The Sharks are definitely ready for the stretch run and playoff hockey based on the number of 1-goal games they have played in this year. Heading into the Columbus game, 17 of the previous 22 games where decided by 1-goal. The Sharks record for 1-goal games this year is 13-8-6. While the record is important, it's the experience of being in close games that is needed, especially in the playoffs. In a seven game series, it's the team that finds a way to win the 1-goal games that usually wins the series. #ButItsNiceHavingTheOddBlowout_AndPaddingYourStats
Congrats to Dan Boyle on playing in his 800th NHL game this past week. Boyler has beaten the odds because many people never thought he would make the NHL, let alone be a key contributor to winning the Stanley Cup and playing 800 games. Here are Dan's answers to:
• Biggest obstacle to making the NHL? "People believing in me, especially because of my size" •Biggest influence? "My dad and Bill Davich (broadcaster with the BlueJackets) who convinced Florida to sign me" •Favorite player growing up? "Brian Leetch"
Congrats to Brent Burns on playing in his 500th NHL game this past week. Burns converted to defense when he turned pro, has played in one All-Star game and is the type of player that contributes in many ways and all situations. Here are Brent's answers to:
• Biggest obstacle to making the NHL? "Having confidence, realizing I was good enough to play in this league" •Biggest Influence? "My dad" •Favorite player growing up? "Mark Messier and Steve Yzerman"
Congrats to Douglas Murray on playing in this 400th NHL game this past week. The 'Crankshaft' is big, strong and very smart. It's not easy having the body of a middle linebacker trying to make the NHL in an age that better suits a smaller, faster player. Here are Douglas' answers to:
• Biggest obstacle to making the NHL? "Skating" •Biggest influence? - "My grandfather" •Favorite player growing up? "Marcus Ragnuson (who used to play for the Sharks) and Scott Stevens"
Todd McLellan after his team beat Columbus 6-0: “I’m glad we played an emotional game. That’s a big thing for our team and I think we did a good job on sticking together. I thought our bigger guys played important roles in the game tonight.” #HonestAnalysisComesWithTheTerritory
Can we all agree that it's time the situation in Phoenix gets resolved? The NHL is running the organization as suitors look at purchasing a team that should be playing in Scottsdale, not Glendale, and if it can't work there find a city that will support an NHL team. #MyVote_AlbeitBiased_IsToBringBackTheQuebecNordiques?
For BakesTakes13 video of the week, a very touching memory of Daron Richardson, whose father Luke Richardson played 1,417 NHL games and is currently an assistant coach for the Ottawa Senators. Get your purple out for the month of February!
Runner up quote of the week goes to Colton Gillies of the BlueJackets after their 6-0 loss to the Sharks: “They have a good team over there and their crowd follows them. It’s a pretty hard rink to play in." #KeepItUpSharksFans!!!
Quote of the week goes to Dean Lombardi on the clock stoppage issue the other night: "Those clocks are sophisticated instruments that calculate time by measuring electrical charges called coulombs — given the rapidity and volume of electrons that move through the measuring device the calibrator must adjust at certain points which was the delay you see. The delay is just recalibrating for the clock moving too quickly during the 10—10ths of a second before the delay. This insures that the actual playing time during a period is exactly 20 minutes." #HickoryDickoryDock_ANonsensePoemWhichUsesAlliterationWhereChildrenMimicTheSoundOfAClockChimingAtTheRelevantPointInTheSong_HickoryDickoryDockIsIntendedto IntroduceChildrenToTheFundamentalsOfTellingTheTime.
Twitter Question of the week comes from @GregPenny11: "@Bakes_Jamie13: I like Handzus as a player, he's smart & positions himself well, but did the Sharks pick him up for added scoring?"
I think the Sharks picked Handzus up for exactly what he has brought so far this year; consistency, hockey sense, great positioning, makes others better (see McGinn), is hard to play against (especially when it comes to a 7 game series) and chips in some points now and then. His goal and assist in Columbus are an example. #HandzusIsATruePro_VeteranExperience
It's become an annual event where the players and coaches dads join the team for a road trip. Last year the dads took the credit for getting the team back on track. This year the team heads into the dads trip playing well but it's still great to have the fathers around and remind everyone of the wonderful journey it's been. This year's highlight is having Veikko Niemi on the trip as it's his first time in North America. He was in town for the Columbus game and saw his son Antti win the game and get the shutout in his first live NHL game. #DadsKnowBest_AndKeepThingsInPerspective
This past week the Edmonton Journal had an article on "Joe Will - Arguably The Best Potential GM Nobody's Heard of". Someone out there knows, because Joe has been with the Sharks since day 1 and his work behind the scenes is nothing short of amazing. In today's salary cap era every player move, from drafting a player, a trade, a free-agent signing to waivers has to be carefully scrutinized. Joe is guy behind the research, planning and is instrumental in all facets of player acquisition, development and retention and his new role as Assistant GM is well deserved. Click here to read the article. #NotEveryoneCanDoTheResearchButJoeWill_GreatPersonToo
If the Sharks win the Pacific Division, they are guaranteed a top 3 spot in the Western Conference Standings. Then the question will be, will they end up 1st, 2nd or 3rd? #3rdPlaceProbablyMeansPlayingTheFourthPlaceTeamFromCentralDivision
Keeping with the dads trip theme, I would like to mention this Sunday, Feb 5, is my dads birthday. I remember when I was a young kid playing hockey, my dad was hard on me when I needed it, although I didn't like it at the time, and patted me on the back when I needed it. That's what dads do! Being a dad I understand the difficult balance of being the teacher/coach and just being the dad. In the long run however, my dad knew what was best for me. I was a stubborn kid (shocking eh!) but there is one thing I've always known, always appreciated and always loved; my dad was always my biggest fan. #HappyBirthdayDad