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02-04-2013, 12:40 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: San Jose
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They need guys who can hang onto the puck on the bottom lines. Galliardi, Sheppard and Handzus can't do anything because they are being outskated in the o-zone. Wingels is an F1/sniper, he isn't getting shots because they can't hang onto the puck. Desi was lost as a winger but can hang onto the disk a bit. It isn't just the lack of scoring, it is the possession in the o-zone issue which is killing them making the top lines go 200 feet to get their chances. The whole setup is self fulfilling on not scoring as TM is getting the bottom lines off the ice as soon as they get their rare possession chances. The bottom lines are being severly outshot. Part of the issue is speed as it isn't hard for the opponents to outrace our bottom guys for the puck.

Sheppard looked OK, not great, with Couture. Havlat with Handzus gave that line someone who could hang with the puck. Gomez can hang a little but it looks like he has almost no chemistry with his linemates.

I don't think turning over players will solve the issue. One guy won't fix the problem. It has been the same issue for ages as to who impresses DW (speed and dangle aren't high on his agenda), what TM (or whatever coach) does with the personnel and the quality of the top lines compensating for the issue and disguising the magnitude of the problem. One guy who has the skills to drive possession is a guy the Sharks cast aside, Goc.

They also have an issue with transition from defense to offense which just pushes the skill issue on the bottom lines. The lack of emphasis on puck skills on the backend is a killer that contributes to the problem. (Don't emphasize playing it safe; aggressively work on outlets and accept risks.)

I hope the Sharks aren't getting more conservative with their defensive philosophy to address the issue as that would be a final nail in the coffin for any cup hopes that they might have.

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