Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Just like we did last season, we wanted to branch out to the many fantastic bloggers in the NHL. We figured there is no better way to get to know a team than through the people that follow them the most.

Next up is our good friend, Mr. Plank from [We Bleed Teal].
He arrived on the scene last season, and brought us a great look at the sharks.
He also signed hacksaw away from us in the off-season.
Dick.

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Greetings Pensblogians, it's Mr. Plank from We Bleed Teal, a site dedicated to the ever frustrating San Jose Sharks.

It's no secret- the Sharks have had a helluva time getting past the second round the last three years. Every single season Teal Nation (we really don't call ourselves that- it's sort of a rip off of "Raider Nation", the Oakland Raiders fanbase who love supporting their team in the National Convicts League) gets more excited than Adam and Derek on high school prom night about their chances to finally score the big one. Unfortunately, it ends much the same- an early exit, people laugh, you retire from your career as a human being and start up a blog. It's a rough life.

Based off these facts, I've decided to go into this year with more of a realistic mind set. The following is a list of seven reasons (which represents a playoff series. Fuck yeah I am original) of why the Sharks are less likely to choke like Mama Cass in the second round. I know all of you hellions who fucked up my poll last year might have trouble sticking with me for that long, but attempt to bear with me.

Editor's Note: You're going to see a lot of Detroit Red Wings references- I wasn't sure how familiar you were with the West (I know relatively little about the East) so I figured the Evil Empire of Detroit would be a decent example- and a fairly poignant one at that considering our Head Coach ran their PP last season.

1) Todd McLellan


First off, that's one helluva photoshop.

Ex-Sharks coach Ron Wilson (who's now leading some AHL team in Toronto into battle with NHL squads) was notorious for being unable to motivate the team come playoff time. Rumors that he had lost control of the locker room surfaced after the year, and it was all but a guarantee he was done.

After Wilson got fired, Detroit's power play coach Todd McLellan was brought in as head coach. He's had a successful career behind the bench both at the AHL and NHL level (most notably winning the Calder Cup in 2003 with the Houston Aeros), and the consensus in Northern California is that he will inject lots of life into the frustratingly static powerplay, as well as other aspects of the team. We'll touch on all of those later in more detail, but let it be clear- McLellan is the biggest addition to the Sharks in that he changes the offensive side of the puck immensely.

2) Ryane Clowe


I'm convinced Detroit's success on the power play centers around Holmstrom's ability to mindf*** the goaltenders every time his rear is hanging around in the crease. As much as we hate the guy (don't think you guys are the only one who despise Detroit), his ass gets more press coverage than J-Lo's, and for good reason. He gives opposing netminders more breakdowns than Britney Spears.

Looking at the Sharks roster, there's no one else who can get in front of the net and disrupt the goaltender like Clowe. He was a big contributor in the first-round series against Calgary (4 goals, 4 assists) and established such a solid presence in the crease that it was difficult to fathom how the Sharks managed to post the league's second best record in the regular season without him. His skill set has lots of upsides- 6'2, 225 pounds, and good hands. Expect big things out of him this year, especially on the power play. A twenty five goal season is far from out of the question- in fact it might be a tad conservative.

The one concern with Clowe is his ability to stay healthy. He missed a majority of the regular season with a knee injury, and has never played a complete NHL season. If you're a member of MAAD you may have cause for concern as well- dude picked up a DUI when he was on the IR. But whatevs- do you like drinking? Hell, ya like drinkin', who da hell don't?

3) Patrick Marleau


This reason sort of ties in with number one- Patty had a lot of differences with Ron Wilson, and that reflected on his play last year. Posting a paltry 48 points (19 G), he was involved in trade rumors all year long, but won't have to deal with them this year due to a NTC that kicked in after the entry draft. Rumor has it (and no, my source isn't Eklund the human joke mobile) that the Sharks Captain didn't speak to Ron Wilson for a six month period. The importance of that is fairly undebatable.

Up until last year's postseason (where Marleau was still the most consistent Shark game in game out), he was tied with Jarome Iginla for most postseason goals (20) in the last three years. He banged the twine more than Magic Johnson banged.... well you get the point. And he's healthy, which is more than you can say for....yeah, you get the point.

