After a long period of inactivity (9 months to be exact)…Teal Time is ready to kick it back into gear with more insights, analysis, and multimedia dedicated to the San Jose Sharks and their 2011-2012 campaign.
For those not up to date with my whereabouts, I am still residing in Tel Aviv, and have been battling the time zone differences when following Sharks games and highlights.
Don’t you worry - I still manage to get my daily dose of Teal.
What I have seen so far in the young season gives me great hope and confidence that our boys will wow us once again come April/May.
Acute observations: I will admit I have seen little film this year, but I have noticed a huge improvement in Torrey Mitchell’s game. He recently scored against the despised red wings, and has shown a lot of jump in his play, leading to multiple scoring opportunities. I really like the fact that Todd McLellan is utilizing Mitchell’s speed (which has improved tremendously since his leg injury) to complement Jamie McGinn (great shot) and Michael Handzus (veteran leadership). They are the third line, and are as good as any in the league in my opinion. If Torrey stays healthy, he should be a key component in the playoffs.
What worries me: Although the Sharks dominated Detroit in the last game, they gave up two powerplay goals. Even when the offense is clicking, and defense is playing well 5 on 5, letting up on the PK will only lead to trouble in the long run. The Sharks need to adopt that killer instinct and not allow the opposition to get easy points. That includes staying out of the penalty box!
It is satisfying to see Team Teal come out of the gates and play well at the start of the season, as opposed to last year when they struggled in the first half. However, we have yet to see a nail biter victory (i.e. OT, come-from-behind). These types of games have shown to build character throughout the season and into the post season.
What I’d like to see: I would like to see Justin Braun on defense instead of Colin White. Braun has a lot of potential and should be given a shot to prove it. Paring him up with Jason Demers fills a complete defensive roster. Furthermore, I like seeing Andrew Desjardins on the fourth line along with Andrew Murray and Brad Winchester.
I was a bit skeptical when Doug Wilson signed Winchester, but as my friend recently pointed out: He fits in well in San Jose, with the Shark Tank being a few miles away from the world famous Winchester Mystery House.
In other news, I recently discovered a great fantasy hockey iphone app, which enables lineup edits, drops, adds, and more, and works for both yahoo and espn fantasy hockey leagues. A cool feature allows you to shake your iphone and your lineup automatically sets for that particular day!
The application is called FanMo Pro and is available in the app store.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more Teal Time coming daily and weekly to a tumblr near you!
GO TO THE NET… After watching tonight’s game, these words could not ring any more true. The Sharks media keeps harping on, “how may shots and chances they have, yet still no goals?” Well, those chances are all in the eye of the beholder. After watching tonight’s loss (including the loss in Anaheim in person), I saw maybe a handful of good rushes where they truly challenged the goalie to make a tough save. Otherwise the sharks only means of offense is a long shot from the blue line with no traffic in front of the net.
Who is going to step up and pay the price? What will it take for the players to realize that this last, but extremely crucial, point will most likely determine whether they make the playoffs or not? One thing is for sure. Doug Wilson needs to look for players who can make this sacrifice in front of the net. Never mind the defense, or the goal tending for that matter. We need a change! Until the team realizes they have to pay the price to light the lamp, we’ll be watching eight teams not wearing teal come playoff time.
Guest post submitted by Andrew Davidge
Teal Time has reached a new milestone in its Teal-story: 200 posts filled with in depth analysis, videos, and pictures. It does not stop here. In the midst of a mid-season slump, look for Teal Time to present the facts, issues, while spicing up the blogging world with eye catching multimedia.
Thank you to all the readers and rebloggers who have made Teal Time a success.
And with that, we leave you with a treat: Stan Lee’s Shark superhero, and part of ‘The Guardian Project’, a partnership between Lee and the NHL. You can visit the project at the URL below.
We now present: The San Jose Shark!
May the superhero lead us out of the funk and back to victory land…
The Sharks have now dropped 5 straight, a season high. They are in a slump, and a major one at that. From reading news around the league, around the city of San Jose, and watching TV interviews, you can sense that people are surprised. But is it really a surprise?
