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Archive for March, 2009

Hoops Quickies

Posted by davefowkes on 03/31/2009

A bit late to react to the weekend’s basketball but what the heck!

— Count me as one that thinks the Pittsburgh Villanova game was a great one. But part of the greatness of the finish was rewarding stupidity. As great as that final drive and bucket was by Scottie Reynolds, how horrible was the baseball pass turnover only amplified by the mid-court foul. Dumb! Yet Villanova moves on!

–North Carolina looks awfully good! I really thought Oklahoma would put up a better fight, but the Tar Heels dominated early and never let up. Ty Lawson is the man! The Heels are long gone in this tournament if he does not play through his toe pain.

–Big props to Michigan State. I am real down on the Big Ten, but they did have one good team in that league and they are on the way to the Final Four. Louisville could never get in rhythm. The Spartans forced that by dominating on the offensive boards the middle 10 minutes of the 2nd half when they made their run. Very impressive.

–Turning point in the Louisville/MSU game: The Cardinal came out strong after halftime and took a two point lead. They forced a turnover and began to run. I started to think, this was the time they would finally open it up. Instead the long outlet pass was overthrown, Michigan got the ball, quickly returned the ball up court for a quick shot and foul. Momentum was turned, Louisville fell apart and the Spartans never looked back.

–Did not see UConn/Missouri but the game sounded similar to what I expected.

–I think Villanova is capable of giving UNC a run for their money. Their style of play could match up well and and upset would not be surprising to me. That said, I picked UNC day one, I am not backing down on that prediction. Expect a lot of points in this one though!

–It has been a great run for MSU, but UConn can rebound with them. I look for a double digit win for the Huskies!

–John Calipari to Kentucky is a no-brainer. Pitino Jr will continue to follow in his idle’s shoes. How do you say no to Kentucky and all that money? It has been a great run at Memphis but Calipari won’t get the respect until he wins at a top school in a BCS conference.

–Speaking of Pitino, there is NO way that Rick Pitino takes the Arizona job. Despite all the rumors, Arizona is on a down cycle thanks to poor recruiting, while Louisville has invested a ton of money in the facilities and are competing at a high lever with another great recruiting class on the way.

–I look for Arizona to make a big west coast splash. Mark Few of Gonzaga or Randy Bennett of St. Mary’s would be what I would expect.

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Do The Giants Have Pitching?

Posted by davefowkes on 03/29/2009

The Giants have three pitchers with Cy Young Awards, they have a combination of youth and experience, and they have the potential to rank as a top 3 rotation in the Major Leagues this year. All the talk surrounding the Giants tends to revolve around the lineup and who will drive in the runs. It is almost a given that the Giants rotation will be good. But will it? It certainly could, but I see a lot of potential land mines along the way. Let’s break it down by pitcher:

Tim Lincecum: Defending Cy Young champ. Sky is the limit for this guy. The only long term question seems to be will his small body take the beating of pitching over the years. Their is a potential for a Cy Young hangover, but Lincecum is the one guy I don’t question on this staff.

Matt Cain: He has been snake bit by lack of run support throughout his career. He has a great arm, but if he does not put it together this year he may just need a change of scenery. We can make excuses all we want but at some point Cain has to win games, whether he gets the run support or not. Last year he seemed to be dominant in 1-0 losses and then not so good in 8-6 losses. Either way he would get the loss! Is he that good?

Jonathan Sanchez: I actually like Sanchez’s potential. But last year was his first as a starter. He showed promise but was very inconsistent over the course of the year. If he improves he could easily slide in behind Lincecum as a great #2 pitcher. But if he can not master the game, he will drive Giants fans crazy with his inconsistency.

Randy Johnson: Old, old, old. Johnson was a nice pickup. He has some arm left. But at 45-years old how many starts do the Giants really expect to get out of him? And how successful will he be? Johnson has the feel of a 10-10 pitcher or thereabouts. And again, that is if his back can survive.

Barry Zito: Then there is the always fun Zito. I still like him from his A’s years, but the reality is that his fastball is clocking out about as fast as a Tim Wakefield knuckleball. I would love to see the return of the old Zito, but until proven otherwise, Zito will try to cling to a spot in the rotation.

Noah Lowry: How will he be when he returns from injury? You can certainly imagine him being in the rotation for an injured Johnson or bad Zito when he does return, but what will his game look like coming off a major surgery?

