I have been sitting in front of my computer for two games, (Detroit dismantling Vancouver and Anaheim clipping Colorado in OT) wondering what to write about for this blog.
I could write about the Sharks. I could regurgitate some woeful stats and make us feel even worse about the last ten games.
I thought about writing on the lack of scoring is because of the collective lack of speed. The opposition is faster than the Sharks, especially away from the puck. Therefore they take away all the time and space and make it look like the Sharks can’t execute the easiest of passes.
But you already know that and I could probably get in trouble if I mentioned that.
I could write about the lack of scoring depth. Did you know the Big 4, (Thornton, Marleau, Pavelski and Couture) are directly responsible for 72% of the Sharks goals? It is the biggest top heavy discrepancy in the NHL.
Again, depressing and negative. Yes my style but not productive. So I need to be positive. It will help my attempt at a new contract.
There are three players that I find inspirational and uplifting to watch even if the Sharks lose.
By far is the most consistent best performer this season. He is displaying excellent body control. The great Bret Hedican has talked often on the minimal movement and control that Antti is showing on most nights has significantly reduced rebounds and allows him to be set and in position for the second save.
But the best part of Antti Niemi’s game is his willingness to battle for the puck. He never quits on a puck, yet he is willing to be accountable for pucks that go by him.
He is the Sharks MVP so far.
He is always around the puck, always around the net and a creative offensive threat.
When watching Logan, notice how he uses his stick so effectively. He leads with his stick at every turn. Defensively he takes away space and passing lanes. He scoops the puck away from opponents and always displays the stick for a pass.
He is a very detailed player.
If the rest of the team played with the heart and competitive spirit of Dan Boyle, the Sharks might still be rolling that 7-and-0 start to Chicago like numbers.
Even on nights those 36-year-old legs don’t have the spring or his passes are off the mark, Dan gives his maximum effort every game. He battles forwards bigger and stronger than him and more often than not comes out on top. In short, He is a HOCKEY PLAYER.
We all know a great team needs more than three players to be successful. However these three guys lead by example. Their approach to the game should be a lesson for all of their teammates. I love that their will matches and even surpasses their skill.
If their teammates can harvest that kind of improvement, accountability, detail and moxie into their individual games, I could write more upbeat blogs.
I’ll try to be better next time.