Friday's Baker's Dozen - 12/30/2011
Time for my weekly Baker’s Dozen.
- The Sharks have historically played better when they play more games and get into a good rhythm. Let’s hope history repeats itself because the 2012 portion of this schedule is the toughest I have ever seen. Sharks just played 34 games (21 at home) in 85 days or one game every 2.5 days. Now they have to play 48 games (28 on road) in 98 days or one game every 2.04 days. Wow! Here is the monthly breakdown for the remainder of the season.
* January - 31 days, 14 games, 5 home, 9 away
* February - 29 days, 14 games, 4 home, 10 away
* March - 31 days, 17 games, 10 home, 7 away
* April - 7 days, 3 games, 1 home, 2 away
- If there was a Stanley Cup hangover then it didn’t last long. Boston and Vancouver combined for an 8-12-1 record in the month of October. Since then the top two teams from last season are a combined 38-9-2 (Boston 20-2-1).
- The Sharks have won the special teams (ST) battle seven times this year (more PP goals than PP goals against). They have tied the ST battle 15 times and lost it 12 times. Here are the records in each situation:
* Win ST Battle 7x with a record of 6-1-0
* Tie ST Battle 15x with a record of 6-5-4
* Lose ST Battle 12x with a record of 7-5-0
- Logan Couture, if fans haven’t figured out yet, is a natural goal scorer. He has a knack for scoring big goals, something that you really can’t teach. Here is a look at his games, goals and how many games it takes him to score, from his Junior days to playing in the NHL both regular season and playoffs.
* Ottawa 67s Regular – 232 games – 111 goals – 1 goal per 2.09 games
* Ottawa 67s Playoffs – 22 games – 9 goals – 1 goal per 2.44 games
* Worcester Regular – 46 games – 20 goals – 1 goal per 2.3 games
* Worcester Playoffs – 12 games – 2 goals – 1 goal per 6.0 games
* Sharks Regular – 138 games – 53 goals – 1 goal per 2.6 games
* Sharks Playoffs – 33 games – 11 goals – 1 goal per 3.0 games
- Joe Thornton, after the Sharks lost 3-2 to the Ducks: “There were a couple of bad turnovers. Mine in the second was pretty bad. Those kinds of things are going to cost you games. You hear it all the time. It’s a 3-2 league and we just couldn’t get the third goal.”
- If the NHL is really becoming a 3-2 league, should there be concern at the league office? That means goal scoring is down again as goalies are better than ever, and so is the coaching. And increasing the size of the rink IS NOT the answer.
- BakesTakes13 a look at McGinn’s top shelf goal against the Ducks on Dec 26. Good communication by White, a good D switch, strong backchecking and McGinn blowing the zone to create time and space for Handzus in the NZ all lead to this goal. Here is the video with slow motion and analysis:
- Quote of the week goes to Vancouver head coach Alain Vigneault after the Canucks 3-2 OT victory on Dec. 28: “Every year is a different year. Every game is a different game. The Sharks are a real good team; they’re one of the best in the NHL. We consider ourselves one of the good teams and every game so far has been really hard fought.”
- The Worcester Sharks are having a phenomenal month of December. While they still have 2 more games in the month, on the 30th and 31st, they are currently 9-2-1 in the 12 games they have played. Even more impressive is the fact they are 6-1-1 in 8 road games during this streak.
- Whenever I meet someone new and they find out I played professional hockey I usually get the question: “Do you have all your teeth?”. Well this past week I had to get a tooth pulled out that had a cap and previously had a root canal – injured from a crosscheck to the mouth. So to answer the question, yes a bunch of my teeth have been knocked out. I have two bridges in the front of my mouth, one upper, one lower because of a Randy Carlyle shot that knocked out all my front teeth.
- Canucks center Ryan Kesler’s post game comments after the Canucks victory: “We didn’t get caught up in any of the whining and crying out there. We just stuck to our game plan and played, I think, a good hockey game. Obviously, they’re a good team. We focus on our game. We don’t really look at games as measuring sticks. For us, we want to focus on our game and just play that way. If we do that, most nights, we’re going to come out with a victory.”
- I was 9 years old in 1975 when I was hunkered down in front of the TV with my family on New Year’s Eve to watch one of the greatest games and ties, 3-3, in hockey history. Montreal fans today can only dream of a game like the one the great Soviet Red Army with Tretiak in net played against the powerhouse Montreal Canadiens:
- As 2011 comes to a close I would like to share two quotes that we all should keep in mind, especially after some of the tragedies the hockey world endured this past year.
“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” - Greg Anderson
“You should live every day like it’s your last because one day you are going to be right.” - Ray Charles