San Jose Sharks
Let me start out by introducing myself a little bit. My name is Tom and I have lived in San Jose, CA all my life (born less then 3 miles away from where I live right now) with the exception of the 6 years that I spent in college (and no, I wouldn't give any of it back). I have to be honest, 5 years ago, I didn't give two shakes about hockey but a very good friend of mine kept taking me to Sharks games and really helped me to understand the game. All I can say is why the hell did I wait so long to get into this game?!?!?!?!?! I am now a season ticket holder for the Sharks and have been for three years, I play 2-3 nights a week and eat sleep and breathe hockey. Sometimes I wonder how my gf puts up with it.
I've been playing fantasy hockey for 3 years now and in that time, I have gone from not having a clue who Spezza and Lecavalier were (#4 and 5 respectively on Dobbers top 300 at the time I started playing) to taking on tough audit my team threads with as much detail as I can get into. I feel like I have really learned how to analyze statistics and make decent projections and I also feel as though I can tell a lot from the way a player is playing over a small stretch of games. I don't have any Sharks on my keeper team because in general, I play with a bunch of Sharks fans so the value of them are considerably overvalued.
The goal of this thread is to be everything Sharks. I find that most people from East of the Mississippi river don't really have much of a chance to watch Sharks games so their analysis is often short-sighted. Statistics only say so much about a player. There is that "it" factor that doesn't show up on the stat sheet and I would love to share that with you. I welcome any and all Shark related questions that you might have. I will be the first to admit that although I am not an expert on hockey by any stretch of imagination but I will do my best to get you the most objective answers I can but I will also add my own thoughts and my own observations as I am able to come up with them. I very much welcome any and all comments especially from folks that disagree with me. I have learned a great deal more from people on this site who are willing to open a dialog and discuss differences of opinion then I can ever hope to learn on my own. Shout out to Ultrawhitness for showing me the way when I had no idea where I was going.
I would rate my knowledge of the NHL club as fairly high. So questions about those guys are going to flow out pretty quickly. My knowledge of the clubs prospects are going to take a little more time as I am not as familiar with them. I do have my favorites on the club (Clowe) and there are the players that I can't stand (Niemi and Huskins) but I will be as objective as possible. I will do my best to post either a game preview or a recap if I get a chance and every once in a while I am going to try and highlight a player and really give you every bit of information that I can.
I use a couple of sites pretty much religiously for Sharks news or overall analysis. And here they are:
So I think I will stop babbling now and lets get down to business. Thanks for your time.
Welcome Man! The Sharks are a team that absolutely should be covered with all of the fantasy options. Look forward to reading your stuff.
Great to have you taking on Team Coverage for a west coast team, Tom. I have found this section to not only be informative but also entertaining as well.
Nice timing for you to start with the Sharks resurrecting their season after being lost in the wilderness for a while.
First question: Your assessment of Logan Couture. In watching several Sharks contests this year I thought he was living off Clowe's wake, but recently he's been moved off that line and looks like a strong player in his own right. Do you see him as the real deal or just in a great position playing away from the attention that the big 3 get?
Could you perhaps give us your two cents on Clowe and Stalock, my two current Sharks players :) Do you think Clowe will get more power play time? How do you see the Sharks goalie situation shaking out? I'm also curious about Taylor Doherty, since he was ranked pretty highly among the drafted OHL dmen by Hockey's Future.
Thanks in advance :)
Thanks for the kind welcome all. Nice to be able to get right to work.
First question, Couture. I am actually going to try to do a very detailed statistical analysis over the weekend for my first player profile. I say this as objectively as I possibly can. Logan Couture has been the only thing on the Sharks that has gone right this season. From the drop of the puck in the very first game to this last game, he has made the players around him better. Clowe and Couture have had awesome chemistry but Couture has also had chemistry with Setoguchi, Marleau, Heatley, Eager, Wellwood and Pavelski. Even as recently as this road trip, he was paired with Eager and Wellwood on the "3rd line." All that "3rd line" did was score the GWG in two consecutive games against Boston and Washington and then follow it up with an assist on the game tying goal as SJ fought back from being down 2-0. He has a nose for the net and always seems to be in the right place at the right time. He supports the puck well in his end, forechecks aggressively and is still very responsible in his own end as he leads the team with a +12 rating, +5 more than any other regular player on the team. I do not see him as a 100 point player but I can see him being a very steady productive player who is going to get you 75-85 points. I know I am a Sharks fan so I might be a little bias but I honestly believe that it is going to come down to him and Skinner for the Calder but I don't really even think it is that close. When Couture scores, it is a meaningful goal. it ties a game, it is a game winner, it is the goal that ices the game. So to answer your question, no, he is not a product of Clowe. If anything, the strong play of Clowe is a product of Couture. It is not too shocking to me that since Clowe has moved off the Couture line, he has gone cold.
