Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly! - Jan 31st. 2015

Now it's time for the post that has been created using a highly sophisticated lab to extract DNA from fossilized mosquitoes.  It's your unofficially official, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!  Sharks beat the Blackhawks in what can only be described as a hard fought battle of attrition and your pal Ian is going to tell you how he saw it all go down.

The Good: So the Sharks have this goalie... Niemi I think his name is.  Once upon a time this goalie killed the Sharks in the playoffs only to join the Sharks and get nominated for a Vesina, and tonight is the first time I feel like I saw that goalie in a very long time.  Niemi really stole this game for the Sharks making 31 saves many of which were very difficult while the Sharks held on to a never safe one goal lead.  Niemi has many critics, of those I am definitely one but tonight we all get to shut the hell up and show the man some props.  It's sad though because if he'd played like that all year he'd be extended and we wouldn't be stuck in this will he stay limbo that could make next year very interesting.  Melker Karlsson continues to be effective and even though he does not project where a lot of people think he might I think this is a hell of a find by Doug Wilson regardless of if he pans out in our top 6 or bottom 6.  Now I have to do something painful because normally these next two guys make bad and ugly an easy write.  Matt Irwin while having issues on the defensive side of the puck has a great offensive minded IQ for a blue liner, a lot of people ask why won't DW just waive Irwin and be done with him... this is why.  The last two games Irwin has made key plays that have led to Sharks goals, if only they could figure out his defensive game which is frankly atrocious.  John Scott had a good game he didn't log a ton of minutes (7:30 on the night) but you noticed he was on the ice for each second of them and mostly for good reasons.  Other things that stood out include the Sharks winning the majority of the draws, hitting everything that moved and helping Niemi with some timely blocked shots as well all in all a good effort.  Tennyson was trusted with the 3rd most minutes on the blue line.

The Bad: The Sharks got outworked in the second period but this isn't as bad as it would normally be.  The Sharks effort was there but Chicago is a good team and against them sometimes your best isn't going to be enough and they are going to carry they play to you.  So while it wasn't for a lack of effort and this game was a war you would prefer to still see the Sharks playing an even game.

The Ugly:  I appreciate that the Chicago penalty kill is really good, but the Sharks looked like they were short handed on their power play and continue to turn over the puck at really bad times which lead to Niemi having to make a difficult series of saves that could have blown the game wide open. Don't get me wrong, I don't expect the PP to score every time but I expect it to push the play and tonight it was rubbish.

Final Thoughts: The Sharks continue in their quest to become legitimate contenders and definitely made great strides in that regard but the Sharks beating good teams not named St. Louis is nothing new, the real measuring stick for me is how do you play against a shit team?  Next up is the Oilers and if the Sharks are truly legit now than a loss to the Oilers on Monday cannot happen.  It was great to see the Sharks stick with it though, the score may not make it appear so but this is up in the top 5 games the Sharks have played this year.  It was a war and while the Sharks have been known to bend in these situations previously they stuck to their game and got the result they deserved.

What are your thoughts on tonight's game?

Remember if you have a question you would like me to answer in the Breaking It Down blog please e-mail me at and if you want to read previous blogs please check out

Breaking It Down! - Jan. 31st 2015

On January 31st  the Sharks will play host to The Chicago Blackhawks and you pal Ian is going to be  Breaking It Down!  This is your semi regular officially unofficial game preview post that gives you some quick numbers and my opinions on not only our Sharks but their opponent of the night.

Know Your Team - The San Jose Sharks

Current Record (W-L-OTL): 26-17-6, 58 Points and 2nd in the Pacific Division
Last 10 Games: 6-3-1
Power Play: 22.8% (8th.)
Penalty Kill: 81.9% (13th.)
Current Streak: 2 game winning streak.
Notes: Sharks are ahead of Vancouver by a point but Vancouver once again has 3 games in hand.

Know Your Enemy - Chicago Blackhawks

Current Record: (W-L-OTL): 31-16-2, 64 Points and 3rd in the Central Division
Last 10 Games: 5-5-0
Power Play: 17.4% (15th.)
Penalty Kill: 88.3% (24th.)
Current Streak: 1 game winning streak
Notes: The Blackhawks have a league best +42 Goal Differential (42 more goals for than against)

Ian Breaks Down The Blackhawks:  If not for the LA Kings there is a very good chance that the question we are asking this year is can the Blackhawks make it 5 in a row.  This is the team that in my opinion all other teams are measured by, a rebuild success story that is the reason that you tank, because you hope you come out as the Blackhawks on the other side.  The problem is too few teams end up seeing that is a reality.  While the 'hawks may now be 3rd in their division and maybe not having their best year they are probably a team that very few in the NHL want to face when the playoff puck drops.  While their power play has not been its usual self, they continue to be a very good penalty killing team that is also 5th in the league when it comes to 5 on 5 scoring, so the Sharks who have relied on their power play heavily for offence will be in tough here.  Being on the second night of back to backs it will be interesting to see if Cory Crawford makes a back to back start.  Crawford is 5-2-3 with a 2.26 GAA and .926 SV% career vs. The Sharks.  Although backup Antti Raanta has never started against the Sharks he is a very respectable 7-3-0 with a 1.87 GAA and .939 SV% on the year.  The Sharks shooters will need to be on their game.

Ian Breaks Down The Sharks: The Sharks are on a very convincing 2 game winning streak with dominant wins over division rivals Los Angeles and Anaheim.  Even though they are getting the benefit of playing the 'hawks on a second night of back to backs this is a team they cannot take too lightly and they can give them nothing to start the game.  The Sharks are going to need to come out flying and maintain the pressure to make the most of this advantage.  The Sharks continue to be without defenseman Justin Braun as well as forward Tommy Wingels but so far you would never know it watching this team play.  Another player who has been just outstanding is Tennyson this is a guy who in my opinion should get to play regardless of who else is healthy at this point even if that makes a bottom par of Tennyson/Hannan, Irwin or Mueller.  A bottom pair I am sick of seeing is Hannan/Irwin as was pointed out in the comments from the last GBU, they were on the ice for all 3 Ducks goals and while the team was a little relaxed with a big lead I think we can all agree this experiment has failed on multiple occasions.

