Monthly Archives: March 2011

“Hits and Misses” for Stars at Sharks 3/31/11

Result:  Stars 0, SHARKS 6

San Jose Sharks defensema Douglas Murray knocks down Dallas Stars forward Toby Petersen Thursday night. Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports.

HITS

Dan Boyle – Boyle scored his seventh goal of the season, and first goal in 17 games, at 16:12 of the first period to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead.  Sharks forward Kyle Wellwood, who was at the goal line inside the Sharks zone, fired a breakout pass up the ice to line-mate Joe Pavelski, who skated with the puck into the Stars zone.  With one Stars defender back, Pavelski put a spin-o-rama backhand shot on net from the top face-off circle dot that Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen stopped but left a juicy rebound that Boyle, who was crashing the net, was able to chip in the open net for the goal.  With the secondary assist on the goal, Wellwood now has 100 career assists.

Logan Couture – “Calder” Couture scored his 31st goal of the season with the Sharks on the Power Play at 4:30 of the second period to put the Sharks up 2-0.  Couture is now tied with New York Islanders rookie Michael Grabner for the NHL rookie goal lead.  With Stars defenseman Trevor Daley serving a two-minute “hooking” penalty, Couture won a battle for the puck along the boards in the Stars zone and got the puck out to Boyle, who fired a shot on net from the blue line.  The shot was blocked in front by Sharks forward Ryane Clowe, who was screening Lehtonen in front and Sharks forward Dany Heatley picked up the loose puck and fired a shot on net that was deflected into the air.  Couture, who had worked himself back into the slot from the side board, gloved the puck down and slid a backhanded shot into the net for the goal.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – “Pickles” scored his third goal of the season at 18:25 of the second period to put the Sharks up 3-0 heading into the second intermission.  With the puck in the Stars zone, Sharks captain Joe Thornton won a battle for the puck in the top corner and sent an incredible cross ice pass down to Vlasic, who ripped a shot from the point that squeezed through the pads of Lehtonen for the goal.

Patrick Marleau – Marleau recorded his 50th career multi-goal game with his 34th and 35th goals of the season and set a franchise record with 12 shots on goal.  Marleau’s first goal of the game came at 2:30 of the third period to put the Sharks up 4-0 and showed just how fast Marleau is as he took a pass from Sharks forward Jamal Mayers at center ice, blew past Stars defenseman Jeff Woywitka in a split second by turning on the afterburners and once in the Stars zone, sniped a shot from inside the slot that beat Lehtonen, ending Lehtonen’s night as he was pulled for backup goalie Andrew Raycroft.  Marleau’s second goal of the game came at 12:26 of the third period that put the Sharks up 5-0.  With the puck in the Stars zone, Heatley battled for the puck in the corner against two Stars players.  Thornton supported on the play, got the puck on his stick, went around the Stars net and centered a pass out in front to a cutting Marleau, who backhanded a shot over Raycroft’s shoulder for the goal.

Ben Eager – Eager scored THE GOAL of the NHL season at 14:18 of the third period that was simply specular and jaw dropping.  The goal was Eager’s sixth of the season and came as the result of a two-on-one rush with line mate Mayers, who carried the puck into the Stars zone.  Mayers passed the puck over to Eager, who displayed just how skilled he is by receiving the pass, going forehand, put the puck through his own legs and roofed the puck via a backhand shot for the goal.  Even more amazing, Eager did all of that in one smooth motion and in a split second.

Dany Heatley – “Heater” had a two point night with two assists and had played one of, if not his best game as a Shark.  Even though Heatley didn’t score a goal, Heatley did all the other little things on the ice such as battling for the puck, getting in front of the net and playing solid fundamental hockey.

Joe Thornton – With his two assists, the Sharks captain now has 997 career points, just three shy of the 1000 point milestone.

Jamal Mayers – “Jammer” had a two point night with two assists.

Douglas Murray – “Crankshaft” had a game high five hits in the game.

Antti Niemi – Making his 32nd consecutive start in net for the Sharks, “Nemo” was simply flawless as he stopped all 29 Stars shots for his 6th shutout this season and 13th career shutout.

