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Posts Tagged ‘Ryan Clowe’

Sharks clinch west in loss

Posted by davefowkes on 04/09/2009

The good news is the Sharks are the best in the west, the bad news was the 4-1 loss they suffered at the hands of the Phoenix Coyotes. Al Montoya was outstanding in shutting down the Sharks making 40 saves on the night. Peter Mueller had a goal and an assist.

Travis Moen scored the Sharks only goal and Evgeni Nabokov made just 13 saves on the night. The Sharks out shot Phoenix 41-17 on the evening. The Sharks really dominated in the third period but Montoya was the star turning just about everything away.

”In my opinion we didn’t start playing until it was 3-0,” Coach Todd McLellan said. “At this time of the year there’s no chance of winning if you make that decision before the game. To wait and see and put your toes in the water to see how cold it is and if you want to jump in or not, it’s disappointing this time of the year. Will has to take precedent over skill… not sure that was the case today.”

Despite the loss the Sharks ended up clinching the top spot in the Western Conference. Detroit lost to Nashville in a shootout just before the Sharks game started and that clinched the top spot for San Jose. However with Boston beating Montreal, the President’s trophy is still up for grabs. The trophy was at the Arena just in case, but it was not needed tonight.

It looked like it might be early, when the Sharks were out shooting Phoenix 5-1 to open the game. But the Coyotes got on the board on their second shot of the game. The first goal was a bang bang play that surprised everybody. Right out of a faceoff to the left of Nabokov, Scottie Upshell got the puck and whipped a quick shot through traffic that Nabokov never saw.

Near the end of the first period the Coyotes would score again thanks to a 5-on-3 power play. After killing off nearly a minute of the two man advantage, Ed Jovanowski got an open luck straight in front of Nabokov and the wrist shot beat Nabokov for the 2-0 lead.

Phoenix made it 3-0 when Milan Michalek’s brother, Zbynek, beat Nabokov from 13-feet with a wrist shot.

The game got physical in the latter half of the second period with a couple of fights breaking out. The first one involved Travis Moen, but the crowd really got excited when little Devin Setoguchi landed some good punches in his fight with Martin Hanzal.

The Sharks finally got on the scoreboard on their 33rd shot of the evening. Moen, fighting for space in front of the net, jammed the puck between Montoya’s pads.

The Sharks certainly had plenty of opportunity for more as they were granted four power play opportunities during the third period. But the special teams unit was cold tonight going 0/6 with a man advantage.

After the last power play failed, the Coyotes put the game away for good. Peter Mueller scored on a 2-on-1 break to make it 4-1 and send the crowd packing on fan appreciation night.

The Sharks did have some good news tonight with the return of Ryan Clowe and Patrick Marleau to the lineup. “I thought Clowe was very good today,” McLellan said. “Out of all injured players that came back I think he’s been, after game one, the sharpest. I thought he made an impact on the game. Patty (Marleau) skated. I’m not too sure their line got a lot done especially in this game we expect more from them. It’s going to take a little time.”

The Sharks last game of the regular season is Saturday in Los Angeles.

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Sharks Vs Ducks Weekend!

Posted by davefowkes on 04/04/2009

An interesting weekend has arrived for the San Jose Sharks as they go toe-to-toe with the Anaheim Ducks! It starts tonight in San Jose and ends tomorrow down south. The Sharks are playing much better right now, and are getting healthy, but the Ducks are hot and they are desperate!

The Sharks have opened up a 6 point lead over Detroit with 5 games left to play. It looks good for San Jose. The Alberta sweep this week was nice. Getting four points north of the border, playing some solid defense and getting some key goals. That is what the Sharks were good at earlier in the season that they had lost track of the past month or so.

It is also nice to see the Sharks start to get healthy just in time for the playoffs. Jonathan Cheechoo was back and contributed right away. Rob Blake played Thursday. Jeremy Roenick is in the lineup. Thomas Plihal is expected back tonight. More of the walking wounded are due by the end of the week, most specifically Patrick Marleau and Ryan Clowe. They are both needed for the Sharks to make a deep run in the playoffs.