My Prediction: I'm sticking with my original prediction for the week and that means this is going to be another Sharks win in convincing fashion so that when we are all talking about all the teams we are going to roll in the playoffs it's going to be an epic gut punch when the drop 8 goals and get shutout by the oilers bringing everyone back down to earth.

Remember if you have a question you would like me to answer in the Breaking It Down blog please e-mail me at and if you want to read previous blogs please check out

What are your thoughts on tonight's game?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly! - Jan 29th. 2015

Now it's time for the post that has been brought to you by the psychic powers of Miss Cleo herself.  It's your unofficially official, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!  Sharks beat the ducks in an impressive outing and your pal Ian is going to tell you how he saw it in a short version of GBU.

The Good: The Sharks weathered an early storm of shots and an early lead from a team that not only is one of the best in the NHL but on a 6 game winning streak as well.  The ducks rarely lose after scoring the first goal but the Sharks didn't seem to let that bother them as they came out with a 2nd period explosion of goals playing another game that was pretty solid from top to bottom and gives us glimpses of what a contender this team could be.  Not to shit on a win but the Sharks need to carry this momentum into their game with Chicago and not drop a deuce against the oilers and I'll be able to start really allowing myself to get excited about this team again.  The Sharks power play lacked a little bit of its usual bite tonight only going 1/5 but lets be honest they got the PP goal when it mattered and that is what's important.  The penalty kill continues to rise in the NHL rankings keeping the ducks special teams off the board.  Sharks dominated in the faceoff circle, and blocked a ton of shots.  A definate A effort.

The Bad: The Sharks continue to turn over the puck at an alarming rate at the worst possible times this will sink them in the playoffs especially against a team like St. Louis... oh wait we have seen that movie twice already this year.  They also let their foot off the pedal a little bit in the 3rd period, but no more than any other team with that sizable a lead so I'm not going to get to upset about that and neither should you.

The Ugly:  John Scott breathed in Jackmans general direction and will probably be suspended again.... actually Jackman was a scratch so his getting suspended against the ducks streak appears to be over.  Oh well it was a nice streak while it lasted.

Final Thoughts: Playing like this in back to back games last year would have had me over the moon with excitement over this team's chances to win it all and yet I just can't get there this year.  The Sharks need to continue playing like they are playing if they want anyone to take them as serious contenders and not a rebuild in progress playing with house money.  I know there has been a lot of shit written about the Sharks in the past week and I'm not trying to add to it.  To me this is a playoff team, it's just not a cup team.  More wins like this with less November hockey and my mind may be swayed though. 

What are your thoughts on tonight's game?

Remember if you have a question you would like me to answer in the Breaking It Down blog please e-mail me at and if you want to read previous blogs please check out

Hot Take Alert! - Jan 29th. 2015

Hot Take Alert isn't exactly a hot take on anything because even though I consider myself an armature writer at best I do take some pride in my work and always strive to give you opinions based on real facts not page views,  mostly I just like the dragon.  Hot Take Alert is your pal Ian's round up of miscellaneous Sharks and other hockey news that seems interesting enough to write about.  I hope you enjoy.

AHL Sharks to San Jose

Today it was announced that the AHL is expanding 5 teams to California including the farm team of our San Jose Sharks who will be sharing the same barn.  This may have been the worst kept secret and something that has been covered a lot over the last week but I'd thought I'd throw my two cents in anyway.  First this is why you put teams in places where it might not work, the NHL and Gary Bettman in particular take way to much flack for the NHL's failed experiments and not nearly enough for the ones that have worked out. If you can make an expansion market last long enough so that kids are introduced to the game grow up to be season ticket holders and if you can put a stick in a kids hand and it stays there you will make a fan for life.  Here is a fun fact almost all of California's ECHL teams (a league lower than the AHL) actually outdraw the Worcester Sharks.  Here is my list of Pros, Cons and To Be Determined about this move specifically for the Sharks.


The ticket prices are expected to range from $18-34 dollars, not I'm not local so I don't really know about parking and other issues but to me this seems like a decent price for 2nd tier action and should get more people into SAP to see live hockey.

The Sharks may actually put some effort into building their AHL team.  Prior to this season the Sharks have generally left the baby sharks void of any top end talent as the future was mortgaged in an attempt to win now.  The Sharks are probably going to sell this like come see the future of the team.... you have to think they want to make the future look bright.  I think this puts a lot of pressure on the Sharks to ice a good team especially if the big club continues to take backwards steps, if you can sell the future I think they can mend fences but if this big club and little club is terrible this could actually end up being a nightmare move for the Sharks.  I'm also keeping in mind that the Sharks have had to rely heavily on their farm to fill the big clubs roster this year.

Calling up a guy from the minors does not have him traveling across 3 time zones and having to practice and play a game while jet lagged.  I have made this flight personally many times and jet lag is terrible. 


Obviously the fans in Worcester lost their team and that sucks.  I think this is a great move for the organization as a whole but the fans in Worcester did a good job supporting this team and are an unfortunate and unavoidable casualty in this.

I worry about the Ice Quality in SAP Center when the weather gets warmer if both teams are still playing especially if they play twice in the same day.

To Be Determined (Things that could go either way)

Do they save money in travel?  Depends on how often they have to go back east, apparently the western teams are footing the bill for the east teams to visit if the scuttlebut is correct.

I'm not a fan of Roy Sommer I think his best before date is long past even though he has not been ever given a ton to work with.  Will they give him better pieces?  Will he last a season with the big clubs fans watching.... stay tuned. to Include Fancy Stats

During all star weekend the NHL is going to be including fancy stats like corsi, fenwick, zone starts in what should end up being 30 stats included.  To me this is fantastic and I can't wait.  I know some people don't like these stats and say there are flaws, I agree there are also flaws in GAA and +/- as well.  This is important because like them or not fancy stats have taken the internet by storm and the NHL sticking their head in the sand pretending they don't exist would have been foolish.  While I'm only have a casual interest in these stats I do like to know I can find them on the mothership.  For those concerned that they will show up more in my writings fear not, between Andrew Bensch and Fear the Fin for example have you more than covered in those areas I'm sure I'd mess it all up.

