The west is very tight with 4 points being the difference between 4th and 11th place. The Sharks have 47 points (21 14 5) trailing Vancouver's 55 (25 8 5) and have never had a really strong streak that we have grown accustomed to over the past few seasons. Many people I know have said various things along the lines of "I've written this season off" and "Its time to blow everything up". I disagree with both of these statements personally, sure this season isn't stellar but it’s not horrible either. The Sharks have a few things that need to change, one strong defenseman, better play from Nitty and Niemi, more interviews like Ryane Clowes last night.
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The defense I mention first as I believe we need to find ourselves a trade partner that can provide a strong Dman. In my eyes the Sharks whole system has to play a bit more defensive this season and have spent less time in the offensive zone than the previous seasons. Who could the Sharks pickup you ask? Well that is where I am stuck as I have not really looked around and picked someone I hope the Sharks grab. I don't view any of the current players as a sacred cow that cannot be moved right now, everyone is fair game in my book. So who would you like the Sharks to pickup and who would you move out for them?
Nitty and Niemi. Where to start on this. Nitty has played 20 games and is 12-7-1 2.44GAA .905 Sv%, Niemi is 9-10-2 with 21 games 2.97GAA .905Sv% Neither of these are great but not horrible either. Personally the games I watch Nitty in net I think the Sharks played better. Maybe I'm critical of Niemi but there are so many goals that I have seen should have been stopped. The main one that comes to mind was vs the Kings, a soft shot at Niemi that went to the 5 holes, Niemi had his legs closed and then he opened them. The Sharks need one of these guys to get really solid and consistent. Another thing I really like with Nitty is his rebounds are controlled and go out to the corners while Niemi's rebounds stay in front of the net.
After the game last night vs Vancouver Ryane Clowe had an interview that showed how upset and down right PO'ed he was with the team. The Sharks did not play poorly overall in this game but the loss was very frustrating. With Clowe being this upset I hope the whole locker room follows suit and use this to take the team to another level. Across the board, with exception to maybe Couture, the Sharks have not been performing to the level they are capable of. With Nabby leaving did that shake the confidence of the team as a whole? Was Blake that much of an influence on the team? Possibly both, I also think Manny was a big piece of last year’s team that has not been replaced.
So that’s my poorly written post, sorry I've been absent for a while, becoming a Roller Derby ref has taken up a good chunk of my time.
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