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Pleasant Surprise and Biggest Letdown so far this year.

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Old
02-06-2014, 05:22 PM
  #51
hockeyball
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Originally Posted by SJGoalie32 View Post
Fatigue, yes. A lack of confidence in their goalie, I'm not sold on that.

In the first 8 games of the season the Sharks scored 4 or more goals in regulation six times, three of those times scoring 6 or better. They've only had six 4+ goal games over the last 2 months, with only one 6-goal game since mid-October.

When you're scoring 4+ goals in 75% of your games, goaltending becomes almost irrelevant (aka: "The 2010 Chicago Blackhawks Championship Story"). Goaltending confidence isn't why they were averaging nearly 4 goals the entire 1st month of the season, and I don't think the lack of confidence adequately explains why their scoring rate suddenly dropped more than a goal per game in the months since.

The Sharks have mustered just 8 goals (in regulation) over their last 8 games, have been held to less than 30 shots on goal 4 times in that span, and that has resulted in just 1 regulation victory.

Niemi hasn't been stellar of late, but Niemi (or confidence in him) hasn't been the major issue. Heck, Stalock started 3 of those games, and played in a fourth. Their combined GAA over the last 8 games (discounting for empty netters) is sub-2.00. That's pretty good. The problem is, the Sharks offensive production has been sub-1.00.



Definitely agree with the need for rest, I definitely want Stalock to get more playing time, and I would certainly never say no to Niemi regaining his form from last year. But from a larger perspective, if the Sharks can go back to scoring 3.8-4+ goals per game instead of 1, it really makes no difference if Niemi's GAA is closer to 2.60 than 2.20.
My point is specifically that the offensive production is a direct result of over conservative play because of a low confidence level in the goalie (either goalie, for different reasons)

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02-06-2014, 05:36 PM
  #52
CanadianSharks
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Originally Posted by Posey View Post
Why would couture be a let down? 35 points in 43 games and had a stretch where nothing would go in. Plus he was playing with an injured hand for awhile and still manage to go on a little streak before going on ir. Also doesn't he face the toughest competition on the Sharks.?
I have really, really high expectations for Couture.

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02-06-2014, 05:38 PM
  #53
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Originally Posted by hockeyball View Post
My point is specifically that the offensive production is a direct result of over conservative play because of a low confidence level in the goalie (either goalie, for different reasons)
Or it could due to losing 2 great goal scorers, and the overall effect that had on our forward depth.

Which seems more likely as a direct cause & effect on goal scoring...

A) Your theory of "over conservative play because of a low confidence level in the goalie"

B) Losing #48 and #39, and replacing them with the likes of Kearns, Brown, Havlat, and Hayes

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02-06-2014, 05:40 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by FSS View Post
Or it could due to losing 2 great goal scorers, and the overall effect that had on our forward depth.

Which seems more likely as a direct cause & effect on goal scoring...

A) Your theory of "over conservative play because of a low confidence level in the goalie"

B) Losing #48 and #39, and replacing them with the likes of Kearns, Brown, Havlat, and Hayes
No one is denying those are also contributing factors, they certainly are, but I'm just saying the goaltending is also a contributing factor, one that won't be solved by people getting healthy. It's really up to the two goalies and the coaches to fix that issue.

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02-06-2014, 05:45 PM
  #55
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We're 4th in the league in GAA, I'm not seeing any emperical evidence on how goaltending, regardless of it being Neimi or Stalock, is an issue.

Also, my opinion is that quite a few goals usually seem to come as a directly result of shotty defensive play both physically and mentally - A recent example is the 3rd period of the Philly game.

(I'm not intending to come off as an ass here, but after reading the last two posts of mine...yeah. I just think it's a fairly simple & obvious answer, we have no goal scoring depth, the D & G is not the issue)

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02-06-2014, 06:53 PM
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSS View Post
We're 4th in the league in GAA, I'm not seeing any emperical evidence on how goaltending, regardless of it being Neimi or Stalock, is an issue.

Also, my opinion is that quite a few goals usually seem to come as a directly result of shotty defensive play both physically and mentally - A recent example is the 3rd period of the Philly game.

(I'm not intending to come off as an ass here, but after reading the last two posts of mine...yeah. I just think it's a fairly simple & obvious answer, we have no goal scoring depth, the D & G is not the issue)
Currently, the team's issue stems from their blue line. Not because they can't play defense but because they aren't moving the puck well. Without Demers in the lineup, they don't have anyone playing that is proficient in puck play. Boyle used to be but he is horrendous this year. The other guys do it in flashes, some more than others.

Certainly, not having Couture and Hertl contributes to the issue but to me it starts with the breakout and they're not doing it well enough to keep up offensive consistency.