Former Shark Goc Traded To Blues

Former Sharks 1st round draft pick was traded by the Penguins to the Blues for super pest Maxim Lapierre.

Although never living up to his drafting, Marcel Goc is a steady bottom six center who is excellent defensively and in the faceoff dot.  He has a 65% faceoff percentage in defensive zone shorthanded draws.

The Penguins not only get a little sand paper in their lineup but also continue on their quest to employ every douche bag to ever lace up skates in the NHL, I mean really who has this team not employed in the history of ever that has had the distinction of guys that should be out of the league.  (Ok maybe that was a bit of a hot take)

So what do you think if you would like to see more of these blogs even though they won't always be Sharks related please let me know.

Remember if you have a question you would like me to answer in the Breaking It Down blog please e-mail me at and if you want to read previous blogs please check out

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Breaking It Down! - Jan 28th. 2015

On January 29th. the Sharks will play host to The Anaheim Ducks and you pal Ian is going to be  Breaking It Down!  This is your semi regular officially unofficial game preview post that gives you some quick numbers and my opinions on not only our Sharks but their opponent of the night.

Know Your Team - The San Jose Sharks

Current Record (W-L-OTL): 25-17-6, 56 Points and 2nd in the Pacific Division
Last 10 Games: 5-4-1
Power Play: 21.4% (7th.)
Penalty Kill: 81.5% (16th.)
Current Streak: 1 game winning streak.
Notes: Sharks are ahead of Vancouver by a point but Vancouver has 2 games in hand.

Know Your Enemy - The Anaheim Ducks

Current Record: (W-L-OTL): 32-10-6, 70 Points and 1st in the Pacific as well as the NHL
Last 10 Games: 8-2-0
Power Play: 18.0% (17th.)
Penalty Kill: 80.9% (18th.)
Current Streak: 6 game winning streak
Notes: I don't think the ducks can be caught for the Pacific lead unless they have a meltdown of epic proportions.

All statistics were as of this writing.

Ian Breaks Down The Ducks:  I said my game preview for the game against the Kings that the Sharks had plenty in common with their So-Cal rivals.  The same is true for the Ducks in my opinion.  Now before I get started yes I understand that the Ducks won a cup but that team is very different than the one they have now.  That said the similarities I see with the Ducks and Sharks is that much like the Sharks teams of recent memory (although not this year)  The Ducks are a team that seems to roar through the regular season only to find its kryptonite in the early rounds of the playoffs.  The Vegas odds would have you believe this is a true Stanley Cup Contender until they can beat the Kings or Blackhawks in the playoffs I just don't see this team as a real threat.  Is that just sour grapes on my part as a Sharks fan perhaps but it just feels like something is missing from this team that is needed to put them over the hump and I can't quite put my finger on it.  This year specifically though the Ducks have done really well considering that they were hit really hard by the mumps and losing Perry for a significant amount of time.  Where the injuries have hurt them is on special teams where they are below league average in PP and PK.

Ian Breaks Down The Sharks: The Sharks are coming off of what just may be their best performance of the year with a big win over their rivals in the LA Kings.  Prior to the game they had been called out by head coach T-Mac who I hope challenge them again because I'm concerned about a loss of momentum caused by the all star break  I'm also worried because we have seen solid Shark efforts that give you hope that this team is not more cup contender rather than pretender only to have leave you disappointed.  It's all about consistancy now for the Sharks who are going to have to continue to get things done with a thin blue line as Braun will still be out.  The forwards are also going to be short a few regular bodies as Wingels continues to nurse a broken hand while Tyler Kennedy who seems to be trying to fill the hole in the lineup left by Havlat as he continues to keep the seats in the IR warm, as of this writing I'm not sure what the actual issue is.  Initially there was no reason given for the lack of Kennedy at practice and I was kind of hoping that he was on the trade block.  I think TK has been good this year but overall his time as a Shark has been less than stellar so it may have been an opportunity to sell high. The sharks should also be welcoming back Mirco Mueller to the lineup for the first time since the WJC, as well as Hertl and Goodrow will rejoin the team after all star break in Worcester in what may have been the biggest non-story made a story this year.  Look for Antti Niemi to start in goal.

My Prediction: Sharks Win look dominant and then get shelled 8-0 against Edmonton.

I'm thinking of branching out into some general NHL blogs when I get bored, if that is something you would like to read let me know. 
Remember if you have a question you would like me to answer in the Breaking It Down blog please e-mail me at and if you want to read previous blogs please check out

What are your thoughts on this upcoming game?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - Jan 21st. 2015

Now its time for a super fast The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!
The Good: Coach TMac challenged his team before the game and the Sharks responded with what might have been their best effort this year especially considering the body count. It was awesome to play the illusive 60 minute game. Marleau scored when it mattered most and it was a very welcome goal indeed. The Sharks took no shit from LA tonight, hits where finished, guys stuck up for each other like I said it was the kind of effort you want to see. Of course the Kings were not going to roll over and die so as the shots increased Nemo did what had to be done playing an excellent game.
The Bad: The Sharks let their emotions maybe get the better of them a little bit, a really dumb Penalty by Jumbo at the end of the game nearly let the Kings make it interesting. Aside from that not a whole lot not to like about this game.
The Ugly: Nothing the Sharks did tonight was overly ugly.
Final Thoughts: This was an awesome effort and one that we should all enjoy but we have seen this from the Sharks before, not to end this on a down note but the real question is as always can they carry this forward and play like this every night or is this dominate play going to just be another blip in the radar. I know what I'm hoping for but all is not forgiven for me the Sharks need to prove something now.
If you want to read previous blogs please check out and if you have a question you want answered please send it to
I may or may not do some other blogs during the all star break especially one about the Worcester move to San Jose among other things, Stay Tuned!!
What are your thoughts Shark Fans?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Breaking It Down! - Jan 20th. 2015

On January 21st.  the Sharks will play host to The Los Angeles Kings and you pal Ian is going to be Breaking It Down!  This is your semi regular officially unofficial game preview post that gives you some quick numbers and my opinions on not only our Sharks but their opponent of the night.

