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Posts Tagged ‘Brian Boucher’

Sharks Vs Wild

Posted by davefowkes on 03/05/2009

Big game for the Sharks tonight. Losers of two straight, they are looking to right the ship before heading out on the road. Brian Boucher is in net for Evgeni Nabokov who is out  because he “tweaked” something. The new Sharks Travis Moen and Kent Huskins will wait until Saturday for their Sharks debut. This is the Sharks first game not atop the Western Conference in a long time. They were past by Detroit last night. They need the win tonight to reclaim the most points in the Conference.

The Wild come into the game on a four game losing streak and stand in 11th place in the Western Conference. The Sharks lost to the Stars on Tuesday against a team that had lost 5 straight games. It is also yet another return to the Tank for Owen Nolan. Always fun to see the former team Captain here.

Tonight is a must win for San Jose. The key: STAY OUT OF THE PENALTY BOX!!!

Joe Pavelski is in the lineup tonight. No word yet from the NHL whether they will rescind the game-misconduct penalty Pavelski got in the alledged head-butting incident against the Stars.

FIRST PERIOD:

Great first period. That is just what the Sharks needed. They came out strong, skated fast, and played the role of the aggresor. But they stayed in control of the tempo and their emotions. I had to beat the same drum, but the lack of penalties in this first period can not go unnoticed. Both goals were beautiful and they are the type of goals the Sharks used to get. Joe Pavelski charged the net and Ryan Clowe passed the puck from the corner just in front of the goalie for Pavelski to knock into the net. Pavelski was covered by two Wild and still got his stick on the puck. Ryan Clowe’s goal was nice play in the offensive zone and a pretty shot from the slot that just flat out beat Niklas Backstrom.

The Wild ended up peppering Boucher to get 11 shots before they really did not have any good scoring chances. Good hustle from the Sharks drew a penalty late in the first so the Sharks will have 1:46 of a power play when the second period opens. An excellent start for the Sharks tonight! Let’s hope they can keep it up!

2ND PERIOD:

I was going to type what a great period, but two goals by Minnesota soured that. Ugly end to the period. Both goals went in above Boucher’s shoulder. Good shots by Minnesota, just heavy shots through lots of traffic. It looked so good earlier on a beautiful put back by Joe Pavelski. That was his 20th goal of the year, a career best. The Sharks still have not gone to the penalty box, so at least there is that. I still think the Sharks win this they need to tighten it up again.

3RD PERIOD:

What can you say? That is just one of the all time bad goals to give up. It was not even a shot really. But the puck was shot in from center ice by Marek Zidlicky and Boucher got lazy and did not get down on both knees, the puck took a weird bounce right through his legs for the game tying goal. Horrible! He knows it, the players know it, the coaches know it. Not much you can do about it. The Sharks were out hustled in that period by the Wild. It looked like they would get away with it and the win until Boucher’s mistake. Now, we go to OT. The Sharks get at least a point to tie Detroit for the Western Conference lead. But it has to feel bittersweet right now if they can’t get that second point here.

FINAL:

Terrible loss. A good goal by Minnesota with 13 seconds left to complete the comeback. Horrible! First time the Sharks have blown a three goal lead at home since 1996. Not much else you can say. That is just a terrible loss by a hockey team that is supposed to be one of the best in the league! They certainly are not playing like it now!  Yuck!

PS. The Sharks held a team meeting after the game. Nobody was in a good mood afterwards that is for sure! Let’s hope they carry that anger and frustration with them to Vancouver.

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Sharks Vs Stars – Live Blog From The Tank

Posted by davefowkes on 03/03/2009

The Sharks return home from a 4 game road trip to play the Dallas Stars tonight. The Sharks went 2-2 on the road trip including a 1-0 win in Dallas to open the trip. The Sharks enter the night tied with Boston for the NHL lead in points and three points better than Detroit. But the Sharks have injury issue. Mike Grier (knee) and Jeremy Roenick (shoulder) are out indefinitely. Brian Boucher will make his third start in a row for Evgeni Nabokov who is out recovering from the flu (or so it is being reported). Claude Lemieux joins them on the bench as a healthy scratch.The last time the Sharks were home between those long road trips, they swept the three game homestand.

