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02-19-2013, 06:27 PM
  #43
Rem
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeyball View Post
The teams problems is not personnel related. Aside from Clowe no one is actively dragging the team down, and one 'problem' player is a good problem to have frankly (many teams have a bunch). I won't go into the coaching speal, but besides strategy the sharks are struggling with a couple issues.

1) Confidence. Watch tonight, there is hesitation in every play. Why? Because everyone is nervous about screwing up, or the person they are passing to screwing up, so they are squeezing their stick way too tight and hesitating on plays. Even a momentary hesitation in a league as fast the NHL = dead play. No one trusts anyone else, or themselves. This is the biggest difference from the first 5 games till now. Why is there no confidence and how do they get it back is a much tougher question.

2) Misscomunication. Everyone seems to be playing from a different playbook. When you see a guy make a pass to the slot, or a point, and go "THERE IS NO ON THERE WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT!" half the time it's because someone was SUPPOSED to be there, but got confused. Players seem to be attempting to execute set plays, but different plays. I'm not sure what's going on here, I'm sure practice time plays a part, but the result is basically a bunch of guys who don't know what is going on at any given moment hoping to chance into a scoring opportunity instead of creating one.

3) Lack of offense from the defense. Besides Boyle no one is contributing offensively from the blue line. Too many blocked shots (hesitation plays a big part in that), too much passing, etc. Sharks need to start bombing the puck from the point while maintaining lateral movement. Standing in one spot and taking a shot from the blue line is tantamount to giving the puck away.

4) Maybe the absolute biggest issue, players are not skating. I don't mean they are lazy, but I think all the above problems are contributing to a reluctance to skate hard on bad plays. When a puck ends up behind them, instead of cutting hard and skating back they tend to looptly loo around and lackadaisically try to find it. It's like they need to have an eye on the puck before it's worth skating hard. Essentially they are trying react, instead of act, and it's putting them behind the play.

I honestly don't think team speed is a major problem for the Sharks anymore, they have plenty of skaters, they are suffering from a fundamental lack of purpose as a team. They don't know at any given moment what they are supposed to be doing. And frankly, while I said I would avoid it, that is a coaching problem.
All great points, but I believe the biggest difference between the first 5 games and now isn't the sharks and more that the other teams got their legs. Which coincides to us not skating. We're just a big, slow team. Pavelski is slower than ever. Marleau still only puts it on sometimes (usually for a solid chance, so I'll let that slide). JT is just slow, but he tries. Clowe is clowe. Couture looks like he's skating better, but he's still has a bad stride. Zues has surprised me the most this season. He's skating faster than 90% of the top 6. Very surprised.

I'd like to elaborate on some of this. We used to own the O-zone corners. Now, we get owned. Teams know to just pressure our guys hard and stay tight taking their lanes and we're totally ineffective. There's no room in the slot at all, and when our D isn't firing at the net we get no chances.

Bleh...I know it pains people to hear other fans say this but I'm ready to dump a good portion of our talent for low picks and/or high level prospects and get this team young and fast again.

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