*Please note the stats below were accurate the afternoon of January 20th.*

Know Your Team - The San Jose Sharks

Current Record (W-L-OTL): 24-17-6, 54 Points and 3rd in the Pacific Division
Last 10 Games: 5-4-1
Power Play: 20.5% (9th.)
Penalty Kill: 81.5% (13th.)
Current Streak: 2 game losing streak. (OT vs. The Flames and regulation vs. the devils.)
Notes: Sharks lead the flames by a point and are 2 points ahead of the kings for the final divisional playoff spot in the Pacific Division

Know Your Enemy - Los Angeles Kings

Current Record: (W-L-OTL): 20-14-12, 52 Points and 5th in the Pacific Division
Last 10 Games: 2-3-5
Power Play: 19.2% (13th.)
Penalty Kill: 78.7% (25th.)
Current Streak: 2 back to back losses in OT.
Notes: Although they have not been great this year, I still expect them to not only make the playoffs but contend because counting the LA Kings out of anything just feels stupid at this point.

***Warning Adult Conversation about the Kings alert... if you are waiting for to tell you why the kings are terrible because they are big ca-ca heads just stop reading now***

Ian Breaks Down The Kings:  I have to say that I'm really looking forward to the Road to the Stadium Series show because honestly guys the Kings have been just as much as a what the hell happened as the Sharks this year.  Now of course the difference between the two teams is that the Kings seem to be able to put it together when it matters making them a very dangerous team on the upcoming stretch drive. There are some players having some serious down years though.  For example I don't think anyone saw Kopitar's production falling off so badly this year.  (Because the LA Kings have to fuck me in every way possible including fantasy).  No one knows what has happened to Mike Richards, I bet Lombardi is kicking himself for not buying him out when he had the chance.  Their biggest problem in my mind though is the absence of Slava Voynov.  Now I get that allegedly (due process and all that) he is the worst person to walk the face of the earth but he's kind of good at this hockey thing.  I attribute a great deal to his absence on the blue line and cap crunch that followed for the Kings predicament right now.  It will be interesting to see how this trial goes and if / when he returns to the Kings.  I appreciate the moral outrage over this issue but I'm not sold that if he can return the Kings would not allow him back because at the end of the day it's a business and frankly other cities have statues in front of their arena of guys who have done the exact same thing.  Different times?  Sure.    With Martin Jones on the IR I'd expect Jonathan Quick to make the start.  Quick's career numbers vs. the Sharks are (12-5-5, 2.49 GAA and 9.11 SV%).  The Kings are coming off back to back overtime losses.

Ian Breaks Down The Sharks:  The Sharks are frankly a mess, they are coming off a humbling 5-2 loss to the lowly Devils in a game where they lost defenceman Justin Brawn and winger Tommy Wingels for "awhile".  This devastates an already thin D-corps. I know some people are sour on Braun and even I made a point of talking about him solely in the last GBU but the fact remains he is still probably the 2nd best defenceman on the team when it comes to actually playing defence.  Maybe that's just another way of saying our D is shit but still he eats 20 minutes a night that will now have to be eaten by someone else.  I'm expecting the going forward defence pairs to be Vlasic - Burns, Dillon - Tennyson, Hannan - Irwin... yep it's about to get ugly.  I guess the big question now is what does DW do... to me they stand pat see who they can get a look at and hope they finish in the top 8, I don't think this team has shown us anything this year that makes it seem like a good idea to give away some futures so the crappy uninspired team we have now can make damn sure we lose in the first round, 2nd if lucky.  If you look at goal differential in the standings to spot the pretender I'd like you to show me the other playoff team with a -3 and tell me they are for real.  Spoiler alert you can't because all the other playoff teams have at worse a +4.  For comparison sake the Wild Card Flames and Jets have an identical +14.  I know I'm going to get flack for being so negative because this is an anomaly, but really this year aren't the stretches of good play an anomaly?  It feels like time and time again I'm beating a dead horse about 60 minute games and just showing up.  After Stalock's dreadful outing one can only assume that Antti Niemi will return to the net for the Sharks which is fine by me as his career numbers against the kings are (13-7-3, 2.37 GAA and a .924 SV%).

My Prediction: Sharks lose, only because I have predicted wins the last two games and I'd like to continue to be wrong.  Honestly though the Sharks are in tough here missing key pieces my confidence is about as low as its gets.

Remember if you have a question you would like me to answer in the Breaking It Down blog please e-mail me at and if you want to read previous blogs please check out

What are your thoughts on this game?

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - Jan 19th. 2015

Now it's time for the post that may or may not have been started in the second intermission.  It's your unofficially official, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!  The Sharks piss away 2 points like only they can this year and your pal Ian is going to tell you how he saw it.

The Good: There was so much stuff I had written for good as the game went on but had to cross off as I went.  The power play had it chances and looked deadly, before it got worse as the game went on culminating in a coffin sealing shorthanded goal.  Seriously what is with all the shorthanded goals?  The Sharks got off to a good start scoring the first goal before getting rocked for the rest of the period allowing 2 goals.  The Sharks tied it back up on a pretty goal and then proceeded to allow another 3 unanswered. Like I said lots of could have been good but really there was nothing good about this game.

