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POSTED ON Saturday, 04.13.2013 / 2:01 PM
By Jamie Baker - Sharks Radio, Color Commentator / Great White Bites

Including tonight's game against Dallas, the Sharks have eight games remaining.

Here is who they play:
Dallas -  2x - have won 4 in a row and are only 2 points out of a playoff spot
Phoenix - 2x - have points in 8 of last 10 games and are 2 points out of a playoff spot
LA - 2x - Defending Champs are 1 point ahead of Sharks for 4th place
Minnesota - 1x - 3 points out of 4th and 3 points ahead of teams tied for 9th place.
Columbus - 1x - They are on a roll right now, have beaten the Sharks twice and are only 2 points out of a playoff spot

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.09.2013 / 12:05 PM
By Jamie Baker - Sharks Radio, Color Commentator / Great White Bites

The Pittsburgh Penguins have guaranteed themselves a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs and have done so for the seventh consecutive year. That's the third longest active streak for teams making it to the NHL's coveted playoffs. The top two teams are:

Detroit - Twenty one years in a row. Incredible but that amazing feat is closer than ever to ending as the Wings hang on to eighth spot by a few points over hungry teams such as Phoenix, Edmonton, Dallas and Columbus.

San Jose - Eight years in a row. And with the recent home-stand where the Sharks gained 13 of a possible 14 points it looks like their streak will continue to nine years in a row. It's a huge accomplishment and a testament to the great work that the management, hockey operations, coaches and players have put in over the years.

The Sharks meanwhile shouldn't be satisfied with just making the playoffs but trying to get enough points to be the fourth seed and home ice advantage in the first round. It is starting to look like they might play LA, Vancouver, Minnesota or St. Louis and starting at home where the Sharks are 14-1-5 would be an advantage against any of the mentioned opponents.

Hard to believe that after tonight's game in Columbus there will only be nine games left in the season. It's flying by but man is it fun.

Bakes

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POSTED ON Thursday, 04.04.2013 / 1:39 PM
By Jamie Baker - Sharks Radio, Color Commentator / Great White Bites

What a week ....

Doug Wilson made some tough decisions in the past week trading away popular (in the dressing rooms and with the fans) players Murray and Clowe who were drafted and developed in the Sharks organization.   They are both pending unrestricted free agents, as is Michael Handzus, so Wilson traded these players to acquire draft picks to help position the Sharks for the future.  

The Sharks then acquired Scott Hannan who started his career with the Sharks and is a good depth defenseman who lays it on the line and is comfortable playing against top players in a shut down role.  The Sharks also acquired Raffi Torres, and the math is real simple here, you'd rather have him on your team than have to play against him.  

As one hockey writer said, Doug Wilson did some "savvy maneuvering" that was very beneficial to the Sharks both in the present and for the future.

Meanwhile, the Sharks have been savvy maneuvering their way up the standings with a 6 game winning streak and playing the best hockey since the start of the season.  In the 6 games the Sharks have:
  • beaten Anaheim, Anaheim, Detroit, Phoenix, Vancouver, and Minnesota
  • given up 9 goals
  • only put the other team on the power play 7 times
  • out-skated and out-played the opposition in each of the games with a balanced 4 line attack, solid defensive play from the D-corps and great goaltending.
It's been a great week in Sharks Territory.

Bakes
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POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.02.2013 / 5:03 PM
By Jamie Baker - Sharks Radio, Color Commentator / The Daily Chomp

Jamie Breaks Down This Week's Topics

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POSTED ON Saturday, 03.30.2013 / 1:20 PM
By Jamie Baker - Sharks Radio, Color Commentator / Great White Bites

Definitions:

Truncated - "shortened by or as if having a part cut of"
Unpredictable - "not predictable; not to be foreseen or foretold"
Uncomfortable - "causing discomfort or distress"
Sharks - "mostly marine fishes, certain species which are large, voracious and dangerous to humans"
Realization - "the making or being made real of something imagined, planned"
Home - "a house, apartment or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family or household"
Home - "the place in which one's domestic affections are centered"

This truncated season has been unpredictable and since the Murray trade the Sharks players have shown they are uncomfortable with the realization that home as they know it could change via a trade unless they play well at home, which they have done so far by shutting out the Ducks and Wings in back to back games.  

Stay tuned hockey fans, this improbable season is just kicking into high gear and don't try and figure out what's going to happen, just enjoy the ride.

Go Sharks!

Bakes

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 03.26.2013 / 11:58 AM
By Jamie Baker - Sharks Radio, Color Commentator / Great White Bites

Douglas Murray, aka the Crankshaft, introduced all of us to his patented “head down, eyes up, hit-back.” Cranker would have his head down to lure opponents to come and hit him but unbeknownst to them his eyes were up – meaning just before they hit him he planted his 245 lb. middle linebacker body and offered the hit-back. Opponents would get credit for a hit yet they ended up going down …. Hard! Good luck in Pittsburgh Cranker and thanks for all great memories in San Jose. You will be missed both on and off the ice!

• With Jon Cooper getting the Head Coaching position in Tampa Bay a void was left for their AHL team, the Syracuse Crunch. Ex-Shark player and assistant coach Rob Zettler was named Head Coach of Syracuse – congrats to Zetts who is one of the best guys I have ever met.