I really like Clowe. He is without a doubt, the heart and soul of that team. I realize that that is not saying much but he has so much passion. In reading the quotes that he puts out after a game, he is not afraid to state the facts and he leaves it all out on the ice. Now, that being said, he has been an extremely streaky player in his career. But over the long run, he is going to be good for at least 60 points and 120 PIM. That's not too bad in my book. Not quite PIMy but not too far off either. He does get into some questionable fights but that is a product of his drive and passion. As for his PP time? Sorry bro, what you see is what you are going to get. A couple of years ago, he led the team in PPG but that was when he was getting consistent time with Thornton on the top PP unit. Now he is stuck behind Thornton, Heatley, Marleau, Pavelski, Setoguchi, Couture, Boyle and whoever Doug Wilson acquires at the trading deadline. He is to the second line PP unit as Thornton is to the top unit. He controls the puck and plays well on the boards. But I really do not see him getting more time.
Originally Posted by sentium
Stalock was going to be the future of the Sharks. With Nitty going down a couple of weeks ago, Stalock got a call up to be the backup for a couple of games. He got thrown into a game against Phoenix with the Sharks down 3-0 because the team needed a shakeup. Let me tell you, it was the best goalie change EVER!!!! Ok, maybe not that much. The kid is small but he plays with such composure. He was always in good position and instead of being a reactionary goalie, he was calm and collected and made the saves he had to make. His rebound control was not all there but I think that will come with a little more experience and maybe if he knew he was going to play, his nerves would calm down. I see him as a player that is closer to Nabby then he is to a player such as Niemi. The problem that I have now is that he was injured pretty severely right after he went back down to the AHL. Someone stepped on the back of his leg and severed a nerve. The injury is going to require surgery and with something that major, I worry about the long term ramifications. If he can recover to where he was before the injury, I think you have a very good prospect but this injury is going to set him back at least a year. I thought that he would be up next season but now we are realistically looking at 12-13 before he gets a real shot at the starting job.
For the rest of this season, the job is Niemi's to lose and he is going to have to fall on his face to lose it. McLellan has a love affair with him and has shown that he will give him every chance to succeed. After the season, I think it is anyones guess. The Sharks are not going to be players on a big name goalie such as Vokoun or Nabby because they just will not have the cap room. Greiss' deal is up and after the way things went down this season with Niemi being signed so late, not sure he would want to come back. Niemi is a UFA and for the right price, I am sure McLellan would love to have him back but who knows what other offers he gets. Nitty is signed for one more year but I don't know that the Sharks are going to have confidence in him for a full season. I can see the Sharks signing someone like Anderson or Niemi to a two year deal to allow Stalock to ease his way back without the pressure of having to perform for the team to succeed.
As for Doherty, I am going to have to do a little research and get back to you on that one. My apologies but if I am going to put it down in writing, I want to make sure that I know a little something about the player first. Thanks for your patience bud.
Hope this helps
Good stuff! I'm loving these team pages.
I've got a couple Sharks d-men on my points-only keeper. Our league is deep and there isn't much for replacements, so I'm stuck with them. I'm wondering what you think of them.
Demers -- still seems to get decent PP time, but isn't putting up a lot of points.
Vlasic -- logs big minutes and I know he's not a major point producer, but he's been doing better of late. His abysmal start to the season makes him look worse than he is.
Are there better things to come from these guys points-wise?
From everything that I am reading about Taylor Doherty, he has a really big frame at 6’6”. But being so young, he still has a lot of growing to do to get into that body. Looking at his numbers, although he led his OHL team in terms of points from the blueline, he really is not an offensive threat. I realize that he has only played in the OHL for two seasons and he is still young but he scores around 20 points over a 65 game stretch. He does however, have a knack for the penalty box with greater than 115 PIM per season in each of his two years. Hockeyfutures.com equates him to being a less offensive player version of Chara. Ironically, his favorite player is Pronger. I can see his being a real stay at home defensemen that is going to make life difficult for anyone coming into his territory. Basically a larger, meaner version of Douglas Murray; a guy who is not going to scare me if I am a goalie and I look up to see he is on a breakaway but a guy that if I am a forward coming through the neutral zone, I better keep my head up or I am going to be on my backside. Unfortunately, there has not been a lot of talk about him here in SJ and I have not had a chance to see him play so all I have to go by are the scouting reports and the occasional article but all sources seem to agree on the point that he is not going to be very much of a factor unless your league counts PIMs or is a very deep league.
Vlassic (Pickles) – This guy is hard to figure out. 2 years ago, he was a star on the fast track to being a top level defensemen in the league. I think that the playoff series against Anaheim in the 2009 playoffs really had a lasting effect on him. He no longer has that same poise that made him a standout at 18 years old. He shows flashes of it from time to time but there is no consistency. As of late however, he has been playing quite a bit better. And he is getting time on the second PP unit. If he keeps up his strong play, I can see him getting 30 points this season. But I would honestly put his ceiling at 35-40 points tops at this point in time. A change of scenery could do this kid a world of good but with his value so low right now, I doubt Doug Wilson will want to trade away another Ehroff.
