Friday's Baker's Dozen - 3/2/2012
Time for my weekly Baker’s Dozen.
- So after the 2-6-1 road trip the Sharks, to a man, said they had to play better defensively. So they give up one goal in the following two home games and still only get 2 points. It’s playoff hockey time folks, and Ryan Miller reminded us he is one of the best goaltenders in the world when he’s on his game.
- Since the All-Star break, the Sharks have struggled going 6-9-1. But it’s not because of lack of leadership from Captain Joe Thornton. In the past 16 games, Jumbo has 21 points (six goals, 15 assists) and is a plus-3.
- It’s official, concussions are now an epidemic in the NHL this year. It’s bad enough that Jonathan Toews and Kris Letang are now out with concussions, but Todd McLellan became the second coach this year to get a concussion and miss games because of it.
- I was wrong! I thought the Pacific Division was going to be a two-team race between San Jose and LA. Apparently the Coyotes, Stars and Ducks thought otherwise. Here are the point totals for each team in Jan+Feb=Total in 2012:
ANA: 19+19=38 points (2nd most in NHL)
DAL: 9+19=28 points
LAK: 14+12=26 points
PHX: 10+23=33 points
SJS: 20+11=31 points
- The ‘Honest Analysis Goes With The Territory’ quote of the week goes to none other than Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan after the Nashville game:
“If we’re going to give up four or five a night and think we’re winning, we’re dreaming. And we’ve got to keep pounding and pounding and pounding that into their heads until they absolutely believe it.”
- The Montreal media seems to enjoy running coaches out of town, which begs the question: Do they really know what they are talking about or do they just like to run coaches out of town?
When you look at last year's Stanley Cup Final, Claude Julien from the Bruins and Alain Vignault from the Canucks, have both coached in Montreal.
- BakesTakes13 takes a look down memory lane. Sharks alternate captain Patrick Marleau -- playing in his 1,000th game -- scored a shorthanded goal against Phoenix. Some things to note on this breakaway goal: speed, strength, head up, feet wide, shoots with hands out front so defending player can’t strip of him of the puck. A classic Marleau goal!
- Twitter 'Quotes of the Week' courtesy of @RattoCSN during Tuesday night's Sharks vs. Flyers game:
"Detroit has the liveliest boards in NHL, followed by Ilya Bryzgalov."
"Ahh, the late scrum with even later participants -- the unmistakeable sign of two teams in bad moods." #AreYouAfraidOfTheDark
- Sharks fans, a huge THANK YOU for the 100th consecutive sellout for the Sharks. You are the best! There is nothing like live hockey, and as an ex-player and current broadcaster I am honored to be part of such a great fan base. Gotta love Sharks Territory!!!
- Speaking of media attention in Canada, here are some headlines of articles in the Toronto Sun the last few days regarding the Toronto Maple Leafs who are 1-9-1 in their last 11. Two days, one newspaper, and this is just some of the articles. Oh the highs and lows of playing and coaching for the Leafs:
“Too late to fire Wilson”
“Burke throws Wilson under the bus”
“Brass backs Burke”
“Two-goal lead went to waste”
“If Wilson goes … then who?”
“It’s enough to make a sports fan cry”
“Leafs have lost their way”
“At least the Marlies are winning”
“Leafs going the Ron way”
- Some exciting amateur hockey coming. Good luck to the Valley Christian Warriors and Bellarmine Prep Bells who will travel to Anaheim from March 2-4 to compete for the inaugural California Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) High School State Championship.
Congrats and good luck to the Jr. Sharks Girls 12AA and 16AA teams who won the 2012 Pacific District Championship and will compete for the 2012 USA Hockey Tier II National Championship March 28-April 1.
- Tommy Wingels has been gaining the confidence of the coaches because of his consistent play and feistiness. In the past seven games he has led the team in hits in five of them, has had two fights, played on all the lines and keeps doing a good job at both ends of the ice.
- Here are some personal notes, highlights and low-lights from the Sharks nine-game, 16-day road trip:
• I’ve seen a lot of things over the years, but seeing a player get a traded mid-flight was a first.
• Did the plane really have mechanical issues on the last day, after an early start in Minnesota? The 16-day trip was now a 17-day trip.
• The play was in the opposite end from the Sharks bench when the whistle blew because of the Todd McLellan injury. Everyone in the press box was extremely worried because no one considered it might have been a puck or stick that hit him. What a relief seeing McLellan walk to the dressing room under his own power.
• Oh Nashville, how fun are thee! Jack's Bar-B-Que and the legendary Tootsie’s make it a favorite stop. The energy is always great in Nashville. I guess that’s what happens when there is live music everywhere you go… including the ice cream parlor.
• Toronto was great because I got to see some good friends who live there. In TOR it’s hockey, hockey, hockey all the time. The Leafs are one of the teams I played for and Toronto is in Canada which means Tim Horton’s coffee and Dill Pickle potato chips.
• In Carolina, Detroit and Columbus I was trying to distinguish between clean and dirty clothes, remember what my hotel room was, remember the name of the hotel and try and keep my sanity by spending as little time as possible in the hotel room.
• The great Paul Baker, my dad, hosted me for a day while in Tampa because he, like many east coast Canucks, is a snowbird who travels to Florida for the winter. Went to the beach and had some good father-son time.
• I can’t remember what happened in Washington and St. Louis because it was so long ago but the statistics remind me the Sharks went 1-1 in those games. Speaking of St. Louis, Sharks are 0-3-0 against them this year, making Saturday’s game a huge one for our beloved Sharkies.