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Pacific Division Power Ranking #4
Holiday Tunes Edition
by Ryan Hall
Here we are in the middle of December, with Christmas only a few short days away. As shoppers fill the malls, presents pile up under the tree, and kids hit their Christmas holiday, the NHL also prepares to shut down for a couple days. It's a time of peace and quiet reflection, and of course a deluge of holiday music; though for some teams in the Pacific Division those tune aren't going to be very merry. In fact, whether they are naughty or nice, each of the 7 squads that grace the far west has their own holiday theme that best describes their season so far. So, let's drop into their locker rooms and see what festive tunes are blasting.
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Holiday Sweater
Sharks' annual Christmas video is one to remember
by Paul Krill
OK. I admit it. I can't get that silly tune from the Sharks' annual Christmas video, this one focused around garish "holiday" sweaters, out of my head. (I'd have preferred they be called Christmas sweaters, but that's an issue for another day.)
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Sharks ride Hertl's goal over Nashville
Antti Niemi earns 29th career shutout
by Mike Lee
The home cooking has started to take effect for the San Jose Sharks. After stalling out of the gate early in the season, the Sharks have ripped off six straight home wins, including a 2-0 win over the Nashville Predators at SAP Center on Saturday night. The Sharks rode an early goal by Tomas Hertl, then defended against a flurry of Nashville shots in the 3rd period to jump past the Calgary Flames for the 6th spot in the Western Conference.
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Sharks weather a Wild storm
Pavelski's 15th saves Sharks
by Mike Lee
With the skies above San Jose opening up all day Thursday, it was fitting that they would have to weather a constant stream of pressure from a team that's fighting to get its season on track. Sitting just 3 points behind the Sharks in the Western Conference standings, the Minnesota Wild tried to match the 4-3 win they enjoyed over San Jose back on October 30th in Minneapolis. The Sharks had other ideas, as they skated to their 5th straight win on home ice by dispatching Minnesota 2-1.
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A Quick Fix in San Jose
Speed things up already
by Ryan Hall
The San Jose Sharks are not a good team right now. The dramatic win versus Philadelphia, while good for a frustrated fan base, can't hide that fact that for most of that 60 minute contest these two teams were locked into a colossal stare down. Now, tight checking games between two quality opponents is one thing, but the Flyers aren't exactly tearing up the Metropolitan Division these days. It's exactly that reality that made last night so hard to watch as the Sharks should be able to handle teams like that with more ease then they showed.
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Pavelski leads retribution
SJ beats Edmonton 5-2
by Mike Lee
Doing what they should have done 48 hours earlier, the Sharks knocked off the Edmonton Oilers 5-2 at SAP Center. After stumbling to the Oilers in Alberta on Sunday night, the Sharks got their act in gear and whipped up a bushel of goals to bum rush the cellar dwellers from the Great White North. Joe Pavelski scored a pair of goals in the pummeling.
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Sharks lay down to league's worst
Edmonton Oilers stymie Sharks in Alberta
by Mike Lee
The 4-game winning streak went down in flames on Sunday night. The Sharks strutted into Edmonton to play the worst team in the NHL, and limped out a 2-1 loser. The Oilers had not won a single game against a Western Conference team this season (0-12-4) and had lost their 11 games before the NHL's version of life support rolled into town. All the good vibes San Jose had built over the course of the last week were obliterated with the flick of David Perron's twig.
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Sharks extend win streak to 4
SJ grits out 3-2 win in Calgary
by Mike Lee
San Jose kicked off a brief 2-game trip through Alberta with a gritty 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday night. The Sharks overcame a sluggish opening period by scoring a pair of 2nd period goals, then broke a 2-2 tie with a Patrick Marleau goal in the 3rd period to give the Sharks their 4th win in a row.
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Nothing wrong here
Move along
by Ken Smyth
With a quarter plus of the season gone, the San Jose Sharks' are 6-6 (or 6-5-1 if we break out shootouts) against 2014 playoff teams but 6-8 against non-playoff teams. Being bipolar means that you are really up part of the time, (uhh, so I'm told) but there's not a lot of happy here. The break in the announced sellout streak is easy to spot with rows of seats empty over the last few home games.
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Hot Product: NHL Men's Apparel
Nieto beats the clock and Flyers
Last second goal nets SJ back to back wins
by Mike Lee
There is no skirting the fact that the Sharks are struggling right now. The offense has been thin and the defense porous, but even with those issues, San Jose was able to celebrate a win on Tuesday night. The Sharks put their issues on the shelf for an evening and scratched out a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
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Plattner asks for patience
Sharks owner asks fans to relax
by Mike Lee
It's not often we hear from Sharks majority owner Hasso Plattner. So when he does elect to speak, it's typically for a good reason. At least, that's been Plattner's track record. Six months after his last public statement, Plattner responded to inquiries by the San Jose Mercury News in response to questions about the Sharks struggles.
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Sharks not so fowl
San Jose breaks 4-game losing streak with wild win over Ducks
