Friday's Baker's Dozen - 3/30/2012
Time for my weekly Baker’s Dozen.
- I love the way Joe Pavelski plays the game of hockey. In the Sharks last four victories (Nashville, Detroit, Boston and Colorado) he has been the 1st star twice and the 2nd star twice. For good measure, he was also a star in the loss in Anaheim. The Big Pavelski uses all of his abilities to the utmost, and when the games are important, he finds a way to elevate his play. Pavelski competes every shift, plays for his teammates, and is about as selfless a player as you can get.
- I covered all the mirrors in my home because I’m ashamed to look at myself. Why you ask? Because in the past few weeks I have been cheering for teams that I would never in my wildest dream cheer for, including: Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis and, if you can believe it, Vancouver.
- When Florida makes the playoffs they will end a 10-year postseason drought. So the dubious honors of “team that last made the playoffs” goes to the center of the hockey world, aka the Toronto Maple Leafs. The last time the Leafs made the playoffs was the 2003-04 season.
Only 232 miles separates Toronto and Detroit, but they are a lot further apart when it comes to hockey organizations. Both are Original 6 teams, but while one has lost 20 of 25 games and will miss the playoffs for the 7th consecutive season the other will be in the playoffs for the 21st straight year.
- Not so “Oh” in Canada as it looks like 5-of-7 teams won’t be making the playoffs. Right now Vancouver is definitely in while Ottawa is trying to hold off Washington and Buffalo for one of the final spots in the East.
- Sharks alternate captain Ryane Clowe after San Jose's loss to Phoenix on Thursday night: “I still think we can get more juice from some people. Do you want to play or do you want to go home?
- Some people are complaining about how the referees are calling the games. The question shouldn’t be if the games are called differently, it should be are the games safer? There have been way too many injuries to star/elite players this year. They’re whom the fans pay to see, not the refs. So if the refs are actually slowing the game down a little bit and making it safer, which means more top players are playing and not injured, I consider that a good thing!
- BakesTakes13 loves this video:
- I’m very impressed on how defenseman Justin Braun has continued to develop, especially his skating. His shot is hard, he has a quick release and his passes are hard and flat. There comes a time in a player’s career when you realize you belong in the NHL, and when that happens you can take the next step because you are playing with more confidence. I think Braun took that step this year.
- From the road: Part A – Brodie Brazil is his name. Brodie Brazil is a very interesting person, albeit I don’t think he is in the stratosphere of “most interesting man in the world”. At least not yet! Brodie Brazil has his pilot’s license. Brodie Brazil scored a goal in the Sharks Fantasy Camp last weekend. Brodie Brazil is so good at bowling, we made him use his left hand for half the frames in a media bowling outing in Anaheim this past week – and he still had the top score.
- From the road: Part B – Here is the conversation I had with Randy Hahn after the bus pulled up to the hotel in Phoenix around 12:45 AM this past week. Randy, by the way, was looking very tired.
Randy: “I’m really tired.”
Me: “You look really tired.”
Randy: “I think I’ve over done it with all the running I’ve done the last few days.”
Me: (puzzled look on my face)
Randy: “I ran a half marathon on Sunday. I ran five miles before we flew to Anaheim and then six miles after we got there for a total of 11 miles. Then I ran five miles this morning.”
Me: “Impressive. What the heck is going on though?”
Randy: “I don’t know, maybe I’m running away from something. Or maybe I’m running to something.”
Me: “Oh.” (pause)
Me: “Or maybe you are chasing your tail.”
Randy just looked at me, in a tired way, and then we got on the elevator and went to our respective rooms without really saying anything else. Oh!
- Good luck to the teams competing in the NCAA Frozen Four, which starts next Thursday, April 5 in Tampa. The first national semifinal is Union vs. Ferris State and the second is Minnesota vs. Boston College. I’m rooting for the underdog and team representing the ECAC.
- “It’s about scoring chances and scoring opportunities and we need to capitalize on our opportunities... And our power play needs to get us a goal here, a goal there.”
Apparently there are other teams struggling to score goals because that quote was from Calgary Flames Head Coach Brent Sutter
- “If tomorrow wasn’t promised, what would you give for today? Forget everything else. Forget that there was any sunlight left. What would you spend today thinking about, yourself or the man that was beside you?” – Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens Linebacker
My personal analysis regarding the Sharks is very simple and easy to understand. With four games left, you can’t ask for a better schedule. The Sharks have home and away games with two division rivals for a chance to make the playoffs and win the division for the 3rd seed in the Conference. The Sharks control their destiny and that’s all you can ask for at this time of year. Win and your in. Lose and you’re out. It’s up to the players in that dressing room.
Ryane Clowe said it best: "If you've got 14 or 15 guys going this time of year, you're not going to win, especially against Dallas and L.A. You need everyone. We have to have all four lines rolling, and we need the tenacity. We can get the grit up a bit."
So go do it!