Special Teams – The Sharks Penalty Killers went a perfect 3-for-3 when short handed and the Power Play unit went 1-for-3 with the man advantage.  The Sharks have now scored a Power Play goal in 10 of their last 11 games.

Sharks Team – This was the most complete game the Sharks have played all season as they registered a season high 52 shots on goal and had 13 skaters record a point {Jason Demers, Andrew Desjardins, Torrey Mitchell, Murray and Niclas Wallin went scoreless}.  With the win, the Sharks officially clinched a playoff spot in the Western Conference, remain in first place of the Pacific Division with 99 points, four ahead of the second place Phoenix Coyotes, and finally surpassed the Detroit Red Wings for the second overall seed in the Western Conference.

MISSES

Penalties – About the only thing that could put a blemish on this effort was the string of three consecutive penalties the Sharks took in the second period.  Even though the penalties didn’t come back to haunt the Sharks on the scoreboard, the Sharks don’t want to be flirting with danger like that once the playoffs start.

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Hockey Talk 101

This post entry is for fans of all forms {new, non and life long} in order to have a better understanding of how the NHL game is played.  The post will be linked on the left side under “Shark Pond.”  The terms came from an old San Jose Sharks Magazine (Vol. 5 No. 6 with Owen Nolan on the cover to be specific) as did the page scan of San Jose Sharks mascot S.J. Sharkie doing the officials’ signals.

Official NHL Rink Dimensions. Photo courtesy of personal.psu.edu

DEFINING THE GAME

Back Check: To hinder an opponent heading toward and into the defending zone.

Blue Lines: The pair of one-foot wide blue lines which extend across the ice at a distance of 60 feet from each goal.  These lines break up the ice into attacking, neutral and defending zones.

Body Check: Use of the body on an opponent.  It is legal when the opponent has possession of the puck, or was the last player to have touched it.

Breakaway: An offensive rush in which the attacking player breaks into the clear and has a clear shot on the goaltender.

Corners: Four curved areas of the hockey rink where a great deal of action takes place.

Crease: Area directly in front of the goaltender.  It is four feet wide, eight feet long and marked off by red lines.  Offensive players who do not have possession of the puck may not enter.

Deke: To fake an opponent out of position.

Face-off: The dropping of a puck between one player from each team to start or resume play.

Forecheck: To check an opponent in his end of the rink, preventing an offensive rush.

Freeze the Puck: To hold the puck against the boards with either stick or skate in order to stop play.

Goal Cage: Sometimes called a net.  It is 6 feet wide and 4 feet high.  Its back is enclosed with netting in order to catch the puck when shot into it.

Goal Mouth: The area just in front of the goal and crease lines.

Hat Trick: The scoring of three or more goals by a player in one game.

Icing: Intentionally shooting the puck from behind the center red line over opponent’s goal line.

Kicked Goal: A goal intentionally kicked into opponents net.  It is disallowed.

Major Penalty: Calls for for five minutes in the box, and can be imposed on any player (i.e., fighting)

Minor Penalty: Calls for two minutes in the box and can be imposed on any player (i.e. for hooking, tripping, etc.).

Misconduct Penalty: A 10-minute penalty usually called against a player whose become excessively abusive.  The team may substitute for the penalized player.

Offsides: Occurs when an attacking player precedes the puck into the attacking zone; play is resumed with a face-off.

Penalty Box: The area opposite the team benches where penalized players serve time.

Penalty Shot: Gives the player a clear shot with only the goaltender to defend it.  Awarded when a player is fouled from the rear while having an otherwise clear path to the goal.

Power Play: A power play occurs when a team has a one-man or two-man advantage because of opponent’s penalties.  It is an all-out attempt to score.

Puck: The vulcanized rubber disc which is whacked around the ice.  It is frozen for several hours before game time to prevent it from bouncing.

Pull the Goalie: Replacing the goaltender with an extra skater.  Usually occurs when a team trails (usually by one goal) in the final minute or so of the game.  It is a high-risk maneuver aimed at tying the score.