by Mike Lee
From the "you have to walk before you run" approach to hockey, the Sharks took a step in the right direction on Saturday night by beating the Anaheim Ducks 6-4 at SAP Center. The Sharks stormed out to a 5-1 lead then had to hold as the Ducks fought back to within a goal of San Jose's lead. The regulation win came against a division foe that also happens to be at the top of the table in the Western Conference.
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Roast turkey comes early
Sharks serve up Flames win on a platter
by Mike Lee
With the Sharks falling on their faces on Thanksgiving eve, it would be too easy to make comparisons to the birds that will be adorning many of your dining room tables on Thursday. So let's step things up and be a little more graphic. The Sharks played more like turkey droppings on Wednesday night, falling 2-0 to the Calgary Flames at SAP Center.
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Hitting the Fan
Two players gone, losses mount, goals hard to come by
by Paul Krill
It looks like panic is starting to set in. Or at least it should be. We're seeing players shipped out. Jason Demers is gone, Adam Burish as well. Who will be next? Meanwhile, losses keep piling up, the Sharks rarely score goals and the team has won just two of seven home games this season. Maybe they should go back out on the road?
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Sharks acquire Dillon from Stars
San Jose ships Jason Demers to Dallas along with draft pick
by Mike Lee
The change took five months to get started, but GM Doug Wilson is finally taking action to solve some of his team's ills. Wilson shipped defenseman Jason Demers to the Dallas Stars along with a 3rd round draft pick in 2016, in exchange for defenseman Brenden Dillon. The move provided the Stars with a right-handed shot, and the Sharks get the left-handed defenseman that they desperately need.
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Home no haven for San Jose
Sharks drop another season series
by Mike Lee
If you took the 3000-to-1 odds on the Sharks losing the season series to the Florida Panthers, Columbus Blue jackets and Buffalo Sabres, you just hit the jackpot. San Jose completed the parlay of shame on Thursday night, dropping a 3-2 shootout loss to the Panthers at SAP Center. The no-name Panthers overcame a last second goal by the Sharks at the end of regulation by one-upping San Jose in the skills contest.
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Pacific Division Power Rankings #3
Okay! So I was wrong Edition
by Ryan Hall
While only in its second season, the Pacific Division has often been called the toughest in hockey; a fact that I have trumpeted many times in this very column. However, is that really true? Is it possible that the lovable Western teams really aren't the juggernauts that they appear? As the calendar begins to draw towards the latter half of November, it's time for us all to face the harsh reality: maybe parity isn't the same thing are skill level?!
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Buffalo forecast calls for a flurry of goals
Defense softer than a NY snow
by Mike Lee
If anything was going to save the Sharks on Tuesday night is was the weather. Limping into Buffalo for the finale of a painful 7-game road trip, the Sharks needed the blizzard that blanketed Western New York to prevent anyone from reaching the First Niagra Center. No such luck. The snow wasn't deep enough, nor was the Sharks lineup, as San Jose coasted through a 4-1 loss to the hapless Sabres.
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Another winnable loss
Sharks fall to another cup cake
by Mike Lee
How do you explain the on-again, off-again season the Sharks are having? San Jose will beat the best one night, then lose to the worst the next. They did it again on Saturday night, losing to a depleted Columbus Blue Jackets team that has gone 1-8-1 in their last 10 games. Columbus had lost 9 in a row before winning on Friday night, but even after that the Sharks had no business losing to their hosts.
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Befuddling Sharks win
SJ knocks off East's best
by Mike Lee
The Sharks are a bewildering team. After laying an egg against one of the league's worst teams in Florida on Tuesday night, San Jose rebounded with a solid win against the best team in the Eastern Conference on Thursday night. Joe Thornton and Tyler Kennedy each scored in the Sharks 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena.
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Sharks shelled on Veteran's Day
San Jose endures second straight thumping
by Mike Lee
South Florida is where old people, devoid of energy and life, go to retire. The Sharks got in on that act on Tuesday night, checking their dentures at the door and turning in early in a lethargic 4-1 loss to the host Florida Panthers at BB&T Center. The only thing missing from this game was craft hour and pudding for dessert. The Sharks coasted for 60 minutes and ended up getting beat by a bad hockey team in a mausoleum that held a tick over 8,000 paying customers.
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1st period dooms SJ in Chi-town
Sharks dig their own grave early
by Mike Lee
Playing on a 7-game road can be taxing, but throw in games on back-to-back nights and you have the recipe for some lackluster hockey. Skating less than 24 hours after their energetic 3rd period comeback in Dallas on Saturday night, the Sharks sputtered in Chicago, losing 5-2 to the Blackhawks at the United Center. San Jose allowed Chicago to administer a 3-goal body blow in the opening period, which provide to be too much to overcome.
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3rd period kind to Sharks
San Jose kicks off big trip with 5-3 win
by Mike Lee
The Sharks kicked off a tough 7-game road trip on Saturday night with wild 5-3 win over the host Dallas Stars in Texas. Brent Burns scored a pair of 3rd period goals, to help the Sharks turn the tables on an opponent for a change. San Jose overcame a Tyler Seguin hat trick to upend the Stars, who held a 3-1 lead through 40 minutes of play and lost for the 7th consecutive time.
