Sunday, December 11, 2011

Power outage for the Sharks offense again. 0-6 on the powerplay last night in St. Louis and give credit to the Blues defense for being so stingy through the neutral zone and allowed no setup for the Sharks powerplay. They also were better on the boards and won the battles for the puck, especially on the "dump and chase". Elliot played very solid, no rebounds, no second chances. The Blues defense was more of the story though. The Sharks had very few shots on net and even fewer quality scoring chances. 

Sharks are lacking in their scoring over the last couple weeks. Sure they beat Dallas with their backup goalie in net. Other than that the Sharks can't get the pucks in the net. The powerplay isn't even a threat lately and most of that is due to a lack of entry into the zone. The Sharks are going to have to come up with some new way to get through the neutral zone and setup their offense. 

Let's look at what St. Louis really did though. The trap style defense and what it is doing to the game of hockey in the NHL. When the NHL moved the blue lines back again in 2005 after just moving them in 1998. They idea was hockey needs more goals and more excited offense chances. This has back fired badly in my option. By making the offense zones bigger, the neutral zone gets smaller and smaller. There by allowing coaches to change the way they coach their teams to play defense and implement a trap style defense that has caused the game to slow down more and more. This is making hockey boring to watch and frustrating to play if you are a playmaker. You can't fault defenses for doing what they have done. If the rules change players and coaches have to make adjustments to their game plans. The problem is, now we have a trap style defense and it works. Tampa bay obvious with their 1-3-1 trap. So how do you fix it? Do we move the blues lines back. No, hockey players are bigger and faster then ever before. So if you want more offense you need more ice. I am not talking about making the net 6 inches smaller. They need to think about adding ice which would mean losing some seats. But more ice equals more speed and more exciting hockey and more goals.

Friday, December 9, 2011

1st Posting

First of all, I would like to welcome all of you to my first attempt at starting a blog about hockey. Topics here are open to anyone who wants to contribute their thoughts on the NHL, it's players, rules, teams or anything relevant. Although most of what will be discussed will be around west coast hockey, namely the San Jose Sharks, I want to keep current and unbiased as best I can about the rest of the league. I welcome any suggestions or comments as I get this rolling along.

Today is December 9th, 2011 and lets talk about what is current. Starting with Sharks win last night, we saw the same upbeat start as we did on Tuesday night, only this time when the Stars pushed back for a good period the Sharks stayed in it and eventually got three very quick goals in the second that ended any hope for Dallas. Both teams seemed to play a conceded third period where both teams had very little drive to change the score.

Upsides for the Sharks: Right now I am looking at Brad Windchester with his net front presence, something the Sharks always lack. Also Marc-Edward Vlasic, a current +13 on the season and leading the team. Pickles is finally really coming into his own game and playing with himself as an outstanding DFD.

Downsides for the Sharks: Dan Boyle, where to start with this. Well, Boyle is -1 on his plus/minus and the only Shark with 20+ starts to be in negative plus/minus numbers. He is second on the team in shots, but only has one goal to show for it and to honest it was pretty much an empty net. Also from also every game I have watched he seems to have really lost a step this here. This isn't a personal attack on Boyle, more I think there is an injury or something slowing him down. I have never seen him lose more one on one races and battles for a puck then he has this year. Is his age a factor? Maybe, but I am leaning toward an injury that of course none of will know about until the year is over.

NHL: Andy Sutton will have his hearing tomorrow and after watching the video and the fact that he already had a 5 game suspension early this year for a hit to the head, I believe we could be looking at a large suspension. 7-10 games is my guess but this will be the first repeat offender of this season and we will see how the Dept of player safety handles it.

Also in the NHL last night, Artem Anisimov decided to get cute with a goal celebration. Although I think this was unintentional, it was of very poor taste and I am completely on Tampa Bays side with their response. If it happened in one of my games, I know me and my teammates would have the same reaction. I think Downie may get a suspension on this, he came from the bench to get into an altercation.

Realignment: Obviously a lot to talk about here. I am really interested to see how the 4 conferences break down every year and to see what kind of playoff series we get. It should really heat things up in the first and second rounds of the playoffs as teams will always be playing the same rivals. 

That's it for my first post. Hope to get one out everyday if I can. Thanks for checking it out.