On paper the Giants have a great spring rotation. Lots of hope and potential, but when they start throwing for real in April, I wonder if the Giants problems will just be limited to their lineup. If the rotation struggles, the team is toast! Let’s hope for Giants fans that this is all about nothing, Lincecum is just like last year, Cain gets over the hump, Sanchez dominates, Johnson stays healthy, and Zito finds his rhythm. The Giants will win a lot of games that way! But I just wonder if all five of those things can really happen!

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Bye Bye Duchsherer

Posted by davefowkes on 03/27/2009

I am certainly not surprised but it is definitely disappointing. Susan Slusser of the Chronicle is reporting that Justin Duchsherer is going to have arthroscopic surgery on his injured elbow and that will likely cost him at least the month of April. With that, the Oakland A’s lose their best starting pitcher and probably get a lot younger in the starting rotation.

Duchsherer has been battling injury for nearly his whole career. He could be considered the pitching version of Eric Chavez in my book. Great if he is out there (okay so great may be a strong work for Chavez) but they can not get him out there enough. This spring he has battled an elbow injury. Every couple of weeks he would go out and give it another try only to fall short again. This week he tried a minor league game but had to shut it down early because of soreness. So now it is time to go under the knife and see if they can figure out what the problem is.

Hopefully for Duchsherer and the A’s it is just scar tissue, or swelling, or something easily fixed. But if doctors find something worse, well let’s just say that would be trouble!

So where does this leave the A’s? It appears Dallas Braden will make the opening night start. Braden was a top prospect a couple of years ago but in two years of bouncing between Sacramento and Oakland he has yet to establish himself. He brings six career wins with him to the mound. Dana Eveland and Sean Gallagher will be the next two pitchers. Eveland showed flashes of something last year, but his inconsistency cost him by the end of the year. Gallagher came over from the Cubs in the Rich Harden trade but did not distinguish himself. Between the two of them they have 16 career wins.

With neither Josh Outman nor Edgar Gonzalez establishing themselves and Gio Gonzalez missing time due to injury, it is looking more and more like top prospects Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill will make their major league debuts. It would be a shock if Anderson did not, Cahill seems to be a little more of a question mark.

There is a TON of potential in that rotation, but it really is a scary starting five for a team that is hoping to contend in the AL West. The A’s spent money and upgraded their offense in the off season, but now they find themselves very unknowing when it comes to pitching. If the hyp is the real deal, the A’s will soar! But when was the last time five young pitchers all hit their hype!

Duchsherer is a very good pitcher when healthy but given last year’s struggles, it was a big gamble of the A’s to not bring in a veteran pitcher to help anchor the squad. So for now, it appears the A’s will send out one of the youngest rotations in the Major Leagues, and let’s see what happens! It should be fun to see the youngsters for the first month, but without success, it could get ugly early!

A’s note:  The A’s also added a couple of catchers today. Just adding depth, probably nothing that actually affects the opening day lineup. Here is the story:  http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/athletics/detail?blogid=21&entry_id=37624

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Signing Smith Changes Everything

Posted by davefowkes on 03/27/2009

Matt Maiocco is reporting that the San Francisco 49ers have officially signed Tackle Marvel Smith. The former ASU standout and long time Pittsburgh Steeler gets a two year deal. In a related move, the 49ers released tackle Jonas Jennings.

I look at this signing like they replaced one Jonas Jennings with another. I’ll keep the brief since I discussed it earlier in the week, but the 49ers big issue with their big free agent splash with Jennings was he could not stay on the field because of injury. So now they bring in Smith who has missed good portions of the last two seasons with a back injury! Now it sounds like the contract is a smart one, it reportedly pays Smith upt $10-million if he plays and reaches his potential but if his back flares up, it costs the 49ers little.

With the quality of tackle in the NFL draft I really thought the 49ers should use the 10th pick on a tackle and pair him with Joe Staley for the next 10 years. I guess that dream is over! So now as we turn our gaze toward next month’s draft, it seems pretty clear the 49ers will go in a different direction.

I am very hopeful they will NOT pull the trigger on a quarterback. They have already done that and with a stagnant offense ready to take the field, why waste the money at the position? So where do the 49ers go? They could hope one of the two wide receivers drop to them. Anyone looking for excitement would love to see Michael Crabtree or Jeremy Maclin drop to the 49ers at #10. My hunch is they are both gone by the 49ers pick, but I’d like to see either with the 49ers next year.

