Posts tagged ‘San Jose Sharks’

November 11, 2009

Power Rankings Round-Up

by Kristine

The big word in the power rankings this week is “goals.” Let’s see why…

Actual rank: 12th in league; 8th in West; 4th in Pacific.
Record: 7-4-6. L10: 4-3-3.

ESPN by Pierre LeBrun
Stars: 13 this week; 13 last week. “Marc Crawford’s group is producing goals: 3.18 per game, eighth in the NHL.
Of Note: Montreal at 19 this week; 18 last week. “Win one, lose one, win one, lose one, win one, lose one. …
My thoughts: The Stars can score… Or can they? They started off the season scoring at least four goals in almost every game, but have scored only two goals in each of their last four games. They’re not quite at the “win one, lose one, win one, lose one” pace the Habs are at (and the Stars were at most of last season), but they will be if they don’t rediscover their offensive prowess. With their next three games on the road – two of which are against Pacific teams – they need to really get their legs moving and hope that more pucks start finding the back of the net.

TSN
Stars:
14 this week; 11 last week. “Goals are suddenly at a premium in Big D, as they’ve managed eight in the last four games, after scoring 21 in the previous five. Key Injuries: LW James Neal (groin).
Of Note: San Jose at 1 this week; 1 last week. “Eight straight games without a regulation loss, the Sharks get to keep top spot for another week and the forecast gets even better now that Joe Pavelski has returned to anchor the second line. Key Injuries: D Rob Blake (shoulder), RW Devin Setoguchi (leg).
My thoughts: See? Even TSN has noticed that our goal scoring has dropped considerably lately. The Sharks are not afraid to get the puck on net, averaging 31.5 SOG/game. However, they’re also allowing 29.3 SOG/game. Maybe the biggest key for this game will be just to get the puck to the net and see what happens. The Stars do love breaking win streaks (remember the first Calgary game this season?) almost as much as they love being the underdogs.

The Hockey News by Ryan Dixon
Stars: 19 this time; 11 last time. “Brad Richards has recorded a point in every game he’s played except two this season.
Of Note: Detroit at 15 this time; 21 last time. “Speaking of banged up teams, Red Wings lose another body as Jason Williams sustains broken leg.
My thoughts: I love when we lose eight places but the comment is something positive. On the opposite side, the Wings jumped up six places but the comment is about an injury. What gives, THN? I think what they mean is “Brad Richards is recording points, but the Stars are not.” I honestly don’t have much to say about dropping so far down except that it doesn’t surprise me. One handful of less-than-stellar games and plenty of people go back to discrediting the Stars. I think they’d be sitting on top the division and people would still be waiting for them to fall.

I guess overall I’m a little frustrated. The Stars are having trouble finiding consistency, which makes it easy to forget that they’re still at a .588 point percentage for the season. Regardless, I get discouraged when I see them losing to teams they should be able to easily beat (ahem, Minnesota), and it seems like the power rankers feel the same way. They moved down 3 at TSN, 8 at THN, and somehow stayed the same at ESPN. They’re also ranked highest at ESPN (13th), and lowest at THN (19th). They play the Sharks and Coyotes before the next rankings come out, which could mean a big jump (if they beat at least one of them) or a big fall (if they lose to both). My bold prediction: They manage a win against the Sharks, but turn around and trip over Tippett’s Yotes.

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March 24, 2009

SHR +/-: 3/21/09 (DAL at SJS)

by Chelsea

Since neither of us actually saw this game (and consequentially forgot to do the +/-), if anyone would like to add something we missed, please comment. 
 

Nicklas Grossman: two for the assist; +2
Stephane Robidas: three for the goal; +3
Brendan Morrison: two for the assist; +2
Loui Eriksson: three for the goal; +3
Jere Lehtinen: because he’s awesome; +2
Steve Ott: two for the assist and one for leading in hits; +3
Marty Turco: minus-one for letting in four goals; -1
Mike Ribeiro: two for the assist, one for leading the entire team in TOI, but minus-one for stinking at faceoffs; +2

March 21, 2009

NHL Overall Team +/- Examination

by Kristine

The Stars take on the Sharks tonight, but before they do I’d just like to point something out. Everyone knows that +/- doesn’t tell the whole story. However, I think it does tell some of the story. For example, check out what you find when you compare the overall team +/- score for the top five and bottom five teams in the league, with the Stars thrown in the middle…

1. DET   +177
2. SJS   +112
3. BOS   +281
4. NJD   +218
5. WSH   +110

21. DAL   -40

26. PHX    -163
27. COL   -188
28. ATL   -93
29. TBL   -148
30. NYI   -220

Obviously a team’s overall +/- is more related to the success of the team than people may realize.