The Bad: I didn't think Stalock had his worst game as a shark but I thought he was kind of off his angels a bit and just got more shaky as the game went on, the 4th goal I thought he overplayed and his rebound control was kind of off all night.  I appreciate he didn't get a ton of help tonight from his defence in fact they should have put on devils sweaters and some points because of how bad they worked against them.   This was yet another chance for Stalock to prove that he deserved the playing time that has all gone to Niemi even though the team in front of him was shit I don't expect to see Stalock in net again until they play a back to back game or a condensed schedule of games.  The idea we could trade Niemi and Stalock could be the guy is frankly laughable to me at this point.  I thought the Burns head hitting penalty was BS, interference sure... I hope the league does waste too much time reviewing it... what happens if you're suspended and supposed to go to the all star game though? 

The Ugly: What in the hell was that 1st period you take that goal away and the Sharks get worked by a vastly inferior team in a home stretch that is really going to do plenty to determine playoff positioning.  I don't understand what is that is wrong with this team that they can't come out and beat a team that they should beat.  Randy or Baker said on the broadcast that this is a team the Sharks should beat but the Devils would not beat themselves... they are 100% right.  Another problem of late is Justin Braun... I like Justin Braun more than many on this page, but there is this thing he does where he allows attacking players to push him back into his goalie.  Great example was tonight on the Devils 2nd goal, Braun gets backed into Stalock who can't control the rebound because Braun leaves him no room to move and it results in a goal.   Overall though this game was ugly and while the reaction is going to be make a bunch of trades and fire everyone I'd argue that a knee jerk reaction is not going to fix this team. 

Final Thoughts: This game was terrible and if they play the Kings like this they are going to get demolished plain and simple.  Dead horse but this is an important home stand and the Sharks are squandering it, I don't know how even the most teal blooded of fans can think this team is for real at this point.  Are they just saving it for the playoffs?  Maybe but nothing in their history suggests that's true.  I could go on all night and pick this game apart but frankly I wasn't going to do a post tonight to begin with and I have already given the Sharks more effort on this post than they gave us tonight so I'll open the floor to you.  Where are you at Shark fans? How close to the ledge are you after this one? 

As always if you have any questions you would like to ask me send them to and you can read previous blogs including my devils game preview for tonight's game by going to

Thanks for all the reads in advance. If not for you guys this post wouldn't have been worth the effort I did put in.

Breaking It Down! - Jan 19th. 2015

On Monday January 19th. the Sharks will play host to the New Jersey Devils and you pal Ian is going to be  Breaking It Down!  This is your semi regular officially unofficial game preview post that gives you some quick numbers and my opinions on not only our Sharks but their opponent of the night.

Know Your Team - The San Jose Sharks

Current Record (W-L-OTL): 24-16-6, 54 Points and 2nd in the Pacific Division
Last 10 Games: 5-4-1
Power Play: 21.1% (8th.)
Penalty Kill: 81.9% (13th.)
Current Streak: 1 game losing streak.
Notes: Sharks are ahead of Vancouver by a point but Vancouver once again has 3 games in hand.

Know Your Enemy - The New Jersey Devils

Current Record: (W-L-OTL): 16-22-8, 40 Points and 7th in the Metropolitan Division
Last 10 Games: 4-5-1
Power Play: 20.6% (9th.)
Penalty Kill: 79.0% (24th.)
Current Streak: 1 game losing streak
Notes: The question for the Devils is not if the playoffs are possible rather what draft position they might end up with.

Ian Breaks Down The Devils:  The New Jersey Devils cannot catch a break.  This is a team that in recent memory has lost an irreplaceable player in Kovalchuk to the KHL, Zach Parise in free agency and probably mismanaged the decline of easily hall of fame goaltender Martin Broduer.  Behind the scenes they have had ownership issues as well.  My opinion is that although Lou Lamoriello is a revered GM who will forget more about hockey than I'll never knowhe may have been done one of the worst jobs adapting to the salary capThis is a team that although the cupboard isn't bare I'd argue its nothing to write home about and has just a strange group of players that is eating up all by around 2 million in cap space according to NHL Numbers (which is the best I can do without cap geek.), however with most of that talent coming off the books after the 15/16 season it may be time for some fresh eyes. Tonight the Sharks will face Schneider who has not fared well against the Sharks thus far in his career, in 9 games he has 3 W, 5 L and 1 OTL with a scary 30 goals against, 3.55 GAA and .896 SV%.  Unfortunately former Sharks Ryane Clowe will not be in the lineup tonight as he has been sidelined most of the year and it appears that Jagr will also not be playing as he is recovering from the flu.

Ian Breaks Down The Sharks: The San Jose Sharks are coming off a game where their effort was erratic shifting from non-existence to the Sharks we used to know back to non-existence.  This uneven effort lost them a very valuable point in the pacific Division Race.  The Sharks appear to be turning to Alex Stalock in goal tonight for his first start in a while and only his 11th of the season.  While I don't think Niemi is in any danger of losing ice time it would be really nice to see Stalock have a good outing and validate the opinions of those who would like to have seen a goaltending competition rather than spit a few games and watch Nemo start the next 30.  This is a game where the Sharks should be guaranteed points unfortunately this is the type of game the Sharks have left empty handed far too often this year.

My Prediction: Sharks win a much needed game in regulation and continue to challenge for the 2nd seed in the Pacific.  Stalock shows why we had this garbage Nemo vs. Stalock thing start in the first place and everyone gets along.

Remember if you have a question you would like me to answer in the Breaking It Down blog please e-mail me at and if you want to read previous blogs please check out

What are your thoughts on tonight's game?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly - Jan 17th. 2015

Now it's time for the post that makes me with I didn't already write a game preview post today.  It's the officially unofficial The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.  Sharks lost to the Flames in overtime and your pal Ian is probably going to overreact.

The Good: The Sharks had a dreadful first period (more on that in a bit) but they came out looking like a decent team in the second.  They scored 3 back to back goals to take the lead in the game before surrendering a goal that would see them never have a lead again.  I give Logan Couture a lot of shit on this board and it's not that I think he's a bad player.  I just think he's a little dive happy and kind of pouty.  That said tonight I don't know if there was a Shark that left it on the ice more than he did.  He lost some teeth and took a puck off his foot and was his usual offensive threat self with a goal to boot.  Karlsson and Thornton also put the puck in the net for the Sharks.  The Sharks also took advantage of a bad Calgary PK going 1/2 on the PP and shut down the flames power play basically preventing it from setting up.  Marleau didn't score but played an exceptional game.