More likely the 49ers will turn their attention to defense. They need help at safety but I don’t see a safety ready to go at #10.  So I am thinking that barring a trade, the 49ers end up going with a defensive lineman. Not a bad play. The 49ers certainly could use help there. It won’t be a flashy name but maybe it can be somebody to play opposite Justin Smith.

One wildcard for a former linebacker like Mike Singletary: How about drafting Ray Maualuga out of USC?  He could replace Takeo Spikes in a year or two and match with Patrick Willis for the next 10 years? It certainly sounds good. But as of today my money still goes to one of the many defensive linemen ranked high in the draft.

Marvel Smith is a nice player and if healthy it will turn into a good signing, but the health is a big question mark. I would have gone a different way, but now that Smith is a 49er, it is the 49ers who will be going a different direction. I hope it works out for them!

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49ers Should Pass On Smith, Draft A Tackle!

Posted by davefowkes on 03/25/2009

The 49ers should draft a right tackle in the first round of the NFL draft rather then spend a lot of money on Marvel Smith. Nothing against Smith who has been a good tackle for the Steelers, but does this signing not sound like replacing one Jonas Jennings with another?

Matt Maiocco is reporting that talks between Smith and the 49ers are heating up. Smith has put in some good service but he has played just 17

Marvel Smith

Marvel Smith

games the last two seasons because of a back injury. We are not talking about a pulled muscle, or twisted leg, we are talking about a back injury on a lineman! Does that say red flag to someone in Ninerland?

The 49ers first big free agent purchase in the Nolan/York era was a left tackle Jonas Jennings from Buffalo. When healthy he was adequate at best, but he was never healthy which eventually led to his undoing.

If there were no other options I would argue signing Smith is a good idea, but if you look to the NFL draft, the first round is heavy with solid tackle prospects. In fact many have Jason Smith out of Baylor going to Detroit with the number one overall pick. Michael Oher, Eugene Monroe and Andre Smith are all first round prospects the 49ers should be looking at with the #10 overall pick. The likelihood is that two of them could still be on the board. How would the line look with Joe Staley on the left side and one of these rookies on the right side for the next 10-years?

Joe Staley

Joe Staley

Bringing in the 31-year old Smith is just replacing one injury risk with another in my opinion. If healthy, Smith is a very good tackle that will help. But why take the chance when you have such potential for the first round pick?

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Let’s Play 18?

Posted by davefowkes on 03/25/2009

For years we have heard the whispers but now it looks like we may be getting close to an 18-game NFL regular season. So say the rumors from the NFL owners meetings in Southern California this week. Owners are interested in expanding the season and if they can get the players union on board, there could be a vote in May on the topic, with an 18-game season starting in 2011.NFL Logo

The idea of more football is very appealing to me, but in the end I think we need to leave things just as they are! I am a football-aholic, so more football is great! The possibility of getting rid of two preseason games in exchange is even better! I like the idea of the Super Bowl on Presidents Day weekend, it gets me that much closer to March Madness! Two extra weeks of fantasy football, who would not want that!

There are clearly a lot of benefits to the longer season, but in the end I come down against it because I believe it would end up compromising the level of play in the long run!

Look at all the injuries now. Football is a violent game. Even those that don’t count as walking wounded by the end of a season are certainly banged up and not playing their best at the end as it is now. Adding two more games? To counteract that the NFL would have to expand roster sizes, but that just dilutes the talent pool. Two extra games just gives to more possibilities for the great ones to get hurt.

49ers1

Frank Gore

There are lesser reasons for voting against the increase like by adding extra games you slightly devalue the games themselves. Look at the NHL, NBA and of course MLB where regular season games don’t really matter as long as you end up winning more than you lose. With 16 games, every game is somewhat important, with 18, maybe they are not as important. That 0-4 start in September is not nearly as big a deal.

While I have said many times that I would love to watch football 52-weeks a year, I think in the end, the product is much better where it is now and increasing to 18 games -while adding two weeks of fun – would hurt the overall game. I say vote no on the 18-game season!

