Tag:Douglas Murray
Posted on: February 14, 2012 1:22 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 1:33 pm
 

Pavelski, Sharks continue to perform under radar

Pavelski's 22 goals are tied with Marleau, one behind Couture for the team lead. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

WASHINGTON -- The San Jose Sharks are kind of like that team they got their head coach Todd McLellan from, the Detroit Red Wings. They are there every season now. The only difference -- and it's the big one -- is getting to and winning Stanley Cups.

But like the Wings, the Sharks have that whole organization stability and continuity thing down pat. They are well on their way to a playoff berth in the eighth consecutive season and 13th in the last 14 seasons. They have won the Pacific Division every season since finishing second in 2006-07.

They have franchise stalwarts, too. Everybody knows the guys like Jumbo Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and last year's rookie star (and this year's All-Star Draft Mr. Irrelevant) Logan Couture. Guys like Douglas Murray, Ryan Clowe, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and now Dan Boyle have been there some time, too.

Oh, and Joe Pavelski. You can't forget Joe Pavelski, although it seems sometimes that people do.

Heck, he was even an afterthought in the 2005 NHL Draft. It took until the 205th overall selection -- that's the seventh round, folks -- for Pavelski's name to be called. That's when the Sharks took the University of Wisconsin star despite him being a better than a point-per-game player for the Badgers.

He's only been a key piece of their puzzle in the last half-decade or so. Particularly this season.

Pavelski had himself a game on Monday night in Washington, recording four points with two goals -- including this rather remarkable tally in the first period. It brought his season totals to 22 goals and 22 assists. He's creeping up on his career high of 25 goals with a whole lot of season left to play.

"Heck of a year," McLellan said.

McLellan has a way with words and that's as succinct and appropriate a way to put it as any.

I'm not saying people in hockey don't know who Pavelski is. That'd be rude to underestimate the knowledge of hockey fans, which is know is second to none. It's more that he just doesn't seem to get his full due. He comes down the list of names mentioned when people talk about the Sharks.

But he deserves more, particularly with the increased scoring production he's showing this year. He seems to be on his way to easily eclipsing the 30-goal mark this season.

Considering there aren't a whole lot of new faces in San Jose this season -- Brent Burns on the blueline is fresh as is Martin Havlat, but he's having a down and injury-plagued season -- it has been more about getting the chance than anything else. Kind of like just getting a chance after being drafted so late.

"Last year he spent a fair amount of time on our third line just with the way our team was built," McLellan said. "On the power play this year he's benefitted by playing with some better players -- some more creative players, pardon me, not better but more creative maybe."

He's playing more this season than he ever has, averaging 20:52 of ice time per game. It's led to increased responsibilities at both ends of the ice, not just when it comes to scoring.

"Pav is a very reliable guy at both ends of the rink," McLellan said. As much as he's reaching a career high in goals he's doing some real good things defensively as well."

Everybody's favorite stat in hockey -- plus/minus -- says that's true. He's a plus-15 this season, better than any season before. He's never been on the negative side. But you can't put too much stock into plus/minus, as we know it's a flawed statistic, doesn't really say much about the individual player.

An advanced metric that's a bit more telling is Corsi (for an explanation, here you go), and there Pavelski is a 12.93, the second highest among forwards in San Jose behind Thornton.

"I'm not surprised. He plays in all situations," Boyle said. "He kills penalties, he's a power-play guy, big-minute guy. Does a little bit of everything."

With the Sharks embarking in a nine-game, cross-continent road trip, they'll rely on all of his tools. It's the kind of stretch that will determine how the Pacific Division will play out as the Kings and to a lesser extent Coyotes and Sharks continue to lie in the weeds. If it's a struggle, the race is on.

"It's really important for us, you don't want to go 0-2 to start a road trip," Pavelski said of Monday's 5-3 win that followed Sunday's 2-0 loss in St. Louis. "You see what can happen with Chicago. It can just keep snowballing. It never gets easier on the road so you take the wins when you can get them.

"It never gets easier. That next game gets that much bigger."

The goal now for Pavelski and the Sharks is to get to that game where the stakes can't possibly be any bigger.

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For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: December 14, 2011 10:50 am
Edited on: December 14, 2011 10:52 am
 

The Sharks' holiday video is absolutely must-see

By Brian Stubits

The other day we shared with you the Florida Panthers sending along their holiday greetings through song. It was entertaining for sure.

But then the all-stars of NHL marketing came to the plate with eight and a half minutes of spectacularly awesome holiday viral video and completely blew the Panthers out of the water.

The San Jose Sharks are no strangers to great ads where players are seen doing other professions poorly before you're reminded that they are great at hockey. You could literally spend an hour watching and laughing at the videos.

They have also knocked a few holiday videos out of the park. Here is their 2009 version, then they one-upped it with the 2010 version.

But here is this year's version and, quite frankly, I don't see how it can ever be topped. It's Fabulous!

It's too hard to highlight any one or two specific moments that are particularly funny. I'll leave that up to you, but just know this is full of candidates.

I'll just say that Jumbo Joe Thornton makes me laugh every time he's on the screen, whether he talks or not.

Don't ever stop, Sharks. Please, don't ever stop.

H/t to Puck Daddy

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: November 25, 2011 7:28 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 9:59 pm
 

Sharks join Recchi with opinion on Canucks

By Brian Stubits

Not long ago, Mark Recchi, a member of the Bruins team that beat the Vancouver Canucks to win the Stanley Cup last season, called the Canucks the most arrogant team he ever played in his 22-season career. Kevin Bieksa took exception to the comments, but a lot of fans agreed.

And so did some of the players.

The San Jose Sharks also ran into the Canucks in the playoffs last season and with each having extended runs at the top of the Western Conference, they have a pretty strong familiarity with each other. So it's no surprise that they would share Recchi's sentiments, maybe only surprising that they would actually admit to it.

Douglas Murray and Ryan Clowe were asked about Recchi's words the day before the Sharks and Canucks meet (on Saturday). Neither was going to disagree with Recchi. From Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area:

“Recchi was obviously a very well-respected player in this league for many years, and still is very respected,” Murray said. “For him saying something like that probably means something.

“It’s not the whole team. It’s certain individuals that give them that reputation. I’m not going to call out names. It’s obvious for anyone that watches the game.”

Well for those who maybe don't watch the Canucks all that closely, you're left to yourself to figure it out, right? Well that's where Clowe comes in.

“They’ve got certain guys, and they have [Maxim] Lapierre there who is known for that," said Clowe. "He’s known to run his mouth and play that sort of game. He doesn’t really like backing that up. You have [Ryan] Kesler and [Alex] Burrows who used to do that a little bit more. Apparently the last year, and last couple of years, they’ve tried to not talk as much and just play.”

Yea, can't say those names are a shock. Remember it was just a week ago that the tandem of Lapierre and Burrows was being accused of some dirty shenanigans against the Senators.

The Canucks are an interesting creature to me. They have clearly become one of the most hated teams in the NHL. Canada, which always seems to embrace its own to win the Cup for the country, almost shunned Vancouver in last year's postseason. Their biggest Stars, the Sedin twins, are pretty much everything you could ask for in model players and faces of your franchise.

It's all the more interesting that the Canucks haven't won a Stanley Cup. Usually such hatred is reserved for the teams that win championships, not runner-ups. Did anybody really hate the Buffalo Bills in the early 1990s (other than their traditional rivals)?

All I know is that the Canucks keep piling up a list of must-see games with every opponent comment.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com