The Bad: The Sharks should have killed the Flames in the faceoff circle and ended up going almost even that my friends is not a recipe for success.  In my pre-game post Breaking It Down! I said that the Sharks would need to come out strong and hard to try and get at Ortio as soon as possible as it was the kids 3rd NHL game and man the Sharks could not have done the opposite of that better if they tried.  The first period was a disaster, yes they got it going near the end but the way they started the game is unacceptable on home ice.  Back in November when the sharks were a pile of dog shit we always held on to the idea it was going to be OK because when they got home they could write the ship... Maybe someone can tell me the last time the Sharks had this much trouble winning at SAP center? I think Antti Niemi has had better games, the goal the Flames scored to tie it up I thought he tracked it all the way into his net.

The Ugly: The sharks continue to turn over the puck in scary number's tonight's tragic turn over number is 20 yes that's right 20.  Most if not all Calgary goals were the result of sloppy sharks play. Broken record time this is not Stanley Cup defence, against the wrong team it's not even first round of the playoff defence. Justin Braun had a decent game but as I said in the GDT his play in that overtime goal was baby shit soft.  Unacceptable, the Sharks need better and he could be better.

Final Thoughts: The Flames continue to play with house money and if they get into the playoffs I'd be worried for their opponent because the flames have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  You know what I like about the flames?  It's a team that just works hard.  When is the last time you thought wow the Sharks just worked hard?  Aside from some individuals it's been a while.  In the second period the Sharks responded with skill but the never say die Flames beat the Sharks for a second time this year because of their effort and that is sad.  Sharks gave away a valuable point tonight that makes their next game against the non-playoff and possibly Schniderless Devils all that more important.

As always you can read previous posts on and if you have a question you would like answered please e-mail it to

What say you Shark Fans? Overreaction?

Breaking It Down! - Jan 17th. 2015

On Saturday January 17th. the Sharks will play host to the Calgary Flames and your pal is Ian is going to be Breaking It Down for you!!  This is your semi-regular unofficial game preview post that gives you some quick numbers that you could get anywhere else with my opinions and a few minor tweaks.

Know Your Team - The San Jose Sharks

Current Record (W-L-OTL): 24-16-5, 53 Points and 3rd in the Pacific Division
Last 10 Games: 5-5-0
Power Play: 20.7% (8th.)
Penalty Kill: 81.6% (14th.)
Current Streak: 2 game winning streak.
Notes: Sharks are tied for 2nd place in the division losing out to Vancouver on a games played tie breaker as the Canucks have 2 games in hand.

Know Your Enemy - The Calgary Flames

Current Record: (W-L-OTL): 23-18-3, 49 Points and 5th in the Pacific Division
Last 10 Games: 6-3-1
Power Play: 17.6% (19th.)
Penalty Kill: 76.2% (26th.)
Current Streak: 2 game winning streak
Notes: The flames currently sit 1 point outside the 2nd and final wild card spot in the west trailing the Los Angeles Kings.

Thoughts and Stuff:

In my opinion the Calgary flames are this year's little engine that could.  While they are among a group of 4 surprise teams this year but I think of those aside from the Winnipeg that Calgary may be the most shocking.  In the summer not knowing what we know now if you asked a lot of people if they would rather be the Flames or the Oilers most people would have probably answered the Oilers and why not.  The Oilers despite their woes have the cupboard full of what at least appears to be grade A young talent from their absolute futility as a team while the Flames would settle for not being bad enough to be in last place but not good enough to make the playoffs for many years leading to mid round draft picks.  Ask that question today though and I think the answer would be much different. The flames also had to pay the price for moving kids for one that push, and one last push and one last push.  Now this isn't a team that is completely devoid of talent either Johnny "Hockey" Gaudreau has put together a nice 13 G, 20 A and +10 so far this season while taking 0 penalty minutes, Mark Giordano should be a Norris candidate with his 11 G, 26 A and +18 so far this season with 29 PIMS.  Sean Monahan is going to be a pretty big deal as well.  With Kari Ramo on the IR and although Hiller is playing much better than his record may imply it will be rookie Joni Ortio who will start his 3rd career NHL game as well as 3rd consecutive start for the flames after winning his first 2 with a 0.50 (GAA meaning he's averaging 1/2 a goal a game) and a .984 save percentage (98.4 shots on goal have ended in a save).  Now while the flames definitely have some talent this team gets by on their hard work, the term blue collar team was invented for teams like the Calgary Flames.

The San Jose Sharks had a few players finally find their way on the score sheet, with Marleau and Nieto who have come under heavy criticism amongst Sharks faithful scoring goals against the Toronto Maple Leafs.  I said in the post game GBU that aside from turnovers there was a lot to like about that Sharks effort and I agree.  My concern with this game is coming out with that same intensity.  These are a very important two points in the standings as the Flames while off the pace a little can take advantage of another run of November hockey from the Sharks.  The Sharks are going to have to get an early flurry of shots against Ortio get to him early and hope you can rattle the rookie a bit.  Expect another Niemi start as I have not read anything that would lead me to believe otherwise and frankly as it should be pretty crystal clear by this point that Niemi is the starter on this team and important games like this you start your starting goaltender.  The sharks keep winning so I don't expect any change in line combinations either unless Desi is going to draw back into the lineup which will necessitate some changes because I don't think Desi has done anything to warrant sitting when he is ready to go.

My Prediction: One teams 2 game winning streak must end and I think it will be the Flames.  Although for all the talk of trap games for the Toronto game, this one actually makes me more nervous.  The Sharks seem to have an issue with rookies, how many times have we watched a player get their first goal against the Sharks?  A rookie goaltender... yep this could be trouble.

Finally I got a question! The question is in the leafs GDT (Game Day Thread) you said that writing GBU (The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly) is 100x easier than writing Breaking It Down. Why?