That said, I look forward to the extra two games when I know the NFL will eventually vote for them! 🙂

 

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A’s: Pitching and Coaching

Posted by davefowkes on 03/25/2009


For the better part of this decade the question in Oakland has been who will hit? This year the strange question will be can anyone pitch?

The A’s made an announcement this week extending the contract of manager Bob Geren for a year. Really that is not a big deal to me. Geren  seems like a decent enough manager, neither great nor bad. That is probably why Billy Beane likes him so much! But while the manager seems set for the next couple of years, the pitching could range from outstanding to horrible.

The big three have been replaced by five questions in the rotation. As of today it appears Dallas Braden is in the starting rotation and may even

Dallas Braden

Dallas Braden

get promoted to opening day pitcher! Justin Duchsherer is clearly a good pitcher but can he stay healthy? Will the A’s move him back to the bullpen to try and save his arm? The A’s really need a healthy dose of Duchsherer this year to contend. After that you have Dana Eveland, a bit of a surprise last year who had his ups and downs during the season as many rookies will. When you watch Eveland pitch you think he probably maxes out as a solid #3 pitcher. But that is if he hits his potential, because he is struggling this spring. Sean Gallagher came to the A’s in the Rich Harden trade but he still relies heavily on the “P” word as well: Potential. So far his results are mixed.

Brett AndersonThen there is the second coming of the Big Three! Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill and Vin Mazzaro. I expect all three to be starting next season but what about this season? Can the A’s go into a season in which they bought some heavy hitters only to start a pair of 21-year olds? Mazzaro is already demoted to AAA to work on his game, but he won’t be far down the list of call ups if needed. Anderson and Cahill both sound like superstars in the making but are they ready?

Then there is Josh Outman and Edgar Gonzalez, who feel like a couple of journeymen who certainly won’t instill fear in the heart of the opposition.

The A’s offense should be better with Matt Holliday, Jason Giambi, a second year from Ryan Sweeney and anything they can get from the injured brigade of the old school. But even with the new additions the A’s will be in a lot of trouble if they are forced to score 5-6 runs per game just to compete. Oakland is about pitching and right now that is a big question mark.

Given the options, I probably go with Anderson and Cahill early and see how they fare. Even if it does not work out early, they will have a taste of the big leagues and a place to build on at AAA. Match the youngsters with Braden (we have been waiting on him for a couple of years, is he finally ready?), Eveland and Gallagher and see what happens. Gonzalez and Outman can work long relief and provide spot starts for the injured. Duchsherer is of course the wild card that could bump someone back to Sacramento.

The A’s are in a weird place now where they are old at the plate but young on the mound. They need that combination to come strong to keep pace with the Angels. Without the pitching, look for a long season in the East Bay! But if some of these young guns are for real? Watch out AL West!

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NFL Gives Thanks: To The Raiders?

Posted by davefowkes on 03/24/2009

Just what the world needs on Thanksgiving Day: Oakland Raider football! The NFL announced a few of their games yesterday from the owner’s meetings in Southern California. The greatness of the Raiders is back in the limelight with a Monday Night football game against San Diego, and then the big shocker, a Thanksgiving Day match up in Dallas! Yum! Turkey, potatoes and all the stuffing to go with Oakland Raider football! Yeah, I can not wait for Thanksgiving!

The other Thanksgiving Day excitement will feature Green Bay visiting Detroit and in the NFL Network affair, the Giants will travel to Denver. Despite plenty of talk about getting rid of a horrible team on national TV, the NFL owners did not have the heart to take the Thanksgiving Day game away from Detroit! I suggest the Lions win one sooner than later though.

The opening weekend nationally televised games were also announced. Pittsburgh and Tennessee will square off in a very enticing match up that first Thursday night. The Bears and Packers will do nothing for me as the first Sunday night game. And then we have the now traditional Monday Night double header that this year will open with Terrell Owens and the Buffalo Bills playing host to the Patriots, followed by the west coast night cap of the Chargers in Oakland!

It is the third time in four years the Raiders have played that second game on Monday night. Their first two games were not fun getting shut out by the Chargers in 2006 and shellacked by Denver last year. Yet the NFL felt it wise to put them back in the time slot again this year? Well, at least it is one guaranteed sell out for Oakland!

To cap it off with the Raiders visit to Thanksgiving really is over the top. Is the NFL expecting the Raiders to be good this year? Did Jerry Jones suggest his old friend Al Davis just so he could guaranty the Cowboys a win? I agree the Raiders are set to improve, but Raiders Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day does nothing for me here in March!