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Sharks fade against the Canucks
Lots of shots, too little scoring in 3-2 loss
by Mike Lee
After 5 days off, the Sharks looked to build on their 3-1 win over the New York Islanders last weekend as they squared off against the Vancouver Canucks at SAP Center on Thursday night. Mission not accomplished. San Jose played a 30 minute game that netted them a 3-2 loss. It was a well-deserved loss for a team that got too cute with the puck and tried too hard to do all the little things except score goals.
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Pacific Division Power Rankings
The After Halloween Edition
by Ryan Hall
Well, the candy is piled high in bowls, the costumes are put away for another year, and sudden onset diabetes is about to strike; yup it's the day after Halloween! While last night was definitely filled with fun, Trick or Treater's weren't the only ones getting up to some shenanigans! Even though it isn't a sugar hangover, Pacific Division teams are still waking up to face the inevitable question: "What happened last night?" For some it was a horror movie, while others simply didn't want the ride to end. With that in mind, and before all the fog clears, let's take a look into the fevered dreams that plagued the 7 squads out West.
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Back to basics
Sharks turn the tables on Islanders
by Mike Lee
Funny thing happened on Saturday night, as the Sharks focused on getting back to basics. They won. They did it in an inglorious way, but they won and that's all that matters. Forget pretty wins. The Sharks need to focus on establishing an offense that can deliver in crunch time and a defense that will clamp down on opponents. They got both of those on Saturday night, beating the New York Islanders 3-1 at SAP Center.
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Wild expose Sharks 3rd period woes
SJ blows 3-1 lead and lose in the shootout
by Mike Lee
The Sharks had the chance to close out the opening month of the season on a high note. Leading 3-1 in the 3rd period, familiar bad habits made an appearance and before they could blink, San Jose was losing to the host Minnesota Wild 4-3 in the shootout. Kyle Brodziak pounced on the Sharks soft 3rd period defense by scoring a pair of goals, then Mikko Koivu and Jason Pominville beat Antti Niemi in the shootout to win their 6th game of the season.
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Sharks rewarded for strong effort
Colorado holds SJ until the shootout
by Mike Lee
Building on their strong performance in Anaheim on Sunday night, the Sharks kept up the pressure on the second leg of their road trip in Denver, but it took 65 minutes and a shootout to be rewarded for their effort. San Jose out played the Colorado Avalanche for the majority of the evening, but it took extra time and the skills competition to lock up two points in a 3-2 barn-burner.
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Don't push the panic button…yet
Saturday's broad daylight nightmare at home is followed by Sunday's dominance in Orange County
by Paul Krill
After Saturday's multi-faceted flop - the Sharks laid an egg against the lowly Sabres and failed to sell out on a wonderful Saturday afternoon - panic buttons were readied. Internet discussions again asked why Todd McLellan and Doug Wilson were still employed by the Sharks. Musings on who the new coach would be ensued. And the empty seats showed that the Sharks are indeed going to have to finally pay a price for failing in the playoffs year after year after year; a "What's the use?" attitude looks to have set in, to some degree.
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Ducks snap Sharks out of their funk
Teams combine for 165 penalty minutes in SJ's 4-1 win
by Mike Lee
After losing four straight games, the Sharks needed a swift kick in the pants to snap them out of their funk. What better than a division rival known for their unwieldy ways. That rival was the Anaheim Ducks, who obliged the Sharks with an invitation to the Fight Club, rather than a hockey game. San Jose used the engagement to play solid team hockey and bond a little as a team.
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Sharks drop 4th straight to doormat
Buffalo the latest to open up in the 3rd period
by Mike Lee
If you happen to be driving down Santa Clara Street on Saturday afternoon, you may have caught a whiff of an awful stench emitting from SAP Center. That smell may have been the 17,370 paid attendees all vomiting in mass as the league's worst Buffalo Sabres were handing the Sharks their 4th loss in a row. Having won once in eight tries this season, the Sabres should have been easy pickings for the Sharks. What should have been and what transpired were two very different things. Buffalo scored a pair of 3rd period goals to beat San Jose 2-1 in what is clearly the most embarrassing loss of the season for the Sharks.
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This story is getting old
Yet another 3rd period collapse
by Mike Lee
If you saw any of the Sharks last two games, then there was no need to take in Thursday night's contest at SAP Center. Same story, different opponent. Jump out to an early lead, cough up that lead in the third period, then lose. That's your story line in a nutshell. Same old late mistakes and a lack of defensive fortitude to hold on to a lead are all the Sharks have to offer right now. Bad 3rd period hockey allowed the Columbus Blue Jackets to take two points in a 5-4 decision against the hapless Sharks.
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Western Conf W L OTL Pts
(1) Anaheim 21 7 5 47
(2) Chicago 22 9 1 45
(3) St Louis 21 8 2 44
(4) Nashville 20 8 2 42
(5) Vancouver 18 11 2 38
(6) San Jose 17 11 4 38
(7) Winnipeg 16 10 6 38
(8) Los Angeles 15 11 6 36
SJ Home 8 4 2 18
SJ Road 9 7 2 20

