Anaheim Ducks again with Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. While other teams are in a race to make the playoffs, the Sharks are in a race to not face the Los Angeles Kings in the first round. That would be a good thing to avoid, but the Sharks’ schedule won’t make it easy. (more…)

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Pavelski’s Third Hat Trick Propels Sharks to 5-2 Win

(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

Joe Pavelski has found the trick to three-goal games. Tuesday in Edmonton, he scored his third hat trick, after starting the season without even one hat trick in his NHL career. His three goals boosted the San Jose Sharks to a 5-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

Patrick Marleau scored the first Sharks goal of the game, and Martin Havlat scored the game winner in the second period. The Sharks scored three  goals on the power play (two were Pavelski’s). Edmonton goals came from David Perron and Taylor Hall. Antti Niemi made 28 saves for the win, Ben Scrivens made 29 saves for the Oilers.

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Sharks Clinch Playoff Berth, Get Burned in Shootout

(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

The San Jose Sharks clinched a playoff spot for the tenth season in a row with a shootout loss to the rebuilding and improving Calgary Flames. Goals from James Sheppard for the Sharks and Joe Colborne for the Flames sent the game to overtime. Mike Cammalleri scored the only goal in the shootout to give the Flames the extra point.

In addition to losing the game, the Sharks lost Logan Couture after an injury he sustained in the first period blocking shots. Per Todd McLellan after the game, Couture would be fine, though he could not say if he will play Tuesday. On the positive side, Brad Stuart looked very good in his return to the lineup.

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Have the Sharks Figured Out Who’s On Third?

(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

Before last Thursday’s game in San Jose, Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau was asked about the difference between playing the San Jose Sharks and the Los Angeles Kings. He said:

They’re a little further north? I think LA is more of a harder team as far as bigger and more physical, where these guys play physcial but they’re a better skating team and have more depth in their scoring. I mean, if they ever get completely healthy and they have Pavelski back on the third line, that’s… that’s pretty deep. They’re as deep as any team in the NHL I think.

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Third Line Hot: Sheppard, Havlat Picking Up

(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

The San Jose Sharks started this season with an unprecedented number of injuries, some that occurred before the season and some that happened early in. One of the casualties of those injuries was a reliable third line. The team had trouble generating steady scoring without moving Joe Pavelski up to the top six, though it had been widely presumed he would be most valuable centering the third line. With just 14 games remaining, the Sharks may have finally solved the third line conundrum. The combination of James Sheppard, Martin Havlat and Tommy Wingels could be the line the team has been looking for.

The trade deadline came and went without any moves for the big club, apart from most of the injured players returning to the lineup. Some of those players are still adjusting to game speed, others have been adjusting to new linemates again and again for most of the season. Martin Havlat and James Sheppard fall into that second category. Good games from those two have been a significant factor in the team’s recent winning streak, currently at five in a row. (more…)

Sharks Shut Out Rangers

(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

The San Jose Sharks finished up their three game road trip with a 1-0 win against the hungry New York Rangers. New York is in a close battle for a playoff position, just two points ahead of the Washington Capitals for the last wild card spot in the East. The Sharks were outshot 41-29 but San Jose goaltender Antti Niemi rose to the occasion. His 41 saves set a new franchise record for saves in a shut-out. His work was well-appreciated:

@jasondemers5: There’s a new king of New York and he ain’t swedish! #31isastud #suomi

This was the first time the Sharks shut out the Rangers. To make the win more exceptional, the lone goal in the game was a short-handed goal. That Logan Couture scored it was less unusual, but it was still a significant win. (more…)

The Emotion Paradox: Can Torres Keep The Hits In Check?

(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

Hockey is a contact sport. That is an interesting euphemism for a sport that allows or encourages collisions and physical blows. There are rules, guidelines for this violence that require a degree of composure and calm that most people don’t associate with physical violence. Like martial arts, precision is paramount and emotion is not precise.

Raffi Torres has received as much praise for hitting more and harder as for the three goals he earned before he started hitting again. He might even be getting more press for these hits, which presumably lifted his flagging team to the win over Pittsburgh on Thursday. Hits like Torres is making are credited with inspiring the team. The problem is, he probably shouldn’t indulged in that emotional hit himself while providing it for others. That takes a rare personality that he has not displayed to this point. (more…)