Last season the Stars ended +85 and 8th in the league. In an even more drastic change, Colorado ended +73 and 10th in the league. First place Detroit ended +235 and last place Tampa ended -148. 21st place went to the Cancucks, who finished the season with a +2. Of course, there are anomonlies, almost entirely on the negative side – the Sharks finished second in the league last season, but with a -3; the Oilers finished with a horrid -156 but managed to pull 19th place overall. However, the basic trend is that the higher in the standings a team is, the better its plus-minus is going to be, and vice versa. So is having a strong team plus-minus the key to regular season success? I don’t claim to know for sure either way, but it’s an interesting stat to take into account.

March 17, 2009

Power Rankings Round-Up

by Kristine

It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time to check out the weekly power rankings. This week, I’ll be taking a look at the playoff race in the West.

Actual rank: 18th in league; 8th in West; 2nd in Pacific.
Record: 33-28-8. L10: 4-5-1. Points: 74.

Andrew’s by Mark Stepneski
Stars: 16 this week; 18 last week. “The Stars’ top line of Steve Ott, Mike Ribeiro and Loui Eriksson are carrying the offensive load right now. Key road trip to Vancouver, Calgary and San Jose this week.”
Of Note: Detroit Red Wings at 2 this week; 3 last week. “The Red Wings are on a 3-0-1 run and have hit the 100-point mark for the ninth straight season.”
My thoughts: While the Stars have been busy fighting for that 8th seed, the Wings have been busy becoming the first team to clinch a playoff spot this season. As the standings sit as I write this, that makes them our first-round match-up. I actually feel pretty good about that. The Stars have played very well against the Wings this season, 6-1 loss at the Joe aside. Plus, Turco finally won at the Joe earlier this year, which hopefully would boost his confidence should we find ourselves facing them to kick off the post-season.

ESPN by Joy Russo
Stars: 21 this week; 21 last week. The Stars are 7-for-64 on the power play since playing their first game without Brad Richards (broken wrist) on Feb. 19.
Of Note: San Jose Sharks at 4 this week; 5 last week. “Evgeni Nabokov returns and the Sharks win two straight games.”
My thoughts: The Sharks win two straight – and become the second team to clinch a playoff spot. If the Stars keep hovering between 7th and 8th, and the Sharks and Wings keep battling it out for 1st and 2nd, chances are good that we’ll face the Sharks in the first round. This is another match-up I like. Sharks fans are already worried about their team choking in the post-season, the Stars have played hard and well against the Sharks this season (even if the scores didn’t always reflect that), and we should get a bit of a confidence boost from knowing that we”re the ones who booted the Sharks out of the playoffs last season. ESPN makes a good point about our special teams, but with Richards already doing full practices, the outlook for our PP isn’t as bleak as it seems. Richards back on the point will help that dismal 7-for-64 record a lot.

The Hockey News by Ryan Dixon
Stars: 18 this week; 22  last week. “Coach Dave Tippett may have found something putting Brendan Morrison on the right side with center Mike Modano.”
Of Note: Chicago Blackhawks at 15 this week;  10 last week. “Starting to feel like a first round playoff win will be tough, especially if they line up against Vancouver.”
My thoughts: If there’s one spot I really hope we don’t end up in, it’s the 5th seed lining up against the 4th place Hawks. I think it goes without saying that meeting them in the post-season would likely be a disaster. To be entirely honest, I hope THN is right and that Vancouver knocks them out for us so we don’t have to deal with them at all in the playoffs. THN also touches on Tippett’s movement of Morrison to Mo’s wing, something Heika talks about today on his blog. With Lehtinen on the other side, where does that leave James Neal? Him and Mo have both played their best hockey this season when on a line together, but they’ve also both found chemistry with other lines. I think our post-season success will be based largely on whatever line chemistry Tippett manages to create. Obviously Ott-Ribs-Louibot is lethal, but I’ve also liked Neal-Sutherby-Bunny and yes, Lehts-Mo-Morrison (which I’m counting based purely on the fact that even though he hasn’t actually played there yet, Lehts will improve Mo and Morrison’s chemistry because that’s what he does).