Dallas has really struggled. They are coming off a 1-5 homestand. It is the first time they have lost five straight home games since 1978. With 65 points the Stars are now in 11th place in the western conference but that is only 2 points less than 7th place. It is shapping up to be a wild stretch run for those final playoffs spots in the west.

As they experiments continue, I will be back in this blog space with constant updates through the game. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments if you are watching at home:

First Period:

14:40: Welcome back to the big leagues Brad Staubitz! An eventful start for the rookie just called up as an injury replacement. On his first shift with the 4th line, Staubitz drew a holding penalty. Sharks did a nice job killing the penalty giving up two shots. Stars had a couple of nice looks but could not find the net. After the penalty was over Staubitz came out and got in a fight with Krystofer Barch. We gave Staubitz the win but not by much.

13:25: Stars strike first. James Neal had an open net on a rebound from a shot from Brian Sutherby. Boucher did a great job trying to stop it but the defensive breakdown in front of him left too many Stars to cover it all. Stars are up 1-0. It is the 4th straight game the Sharks have allowed the first goal to their opponent.

10:53: That is the way you respond! The Stars take a penalty, the Sharks cash in! Just when we were complaining about how the Sharks would not take a shot, they put together a great play. A nice pass from Setoguchi to Ehrhoff on the side who took the shot that Thornton deflected right in front of the net. Tough to tell whether Ehrhoff was actually shooting or passing to Thornton. Very timely though. Stars game to play. They are out shooting the Sharks 8-3.

5:27: It is getting ugly for the Sharks now. They would really be a much better team if they did not take all these penalties. 4-minute penalties to each side and now Plihal goes to the box for holding. Another kill for the Sharks now.

8: WOW! The rivalry is heating up. Joe Pavelski has just been tossed with a 5-minute “attempt to injure” penalty and a game misconduct.  Daryl Sydor got a two minute penalty so in the second period the Stars will have a 3-minute power play. Pavelski has been in the midst of a few scrums and has really turned up the heat on this game.

End of 1st: The Stars are clearly the desperate team. The Sharks looked good in the first shift of the game. Since then it has been just about all Dallas except for the tying goal. The Stars have more jump and have been more aggressive causing the Sharks to skate on their heels and take penalties. It is clear the team that has lost 5 straight is playing for their playoff lives and the Sharks well, they already have their playoff reservations. The Stars are out shooting San Jose 13-5 and the last two shots for the Sharks came in the final couple of minutes. They’ll need better effort and a few more shots in the next two periods.

2nd Period:

We are still trying to figure out what Pavelski did to get tossed. It looked like the every day punching that always goes on. It should have been a 2-minute roughing or maybe a double minor on the roughing. The game misconduct is a bad call unless something happened that we did not see.

Sharks had a great opportunity when Marleau redirected a shot through is legs, but Turco made a diving stop!

17:33: From bad to worse. Already down a man for three minutes, Rob Blake takes a cross check. This is 5-3 for two full minutes. Huge time in this game!

13:55: Killing a 5-3 for a full two minutes is tough. It looked good for a bit and the crowd was into it, but that was a great pass from Ribeiro to Mike Modano who was dead on with the one-timer. All you can do is tip your cap to them on that play.  Still, only being down 2-1 at this point the Sharks should feel lucky. And just like that the Stars take a penalty. Hopefully the Sharks can get this one back. And maybe THEY CAN STAY OUT OF THE BOX!!!!

5:41: Sharks are still lucky to be down only one. They are taking stupid penalties and basically just not playing well. Give the Stars credit for not fighting back at some of the Sharks who are sniping at them. The referees though appear to be calling this pretty one sided against the Sharks. Some of these calls may be by the book, but calls that only get made once a month or so. The call on Shelly? Very questionable. That said, the last couple of minutes the Sharks have been throwing their bodies around legally! So maybe the wake up call has finally been heard?

