Ducks or Kings: Better Option In Sharks Post-Season?

We’re in the last full month of the regular season schedule for the NHL and while there’s still time for the Sharks to take the Pacific crown, that’s much easier said than done. Especially since the Ducks and Kings can’t just lose a few freakin’ games in regulation right now.

standings

Standings at the time of this writing

It’s not impossible, but if LA and Anaheim could cool off a lot, that would be greeaattttt, thanks.

So, the biggest question on every Sharks fan’s mind right now is, ‘Would playing the Kings or Ducks in the playoffs be better?’. Or as I like to think of it, ‘Which is the lesser of the two evils?’.

Well, both are pretty bleak if you want the truth. Anaheim can actually score goals now and LA has been strong for most of the season. But, the Sharks have had more success against the Kings this season, record-wise.

San Jose is 2-1-1 against Los Angeles, and could have been 3-1 but they gave up a goal with like 12 seconds left or something, then lost in OT.

The Sharks are 1-3 when facing the Ducks, but all three losses were one-goal games, so take that how you will.

There’s also the mental factor. LA is a team that has been a thorn in San Joses side in the playoffs these past few years, so could that have an affect on affect on the Sharks? Possibly. The Ducks and Sharks have only played each other once in the playoffs and Anaheim won the series 4-2, back in 08′-09′. That the teams don’t have much of a playoff history. It’s a bit of a clean slate.

Overall, I’m going to have to go with Anaheim on this one. LA always amps up their game in the playoffs and with that reverse-sweep they pulled on the Sharks two seasons ago, I’ll take the Ducks, even though they went to the Conference Finals last year. San Jose has been scoring a decent amount of goals lately and I think their new additions from the trade deadline can strengthen the team enough to hold off Perry and Getzlaf.

Of course, in a perfect world, San Jose would steal the Pacific, then sit back and watch Anaheim and Los Angeles duke it out. They can wear each other down for a while.

Meanwhile, the Sharks would be like:

giphy (1)

*Header courtesy of ocregister.com

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Sharks Trade Deadline Review: 2016 Edition

So another trade deadline has come and gone and while there may not have been a blockbuster trade for the Sharks (maybe with Marleau), GM Doug Wilson made some solid moves to beef up all the teams positions before the playoffs. Interestingly enough, both trades conducting were with the Toronto Maple Leafs who went on a nice little fire sale this week.

Trade #1

Toronto traded: Roman Polak and Nick Spaling

San Jose traded: Raffi Torres, 2017 and 2018 2nd round picks

At first I wasn’t big on this deal, but after watching Polak and Spaling play for a couple games, I’m beginning to warm up to it. Did the Sharks pay too much? Possibly. But, both players are already having an impact on the team. Polak throws his body around a lot and is really punishing other teams, while Spaling has already scored and is really fitting in. And I’m still happy that when Wingels comes back, Nick will probably go to the fourth line and send Melker Karlsson back to the AHL. He needs to spend some time with the Barracuda again.

Grade: B

Trade #2

Toronto traded: James Reimer and Jeremy Morin

San Jose traded: Alex Stalock, Ben Smith and a 2018 conditional 4th round draft pick

I practically squealed like a little girl when I saw that the Sharks finally found a real backup goalie. Alex Stalock has been less than stellar this season and it made the Sharks coaches force Martin Jones to play 52 of the temas 61 games. That’s quite a few games for a goalie in his first year as a starter. Now, the Sharks will have a good veteran backup in Reimer who has a nice .918 SV% and 2.19 GAA. Those stats are certainly more appealing than Stalocks dismal .884 SV% and 2.94 GAA.

The other great part about this trade? San Jose didn’t need to get rid of any parts of their team. Ben Smith has barely played in the NHL this season and was spending his days in the AHL. The 4th round pick will become a 3rd round pick should the Sharks make the Stanley Cup finals this season.

Grade: A-

Overall deadline grade: B+

-Both trades were really solid and despite the high price for Polak and Spaling and the uncertainty of Morin (6 points in 43 games last season), the Sharks look to have set themselves up pretty well for the playoffs this season.

 

Who The Sharks Should Look At Near The Trade Deadline?

The San Jose Sharks are pretty good right now. The team is 12-2-3 in their last 17 and just four points behind the Pacific leading LA Kings. Oh, and the Sharks have a game in hand. Not too shabby for a team that was near .500 in late November/Early December. But, it’s not all smiles for the team right now. There are a couple of glaring problems the team has.

A big problem is the backup goal-tending. It’s awful. Alex Stalock has been pretty subpar/bad this season. He’s 3-5-2 this season with a 2.94 GAA and .884 SV%. I wake up in a cold sweat at night whenever I have a nightmare about Martin Jones getting injured and Alex Stalock becoming the starter. It’s not just his stats that are bad either, it’s his entire play style. He tries to be so aggressive with the puck that it completely screws the team over. Case in point:

Oh, we’re not done yet. No way.

WHAT THE F**K?!

So, I would HIGHLY SUGGEST that the Sharks trade for a new backup because if Martin Jones get’s hurt down the stretch here, the Sharks are screwed. Season= over.

Maybe try to get Jimmy Howard? Or a trashcan?

Then there’s the problem with the defensive depth. Until recently, the team only had 5 actual defense-man who could be counted on every night. The 6th spot was a rotation between Tennyson and Mueller mostly. Then they brought in Dylan DeMelo and he’s actually become a solid pairing with Brenden Dillon. Regardless, if Dillon, DeMelo or any of the other starters get injured long term, they don’t have another solid, trustworthy blueliner to replace them with. That could be an issue, just maybe.

Keith Yandle would be a pretty piece to trade for. There’s always the chance that they could get Roman Polak if the Leafs decide to completely clean house these next couple weeks. The Sharks could even do an inner-conference trade and get Justin Schultz  from Edmonton.

Stay Out Of Sports Comment Sections

Ah, comment sections on the internet. A place full of trolls, haters and fakes that flock to Youtube and Facebook to insult and pick fights with random people. Now, usually whenever people think of these guys it’s about how they go to Youtube for their comments. But, that and reddit aren’t the only places they burrow.

A severely overlooked nesting ground are the comment sections on posts for professional sports teams. This is a perfect place where real fans, fair-weather fans and trolls can come together to duke it out. I try not to look at what people say, but it calls to me and I feel like I should. That is always a mistake.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the comments do a complete 180 between a win and a loss. I mean, wow. I’ll look at the comments of a teams post after a loss and the comments will be shit like “Why did we sign (so-and-so), he’s terrible” to “Fire all of management “. SERIOUSLY? One loss and that’s what you say?

Then a couple days later I’ll look after a win and see “(same player they hated)= GOAT” and “Post-season here we come”. Know what the first thing that comes to my mind seeing this? I hate people. If you can change your perspective on a team that drastically in two days, then you’re not a fan. You’re a person who stops watching a team when they hit a rough patch. A fair-weather fan.

My favorite part about the comments sections though? The other teams fans that go to your teams posts just to gloat or complain. I remember looking at a Sharks post after they lost to the Kings. There were the usual hate-filled and glass-half-full comments. Then I start seeing Kings fans talking trash about the Sharks. On the Sharks post.

Guys listen, you’re not considered a better fan is you do that type of stuff, you’re considered pathetic. Chances are the Kings don’t even know you exist, they’re too busy trying to hurt other players. To take the time and energy and look up a teams post and start fighting it’s fans on there is sad and you really need to re-evaluate your life.

I guess the whole point that I’m trying to make from this ramble is don’t look at comment sections. Because all you will find is hate and trolls. So. Many. Trolls.