Is it a surprise that the Sharks top 3 players have been non-existent in the first half of the season, and that none of them have been selected to the NHL All-Star team? Is it a surprise that Ryan Clowe was the only one speaking out in the locker room? Is it a surprise that the Sharks continually pump 40+ shots on opposing goalies and come out with close to nothing to show for it?
Well, us here at Teal Time could have told you that this slump was coming a long time ago, not because we want to say “We told you so”. Rather, we want to spark some discussion around the core problem in San Jose hockey.
First, let’s begin with the “Big Three”, or shall we dare to call them the “Lazy Three”. Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News shared the same sentiments. For a team that should be sending at least 6 players to Carolina this year, it will only be sending Dan Boyle, who had his share of underachievement this regular season. Joe Thornton was quoted in saying that he didn’t mind being left off the All-Star roster, and that he is looking forward to the break in order to “re-charge” (whatever that means). The truth is that the Sharks pay Jumbo, Patty, and Heatley loads of cash to be leaders, and they are doing anything but that. They lack leadership. A leader will want to represent his team at the All-Star game, and improve his skills by playing with the best in the world. But our leaders prefer to “re-charge”. If you watch Heatley enter the zone with the puck, its as if he thinks he can just walk in and the clouds will part. This is probably one of the core problems in the Sharks 19th ranked power play.
No one is speaking out. During times like these, when Logan Couture has just been knocked out with an injury (thanks, Colton Orr), and Pavelski still on the shelf, you would look to Jumbo, Patty, and Heatley to take the team on their shoulders. But yet again, as we have seen the last 5 years, and time and time again in the playoffs, these three just fail to complete that task. They don’t even begin it. Fine, they may have legitimate issues, maybe. Then, the likes of Scott Nichol and Jamal Mayers, or even Setoguchi could take a stand and call out the big guys, and call out the team. However, the only person dishing out criticism is Ryan Clowe, who even then saw his quoted remarks disappear from the literature within a few days.
The Sharks hit the Leafs with 42 shots on goal tuesday night, capping yet another 40+ shot night with under 2 goals on the board. 80% of those shots lack quality, lack smarts, and lack heart. They come from all over the ice. Come on guys, are you really surprised? Have we not seen this before in 2009-2010? 2008-2009? 2007-2008? Playoffs? It has a lot to do with leadership, in the locker room and in the organization.
Something has to give. Either the head coach needs to be replaced, or a major trade must ensue. However, that’s unlikely going to happen. We will continually read the papers and see the same stories over and over again. There is no head coach under fire, like Ron Wilson in Toronto is day in and day out. “The Sharks just need to find a way to fine tune those areas which lacked strength,” you constantly hear commentators and analysis say. Um, no. The organization needs to set a better “tone at the top” and enforce a winning attitude, and strong leadership. True Leadership.
These themes that have been there for the last 5 years, and especially in the Blackhawks series last May, have yet to escape us. And so, after much talk of building on last years’ success, can we all agree that this year’s failures have not been built on success, but rather failure. Doug Wilson always harped about building on last seasons successes. Well Mr. Wilson, you were wrong. Last season was a microcosm of a 5-year problem, and until the organization doesn’t come to grips with that, we are going to be talking about the same issues come April.
The Sharks need a revolution. A revolution of culture. Perhaps a revolution of personnel. A revolution towards LEADERSHIP. Something has to give. For a team with so much talent, and a fan base that has seen great memories and moments in years passed, a first half season of no memorable moments is unacceptable. This is what brings the sea of teal through Santa Clara street each game night, and what makes the Tank the loudest building in sports. This is what creates the “Sharks Culture”, regardless of whether the team wins or loses in the playoffs. Granted, we should be discussing the prospects of the playoffs right now, but that is neither here nor there. We are in a crisis. Let’s hope the players, coaches, and general manager hear our call, because it’s going to get real ugly if they dont.