Don't be swayed by last year's regular season performance. Expect a point a game from the Captain this year, production that will motivate his teammates and reignite a Sharks offense that was 19th last season in GF.

4) Cup Rings


It's no mystery as to what Doug Wilson's plan was this offseason- bring in older players with Stanley Cup experience. With a roster that has aged considerably since the beginning of last season, the goal of bringing Stanley Cup rings (from zero to four) into the locker room has been achieved. The Sharks went from a fairly young team to one that now is looking at a rapidly closing window of opportunity. The players in question?

Rob Blake- Old and overpaid. it's not an overstatement in any sense of the word to say that Blake's glory days are behind him. But hell, at least he gives us an opportunity to throw in a reference to The Boss. Blake's purpose will be solely to provide support on the powerplay and do towel whips in the locker room, keeping the squad loose. Basically, he's Pensblog Charlie (loose, ha!), except with actual hockey skills. And, well, he's a real person.

The Cup ring and his experience as Captain of the Kings sure doesn't hurt either.

Dan Boyle- After Brian "Soupy" Campbell (who will be referred to as "Poopy" on We Bleed Teal for the remainder of his wretched life) bolted for the Windy City, Doug Wilson went out and picked up another puck-moving defenceman to replace him. Boyle's coming off an injury plagued 07-08 year, so his $6.66 M/year contract that runs through 2013-2014 could be a bit of a gamble, but from what I've seen of Mr. Boyle, he could well be an upgrade over "Poopy". Plus, it gives me so many opportunities to use cliche headlines such as "Sharks Begin To Boyle As They Win Third Straight." That shit's important people.

Brad Lukowich- Lukowich won a Cup with the Lightning back in 03-04. He's basically a solid defenceman who's going to eat up minutes and not score a lot, but provide enough to earn his minutes. McLellan will probably pair him up with Boyle at the beginning of the year, solely based off the fact that is the role they played in Tampa.

5) The Powerplay


Yes, that is the second thing that popped up on a Google image search. And yes, I will probably be using that for the rest of the season.

Ah, the Sharks power play. It was a goddamn circus last year. Although a quick trip to the ESPN stat archives may tell you the Sharks were a respectable 10th in the league last year, don't believe it. They were frustrating as hell. Basically our plan of attack would consist of feeding the puck to Big Joe on the sideboards, him waiting around for a few seconds, and then firing an errant pass at the front of the net. As this was occurring, yours truly would be beating his dog while the pass got broken up.

Rinse and repeat.

Todd McLellan's expertise promised to change all that. With weapons such as Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Milan Michalek, Rob Blake, Dan Boyle, Ryane Clowe, and Joe Pavelski combined with McLellan's past experience of running one of the league's most feared power play units, teams are going to be paying for taking penalties against San Jose.

One of the huge reasons the Sharks went seven games with Calgary and lost to the Stars was their inability to make teams fear putting the Sharks on the power play. That's all about to change this year.

6) The Defense


Although losing Craig Rivet was a blow to the squad as well as the fanbase, Doug Wilson's hand was forced because of the cap troubles the Sharks ran into. All of the aforementioned acquisitions in number four add to this list, but a big change this year will be more production from the blueline. Marc-Edouard Vlasic stated that this offseason that, "I think the coach wants a little more offense from the d-men," something that was sorely lacking last year.

For a defense that was ranked 3rd in GA and 1st in PK last season, the opportunity to press a little more in the offensive zone will be a welcome addition to the Sharks repertoire. Coupled with 2008 Vezina Winner Runner-Up Evgeni Nabokov manning the pipes, the Sharks will once again be one the leagues best teams at keeping the puck out of their net. Hell yeah I'm already counting my chickens.

7) Hacksaw


We got to sit down with Hacksaw Jim Duggan in the offseason to talk about his decision to sign with We Bleed Teal. Although we got a lot of bad press for going Kevin Lowe on the world wide web's candy ass, you will see from this interview that there were some extenuating circumstances that led him to go coast to coast like Bobby Orr in his prime. His performance at the 2008 We Bleed Teal Bloggies was well worth the price of admission, and we expect big things out of Hacksaw this upcoming season. Our session with the former Pensblog hero is next.