Save: A shot blocked by the goaltender that would have been a goal if not stopped.

Screen-Shot: Goaltender’s view is blocked by players between the shooter and goalie.

Slap Shot: Hitting the puck with the blade of the stick after a full backswing.

Slot: The area immediately in front of the goal.  It is from the zone that most goals are scored and where the most furious action takes place.

Split the Defense: Player with the puck attempts to squeeze between the opponent’s defensemen.

Stickhandle: To control the puck along the ice.

Photo courtesy of San Jose Sharks Magazine Vol. 5 No. 6

PENALTIES

Boarding: To ride or drive an opponent into the dasher boards.  It is illegal and calls for a penalty.

Butt-Ending: To hit an opponent with the end of the stick farthest from the blade.  It is illegal and calls for a penalty.

Charging: Taking more than two steps to body check an opponent.  It is illegal and calls for a penalty.

Cross-Check: Hitting an opponent with both hands on the stick, when no part of the stick is on the ice.  It is illegal and calls for a penalty.

High-Sticking: Striking your oppoent while carrying the stick above the waist.  It is illegal and calls for a penalty.

Holding: Using hands or stick to hold an oppoent.  It is illegal and calls for a penalty.

Hooking: Using the blade of a stick to hook or grip an opponent from behind.  It is illegal and calls for a penalty.

Interference: Minor penalty called on a player who impedes the progress of an opponent not in possession of the puck, or who dilberatley knocks stick out of an opponents hand.

Roughing: A small-scale punching or shoving bout which results in a minor penalty.

Slashing: Swinging stick at an opponent.  It is illegal and calls for a penalty.

Spearing: Stabbing an opponent with the stick blade.  It is illegal and calls for a penalty.

Tripping: Minor penalty imposed to any player whose stick, knee, foot, arm, hand or elbow causes an opponent to trip or fall.

PLAYERS

Goaltender: The main responsibility of the goaltender is to keep the puck from entering the goal.  There are no restrictions placed on the methods he can employ.  His offensive contributions are limited and consist of occasionally passing the puck to the defensemen or forwards.  A goalkeeper almost never scores a goal and only on rare occasions does he receive credit for an assist.

Defensemen: The defensemen try to stop the incoming play at their own blue line.  They attempt to break up passes, block shots, cover opposing forwards and clear the puck from in front of their own goal.  Offensively they carry the puck up the ice or pass the puck up to the forwards, then follow the play into the attacking zone, stationing themselves just inside the opposition’s blue line at the “points.”

Center: The center operates mostly up and down the middle of the ice and usually leads the attack by carrying the puck.  He sets up the plays by exchanging passes with his two wingmen and tries to steer the play toward the enemy goal.  Defensively, he tries to keep play in his own attacking zone by harassing the opposing puck carrier (forechecking).

Wings: The two wings move up and down the sides of the rink with the direction of play.  Offensively, they skate abreast the center exchanging passes with him while positioning themselves for a shot on goal.  Defensively, they try to disrupt plays by the opposing wings and upset their shot attempts.

“Worcester Sharks Weekly”…Sharks keep Calder Cup Playoff hopes alive

WORCESTER SHARKS WEEKLY

Photo courtesy of http://www.sharksahl.com

Despite losing two-of-three games at the DCU Center this weekend, the Worcester Sharks kept their Calder Cup Playoff hopes alive by winning two of their four games for the week and capped off the weekend with a 3-1 victory over the Adirondack Phantoms.  With the win, the Sharks improved to 34-28-4-8 with 80 points and remain four points behind the Connecticut Whale for the third and final guaranteed playoff spot in the Atlantic Division of the AHL Eastern Conference with only six games {three home, three away} remaining in the 80-game AHL season.

