Wednesday, November 30, 2011

San Jose Sharks November Analysis

November saw the San Jose Sharks play 11 games, eight at home and three on the road, with a total of 22 points on the line. After the final whistle blew in Los Angeles, the Sharks finished the month of November with 15 points (7 wins, 3 losses, and 1 overtime loss). Two of the losses were shut-outs and one of the wins was a shut-out. Patrick Marleau earned a hat trick, his first of the year while Marc-Edouard Vlasic was named the NHL's Second Star of the week ending November 20th due to his outstanding work. That same week, Ryan Clowe was assessed a $2,500. fine by the NHL Player Safety Department for a slashing Stephane Robidas on Saturday, November 19th during the game against the Dallas Stars.

One curious note was the first and second period performance of the team. San Jose showed a strange trend of sluggish activity during the first period of games. Contrast that to the impressive second period performance in the same games. Somehow, Coach McClellan must find a midpoint between the two. San Jose did reap the benefits of the second period play, moving up in the Western Conference standings. The power rankings of The Hockey News, ESPN, and the National Hockey League all recognized the Sharks achievements by placing them within the top three teams in the third week of the month, dropping them to the top five in the final week of November.

Joe Thornton leads the team in points, with 21 (5 goals and 16 assists). Patrick Marleau stands in second place with twenty points, with 10 goals and 10 assists. Joe Pavelski leads the team in goals with 11 (he has 9 assists) currently ranked third in points at 20 total. Antti Niemi has a 9-4-1 out of 15 games played with a goals against of 2.35 and a save percentage of .922 while Greiss has 4-3-0 out of 7 games with a goals against of 1.99 and a save percentage of .929.

The Sharks are back in action at the Tank on Thursday, Dec 1rst verses the Montreal Canadiens.

Sharks fans now turn to December with bright eyes. We know, as perennial optimists, that our players are tenacious. Have a bad game? Don’t worry; the Sharks will bounce back. Loyal Sharks fans do what they can to follow games. Naturally, going to games is the optimal method to experience Sharks action. Not all of us live in or near San Jose. Those fortunate enough to reside in areas that carry the games (either on local channels or out of areas not blacked out for cable/satellite/internet packages) can sit back and watch the action. The rest of us make do by listening to the radio broadcasts and/of participating in social media live blogs.  

Here’s to the next game! I’ll be logged in to the Sharks log as RenoSHarks01, adding my occasional two-cents. If I’m at home, I’ll have the radio broadcast turned on. Go Sharks!! With Lady Luck’s blessing, I’ll make it to a game this year, and if I do, I’ll be decked out in the teal/white and black. Probably won’t have a voice by the end of the game, but what the heck – I have plenty of time off accrued.

Normally, I’d sign off but I do have another hockey-related topic. Any of you out there The Hockey News (THN) readers? I’ve been a red/subscriber for a few years now. I look forward to each issue. I love the NHL Team Report section. I enjoy Adam’s column,  Proteau Type, and the THN Inbox. I’ll admit to not being crazy about the initial switch from a newspaper size to the current magazine size. I’ve adjusted.

If anyone from THN is reading this, please, PLEASE bring back the stats! I miss my stats. Okay, so on-line stats are up-to-date on the website. For a while, THN staff included some fun stats. That was cool. Then those disappeared, too. It was bad enough when The Hockey News did away with its Fantasy Draft contest. I sooo miss that.  I’m begging you, as a hardcore fan: show me the numbers!!!

It’s not so easy to find like-minded hockey fans in a hockey-less town. Don’t believe me? It takes a tragedy to get hockey in our sports (print) section. I wrote a letter to the editor requesting NHL coverage. Didn’t help. Automatic reply reminding me I can go on-line and see the extended coverage, including NHL and horse racing. Our local paper sticks to University of Reno (UNR), Reno Aces, and High School sports. Oh wait, don’t forget NFL, NBA, and Baseball. Excuse me, isn’t NHL a national sport??

It’s time for hockey to step up and demand equal coverage. During the live San Jose blog, one new fan joined due to the NBA lock-out. How many others have turned on hockey for the same reason? Let’s grab those fans and show them how exciting ice hockey is! 

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