 Next Game: 12/18 (7:30pm) vs
 Prev Game: 2-0 W vs

Scoring Gm G A Pts PIM
Thornton 32 8 20 28 4
Pavelski 32 15 12 27 15
Couture 32 12 15 27 2
Marleau 32 7 20 27 4
Burns 32 9 15 24 30

Goaltending W L OTL Sv% GAA
Niemi 12 7 3 .919 2.42
Stalock 4 3 1 .926 2.12
Grosenick 1 1 0 .948 1.53

Special Teams # Eff% Rnk
Power Play 23/96 24.0% 4th
Penalty Kill 15/92 83.7% 9th

12/1 Assigned D Matt Tennyson to Worcester (AHL)

11/25 Recalled D Matt Tennyson from Worcester (AHL)

11/21 Acquired D Brenden Dillon from the Dallas Stars for D Jason Demers and a 3rd round selection in 2016

11/12 Recalled G Troy Grosenick from Worcester (AHL)

11/6 Recalled F Tyler Kennedy from Worcester (AHL)

11/6 Assigned F Chris Tierney to Worcester (AHL)

  more transactions >>

11/16 Troy Grosenick - 1st NHL Shutout (@ CAR)

11/16 Troy Grosenick - 1st NHL Win (@ CAR)

11/16 Troy Grosenick - 1st NHL Game (@ CAR)

10/30 Barclay Goodrow - 1st NHL Gamet (@ MIN)

10/23 Patrick Marleau - 500th NHL Assist (vs CBJ)

  more milestones >>
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