But while the Sharks are getting better again, and playing for that President’s Cup trophy, here come the Ducks. A few weeks ago it looked for sure like Anaheim would be booking tee times for the end of April. But now they have won 8 our their last 10 games. They are in 7th place and need to keep winning to keep the playoff dream alive in what is a very close race that will go down to the final days for those last few spots.

The Sharks are sharpening their teeth. They look to continue to improve, and continue to get healthy. The but Ducks will bring their best of their best because it is do or die time for them!

It makes for an interesting two game match up. I look for the teams to split the next two games. But it is hard to predict in situations like this. It won’t quite be playoff hockey, but it could be really close!

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Friday Thoughts

Posted by davefowkes on 03/06/2009

A few quick hits to take us into the weekend:

–Great win for Stanford last night. Nice to see the seniors come together and get a road win this year. With three losses by one point and a 24 point blown lead at Cal, this is truly a season of what could have been for the Cardinal! Too bad. But at least they seem poised to finish strong.  Terrible loss for ASU though. A loss to Cal and they would take a four game losing streak into the Pac Ten Tourney and to me that puts them squarely on the bubble.

–Huge win for Cal. There was fear that a three game losing streak and an early ouster from the Pac Ten Tourney could cost them. Forget it, punch the ticket, the Bears are heading to the Madness! As for Arizona though: See ASU. Right now the Cats are out of the picture and looking in.

–Terrible loss for the Sharks last night. Great teams do not blow 3-goal leads at home. The Sharks at one point this season was the best team in the NHL. They are far from that now. That said, I am still a believer. The faces in the locker room were angry and frustrated. If they bring that emotion to Vancouver on Saturday they could run away with it! They need to get back to Sharks hockey, shoot the puck, get in front of the net, and keep the pressure up for 60-minutes! They are slumping now, but I still expect them to right the ship and be ready to roll come playoff time!

–The second line with Joe Pavelski, Ryan Clowe and Milan Michalek have really been clicking of late! If the top line of Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Devin Setoguchi could raise their level of play and sustain it, the Sharks will be dangerous again!

–I love this time of year. Basketball on all the time. As I type this I am watching quarterfinal play in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament.  10-days of fun all leading up to the big dance and everybody filling out their brackets. March is fun!

–JT O’Sullivan signed a contract in Cincinnati to back up Carson Palmer. Probably a good place for him and his style to be. Good to see him there and not in San Francisco! Given Palmer’s injury history there is a good chance we could see passes from JTO to Ocho Cinco this year!

–The A’s will be interesting the next week or so to see how they deal with Bobby Crosby. It would be great if Crosby would be open to being a utility infielder. As stated earlier, I actually expect a big year from him this year thanks to a new swing and an expiring contract. I could envision him taking hold of 2B, SS or 3B if one of the starters fall apart. But right now he sounds VERY unhappy about being replaced and does not seem excited to be in camp. It should make for an interesting time in A’s camp.

–If healthy, I love what Justin Duchscherer brings to the table, but as his elbow pain grows so does the comparison to Rich Harden. Great talent but can he stay healthy! The A’s need him out there. But you just have to wonder how many starts he’ll really be able to give them.

–Bye, bye Dave Roberts and thank you for stealing our money! Roberts was released by the Giants who will eat his $6.5 million contract. That free agent signing will not go down as one of Brian Sabean’s finest!

–Great story here about Carney Lansford the Giants hitting coach who had to watch his hitters take on his son who was pitching for  the A’s. Well, everyone else watched!

http://blogs.mercurynews.com/extrabaggs/2009/03/05/why-carney-lansford-went-awol-in-the-fifth-inning-thursday/

–I am out of here for a weekend in the wine country! I’ll be posting again on Monday! Be well!

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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 (Post Game Audio)

Posted by davefowkes on 03/03/2009

llasHere is the raw audio from the post game locker room if you are interested.

Joe Pavelski

Ryan Clowe

Patrick Marleau

Coach Todd McLellan

And some coaches notes courtesy of the Sharks PR staff:

Score: Dallas 4 – San Jose 1 Final

Date: March 3, 2009

SHARKS, HEAD COACH, Todd McLellen:

“It made a huge impact on our team [to lose Pavelski]. He’s perhaps been our best player over the past few games, a penalty killer, he anchors a power play – when you lose him you have to have people pick up their game a little more, and that didn’t happen tonight.”