TSN
Stars: 23 this week;  22 last week. A good sign for the Stars is that LW Loui Eriksson, who was expected to see his production slip since Brad Richards’ injury, has shown he can get it done anyway, scoring 11 points in the last eight games. Key Injuries: C Brad Richards (wrist), RW Jere Lehtinen (upper body).
Of Note: Nashville Predators at 19 this week; 14 last week. “Losing three of four, to go with the No. 1 centre being sidelined, knocks the Preds down, but they are still in that playoff mix, tied for the last spot in the West. Key Injuries: C Jason Arnott (upper body).
My thoughts: TSN continues to hate the Stars, moving usdown a spot even as they compliment our leading goal-scorer. That aside, valid point. Loui is a point powerhouse for us and his consistent production is one of the key reasons we’re still in the mix despite our six-game slide. The Preds are in a similiar situation as they’ve gone 2-2-1 in their L5. They’re currently trying to swing back up with two wins in their last two games, and it’s put them at one point ahead of the Stars in the 7th seed. Add the Oilers’ 73 points to the mix, and you’ve got a real battle for the last two seeds.

What do you think? Who would you most and least want to face in the first round, and why?

February 24, 2009

Game Review – 2/23/09 (DAL vs SJS)

by Chelsea

Mostly This:

Dunno who showed up from San Jose but the team that played against Dallas for the first two periods did not look like a team who leads the league in points.

Little Bit of This: 
 


Only one goal was scored, at 7:55 in the third period by Devin Setoguchi. The Stars weren’t able to score in the 48ish minutes before and didn’t manage it in the 12 after. It wasn’t so much that the Sharks won the two points as it was Nabokov stole them from the Stars.

Too Much of This:

Injuries just to centers…

Brad Richards: 6-8 weeks with a broken wrist.

Mike Modano: day-to-day with the flu

Toby Petersen: 4+ weeks with a broken foot

Yup. Stars played over half of this game with basically two centers both working overtime. Mike Ribeiro deserves a big gold star for his efforts. Brian Sutherby… well, who would have thought how important he’d be when we picked him up? 

And Just Enough of This: 

Dallas played a disciplined game, putting the Sharks up a man only three times. During each penalty kill, everyone was moving in front of pucks to block shots or intercept passes. Sharks PP got absolutely nowhere, a big part of what kept the game scoreless for so long. 

The youth had a solid night too, when it came to stepping on special teams. Mark Fistric saw some time on the PK, and lead the team in blocked shots with four. Fabian Brunnstrom and James Neal both saw time (and good opportunities) on the power play. 

SHR +/-: 

Mike Modano: one for trying to continue his career-best consecutive games streak despite fighting the flu; +1
Toby Petersen: one sympathy point; +1
Brian Sutherby: one for leading in shots on goal; +1
Mark Fistric: one for leading in blocked shots; +1
Marty Turco: two for a stellar effort but minus-one for still letting in a sorta soft goal; +1
Joel Lundqvist: one for an overall strong game; +1
Mike Ribeiro: one for being a good top line center when the team really needed one; +1
Fabian Brunnstrom: one for being the super-determined rookie while Neal takes a slight mental vacation; +1

 

 

January 27, 2009

Game Day Update

by Kristine

Now that the excitement of the All-Star Game has died down, it’s back to business for the Stars. The biggest news of the day comes from Andrew’s, who reports that Fabian Brunnstrom will be playing a few games with the Manitoba Moose (AHL) and is expected back in the lineup this weekend at Columbus. Great news! Bunny brings a certain spark to games that we feel has been missing since he’s been out. It’s interesting that he’s being sent down for a few games when they were so adamant about not sending him down at the beginning of the season, but it will be good for him to get up to speed and get his game legs back before he returns at the NHL level. Not to mention he’ll be in good hands – the Moose are second in the entire AHL, behind only Washington’s farm team the Hershey Bears and down by only one point.