But maybe in November we will all give thanks for the game! If not, pass the turkey please!

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First Weekend Reaction

Posted by davefowkes on 03/23/2009

48 games on four TVs in four days! Now that is the way to celebrate March Madness! Now it is Monday and here are a few thoughts that stick out in my mind.

I am sure we all picked Arizona to be the last Pac Ten team standing! I was surprised to see the Pac Ten go 5-1 in the first round. But do answer that with a 1-4 in the second round left me with a bit of an empty feeling for the conference. We all knew the Pac Ten was down this year, I guess it was just proved. But then there is Arizona.

I will not listen to any arguments that use Arizona’s two game run as justification for them being in the tournament. St. Mary’s, Creighton or others easily could have put the same two game run together against Utah and Cleveland State. The key is once you make the tournament it is a clean slate, anything can happen on any given night. Match ups, experience, desire, to name just a few items all come into play. The point is that based on the season’s “full body of work,” Arizona did not belong in the tournament. That fact has not changed. That fact would not change even if Arizona runs the table to a national title! But it sure is a good thing for the Pac Ten that Arizona made the tournament.

Cal was just what I thought they were. Live and die by the 3-pointer but when Maryland forced them into an inside game they could not keep up. Cal needs another big man or three, but with everyone expected to return next year, things look good in Berkeley.

The Big Ten is just what I thought they were. An overrated conference with arguably two good teams: Michigan State and Purdue. Those two teams are good enough to continue their run. The rest of the over hyped conference is right where they belong too, back at home!

The Big East is just what I thought as well. Best conference in the land! Marquette gave a great fight against Missouri, but with UConn, Pitt, Syracuse, Villanova and Louisville dominating the remaining brackets, you could really see two or even three teams making the final four from the Big East.

Thank you ACC but that is still a league that is all about UNC and Duke.

Not much action in terms of upsets which is always disappointing. Surprise of the weekend was clearly Cleveland State over Wake Forest. Not so much that the win itself was so shocking, but the way Cleveland blew them out start to finish! The other two big surprises came in losses. We all had East Tennessee State taking Pittsburgh down to the wire and Northridge giving Memphis all they could handle!

I still like UNC with a healthy Ty Lawson to win it all, but any of the remaining Big East teams could do it and not surprise me at all!

Funny that with all those games this weekend, the game that I look forward to most based purely on a viewing basis, is tonight’s NIT clash between St. Mary’s and Davidson! Patrick Mills and Stephen Curry? I so wish I could go!

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Mid March Thoughts

Posted by davefowkes on 03/19/2009

Here comes the madness!

–In filling out my brackets I keep looking for upsets, but I am just not finding them. I don’t want all the #1 and #2 seeds to advance but right now it is hard not to like most of them. That said, my bracket is way to top heavy with seeds and way to Big East-centric for me to win any pools. Oh well.

–I like about 5 teams to win it all but I ended up with North Carolina. If Ty Lawson is back by the sweet 16 I think they are the best team. If he is not healthy though, I like Pittsburgh to take it.

–If I had to take a #3 seed to surprise the world, I would go with Syracuse. That 6 overtime affair with UConn reminded me a lot of the regular season finale between the Patriots and the Giants two years back. On paper it was a meaningless game but both teams played hard to the end. Even in a loss it gave the Giants confidence to beat the Patriots in the rematch in the Super Bowl. Well, Syracuse won in 6 overtimes. Their confidence is high and with a great point guard like Johnny Flynn, and good three point shooting, watch out!

–First round upsets: Western Kentucky and Siena! Book it now!

–Other intriguing plays: VCU over UCLA and Northern Iowa over Purdue. Far from sure things but certainly could happen.

–4 televisions, 48 games, it is not Las Vegas but it will be fun! Let the madness begin!

Non basketball thoughts:

–Lots of talk about the 49ers making a run at disgruntled Denver quarterback Jay Cutler. I would love to see Cutler line up at QB next season for San Francisco, but it just won’t happen! If Cutler does move I would expect it to be Detroit or the Jets. San Francisco won’t make a strong enough play.

–The 49ers brought in T Marvel Smith from Pittsburgh for a look. He was a solid tackle, but due to injury I would worry that you are cutting one Jonas Jennings for another. The 49ers need to find another tackle at the #10 spot of the draft.