• The Sharks just completed a stretch of 15 games out of 20 on the road. The Sharks spent 28 of the last 43 days on the road and a rough estimate of about 42 hours of time in the air. Remembering your hotel room is the least of your concern, especially when the wins were hard to come by. The good news is this tough stretch of the season is now in the rear view mirror and the Sharks are still clinging to a playoff spot.

• What’s in store – 7 home games in a row, 13 straight days in San Jose and not having to eat every meal in a restaurant. Here’s to some good home cooking both at home and on the ice where the Sharks have a home record of 8-1-4.

It’s great to be back in San Jose where we have the best fans in the NHL.

Bakes

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POSTED ON Thursday, 03.21.2013 / 7:22 PM
By Jamie Baker - Sharks Radio, Color Commentator / Great White Bites
Attributes of elite hockey players.

Skating
- quickness, speed, mobility, agility, backwards
Hockey Sense - ability to anticipate and make the right decisions ... quickly
Compete Level / Win Battles - have to win battles to get the puck
Puck Skills - stickhandling, quick hands, puck protection, making and catching passes
Ability to Score - some players have the knack, others don't
Size / Strength - helps to win battles and endure a grueling schedule
Leadership - ability to make others better
Intangibles - discipline, experience, good details/habits, work ethic, not injury prone

It takes a combination of all these attributes to be a great player and to build a great team. The fastest team doesn't necessarily win, neither does the biggest or the most skilled. Building a team is like making a great stew, you need just the right ingredients and they have to all compliment each other.

The Sharks along with every other team they are competing with to make the playoffs are trying to find just the right ingredients. Isn't that what makes hockey, and sports for that matter so interesting; watching teams try and find that right mix of character of chemistry. The Giants did it as did the A's and 49ers and now the Sharks are trying to do the same thing.

Don't forget to set your clocks for 11am PST on Saturday - that's game time against the Wild. Should be a great game.

Bakes
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POSTED ON Wednesday, 03.20.2013 / 5:19 PM
By Jamie Baker - Sharks Radio, Color Commentator / The Daily Chomp

Jamie Breaks Down This Week's Topics

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POSTED ON Saturday, 03.16.2013 / 12:48 PM
By Jamie Baker - Sharks Radio, Color Commentator / Great White Bites
Team Chemistry. It's what every hockey team looks for. I don't think anyone has the actual recipe and that's why teams tinker with lineups.

Drew and I were reminiscing on the flight home from St Louis about our 93/94 team. That team wasn't the biggest, fastest or most skilled but man did we battle, compete and play for each other, not to mention we got unreal goaltending from Arturs "The Wall" Irbe.

Drew was an assistant coach and a big part of that team. I was a 3rd line player and a big part of that team. And that's the thing, teams with character and chemistry get contributions from everyone and everyone buys in and knows their role.

We started that year 0-8-1. No one outside of the players and coaches thought we would do what we did by making the playoffs and upsetting the Red Wings.

The 2013 Sharks team is big, skilled and while they might not be the fastest team in the league they compete and are hard to play against. The coaching tandem of McLellan, Robinson, Johnson, Woodcroft and Heimlich is top notch.

Maybe this team has seen a pro-longed rough patch that will help them come together and develop a chemistry that leads to special things happening. I don't know but I am looking forward to watching how the second half of this truncated season plays out.

Drew and I can just cheer these guys on but we would both love to see this group get that special feeling - it doesn't happen often and its fun to reminisce about years later.

Go Sharks, BEAT LA!

Bakes
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POSTED ON Tuesday, 03.12.2013 / 12:51 PM
By Jamie Baker - Sharks Radio, Color Commentator / Great White Bites

Can you imagine the NFL season being 32 games in 68 days? That's the equivalent of this short season where teams are playing 48 intense, pressure filled games in 99 days.

Anyone who expects the players to be at their best for that many games in such a short time period with all the travel has never seen a game played at ice level --- or played in a short NHL season before. It's fast, it's physical and the bumps and bruises add up.

The Sharks have laid an egg twice this year - in Columbus and in Calgary, otherwise they have competed in every game. In Columbus they looked mentally unprepared to battle - it happens!. In Calgary they were working hard but they had no legs and couldn't get to the places their brains told them to go to, it happens! Playing the night before and traveling on game day is not an excuse, it's an explanation.

We are exactly at the halfway point of this truncated (love that word by the way) season. The Sharks are truly a half is glass full, glass is half empty team depending on how you want to analyze them.

Stingy defense with great goaltending or a team that can't score? The Sharks are currently in 7th place, 2 points out of 4th and 6 points away from 15th. The schedule gets even tougher the last month and a half and it will be a wild ride to the finish.

This short season sure beats the non-season in 2004/05. I can't wait to get the 2nd half of this season going and the opponent is perfect, the St. Louis Blues, the team who knocked the Sharks out of the playoffs last year.

Tonight should be a good game and then it's back to back with our SoCal rivals and the defending Stanley Cup Champions - what a great week for hockey.

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SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 82 41 38 23 79
J. Thornton 82 11 65 20 76
P. Marleau 82 33 37 0 70
L. Couture 65 23 31 21 54
B. Burns 69 22 26 26 48
T. Wingels 77 16 22 11 38
D. Boyle 75 12 24 -8 36
J. Demers 75 5 29 14 34
T. Hertl 37 15 10 11 25
M. Nieto 66 10 14 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Stalock 12 5 2 .932 1.87
A. Niemi 39 17 7 .913 2.39
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