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This Concerns Me

(Said in my best Tim Gunn voice)

Many goals. Not so many games. That's not good.

While I still feel like there are a number of things to feel really good about with the Sharks, some of the more significant problems are coming to the forefront. Only one of them is a carryover from the Ron Wilson Sharks (which is kinda strange when you think about it considering the makeup of the team); fortunately, they're all kinks that can be worked on if both the coaches and the players are smart about it.

1) Penalty kill: Get the puck out of the zone. Please. Sweet jebus. Didn't we see this enough from Ron's Sharks, especially in the playoffs? Maybe Todd McLellan needs to have an entire practice session focused on effectively clearing the puck using the glass rather than dumping it right to the freakin' point man.

2) Odd-man breakdowns: Ok, I get that we're all trigger happy now with this active defense system. That's good stuff, but please, people, how about we take it one step at a time rather than have every blueliner on the team suddenly think they're Bobby Orr. I'm not sure if it's just bad luck (blocked shots kicking out for odd-man breakdowns), if the responsible forward isn't paying attention when a defenseman pinches in, or if the D aren't properly communicating out there. In any case, Nabby facing two-on-ones all the time isn't a good game plan.

3) Joe Thornton: Joe's "lower-body injury" from the preseason is a groin issue but we don't know how bad it might be -- or how much it's affecting his game. I'm guessing that having him play differently from his "Joe commands the half-boards" position takes some getting used to but I'm also guessing he doesn't have full strength in his legs to protect the puck like he can. If he's hurting, I'd sit him out in at least one of the two Florida (the state, not the team) games. You don't want those lingering groin injuries to carry forward into the season.

(Turning back on the Tim Gunn voice) Make it work, people!

On a different note, I got a sneak peak at what the scrapped BlackArmor (TM) third-jersey ideas are. They're posted over here at my Kukla blog.