Demers – The kid sees the ice REALLY well at times but he is young and therefore prone to the questionable decisions on the breakout that can go the other way for a quick goal. I definitely feel like he is a top 4 defensemen on this team, which is not saying much but long term, I think he will grow into a solid two way player as he is currently 2nd on the team in terms of +/-. If you take a look at the way that he is utilized, in 2009/2010, he had the least amount of ice time of all the current defensemen but the 2nd most power play but by far the least on the penalty kill (.62 minutes vs 1.59 for the second least). This season, he receives the 4th most ice time on the team but he has taken the largest jump in ice time in general increasing over 3.5 minute increase over last season. The other big thing is he is starting to be used more regularly on the PK (1.34 vs. 1.40, last to second last) so the team is starting to trust him more. I think he will be a very serviceable defensemen down the road. Superstar? No. But he could be a little bit of a sleeper. His value is definitely very low right now so don’t give up on him quite yet.
Loving this thread already!
Wecome to the team :)
Welcome! Glad to see someone else take a team. Looking forward to your contributions. I'd like to post a few questions. I know you have lots, but consider all of this a bit of initiation. :)
Joe Thornton & Patrick Marleau: As you can see I own them in the sim league defined in my sig. I'm a bit worried about them. Their fantasy relevance very much hangs in the balance because they're both north of 30 and have hit a serious decline this year. I'd hate to sell low but I also don't want to let the asset decline beyond good trade value. How do you feel about them in the next year or two?
Justin Braun: A ton of hype around the kid. Doug Wilson was on NHL Home Ice radio and said he's the best dman in the AHL this year, in addition to 9 points over 15 NHL games. Is it mostly hype or could he be the next awesome Sharks dman?
Thanks for the info on Couture. Good to read that it seems I've assessed him accurately, as I tend to get a bit biased with my prospects. Eric posed my next question already so I look forward to reading your take on Mr. Braun.
Thanks for the welcome guys. I hope I can live up to the lofty standards that this forum have set. And thanks to Praba and Gates for the opportunity. But now, back to the business at hand.
Thornton and Marleau. Marleau and Thornton. Boy these two have just been amazingly frustrating this season.
Thornton – I feel like he is an overrated player in fantasy hockey. He has the ability to put up a ton of assists but other than that, he does not fill up any other cats. So if you are playing in a points league, he is an awesome player to have. If you are playing in a roto league, I feel like there are so many better options. This season, he has just not been clicking with anyone. To be honest, in person, I feel like the last 10 or so games, he has been playing some amazing hockey. He is so big and so strong that he is able to push anyone off the puck and control it along the boards. But the problem is that no one around him is moving. The power play is stagnant, and having to play with Heatley almost hurts rather than helps due to the inability of Heatley to skate, pass, control the puck, backcheck, forecheck, play any defense or do much of anything else aside from shoot leaving Joe to try and do it all. The other thing about Joe is there are really two gears. There is day to day Joe, what you see is what you get. Then there is the Thornton that I like to label “angry Joe” The Thornton that shows up when he decides to play with passion is incredible to watch. But that has not been here this year yet. To be honest, I don’t think that Joe is done. Hold tight for another year because his value is pretty low right now. I think a lot of his trouble is due to the fact that………
Marleau – is just having a bad season. I can’t put my finger on it but he just seems to be invisible at times. I realize that he has 22 goals but in the past I have almost always known when Patty was on the ice. This year, not so much. It’s almost like he lost a step and turned into the invisible man. That being said, this is not the first time that it has happened to Marleau over the course of his career. Four years ago, he really took a dive but he came back the following year and just dominated. Something will happen and Marleau will wake up. And when it does, he is going to get nuclear hot for a 10 game stretch. When that happens, you will be happy that you have both Thornton and Marleau.
Braun – Not going to lie, I love this kid. He was up here for 15 days and there were a TON of people that were upset that he got sent back down. The one thing that this Sharks team is missing is a guy who can just bomb from the point. Enter Justin Braun. The thing that I like most about this kid is his uncanny ability to get pucks through traffic and on net. Boyle has a decent shot but his value is in his creativity. Same for Demers. Heatley has an awesome slap shot but he cannot be trusted at the point for the reasons I listed above. Now I cannot speak for Doug Wilsons comments but I for one am very much looking forward to the day that they are able to trust this kid enough to bring him up and put him on the point for the PP. Not sure he will get 1st line duty but I could see he and Demers making a very good pair. Basically a poor mans version of Boyle and Blake of a couple of years ago. If you are in a deep league, I would definitely pick this kid up because once he comes up, I can see him getting his fair share of PP time just posted on the point waiting to release those one-timers on net.
Hope this helps. If I did not give you the input you are looking for, let me know. I can definitely get statistical about Marleau and Thornton but these are kind of my gut reactions.
Regarding Braun, I was pleasantly surprised to see that he is more of a defense-first guy by reputation. Hockeysfuture talks at length about his defensive abilities and skating in his profile page. But then I see the point totals as a pro and I start thinking there could be something great there.