–Nice signing by the Raiders brining in Khalif Barnes. They got a tackle that produced well but not up to first round expectations in Jacksonville. They got him for just one year, at a good price and he is clearly and upgrade over Kwame Harris!

That is it for me. I am going to enjoy March Madness for the weekend. The blog goes on hiatus until Monday! Have a great weekend and here is to an upset filled weekend of great and exciting college basketball!!!

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How To Fix NCAA Tournament

Posted by davefowkes on 03/17/2009

If I could be boss for a day of the NCAA Tournament Committee, I would make a couple of adjustments to the tournament:

1. No conference can send over half of its members.

2. It is somewhat redundant, but all teams must be at least 500 or better in their conference to be eligible.

Just because there are super conferences it does not mean that everybody should get to go to the tournament. The tournament should be a reward for a great season. It should not be automatic just because your conference is strong any given year. Had it not been for all the surprise tournament winners this year, there is a good chance that Penn State would have made the field and that would mean 8 teams from the Big 10. 8 or 11 teams would go to the post season. Why play a conference schedule then?

By limiting the field to just half of each conference it puts a huge emphasis back on to conference play. You may look good on paper, you may have had a great pre-season, but if you can not finish in the top half of your league, why should you go to a playoff? The non-conference schedule is clearly important for resume building and the likes, but this would put a lot of pressure back into conference play making January and February that much more interesting!

In terms of the “eye” test that we hear so much about this time of year, do we really need 7 or 8 teams from the Big 10? Do we really need 6 teams from the Pac Ten?

By making sure everyone is at least 500 to qualify, you again insure that successful teams are making it rather than just good teams that are not playing well the last 2 months of the season.

Sure, every year there will be a few really good teams in really good conferences that will be left out, but bottom line, each team will have the opportunity by just winning HALF of their conference games.

Now if we implemented my new rules this year, we would lose Arizona and then two out of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin Big 10 representatives and Maryland who was under 500 in the conference and the 7th team in a 12-team league. That opens up four spots. My hunch is St. Mary’s, Creighton, Auburn and South Carolina would fill the void. But San Diego State, Niagara, UNLV and others would still be in the conversation.

Now by my system, I have limited some of the mediocrity out of the big conferences, and I have spread the wealth to two mid-majors and two other mediocre BCS schools. But by providing limitations on each conference, at least it will open the field up more to new teams, more mid-majors, and the potential for more exciting match ups of David vs Goliath which is what makes the first two rounds of the tournament so special!

Okay, now I will wake up from my dream because we all know the BCS schools would never relinquish such control as above. But it certainly would be nice if they could!

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Sharks Clinch Playoff Spot

Posted by davefowkes on 03/16/2009

In the old days, the headline alone would be cause for celebration. But with this latest edition of the San Jose Sharks, it just makes official what we already knew. The Sharks are playoff bound! Now it is just a matter of when, where, seeding, etc.

The big news from the Sharks 1-0 shutout of the Ducks was the win itself and now a two game win streak. The Sharks are back!

Okay, so maybe that statement is a bit strong. The Sharks still have a few holes in the lineup due to injury. They are still struggling on offense scoring two goals in two games, and they failed to tally a power play goal during that same stretch. But the Sharks have a two game win streak!

After a very cold stretch where they gave away the best record in the West to Detroit, the Sharks are doing the little things to win again. They are starting to win the 5-on-5 battles. They are playing solid defense now. They are competing for the full game rather than just dominating for 20 minutes or so. And of course they are getting stellar goaltending again!

It can not go unnoticed that this dramatic shift occurred when a fresh and rested Evgeni Nabokov returned to net for the Sharks. He has been brilliant the first two games limiting an underrated LA Kings team to one goal and just one goal in an 8 round shootout, and then responding the next night with his 6th shutout of the year. Nabby is back!

And with him, so are the Sharks. It was not pretty. It was not their best. But it sends the Sharks back on the winning track with an opportunity to gain some confidence and taste some of the glory they had at the beginning of the year. Improvement is still needed, but they found a place from which they can start to build!

With the playoffs a month away, now is the time for the Sharks to get on a roll, find some good health, get some confidence, and heat up heading into the playoffs! This weekend was a good start.

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