Cool question, thank you! The reason that it is harder to do this piece than the post game GBU is that this one simply takes more work.  I have to track down a lot of numbers for this blog as well as ideally know things about our opponent which sometimes requires some research because I don't care or hear about lets say the Columbus Blue Jackets as I do say the Edmonton Oilers.  So a lot more preparation goes into these posts because I try to use them as a this is what I think about the sharks post but also do like to try to give you as much information about our opponent as possible  The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is simply watch game and within 20 minutes of the game write post about said game.  Now this isn't always easy as sometimes the sharks are awesome and I feel like a total douche bag filling out the Bad and Ugly.  Also sometimes the Sharks play November hockey and I feel like I'm just adding to the overwhelming sea of negativity already on the board and worry about alienating some of my readers.

Again awesome question.  If you have a question  you would like answered please send it to

Also if you would like to read previous blogs you can find them at

What are your thoughts on tonight's game?  Is the new know your team and know your enemy better now or before?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - Jan 15th. 2015

Now it's time for the post that will have me owning CSNCA and finding Brodie Brazil before the end of the week for stealing my shtick. Its the officially unofficial, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Sharks win at home and your pal Ian is finally back to sort it all out for you my awesome readers.
The Good: Lets be honest, going into this game the Sharks had everything going for them, the Leafs had been shut out in their last 2 games they started James Reimer who before the game started was 6-7-0 with a 3.50 GAA and .902 SV% or in English has been abjectly terrible this year. The Sharks of course starting what might be their biggest home stand of the year when it comes to how much these points matter have had a bad habit of letting these games get away from them. Not tonight while they may not have started their best they played a pretty damn good game tonight. Despite Reimer probably playing his best game of the year they took the lead and never really looked back. Marleau and Nieto both got goals which was a much needed boost for both of them I can only hope that this is the beginning of a long points streak for Marleau and not just a flash in the pan. Marleau has always been streaky but I don't think anyone would mind a streak in the other direction at this point. Niemi faced significantly fewer shots than his opponent this game but was sharp, I don't like the goal he allowed but he deserves a ton of credit for this win. It was nice to see Justin Braun have a much needed rebound game as well, he has had a tough go of late but I still believe in this guy. Sharks dominated in most of your standard statistical categories all around it was a solid effort. I don't have to listen to leaf fans talk shit at me... well more than normal anyway.
The Bad: You guys know I don't like to shit on a win and I'm not going to lie in order to finish this piece I need to be a little nit picky... you have been warned. One area the Sharks dominated on the box score in the wrong way was turnovers. The sharks need to tighten this up because although Nemo was on tonight he is off more nights than not this year. Yeah maybe he is finding his groove now and I hope he is but on another night maybe he does not bail out his team like he did on a few occasions tonight. I'd argue that although he faced less shots he probably faced more difficult shots. This is not a cup winning defence in my opinion... but enough beating the dead horse.
The Ugly: The Power play went 0/3 and the last one was terrible. The Sharks have always had a problem putting a foot down on another teams throat and it's something I'd like to see change. The last power play is the perfect example of this fact as it sustained little pressure and was lucky to get the 3 ok shots it did.
Final Thoughts: This is exactly how the Sharks needed to start this home stand and I hope they can use it to string together some points. While the Sharks are sitting pretty 2 points again of Vancouver for 2nd it won't take much for the Sharks to be back in a wild card spot after next weekend. I think what we see from this home stand should let us know what kind of team we are really are and what we can truly expect once this team is in the playoffs because despite some of my negativity about the Sharks I still believe this to be a playoff team, its after they make it that I'm Grimm.
Also a reminder you can read past blogs at and if you have a question you would like answered in a Breaking It Down column please send it to, it can be about anything hockey related so don't be afraid to ask a question that's not specifically about the sharks.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Breaking It Down! - Jan 14th. 2015

On Thursday January 15th.  The Sharks will play host to the Toronto Maple Leafs and your pal Ian is going to Break It Down!!! This is your semi-regular officially unofficial game preview post that gives you some numbers that you can get on 100 different websites and my hot air opinions on things.

Know Your Team:  The Sharks (23-16-5, 51 points and 2nd in the Pacific Division as of this writing) just snapped a 2 game losing streak with a win in Arizona on Tuesday and are looking to take advantage of an Eastern Conference team playing the 2nd night of back to backs.  They are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games.  The sharks are currently alone in 2nd place in the division with the Kings (50 points) and  Canucks (49 points) in hot pursuit.  The flames (47 points)  have lost a little ground but are far from out of the picture.  All 3 teams have games in hand on the Sharks with the Kings and Flames having 1 game and the Canucks having 3. The Sharks Power Play is ranked 8th in the league at 21.1% while the Penalty Kill is ranked 15th. in the league at 81.2%.

Know Your Enemy: The Toronto Maple Leafs (22-18-3, 47 points and 6th. in the Atlantic Division) are on a one game losing streak and are set to play the Ducks later tonight. (as of this writing.)   The leafs are 3-7-0 in their last 10 games and are currently 5 points out of the last wild card spot in the eastern conference.  Their power play is ranked 10th in the league at 20.3 % and their penalty kill is ranked 12th. at 82.3%.  They are led in scoring by the much maligned Phil Kessel who has 19G, 24A and is a -8.  Kessel's line is generally centred by Tyler Bozak 14 G, 18 A, and -5 and James VanRiemsdyk 19 G, 21 A and -5.  Their leafs feature Jonathan Bernier (16-11-3, 2.67 GAA .917 SV%) who I expect to start against the Ducks meaning the Sharks may very well face James Reimer (6-7-0, 3.51 GAA and .902 SV%) if the leafs want Bernier fresh for the Kings.