On to tonight. It’s a big game day if you look at the standings. A lot of the games involve teams we are currently battling with for that elusive 8th seed – not surprising when you consider almost the entire West is in the running for it. First up, Columbus takes on Detroit. It wouldn’t do us many favors for Detroit to win, because we play them Thursday. However, not only do we play the Blue Jackets this weekend, they’re also currently sitting one spot above us with 49 points. So they need to lose more than Detroit needs to lose. Next up, Minnesota hosts Toronto tonight. Obviously, the Leafs need to win this one. Minnesota is 9th in the West with 49 points. Later in the night, San Jose will be paying the Avalanche a visit. Even though the Sharks are in our division, we have no real hope of catching up to them; the Avalanche, however, are 12th with 47 points. The Stars, for the record, also have 47 points and have played two fewer games than the Avs, winning us the 11th spot in the West. While the Sharks and Avs fight it out, the Oilers will be taking on the Sabres. The Oil is another team battling for a playoff spot, only they’re fighting to keep theirs. They’re 6th in the West with 51 points, but 7th and 8th place Canucks and Ducks also have 51 points. A loss tonight would keep them within reach for the Stars. Finally, in the biggest lose-lose of the night, the Coyotes are hosting the Ducks at Jobing.com Arena. Both teams are in playoff seeds as it stands now. The Coyotes are 5th with 53 points and the Ducks are 8th with 51 points. If anything, it would be most beneficial to the Stars for the Coyotes to win as they are at least a little farther ahead already and thus a little harder to catch up to.

Now for the Big Ifs. If we win tonight, and if the Jackets and the Wild both lose, the Stars will be tied with them for 49 points. As we have fewer games than both of them, that would put us at 9th place, and one win out of the playoffs. Continuing hypothetically, if the teams that need to lose continue to lose, and the Stars beat Detroit on Thursday, we’ll have 51 points and fewer games than Edmonton, Vancouver, and Anaheim – landing us firmly in the 6th spot. So now that we know what needs to happen short-term for the Stars to claim their playoff seed, it’s time to tidy up your shrines and start making offerings to the hockey gods.  You can start by asking for a win tonight at the AAC. Go Stars!

December 31, 2008

Pacific SHR +/- Roundup

by Kristine

Being horribly behind, having another game tonight, and wanting to be caught up for the new year, here’s the SHR +/- for the last two games (substituting for game reviews):

12/27/08 (DAL vs ANA):
Stephane Robidas: one for leading in TOI and tying for the lead in takeaways: +1
Mike Modano: three for the goal and two for the assist; +5
Toby Petersen: two for the assist; +2
James Neal: three for the goal and two for the assist; +5
Steve Ott: two for the assist, minus-one for taking a penalty that they scored on, and one for leading the team in hits with eight; +2
Darryl Sydor: one for leading in blocked shots with four; +1
Mike Ribeiro: three for the goal, two for each assist, and one for leading in SOG; +8
Brad Richards: three for the goal, two for the assist, but minus-one for leading in giveaways; +4

12/29/08 (DAL vs SJS):
Matt Niskanen: three for the goal; +3
Mike Modano: minus-one for the team-worst +/-, but one for leading in SOG with six; +0
Steve Ott: two for leading in hits with a crazy eleven and one for winning all three of his faceoffs; +3
Marty Turco: one for effort; +1
Mike Ribeiro: minus-one for taking dumb penalties; -1

December 12, 2008

Thursday’s NHL Results

by Kristine

For a summary of the wins and losses from Thursday’s games, including team points, continue reading by clicking the link below.

read more »

November 29, 2008

Game Review – 11/28/08 (DAL vs SJS)

by Chelsea

The Good:

  • James Neal: The 21-year-old winger scored his fourth goal in the five games since he returned from playing with the Manitoba Moose. After outperforming some key veterans, he ought to have sealed his spot on the Stars roster.
  • Loui Eriksson: Netting his 11th of the season, Eriksson is now on a four-game points streak, giving him 6 points in the last five games. He now challenges Mike Ribeiro (19) and Brad Richards (19) for leading the team in points (18) as well as goals.
  • Neal + Eriksson: The five of the team’s last six goals have come from either in this pair. Combined, they have 17 of the team’s 56 goals this season.
  • Tobias Stephan: He came out onto the ice cheered on by the crowd. He stopped 10 of the 11 shots he faced during his short time in the third period, for a .909 sv% – not bad for having to clean up that mess against a team like the Sharks. You’d think he’d have earned a full game’s start with that kind of play, but Tippett’s determined to hang his hat on Turco. Nonetheless, we’re still proud of Stephan and his quick glove saves.
  • Stars Promotional Yearbook: Free things and goofy baby pictures are a nice way to avoid thinking about the 6-2 loss you were just handed.

