Friday's Baker's Dozen - 3/9/2012
Time for my weekly Baker’s Dozen.
- The Sharks, more than any other team in the Pacific Division, control their destiny to win the Division. Why? Because the Sharks have twice as many divisional games left compared to the other teams – so if they do well in those games they should be in a solid position to finish 3rd in the Western Conference. Here are each team’s Pacific Division records and how many divisional games they have left this year.
ANA 8-9-2, 5 games left (2 vs SJ)
DAL 10-9-1, 4 games left (2 vs SJ)
LAK 11-4-5, 4 games left (3 vs SJ)
PHX 10-6-3, 5 games left (3 vs SJ)
SJS 7-6-1, 10 games left (4 at home, 6 on the road)
- Excuses like not scoring and injuries are just that … excuses. In the NHL you have to find a way to win. The Blues average 2.54 goals per-game, which is tied for 19th in the NHL, but are 1st in the West with 91 points. While the Sharks would like to score more (who wouldn’t) they are still 12th in NHL in goals/game with an average of 2.69.
The Penguins have 308 total man-games lost this year but are in 4th place with 85 points in the East. As a matter of fact, there are only 3 teams with less man-games lost than the Sharks, and they are the Bruins (71), Blackhawks (100) and Predators (120). The Sharks with 122 man-games lost to injury, have less than half than 11 teams including the Blues (268), Panthers (291), Flyers (306) and Jets (245) who are currently in the playoffs.
- Special Teams are important, the question is how important are they?
• Montreal has the best PK in the league and is in 15th place in the East.
• Edmonton has the best PP in the league and is in 29th place in the overall standings.
• The NY Rangers have the 29th best PP, or 2nd worst in the league. They are in 1st place in the East with 91 points.
• Ottawa, Philly, Winnipeg, Florida, Chicago and San Jose are all in the bottom 10 in PK in the league and all are in position to make the playoffs.
- What if the Sharks win the Pacific, play the Blackhawks in the 1st round and Niemi shuts down his old team? Would the Sharks have earned the right to say they are confident heading into a 2nd round matchup?
- Assistant Coach Matt Shaw after the Sharks loss to the Blues. "It's always work and resolve and the attitude that we're going to overcome any bumps in the road. It's not a magic wand or a switch."
- Last week the fans and media were screaming for Ron Wilson to get fired and they got their wish. Brian Burke knows all to well how tough the pressure is to play in Ontario. He sees opponents on away teams play great against Toronto because they know all their family and friends are watching. However, when you play for the Leafs that means all your friends and family are there to see the media bash you because inevitably that is going to happen. So maybe it’s a good idea to not have any Ontario players on the Leafs because of the incredible media scrutiny.
- Here is why I believe anything can happen this year and why I stay positive. Because no one thought the Sharks would make the playoffs in their 3rd year in the league after starting the season 0-8-1. No one thought the Sharks would beat Detroit in the first round. I am not saying the Sharks are going to make the playoffs, win the Pacific, win a round in the playoffs or go on to win the Stanley Cup – I am not making predictions. But I am saying that as a player, you have to believe! We believed in 1994, and I’m sure we were the only ones who did.
BakesTakes13 takes a look at a little mojo from last year’s playoffs.
- Truculence is one of the descriptions that Toronto GM Brian Burke used in explaining/identifying his role and depth players while with the Anaheim Ducks. With Randy Carlye reunited with his old GM, the Twitter quote of the week goes to @TSNBobMcKenzie: “Truculence alert: TOR's Jay Rosehill clears re-entry waivers.”
- Of the top 30 scorers in the NHL, 16 are from Canada and of those 8 are from Ontario. Here are the Nationalities of the top 30-point getters in the NHL.
Canada / Ontario – 8
Canada / Rest Of - 8
Sweden – 4
Czechoslovakia – 3
Russia – 3
USA – 2
Finland – 1
Yugoslavia – 1
- Admittedly, I felt bad last week when ex-Shark Devin Setoguchi needed to score in the shootout to keep his teams chances alive for 2 points and he lost the puck, then blew a tire and fell. The good news is he scored a goal with 10 seconds left to send the game into overtime. That miscue, however, doesn’t compare to Patrik Stefan’s mistake a few years ago.
- Congrats to the St. Lawrence University Woman’s Hockey Team for winning the ECAC Championship for the first time ever. Chris Wells was named Coach of the Year after taking his team from a 6-8-3 start in the first 17 games to an improbable 18-2-1 in the last 21. Good luck to the SLU Skating Saints in the NCAA’s.
- 135 games have gone to the shootout this season, or the skills competition as some like to call it. There have been a total of 1,206 attempts, 308 goals and 898 saves. The goalie’s save percentage is 65.44%.
- I grew up in Nepean, Ontario (just outside of Ottawa) and played for the Toronto Maple Leafs so I thought I would share my two cents on Don Cherry going after Brian Burke episode because Toronto is the only team in the NHL that does not currently have any Ontario born players on their roster.
A couple of examples of why it’s hard to play in Toronto, especially if you are from Ontario: An article in the paper with the title “The Not So Fabulous Baker Boy” so all my friends and family get to read about how terrible I am. Or at a home game the fans are booing you and yelling things you don’t want your friends, family and especially your kids to hear, yet they are all there. Those are just two examples of life as a Toronto Maple Leaf.
I don’t think there is a perfect answer. Grapes is right, there should be some Ontario born players on the team considering 8 of the top 30 scorers are from Ontario. I think Burke also has a valid point, the pressure on Ontario born players is incredible and they often don’t play up to expectations because of the pressure.