End of two: Shots were 9-9 that period. A nice comeback in energy for the Sharks the final 7 minutes or so of that period. They are picking it up a bit. That said, the first half of the period was so lopsided, I am still saying San Jose is lucky to be down just one goal. Without Pavelski, Todd McLellan has Thornton center between Ryan Clowe and Milan Michalek and Marleau centering between Jonathan Cheechoo and Setoguchi. The Sharks are on the power play for the first 36 seconds of the 3rd period. A goal would of course be great, but just keeping up the effort and energy and staying out of the penalty box should be enough for them to climb back into this.

The Red Wings beat the Blues 5-0 cutting the Sharks lead in the Western Conference to just one point at the moment.

Third Period:

13:28: That should do it. Sharks looked good the first minute and a half of this period but then went flat. The game as a whole went a bit flat. But then Dallas turned up the heat in the offensive zone and used tremendous pressure to create a backhanded shot for Brian Sutherby for the 3-1 lead. Man things got quiet in here! Normally I would say the Sharks can score two goals in 13 minutes, but I have not seen anything tonight to make me think this is the game they can do it.

10:45: Sharks are unraveling? Setoguchi turns it over, nice pass from Modano, great shot by Neal! 4-1. Sharks go on the power play but this one definitely feels over to me!

END OF GAME: That was clearly not the Sharks best effort. Very disappointing to have them come back from the road trip and play like this. Give the Stars credit, they are a desperate team and they played like it. The Sharks will need that type of effort in the playoffs. We may see some more games like this in the next couple of weeks. The Sharks need to get back to shooting the puck more and staying out of the penalty box. The cheap penalties are just killing them and the momentum. 4-1 final. Worst home loss of the year. (not that there have been many)

At some point tonight I will post the audio from the locker room for anyone interested in raw audio.

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Sharks Without Grier, Roenick at least a month

Posted by davefowkes on 03/03/2009

Big news from Sharks camp today. Mike Grier and Jeremy Roenick are out 4-6 weeks with undisclosed injuries. Brad Staubitz and Lukas Kaspar have been called up to take their roster spots and could skate tonight when the Sharks host the Dallas Stars. There are reports that Mike Grier had his knee scoped, and that Roenick mike be struggling with another shoulder injury. And all this comes one day before the NHL trade deadline! Let the fun begin!

The other news before tonight’s game, David Pollack of the Mercury is reporting Brian Boucher will start his third straight game in goal as Evgeni Nabokov will continue to sit recovering from what “ails him.” It was reported the Nabokov missed Saturday’s game in Montreal because of the flu bug.

So what does all this mean? The Sharks were hoping to get some healthy time together heading toward the playoffs. Instead, that great depth San Jose had has not been severely compromised. 24-hours ago I would have been surprised if the Sharks made any trade deadline deals. But now, if Grier and Roenick are both out until the playoffs, I am thinking the Sharks will bring in someone else. With all due respect to Staubitz and Kaspar, they have not showed much this year in their limited opportunities and appear to be 1-2 years away from being true contributors.

It is hardly desperation time for the Sharks who are tied with Boston for the NHL lead in points, three points better than Detroit, but watching the injuries mount up now is not good.

It will be interesting to see how the club reacts tonight as they return from a 2-2 road trip that saw them open up with a 1-0 win in Dallas. The stars have been struggling and you know will be bringing their all tonight.

But it will be more interesting to see what GM Doug Wilson does in the next 24 hours before that trade deadline arrives!

UPDATED 2:25pm: GM Doug Wilson says both players are expected back for the playoffs so therefore these injuries will not effect his trade deadline philosophy. David Pollack of the Mercury News has posted more on what the injuries are and Wilson’s comments. If both are due back for the playoffs I agree there will be no huge trade but I still think we see the Sharks make one trade to help bolster the roster for the next month. It may not be a block buster deal but I expect somebody new in the lineup by the end of the week!