Thoughts And Stuff:

For Sharks fans that think this season has been hell for us, I give you the Toronto Maple Leafs a fan base that has seen a coaching change and  been driven to becoming bi-polar by the sheer amount of over analysis that this team subjected too.  One week they are in a playoff spot and all is well and the next the sweaters are hitting the ice like its a pre-chrismas teddy bear toss in the minor leagues. What I wonder is if the leafs were in long island or buffalo how bad would we think they really are?  Don't get me wrong they are not good but with how this team is talked about sometimes you would think they are scrapping the bottom of the league fighting with Edmonton for Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel.  While the playoffs may look bleak now in a soft eastern conference a couple of wins and they are right back in contention.  Sure I don't think they are anywhere near a cup winning team they have some young pieces that should end up ok with some patience... patience who am I kidding this is Toronto.

One last thing on the leafs, as much as I actually like Bozak could you imagine that line with a true number 1 centre?

I see no reason why Niemi is not going to start this game from what I understand he was decent against the coyotes and its not a back to back for the Sharks.  I would however like to see Stalock get a few more starts in before the playoffs start It's crazy to me that he's only played 10 games this year even considering the time out for injury.  **SPECULATION BASED ON NOTHING ALERT** it makes me wonder if this is just a coach going with his veteran or if we are going to hear about additional time under the knife for Stalock when the season is up.  **END SPECULATION**

A lot of people talk about the idea of moving Pavelski back to 3rd. line and I jump on this bandwagon often enough but what about Patrick Marleau? To be fair this is something that has been kicked around by other people and usually I shrug it off as a bad idea but lets go down this road a little bit. I know its been a while since Marleau has played centre but he still has decent faceoff stats and should be able to eat what ever opponent that the 3rd line draws.  Give him some wingers with speed and this could be an actual threat.  The problem is that our top 6 in under-preforming with a couple of players dealing with the dreaded sophomore slump. While deep down I may not be a huge fan of the idea it's at least something that TMac should think about.

My Prediction: Sharks win in regulation.  This is a team that is in turmoil on the second night of a back to back, the Sharks need these 2 points, with a schedule upcoming losing this game would be a massively missed opportunity.

House Keeping: Sadly I am doubtful for a Good, Bad and Ugly after this one so the floor is open if someone wants it bad enough.  I'll confirm in the GDT closer to game time.

Also if you have any questions you would like to ask me to answer in a BID please e-mail them too, try not to ask anything time sensitive as I post these guys as I have time and I'd hate to answer your question a day late.  You can also read previous blogs by going to

I hope you enjoyed this post and I can't express enough how greatful I am for those who take the time to read it. If you have any ideas or suggestions on how to improve it please post them below.

What are your thoughts going into tomorrows game?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Breaking It Down! - Jan 12th, 2015

On Tuesday January 13th, the Sharks will travel to the desert to face the Arizona Coyotes and your pal Ian is going to Break It Down!!! BID is your officially unofficial preview post for upcoming sharks action that will be posted semi regular either they day of or day before the Sharks take to the ice.
Know Your Team: The Sharks (22-16-5, 49 pts. 3rd in the Pacific) are in the midst of a 2 game losing streak and have gone 4-5-1 in their last 10. They are in a dog fight with Canucks, Kings and Flames one of 2 non-wild card spots in the pacific as I don't think anyone is going to catch the Ducks. The Canucks have 3 games in hand on the Sharks (3 less games played) and the Kings have one. The Sharks Power Play is ranked 8th at 20.9% while their Penalty Kill is ranked 17th. at 80.7%
Know Your Enemy: The Coyotes (16-21-4, 36 pts. 6th in the Pacific) are struggling this year pretty badly and seem to have lost their identity somewhat they lost their last game and have gone 5-5-0 in their last 10 games. Usually known for a playing a stiff Dave Tippet defence, this team is currently sporting a goal differential of -39 only the Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabers have a worse differential. They are lead in scoring by 2015 All Star Oliver Ekman-Larsson and a very hot Mikkel Boedker. Despite their record they have the 6th best power play in the league converting at a 21.8% rate, their penalty kill however is dead last at 74.6%. As of this writing I don't know who will start for sure but I expect it to be Mike Smith who has an 8-5-6 Career record vs. The Sharks. Devan Dubnyk is the backup and has a career 5-6-2 record against San Jose.
Ian's Pre-Game Thoughts:
- Am I the only one that still calls them Phoenix?
- This should go without saying but even though the Sharks have no fear of being caught by the coyotes in the standings this isn't a game they should take likely nor should they give any points away.
-This is a very good power play that the Sharks should not give too many opportunities at seeing ice time.
- I'll be interested to see if the lines that TMac used last game will continue. I think being on Jumbo's wing is the best way to try and get Marleau off this rut he has been in. Facing the worst PK in the league can only help Marleau as well since that top PP line for the Sharks has been fantastic since the return of Thornton looking very deadly regardless of actual goal scoring. They will need to be much better defensively though.
- Can Karlsson stay hot? His play has been one of the few bright spots in the teams play of late.
- I expect Antti Niemi will start in goal, he has been given the lions share of work so to me it's almost a foregone conclusion at this point and frankly I don't put a ton of blame on him for the Rangers game. For those wondering Niemi is 12-4-4 against the coyotes although he did lose his last start against them.
- Also note that if there is a Good, Bad and Ugly after this game it will probably not be written by me, so to all those who wanted to try their hand at it are going to have to fight to the death for the honour... or you could rotate it on games I can't do 
- Does anyone know where I can post these on the internet? I'll always keep posting them here without a link I was thinking more for archival purposes or when someone asks about a post after its long buried.
Will the Sharks get some much needed production from their top 6?
My Prediction: This should be just what the Dr. ordered for a struggling sharks team, a non-playoff team with the worst PK in the league. Unfortunately we also know the Sharks have a bad habit of playing down to their opponent so there is that to be concerned with. That all said this is a Sharks win in regulation.
Don't forget if you have any Sharks, NHL or just hockey related questions you can send them to, don't worry about being embarrassed I won't reveal who the question is from if that is preferred.
I hope you enjoyed the first of what I hope is many Breaking It Down's to follow, any ideas or suggestions or just general feedback would be awesome.
What are your storylines and thoughts going into the next game?