Dan's Thought of the Day - 3/2/2013

Saturday, 03.2.2013 / 10:27 AM PT
By Dan Rusanowsky - Sharks Broadcaster / Great White Bites
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Great White Bites

I was watching the “Top Chef” finale this morning between two great chefs, Brooke and Kristen. The margin of difference between the two chefs was so infinitesimal, and the difference between winning and losing was so razor-thin, it reminded me of the challenges that NHL clubs like the San Jose Sharks are facing these days.

In the competition, it turned out to be the sous chefs, line cooks, and other team members who played a huge part in the decision. Brooke was a great chef, but her personally selected team member, C.J., burned pig’s ears because of a moment of indecision, and maybe a momentary loss of composure. That led to her losing to eventual Top Chef winner Kristen, whose team converted on all of its major opportunities, despite the fact that they were also human beings who undoubtedly made a few errors during the matchup.

It sort of reminded me of a couple of 2-on-1’s in the Detroit game just a couple of days ago where a single millisecond changed the complexion of the game from a Sharks perspective. Detroit made some mistakes in the game, too, but they not only were able to overcome them, they had their group clicking together at the critical moments of the game.

Perhaps the theme of the remainder of the Sharks season should be, “Don’t burn the pig’s ears.” Sticking to the game plan, and forging ahead in spite of a human being’s penchant for making errors, is all part of how a championship team is built.

Last season, the Los Angeles Kings played 13 consecutive games in which they scored 2 goals or less in 12 of them. The stretch ended with an 8-2 defeat at Joe Louis Arena against the Red Wings.

In 23 of their last 48 games, L.A. scored 2 goals or less. But they did something else: they allowed 2 goals or less in 35 of their last 48 games (72.9%). You may also remember that the Kings, built around the defensive excellence, stopped burning the pig’s ears, picked up a bit of offensive help, and won the Stanley Cup.

Right now, the Sharks have scored 2 goals or less in 11 of their last 12 games, and 14 of 19 total games played. But they’ve also allowed 2 goals or less in 8 of their last 12, and 13 of 19 total games played (68.4%).

I’m not saying that the San Jose Sharks are on the same path as the Los Angeles Kings are, but I am saying that the margin between victory and defeat, which is so razor thin, can and will be turned. All that it takes is a little synchronicity between the sous chefs and the line cooks, and making sure that you don’t burn the pig’s ears.

I’ll shift from folksy imagery to plain mysticism for my final thought: Given that the scoring outage began with the very first game against the Nashville Predators on February 2nd, it stands to reason that it will all end with the final game against Nashville, which is being played tonight.



SCHEDULE

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AWAY
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STANDINGS

PACIFIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 LAK 55 33 19 3 151 129 69
2 SJS 54 29 20 5 158 144 63
3 ANA 54 27 19 8 123 127 62
4 ARI 55 25 24 6 144 168 56
5 VAN 55 22 21 12 127 149 56
6 CGY 54 25 26 3 144 160 53
7 EDM 57 22 29 6 139 169 50

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 54 25 27 18 52
B. Burns 54 18 30 -11 48
J. Thornton 54 12 36 17 48
P. Marleau 54 17 18 -17 35
J. Ward 52 15 17 -11 32
M. Vlasic 51 7 24 8 31
T. Hertl 53 11 16 5 27
J. Donskoi 49 10 16 2 26
L. Couture 24 5 13 4 18
J. Braun 52 1 17 8 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Jones 26 15 3 .916 2.34
A. Stalock 3 5 2 .884 2.94
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