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Old
02-06-2014, 07:30 PM
  #57
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Burish on ir to start the year. Injuries

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02-06-2014, 08:38 PM
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Posey View Post
Why would couture be a let down? 35 points in 43 games and had a stretch where nothing would go in. Plus he was playing with an injured hand for awhile and still manage to go on a little streak before going on ir. Also doesn't he face the toughest competition on the Sharks.?
Not just the Sharks, the toughest competition in the entire league! http://www.extraskater.com/

From that standpoint couture is really an incredible player and there is no way in hell this season can be considered, even with the slump, a letdown. Unless you consider the injury a letdown.

Just thought I'd pump logan's tires a bit, not that he needs it.

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02-06-2014, 08:51 PM
  #59
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Originally Posted by SJGoalie32 View Post
I noticed the drop in the up-tempo style of play, too.

Just spitballing here.....but I wonder if the injuries and fatigue have contributed seriously to that decline.

I know you evidenced that the Sharks haven't had to dip below their 7th defender, but injuries that hinder a player can still have an effect even if they aren't serious enough to remove that player from the line up. If half of your defensemen are 15+% slower in January than they were in October (due to a combination of injury, fatigue, or both, with no opportunity for recovery) that slows your game down and necessarily forces a change in your playing style. I know other teams battle injuries and fatigue, too, but if they only suffer a 5-10% drop-off.....

Boyle, Stuart, and Hannan are all on the older side, Vlasic is heading off to Sochi, and many of the other key skaters getting a lot of ice time aren't exactly spring chickens either. October and November might have been fine for that style, but those guys probably couldn't keep that pace going every other day for 4 straight months.

Hopefully they revive it in March.....or perhaps can keep their legs fresh enough to really play to that level in April/May. But right now, they look a bit like a team in need of a lengthy pit stop.
Possibly. I have seen it where they keep all 5 deep. At that point, middle exit is the only fast way. Up the boards ends up in battles all the way to the other blueline if all 5 are deep. I have noticed that the Sharks have cut middle exits. That seems like coaching. Middle exits are almost always faster.

I have seen Chicago lately. They still try fast middle a lot. Unfortunately for them, they are getting caught a lot. And, they frequently end with their pants around their ankles. Is the opposition defense figuring a better scheme? Is Sharks coaching alert to the scheme? Are they trying to figure an alternative?

The only negative I have seen is the Vlasic/Boyle combo. Vlasic was very fast, but he is deferring to Boyle so that hurts Vlasic's ability to generate fast. Hannan is actually pretty good on fast. Some hesitation on controlling the puck but he moves quickly. Unfortunately, he isn't the best with saucer passes. Boyle delays, Stuart delays. Irwin is quick once he has the puck, but is so slow to the puck that he rarely gets it out quick in the overall scheme. Braun and Vlasic are usually the quickest to control and select their target, better than Demers.

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02-06-2014, 09:01 PM
  #60
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Yes, Braun has that really quick pass. Really useful to have players like that.

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02-06-2014, 10:14 PM
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phu View Post
Not just the Sharks, the toughest competition in the entire league! http://www.extraskater.com/

From that standpoint couture is really an incredible player and there is no way in hell this season can be considered, even with the slump, a letdown. Unless you consider the injury a letdown.

Just thought I'd pump logan's tires a bit, not that he needs it.
I'm hoping he goes on a tear after the break. No way he can stay this unlucky and keep hitting a billion posts.

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02-07-2014, 03:51 PM
  #62
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Originally Posted by Pinkfloyd View Post
Currently, the team's issue stems from their blue line. Not because they can't play defense but because they aren't moving the puck well. Without Demers in the lineup, they don't have anyone playing that is proficient in puck play. Boyle used to be but he is horrendous this year. The other guys do it in flashes, some more than others.

Certainly, not having Couture and Hertl contributes to the issue but to me it starts with the breakout and they're not doing it well enough to keep up offensive consistency.
I would agree that's certainly a factor, no doubt about it. Boyle has regressed this year (and has been injured), and we are just lacking a quality PMD right now. With how Burns has played at F lately (I seriously wonder if he's healthy or injured), and our lack of PMD, I'd consider putting him back at D after the Olympic break when Couture & Torres return (especially if we are not going to trade for a PMD). That would hurt though, because what Burns brings as a as a wrecking ball forechecker is extremely valuable to this team.

Bottom line for me, if there's to be a trade made this year, make it for a PMD...and pray Hertl is healthy for a playoff run. Even if Hertl doesn't come back, get a PMD, and with the re-additions of Couture, Torres, and Burish...I like our chances for a deep playoff run.

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