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Monthly Archives: May 2014

2014 NHL Draft rankings links

DRAFT RANKINGS:

TSN

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Future Considerations

Int’l Scouting Svc

Hockey’s Future

Nice evaluation of current Sharks prospects

Top defensemen per St. Louis Dispatch

PARTICULAR PROSPECTS:

Haydn Fleury

Anders Bjork

Dmitrii Sergeev

Nikolaj Ehlers

Other stuff:

Morreale: Team-by-team draft needs: Pacific Division

Team-by-team draft needs: Central Division

Team-by-team draft needs: Atlantic Division

Team-by-team draft needs: Metro Division

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Playoff Hockey: Underdogs, Upsets and Staying the Course

(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

It has been a busy few days in playoff hockey. Thursday, the Montreal Canadiens pushed back to stop the New York Rangers from taking a 3-0 series lead. That show starred Montreal’s rookie goaltender Dustin Tokarski. Friday, the ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors won their first Conference Final game at home. Saturday night, the Los Angeles Kings took a 2-1 series lead over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Now that the Kings have taken a lead in a series, and scored dozens of goals against the daunting Blackhawks (actually only 11 so far), is it safe to say that maybe the 2013-14 Sharks were not that far from their goal, if they were able to beat Los Angeles three games in a row? No. The Kings have proceeded at an erratic pace but they built up momentum in each progressive series. A strong start does not make up for a weaker finish, so the Sharks can’t take too much comfort in the Kings’ success thus far. The Kings are making a habit of giving up leads only to take them back, but that doesn’t mean there were not a lot of holes in the Sharks roster and strategy. Can the Sharks seal up those holes? (more…)

How Will the Sharks Be Composed?

(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

The San Jose Sharks are not the only team to lose a Game Seven in 2014, or even in the first round. Because they began with a three game lead, the loss was considered an upset, a collapse. Other teams who lost in Game Seven when they were expected to win include the Boston Bruins, and the Pittsburgh Penguins.The Bruins were grumpy in the handshake line, the Penguins fired their GM.

The Anaheim Ducks were the regular season Conference champions. They held a lead at one point in the series against the Los Angeles Kings, but they were not strong favorites, especially after the Kings’ first round comeback against the Sharks.

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Interesting Morning at the World Championships

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Standings after first games on May 12, 2014.

Standings after first games on May 12, 2014.

Remember the Alamo: Sharks Have A Lot to Think About

(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, they say. Then again, sometimes things that can kill you do, in fact, kill you, and many things that cause you no pain at all can make you stronger. Pain, loss and failure are not necessary ingredients for success, they are just common obstacles you must overcome on the road to pretty much anywhere. So what do you do with a humiliating meltdown performed at the very worst moment, on a national stage? Assuming it has not killed you, you can remember it and nurse that awful feeling until you have a chance to redeem yourself. Or not.

Friday, some Sharks shared their present thoughts with the media. It had been less than 48 hours since the team made a historically noteworthy playoff exit. As one of only four teams to give up a 3-0 series lead to be defeated in the seventh game, they will be remembered for choking in the worst way.
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Rising to Fall

One of the most lamented things in a life is the failure to recognize success. Those times when we only belatedly realize we were at our best, as high as we could go. Because we don’t recognize it, we do not fully appreciate it. I imagine some young players have that experience when they win the Stanley Cup very early in their careers. Others might reach a Conference Final and think this is but a stepping stone to the next level… only to find that the next level is much lower.

I don’t think the San Jose Sharks are bottoming out, but I do think those successes from years past were not seen for what they were- as high as that group could go. Changes have been made since then, but were they all the right changes? Has coach Todd McLellan taught the Sharks as much as they will learn from him? Is GM Doug Wilson stuck in a rut that he won’t get out of unless it is with another team? Both questions may or may not be answered in the next few weeks. The decision is likely to be tainted by the team’s epic failure to close out the 2013-14 Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Quarter Finals.

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One of Three Sevens: Sharks, Kings Must Win or Go Home

(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

Seven. Each NHL Playoff round is a best of seven games, and three of eight first round match-ups have gone the distance. Second round dates have already been set, even for the Penguins who do not yet know who they will play.

With three Game Sevens today, it seems likely that we will see at least one upset… if you define upset as the triumph of the team with the lower position in the standings. In the case of the Pacific Division contest, the predictions have been for the third place team to upset the second place team all along, so would that even count as an upset? Is it really an upset if it was expected? Will the Kings live up to expectations, or will the Sharks reassert themselves?

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