The Bad:

  • Half of our defense: Niskanen with a sloppy turnover. Niskanen and Grossman ending the game with team-worst -2. Zubov possibly injured. Someone needs to step up or this situation will just continue getting worse.
  • Special teams: The PP is 0-21 in the last four games. 1/3 of the Sharks goals were PPG. If the defense and goaltending is going to continue rolling downhill, then someone needs to learn to score on the power play. One of these being bad is hard enough to recover from, but both PK and PP? They can’t count on blind luck every night.
  • Marty Turco: He’s comfy. He’s unmotivated. He’s unfocused. He’s letting in 5 goals on 19 shots. We could probably score on him at this point, blindfolded, one-handed, while eating pie. Why doesn’t he get bench time? It’s worked before, and it will work again. Since when did the Stars become The Marty Turco Project? He’s had every chance to play through this slump and he’s wasted them all. No team can be motivated to win if they can’t count on their goaltender giving them any sort of chance.
  • 6 Sharks Goals: Few things sting like providing your rival with a night of fun stat-boosting.

The Ugly:


SHR +/-:

Nicklas Grossman: minus-one for subpar defense; -1
Stephane Robidas: one for logging the most TOI and still having the best +/- on the team; +1
Matt Niskanen: minus-one for subpar defense; -1
James Neal: three for the goal and one pity point for how sad he looked right after; +4
Loui Eriksson: three for the goal; +3
Landon Wilson: minus-one for getting yet another stupid penalty; -1
Tobias Stephan: two for trying to clean up Turco’s mess, one for doing such a good job of it, and one for being shockingly fast on that delayed penalty; +4
Marty Turco: minus-three for hitting rock bottom in a 20+ game slump; -3
Mark Parrish: two for the assist; +2
Mike Ribeiro: two for the assist; +2
Brad Richards: two for the assist; +2

November 9, 2008

Game Review – 11/08/08 (DAL at SJS)

by Chelsea

Game:

After their win against the Anaheim Ducks, the Stars looked to collect back-to-back wins against the San Jose Sharks last night. Initially, the channel that had planned to broadcast the game chose to air college football instead, but we joined the game in progress only a few minutes into the first.

The first period started like most Sharks games- there was lots of hitting on both sides. Steve Ott, Mike Ribeiro, and Sean Avery all got solid hits in. It only took five minutes for the gloves to come off, when BJ Crombeen took on Sharks heavyweight Ryane Clowe. It was a pretty even fight, ended with BJ half out of his jersey and a solid punch that knocked Clowe spinning to to the ice. Both got 5 for fighting.

Brenden Morrow has said multiple times that he’d like to see the Stars play 60 minutes every game with a one-nothing mentality. I’m not sure he meant it quite so literally.

At 7:013, San Jose defenseman Dan Boyle beat Turco’s glove hand to put the game at 1-0 for the Sharks.


This goal was really just a product of the Stars being outskated and unable to keep up with the determined Sharks, who were undeniably out for a little payback. Like the Ducks, we punted them from the playoffs last spring, and this was our first meeting this season.

The pressure worsened when Sean Avery took a sloppy penalty for cross checking. The Stars successfully killed off the penalty, and got on a power play of their own twelve minutes in when Christian Ehrhoff got a minor for hi-sticking. They did not manage to score, however.

For awhile, nothing happened besides the Stars getting physically trampled. The period ended on a Sharks PP when Avery took his second sloppy minor, this time for slashing.

Because Avery got his penalty at 18:20 in the first, the second period started with Sharks momentum as they had immediate power play time. The period continued with both teams trading possession, hits, and shots on goal.

Fabian Brunnstrom got a little payback for some big hits on Stars with a smashing hit on Ehrhoff that sent him sliding to the boards.

Stars momentum was given another boost when the Sharks took a penalty for having too many men on the ice, but they still didn’t manage to convert that advantage to points.

