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Colorado edges San Jose in shootout

Dec 14, 2011, 1:27 AM EDT

Tonight’s Versus matchup featured two reeling clubs. In one corner, there was the Colorado Avalanche, a young club who earned another bag skate from coach Joe Sacco. Their opponents were the San Jose Sharks, a team whose surprising slump might lead some people to irrationally wonder if the head coach of every California-based NHL team might get fired this season. The contest had “everything’s fine” moments for both teams; Logan Couture‘s ridiculous assist qualifies for San Jose while Stefan Elliott’s beautiful rush does the trick for Colorado.

The Avs ultimately took this one 4-3 in the shootout, as you can see in the highlights below.

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  1. finfan88shark - Dec 14, 2011 at 2:36 AM

    This years Sharks team is just a mess. Bad coaching, lack of depth, players who don’t care or play hard, and a GM who lacks vision.

    You know your team is in trouble when your coaches solution is too put a marginal 3rd line player like Torrey Mitchell on the top line, and a 4th line player Brad Winchester on the power play. This is just getting ridiculous .

    Marty Havlat has contributed nothing and the team really misses the Dany Heatley scoring and presence in front of the net. Heatley was the leading PP goal scorer for the Sharks and he is solely missed on the PP. The Setoguchi for Burns trade looks like a wash at this point. Burns cannot even hit the net with most of his shots, his defense is bad, and for a big guy he is not physical at all. Burns has been a real disappointment too me.

    The coaching staff has no solution and no ability to adept to changes. The system that McLellan uses has never one time been adjusted, instead 3 seasons later it is still shoot the puck from anywhere and hope like hell the puck goes in. No in front of the net presence, no set plays, and horrible passing and neutral zone play. The fore checking is non existent. Defensively the team plays passive and seems to screen the goalie and deflect more pucks into their own net then they put into the opponents net. Again this is a coaching issue, you see no physical play from the Defense, and the breakout is ridiculously bad. The penalty kill is a disaster same as it was last year and the coaching staff has no clue how to fix the passive 1990 box defense that they insist upon playing. You know the power play is bad when you have 4th liners and non scorers playing on it. I am not sure if Thornton has moved more then 3 or 4 inches on the Power Play in the McLellan era. And when a coach uses a none scoring 3rd and 4th liners in the shootout you know your coach is an idiot.

    You have an organization more interested in making a holiday video then they are about winning games. And you have a general manager who has no vision for the future trading away all the teams draft choices in wasted trades. And a GM who has given out some many NTC contracts that their is no one of value left to trade.

    This team is trending down and is nowhere near winning a cup with underachievers such as Patrick Marleau and Thornton. As much as this pains me to say this Boston was right, a team will never win the cup with nice guy Joe on the team it’s embarrassing to think this guy could be a captain of a championship team.

  2. danphipps01 - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:08 AM

    Joe’s not really that different from Patrick – both quality players, both guys any team could find a place for (cap considered, of course), but neither a guy to be counted on to lead the team in the postseason. The grit just ain’t there. See: Carter, Jeff. Honestly, though, this shouldn’t shock anyone. Yzerman took their top line and ran it in the Olympics, and what happened? Heater had great numbers, but Joe and Patrick were almost irrelevant. Joe used to be good. Hell, he used to be *great*. But he’s over the hill in a big way now and he’s always been found wanting when it gets tough. Marleau? He’s always been pretty overrated.

    Then there’s the D. Boyle’s been a premier offensive D in past years, but he’s always been a bit of an adventure in his own end. Murray’s pretty much a walking screen when he’s on the ice. Luckily, he seems to take himself off on dumbassed penalties pretty quickly. And then there’s Burnsie. The hallowed saviour. Let’s move on to trades.

    As far as those go… oh, man. Admittedly, Seto had declined dramatically after that one glorious year and he doesn’t look like he’ll be much different for the Wild – 20-something goals, forty-odd points. Not a huge loss. But then, Burns hasn’t been a huge gain, and his massive, Lidstrom-esque new contract basically guarantees he’ll be there for the next five years. No-one’s taking him off their hands for that kind of money. The Heater-Havlat trade was… well, Heater’s overpriced, but at least the man SCORES. He doesn’t quite earn his albatross of a contract, but he’s still a goal-scorer! Havlat? Havlat’s pure dead weight. The Sharks didn’t exactly trade away stars, but they still got less than they gave.

    The real disaster, though, is in coaching. They have no apparent strategy out there, or at least no GOOD one. You said it all – they get in Niemi’s way on the defense, break out at a snail’s pace, fire shots almost just to make themselves feel busy, don’t screen and don’t seem to even try to do set plays anymore – which is fucking moronic, because Joe’s still got the hands to be a high-end setup man and they CAN make SOMETHING happen there with what they’ve got, even if it wouldn’t be nearly as good as it would’ve been a couple years ago.

    In the end, the only thing there is to do with this roster is blow it the fuck up and try to get a new core of kids to build with. It’s not so different from the Calgary Flames – got oh-so-close, but couldn’t quite push all the way through. Admittedly, their case was different – they lost the Cup FINAL in game fucking seven. The Sharks can’t make it to game SIX of the third round. The mentality is that if they just get a couple more things to work right, if a couple more guys click, they can do it – this is naive. If you get two passes at the Conference Final and the other guys destroy you in both, your roster’s not going the distance. Torch it. Accept the failure, try to sell your parts high. They won’t take you any further.

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