The Sharks began the week bright and early Tuesday morning as the team traveled to Portland to play the Portland Pirates at the Cumberland County Civic Center, where the Sharks rallied back from a 3-0 deficit to shock the Pirates 5-4 in overtime.  After falling behind 3-0 in the first period, a wild line brawl broke out at 16:24 of the period after Sharks forward Jamie McGinn ran over Pirates defenseman Tim Conboy behind the Pirates net.  Every player on the ice squared off during the brawl, which resulted in 76 penalty minutes and four ejections, including Sharks defenseman Sean Sullivan and Sharks forward Tommy Wingels.  After the brawl, the Sharks were able to seize momentum as forward Patrick Davis scored his fifth goal of the season on a short-handed breakaway to get the Sharks on the board heading into the first intermission.

Just three minutes into the second period, Dan DaSilva scored his 16th goal of the season with the Sharks on the Power Play to cut the deficit to 3-2.  After a Pirates goal increased the deficit to 4-2 nearly two minutes later, Sharks defenseman Nick Schaus scored his fourth goal of the season at 12:29 of the period to cut the deficit to 4-3.  In the third period, Sharks defenseman Joe Loprieno tied the game at 4-4 at 16:37 with a one-time bomb from the blue-line that forced overtime and just 16 seconds into the extra frame, Sharks forward John McCarthy scored the game winning goal with a quick rush up the left side and a seeing eye shot over the shoulder of Pirates goalie David Leggio.  Sharks goalie Carter Hutton made 24 saves in net and Wingels saw his six game point streak come to an end.

On Friday night, the Sharks began a five game home-stand at the DCU Center as they hosted the Providence Bruins and in front of a sellout crowd, the Sharks were defeated 4-2.  Despite out shooting the Bruins 34-24 for the game, the Sharks had a hard time getting the puck passed Bruins goalie Anton Khudobin, who made 32 saves in net for the Bruins.  Sharks forwards Davis and Benn Ferriero scored their sixth and 16th goals of the season respectively and goalie Harri Sateri made 20 saves in net for the Sharks in the loss.

On Saturday night, the Sharks hosted the Springfield Falcons and were embarrassingly defeated 7-2 as Falcons rookie goalie Paul Dainton made 39 saves in net for his first professional win, which was also the Falcons first win in 13 games and their first win in the month of March.  Hutton was pulled after allowing four goals on 11 shots and was replaced by Sateri, who made 17 saves on 20 shots.  Sharks forwards T.J. Trevelyan and Wingels scored their 15th and 17th goals of the season respectively, both of which came on the Power Play late in third period to cut the deficit to 6-2.  The Sharks also set a franchise record with their 80th fighting major penalty this season after Sharks forward Frazer McLaren and defenseman Nick Petrecki dropped the gloves in their respective fights during the game.

After the Falcons game, DaSilva {@wsharksdasilva} tweeted the following…Embarrassing loss tonight, running out of time for a playoff spot, we better have a better effort tomorrow.  Need the 2 pts.  Have a good night.  The Sharks got the message loud and clear as on Sunday afternoon, the Sharks hosted the Adirondack Phantoms and skated away with a 3-1 victory in a must win game.  Sharks forward Kevin Henderson scored his eighth goal of the season to give the Sharks a fast 1-0 lead at 1:21 of the first period.  After the Phantoms tied the game in second period, Trevelyan scored his 16th goal of the season at 11:46 of the third period to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead and Davis added an empty net goal for his seventh goal of the season.  After being chased out of net the previous night, Hutton had a strong bounce back game, making 35 saves in net for the Sharks.

*Photo and information was used from www.sharksahl.com for this post entry*

“Hits and Misses” for Sharks at Coyotes 3/26/11

Result:  SHARKS 4, Coyotes 1

San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture scores his first goal of the game early in the first period against the Phoenix Coyotes Saturday night. Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports.

