One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

The Tank, San jose, CA

Jonas Donskoi is on fire against Arizona, scoring the tying goal with 16 seconds left in the game.

Jonas Donskoi is on fire against Arizona, scoring the tying goal with 16 seconds left in the game.

Hey now, Happy New Year to all my readers!  The Sharks came off the mandatory 5 day bye week with a thrilling albeit sloppy game against the Yotes on Saturday night.  While it seemed there was no stopping San Jose’s vaunted power play, the Sharks couldn’t contain the leagues worse team, as they traded goals in the first period three times each.

Martin Jones looked lost, giving up 3 goals on six shots and was pulled at 14:01 of the first period!  Aaron Dell came in and steadied the goaltending, giving up two goals for the rest of the game.  Meanwhile, The Donfather as play by play announcer Randy Hahn calls him, was nearly unstoppable with two goals and the primary assist on Logan Couture’s 1st period goal.

The third period was wild and wooly as the Sharks and Coyotes traded goals, with Arizona briefly taking the lead after chasing the Sharks most of the night on a goal by Josh Archibald (who?).  That set up the heroics from Donskoi as he scored with almost no time left on a wrister from the Wookie Brent Burns.

This leads me to expand on the Sharks defensive woes after much of the year leading the LEAGUE in goals against and save percentage.  Martin Jones has been awful from a results perspective, losing six straight and getting pulled last night.  Thank God for G Aaron Dell, because he is the rock San Jose needs.  San Jose’s fourth line was kinda awful, a combined -10 for the night.

Brent Burns, he of the cannon from the point, is the teams worst in plus minus at -18.  It seems that every game I watch I see him on his belly as the other team’s play goes by him time and again to score.  When is he or the coaches gonna figure out that isn’t the way to stop today’s NHL player from scoring?  Stay upright and drill him!! Also, I know it’s cliche but he stops moving his feet, which is why he thinks he has to dive to check the puck.  It works about 1 in 20 times.

To sum it up, Sharks need to tighten up their defensive play, giving up 25 GOALS in six games.  Their last road trip was horrid, losing to Dallas 6-0, Toronto in OT 3-2, Ottawa 6-5 in OT after leading 5-2 in the 3rd and Winnipeg 4-1. Their lone win was in Montreal against the offensively challenged Montreal Canadiens and Carey Price.

As the second half begins, the Sharks have 3 games in 4 nights, playing the Kings tomorrow and Arizona at home on Tuesday.  LA is also muddling along right now after leading the Pacific for much of the first half of the season.  They started out 11-2-2 and after losing to the Shmucks of Anahymen are 13-12-3.  The Kings are beatable right now, but so is Martin Jones.

Hey Coach Pete DeBoer, bring back Paul Martin and play him with Burns.  Burns won a Norris Trophy with Martin as his D partner and put Brendon Dillon back on the third pairing with Tim Heed or Joakim Ryan.  Can’t be any worse than averaging almost FIVE GOALS AGAINST for your last six games?

Marc-Eduard Vlasic with the winning OT pickle in Saturday nights game against Arizona

Marc-Eduard Vlasic with the winning OT pickle in Saturday nights game against Arizona

 

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