Brenden Morrow further secured his lead at the top of the “most minor penalties in the league” chart with a 2 minute tripping.

Thanks to the heroic goaltending of Marty Turco, the Stars stuck in the game behind only by one.

At 12:04, Joe Thorton and his Sharks bully buddy came together to sandwich Nicklas Grossman into the boards. He came out a little wobbly with a bloodied nose, and Thorton took two minutes for boarding.

Also in the end of the second, also from Joe Thorton, was a nasty hi-stick to Ribeiro off the faceoff that was not called. Let me emphasize. Faceoff, official there dropping the puck, Thorton smack Ribeiro in the face. Ribeiro falls to his knees at the feet of the official. It does not get called. Ugh. Ribs was alright though, aside from the steaming anger that threatened to erupt onto the ice.

Things improved towards the end of the second for Dallas, though, with Sean Avery and Mike Modano getting a handful of good shots on goal, giving Sharks backup goalie Brian Boucher his first real challenge of the night.

Second intermission, I believe, had Modano explaining that they had all the right ideas in the locker room, but their brains switched off somewhere between there and the ice.

Third period had the Stars still with a strong jump that they’d built in the end of the second. Their hard work would pay off with a little help with Loui Eriksson. If you remember, he had spent most of the Ducks game pushing and hustling towards the goal, with no points to show for it. He brought that same hustle out in the third, and this time it showed in numbers.

Eriksson started the play by claiming the puck from the corner of the Sharks defensive zone and sending it to a centered Ott. Ott’s shot ricocheted off past the net to the boards, and Eriksson came from the side to shovel the puck in behind Boucher.


His goal tied the game at 1-1, which threw both teams into tiebreaker frantic mode with fifteen minutes left in regulation.

The only penalty of the period came shortly after, when Jeremy Roenick got a minor for tripping. The Stars almost came out ahead when a shot from Brad Richards nearly produced another tip in, this time from Brenden Morrow. Boucher had learned from his mistake, however, and this time the attempt was blocked.

Unfortunately, as the third wore on, the Sharks picked up the pace once again. In comparison, the Stars did not seem to want the win nearly as much. Both teams continued exchanging shots and blows in a very tense final ten minutes.

It was Marty Turco, who had so fantastically held the Stars in the game, who would prove to be their undoing in the end. In attempt to handle the puck, Turco hesitated and accidentally sent it into Patrick Marleau’s skates instead of clearing it or sending it to the corner. Marleau did not hesitate to capitalize on Turco’s mistake, sweeping by and putting the puck in the net with 20 seconds left on the clock.

The game ended 2-1 Sharks, and the Stars were left without a point to show for their effort.

Notes:

  • The three game stars all went to Sharks.
  • Turco’s play in the game lowered his season GAA to 3.93 and raised his sv% to .858. He blocked 31 in 33 shots.
  • The Stars were outshot 24-33 in the game. They were also outhit 43-21.
  • Sergei Zubov led the team again in TOI, with 24 minutes.
  • Brad Richards led in SOG, but left the game -2 in +/-
  • Conclusion: Though we left without a point, the Stars managed to pull together a game that showed a more cohesive effort than they’d had most of the season, giving two consecutive solid efforts for the first time.
  • Conclusion metaphor: All season, the Stars had been out on a lake with a boat, paddles, and people but all floating freely. Now we’ve got the people in the boat with the paddles, and its just a matter of getting them to row in sync.

SHR +/-:

Nicklas Grossman: one pity point for how sad he looked when he got a bloody nose; +1
Stephane Robidas: one for covering all his bases (shooting, blocking, hitting); +1
Matt Niskanen: minus-two for  having nothing but giveaways; -2
Trevor Daley: two for leading the team in blocked shots; +2
Mike Modano: one for leading the team in takeaways; +1
Sean Avery: minus-one for the stupid penalties and minus-two for meeting Niskanen in giveaways; -3
Loui Eriksson: three for the goal and one for effort; +4
Steve Ott: two for the assist and one for effort; +3
Marty Turco: three for being Turco again and holding us in the game, but minus-one for his slipup; +2
BJ Crombeen: two for the fight and one for winning it; +3
Mike Ribeiro: one for manning up after the hi-sticking by verbally mauling Thorton; +1
Brad Richards: one for effort; +1