HITS

Logan Couture – “Calder” Couture had a three point night with an assist and two goals, his 29th and 30th goals of the season.  With the two goals, Couture became the first Sharks rookie in franchise history to score 30 goals in a season and only trails New York Islanders Michael Grabner by one goal for the rookie goal lead.  Couture’s first goal of the game came at 5:06 of the first period that put the Sharks up 1-0.  Sharks forward Dany Heatley intercepted a clearing attempt by Coyotes forward Shane Doan just outside the blue-line and after waiting for the Sharks to get back onside, Heatley dumped the puck into the Coyotes zone.  Couture won the race to puck on the end-board and got the puck over to line-mate Devin Setoguchi, who passed the puck to line-mate Ryane Clowe.  From the high face-off circle dot, Clowe fired a shot on net that was stopped by Coyotes goalie Iyla Bryzgalov, who left a juicy rebound that Couture, who had worked himself back to the front of the net, picked up and shot into the open net.  Couture’s second goal of the game came at 12:13 of the third period that put the Sharks up 4-1.  Couture took a pass in the neutral zone from Sharks defenseman Ian White and from just inside the blue-line of the Coyotes zone, Couture fired a shot on net that beat Bryzgalov blocker side.

Ryane Clowe – Clowe had himself a three point night and a “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” with a goal, his 24th of the season, two assists, his 35th and 36th of the season, and dropped the gloves with Coyotes forward Paul Bissonnette late in the third period after Bissonnette took several cheap shots at Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic.  Clowe’s goal came at 15:17 of the second period that put the Sharks up 3-1 and was his sixth goal in his last 10-games.  Setoguchi carried the puck into the Coyotes zone from the neutral zone and fired a shot on net from just outside the top face-off circle.  Bryzgalov made the save but left another juicy rebound in the slot that Couture missed but Clowe, who was following on the play, gathered the rebound and fired a shot from just in-between the two face-off circles in the slot that beat Bryzgalov “5-hole.”

Joe Pavelski – “The Big Pavelski” scored his 18th goal of the season at 3:35 of the second period that put the Sharks up 2-1 and held up as the game winning goal.  Sharks forward Jamal Mayers carried the puck into the Coyotes zone from the blue-line and passed the puck down to the near face-off circle {on his right side} to Pavelski, who passed the puck in front to Sharks captain Joe Thornton, who snapped a shot on net that hit the post.  Luckily for the Sharks, Pavelski stayed with the play and from the side of the goalie crease while on his knee, Pavelski backhanded the puck into the open net for the goal.

Antti Niemi – Making his 31st consecutive start in net for the Sharks, Niemi was once again spectacular, stopping 26-out-of-27 shots to record his 31st victory of the season, joining former Sharks goalies Arturs Irbe, Evgeni Nabokov and Mike Vernon as the only goalies in franchise history to win 30-games in a season.  Niemi’s night in net was highlighted by his save on Coyotes leading scorer Keith Yandle that robbed Yandle of a sure goal and left everyone speechless as Yandle had snuck in from the point and fired a shot on net from point-blank range that Niemi, who was out of position, stopped with his blocker as the result of a huge push across his crease.

Joe Thornton – With his assist on the Pavelski goal, Thornton now has 45 assists for the season and 995 career points.  Thornton also had four shots on net, surpassing his previous five game total of one.

Jason Demers – The Sharks defenseman had a game high three blocked shots.

Penalty Killers – The Penalty Killers successfully killed off both Coyotes Power Play attempts.

Sharks Team – Playing their third game in four nights, and second of eight against Pacific Division rivals, the Sharks head into their four-day break having earned five-out-of-six possible points and have earned at least one point in 27 of their last 31 games.  The Sharks remain in first place of the Pacific Division with 97 points, four ahead of the second place Coyotes, and remain tied with the Detroit Red Wings, who won earlier today, for the second overall seed in the Western Conference.

MISSES

Coyotes Goal – This was the only thing that went wrong all night for the Sharks and it was the result of the Sharks failing to win an in-zone face-off.  Shortly after Couture had scored his first goal, there was a face-off inside the Sharks zone that Coyotes forward Kyle Turris won.  Turris got the puck down to defenseman Derek Morris, whose slapshot from the high slot was blocked in front.  Unfortunately for the Sharks, the puck bounced over to Coyotes forward Mikkel Boedker, who put the puck into the net at 6:23 of the first period to the tie the game at 1-1.

Power Play – This is a minor “miss” as the Sharks failed to score on their only Power Play of the game, which unfortunately, snapped the Sharks streak of nine consecutive games with a Power Play goal.