“We worked on our defenses and coverage in practice yesterday. Some of the mistakes we made tonight were directly addressed. Either we did a very poor job as coaches addressing them, or we didn’t pick up on some of the cues that we need to. We’ll go back to the drawing board and try a different approach as coaches and make sure they get the message.”

Stars HEAD COACH, Dave Tippett

“Two games in a week we’ve played against that team that we’ve played very well. We didn’t get rewarded for our work in the first game but I thought we got rewarded for it tonight. We created a lot of chances and capitalized on those chances, we defended hard when we had to, and Marty Turco made some great saves when he had to. We competed really, really hard and that’s the way it’s going to have to be if we’re going to be successful. We did that tonight and found a way to win.”

“We needed to get rewarded for some hard work. We’ve played some very good games, over that five-game losing streak. I thought three games we had a real good chance to win, a couple of them we didn’t play very well, but we needed something to give us that jolt of energy that our work would be compensated, and the win is a good compensation for that.”

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Sharks Struggle

Posted by davefowkes on 02/08/2009

Anyone else starting to worry about the Sharks? I guess the good news about last night is that they were able to send the game to OT and get the one point. But there is something that just seems off to me about the team.

I will hope the issue is just we are in the d0ldrums of the schedule. February is here and the Sharks are an obvious playoff team. I am sure it is tough for them to get up for every game and now they are getting the best shot their opponents have. But I am getting tired of watching them let lesser teams jump on them. Last night they opened a whopping 5-game, 10-day road trip they looked slow and lethargic against a fast, aggressive Columbus team. 2-0 on the Blue Jackets first two shots. Again, credit to the Sharks for battling back to earn the point, but I expect more of them. Maybe I have been spoiled by their excellent play the first few months of the season, but I am just not seeing that excellence at the moment. Thursday night they had a great start but could not finish allowing Carolina to come from a 2-goal deficit to win.

I think the secret is out on the Sharks. Flood the zone, try to slow them down, keep all 5 skaters in on D to shut down the shots. I would hardly call it panic time because I think the Sharks could probably lose the rest of their games and still go the playoffs, but I just dont want them to get complacent.

Maybe I have just been spoiled by success. After all, they are the only successful team in the Bay Area right now!

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Sharks Lose on Home Ice

Posted by davefowkes on 02/06/2009

After a 5-day layoff one would expect the Sharks to look rusty to start the game before coming on strong in the end. Last night it was the reverse. Carolina rallied for a 4-3 shootout win over the Sharks in San Jose. Ryan Clowe, Alexei Semenov and Marc-Edouard Vlassic had goals for San Jose and Milan Michalek had three assists.

 After jumping out to a 3-1 lead midway through the second period, Carolina began to claw their way back. A Sergei Samsonov goal made it 3-2 and then 7 minutes into the third periord, Ray Whitney scored the game tieing goal. Both teams picked up a point for the tie and then in the shootout the Hurricanes scored 2 goals to the Sharks 1 for the win.
 
The Sharks out shot the Hurricanes 40-29. Evegeny Nabokov made 26 saves while winning goaltender Michael Leighton made 37 saves.
 
The Sharks now hit the road on a 5 game, 10-day road trip that starts on Saturday in Columbus.
 

Game Notes:
 
Ø With Ryane Clowe’s 20thgoal tonight, the Sharks became the second NHL team this season to have three 20-goal players. The first was Pittsburgh (Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Petr Sykora).
Ø Ryan Clowe is now on a four-game point streak (1G+4A).
Ø Alexei Semenov scored his first goal of the season tonight.
Ø Milan Michalek’s three assists tonight ties his own career single-game high. He has now accomplished the feat three times, with the last time being on March 15, 2007 at Phoenix.
Ø Evgeni Nabokov let in a penalty shot by Matt Cullen, the first he has given up in the last six attempts against him. The last time he was scored upon on a penalty shot was the day of the Joe Thornton trade on Nov. 30, 2005 (Antti Miettinen of Dallas scored on a PS in the first period of a 4-1 loss).
Ø The Sharks outshot the Hurricanes 40-29. It is the sixth time the Sharks have lost despite outshooting their opponent by 11 shots or more.

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