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A Few Thoughts: Free Agency, Hockey and Hoops

Posted by davefowkes on 02/27/2009

First up free agency. The first day is always fun:

–No surprise, the 49ers seem pretty quiet on day one. No big splashes yet! Matt Maiocco of the Press-Democrat is reporting that WR Brandon Jones of the Titans is due in town for a visit today and when players visit Santa Clara the first day they do not usually leave without a contract. Brandon Jones is just the unexciting player I thought the 49ers would dabble in. His stats: http://www.nfl.com/players/brandonjones/profile?id=JON102982.  I would hope the 49ers do not overpay him. Maybe there is potential which is fine, but he does not seem worthy of breaking the bank!

–Dan Snyder is at it again in Washington. He makes DT Albert Haynesworth the highest paid defensive player, then signs over-hyped CB Deangelo Hall to play CB. Remember the guy for the Raiders that could not cover anyone? One good signing and one bad one for the Skins on day one. But it goes to show that Snyder still has money and is willing to spend! Maybe some day it will actually work out for him!

–No shock to see Rex Ryan raid his former defense. A great addition for the Jets picking up Bart Scott from the Ravens!

–The National Post is reporting that the Raiders are interested in Center Jason Brown from the Baltimore Ravens.

On to other sports!

–Big win for the Sharks last night! Nice to seem them put together a solid effort and avoid the two game losing streak. Boucher continues to rock as a backup goalie!

–One of the most frustrating seasons I have endured as a Stanford fan. Being bad would be one thing but every game out it seems Stanford teases me with success before not being able to finish the deal in the end! They could have beaten UCLA last night, yet still fell short again! The season can not end soon enough!

–Punch the ticket, Cal is on their way to March Madness! After the OT thriller last night against USC, the Bears are now playing for seeding!

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Weekend Thoughts

Posted by davefowkes on 02/16/2009

Some random thoughts from the weekend past. (Okay, the weekend may continue for some of you, but no three day weekend for me)

–Tough outing yesterday for Evgeni Nabokov. Given the tough road trip I was sort of expecting Brian Boucher in net yesterday. Given the results that would have been a better choice. Nabokov is in a bit of a slump, he’ll be fine long term but as good as Boucher has been, it is probably time to get him a few more starts.

–I am still bitter about how Stanford lost to Cal. It is a very long season for the Cardinal. With three road losses of one point each, and now this loss blowing a 22-point first half lead, it truly is the what-could-have-been season. It truly is the difference between 4-8 in conference and 8-4.

–The Pac Ten race is very interesting. I really did not see UCLA getting swept in Arizona. The Wildcats are still in 5th in the conference but might be playing the best right now. USC’s two losses pretty much knock them out of the tournament talk for now. Washington has some tough games coming up and UCLA”s only road trip is to the Bay Area. Cal is back to playing well but how long will that last? And ASU seems to have righted the ship. At this point it is a 5-way race for the top. Should be a good finish and judging on the first half of conference play, who knows what will happen.

–Shocker of the weekend was still a loss. How did USF only lose by 5 to Gonzaga?

–Impressive comeback by St. Mary’s. They almost upset Gonzaga but then took care of business against a pretty good Portland team that whipped them in the Northwest. Even with Patrick Mills gets back I think the Gaels need to win the WCC tourney to get in the big dance. But with a healthy Mills back, they might very well win the tournament.

–Can we all jump off the Dule bandwagon now? Granted the ACC is a top conference but at some point you have to win some games. They have lost three out of four and four out of six. That is trouble. They are clearly a good team, but definitely not an elite team!

–Does anyone watch the NBA all-star game? I know, I am not a big NBA fan anymore so I am probably in the minority, but neither the game, nor the all-star weekend festivities do it for me. That said, it is still a step above the Pro Bowl.

–Pebble Beach rained out? Yes, it is just like the old days! Hopefully they can finish things up today!

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