Thursday, 14 February 2008

Those Uncanny San Jose Sharks

by Jes

I have to admit that I don't follow the San Jose Sharks as much as I do some of the other Western Conference powerhouses. Besides the fact that their uniforms are hard to look at for more than three minutes straight, the Sharks play the most boring style of hockey outside of Jacque Lemaire's wet dreams.

So, after looking at some of the stats for the San Jose Sharks, I am quite amazed that they sit pretty with a 31-17-8 record. While I admit the Sharks have a lot of talent, their individual player stats suggest a team that ought to be losing a lot more games than they should.

Consider that ...

1. The Sharks have ZERO 20-goal scorers. That's right. After 56 games, Milan Michalek is their top sniper with 19. One goal every three games hardly screams TOP SCORER!

2. Patrick Marleau seems to have picked up a Gary Sheffield-like sulk, and is doing his best to suck with just 28 points and a god-awful -21 this season. Maybe he figures he can win the NHL's first ever Least Valuable Player award.

3. Evgeni Nabokov has a rather mediocre 90.9SV%. Not bad at all, but certainly not that good.

4. Craig Rivet (!) is their top scoring defenseman with 27 points. If Rivet leads your D core in scoring, something is wrong.

5. Jonathan Cheechoo ... is he hockey's version of Brady Anderson, the guy who once hit 50 HRs, and never came close to that total ever again? D00d is on pace for about 20 goals this season, and has been about as effective as ColdFX.

One of these things is not like the other ...

Year Team GP G A Pts

2003-04 SJ 81 28 19 47

2005-06 SJ 82 56 37 93

2006-07 SJ 76 37 32 69

2007-08 SJ 49 14 9 23

So, I asked Mike Chen, a blogging Sharks fan, for a few choice words.

1. Why are the Sharks doing so well?
Nabokov is playing the best hockey of his career, and by and large, the team's bought into Ron Wilson's defensive scheme so that they've got a pretty extraordinary goals-against.

The problem is I think they're scared shitless of Wilson because he's kind of a snarky asshole and the team's made up of a bunch of wussy nice guys. their defense is great until the pressure's on against top teams or key moments. Then it's one bonehead play and they lose their confidence.

2. What's up with Patrick Marleau?
Patrick Marleau's got his head up his ass. He's not using his speed all the time, he's making bonehead passes, and what's most irritating is that he has games where he completely dominates, then he falls apart the next game...

People in the organization say that he's finally mended fences with R Wilson, but he's kind of dug himself such a hole that he has no confidence right now.

3. Does Jon Cheechoo = Brady Anderson?
Cheechoo isn't Brady Anderson. He had injuries on and off last year, and 37 goals is still pretty darn good by my account.

As for this season, if you consider he had double-sports hernia surgery and couldn't train over the summer, he was basically four months behind everyone, so consider the first four months of the season like his off-season condition/training camp/preseason.

if you're going by that and looking at his play since Jan 1, he's basically doing what we expected. He's got about 30 games left in the season and should finish with 25-30 goals. Considering his conditioning, leg strength, and timing were all out of whack from his surgery for the first half the season, that's still pretty remarkable.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home