Mr. Plank: Your relationship with The Pensblog was beneficial to both, as you posted an 11-1 record last year and helped lead them to the Stanley Cup Finals. What are your feelings about leaving the community over there?

Hacksaw: Ya know, there's mixed feelings about leaving The Pensblog. The fans over there are top of the line. Everyone in the blogosphere knows what The Pensblog is all about. They're often compared to The National Enquirer and Star, two top journalistic institutions that have a ton of class. But there was some dicey stuff going on in the backroom if ya know what I mean. Let's just say Sean Avery's phone number wasn't the only one they found in that Manhattan hookers black book....

Mr. Plank: Care to expound on that?

Hacksaw: Black tar heroin, backroom deals even Jim Donaghey would look down on, cheap liquor and even cheaper women- shit over there was a no holds barred cage match. For example, after a big win we'd be in the locker room yucking it up and Derek would come up to me, offer up a celebratory drink. And I'm with your boy Clowe on this one- I love to fucking drink ya know? So sure enough I'd take a swig or two of his beverage and all of a sudden... BOOM. I wake up three hours later with my head pounding and my rectum feeling like someone furiously jammed something the size of a mechanical pencil up it for about thirty seven seconds. It was some sketchy shit over at The Pensblog brother.

Mr. Plank: Do you think Pensblog Charlie had anything to do with this?

Hacksaw: No, Charlie was one of those guys who was a wallflower, wouldn't say much- but you could always feel his eyes on ya. It got so bad I had to wear board shorts in the shower. I'm not saying I disagree with his lifestyle- I'm saying I vehemently disagree with everything he represents. The man's a menace to society. I had to get the hell outta there. The Pensblog just wasn't working for me.

Mr. Plank: Not to lay waste to your whole argument, but isn't it slightly peculiar that you would move to a state that supports same-sex marriages and a city that is only a half hour south of San Francisco?

Hacksaw: I'm outta here. See ya at training camp, dick.



Go Sharks.



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Father time became a member of the season ticket club for the Sharks this season, so they better not fool around.
After voting Ron Wilson off the island the Sharks think they can overcome the typical Wilson fold in the playoffs.
Someone has to fall in the Pacific, but the Sharks are still way to talented to fade.
Western conference finals or bust.


Projected: 1-6 in western conference, could win Pacific.

53 comments:

satownsend said...

First.

Brett said...

Tower Defense!

Marleau has my respect after his face got all screwed up last postseason. that Cheechoo guy pisses me off, though.

oh, and after winning the pacific and taking 2nd in the conference, you'll have a first round upset by Phoenix. Book it.

Dan said...

gilbert gotfried used the passed out stomach down sore ass joke at the saget roast

curtO. said...

The girl that thought she was Hacksaw's girl just got really po'ed at what she just read.

I was laughing in her face from that interview...

btumpak said...

i hate holmstrom so much... joke

shawnawwwesome said...

You're going to see a lot of Detroit Red Wings references- I wasn't sure how familiar you were with the West...

There's a Western Conference now?

But kudos on getting me to click on the "Pensblog is all about" link, even after mousing over it and seeing the url. Time to delete my browser's history, again.

Ja' Red said...

thought everyone might enjoy this one. I made a In 30 Days.. for it, but it wasn't front page worthy

Ovechkin picks the hot ones

Rage said...

Staff- these previews are awesome, even tho the writers are dicks.

strakasguitar said...

We Bleed Teal is an excellent freakin' blog, even if I do hate their guts forever.

Saw a Pensblog hoodie rolling around University Park the other day, and it reminded me about how damn excited I am for this season - in no small part thanks to the fact that we need to make this season's Internet wankery dwarf last's.

The paper, do your stuff!

dying alive said...

That was half-assed? That's more work than I do in an entire week.

I will always remember the Sharks fondly because it was against them last season that the zamboni exploded at center ice before a nationally televised game. I will always equally despise them for the boring, tedious game that followed, which the Pens lost in a shoot out. In other words, it's a wash.

shawnawwwesome said...

Wow, that was the Sharks game. Nice fifteen minute delay, highlighted by fans over the Zamboni entrance taking about five minutes of solid, nonstop exhaust fumes right into their yinzer pierogi-holes as they tried to get the thing off the ice. Good times.

I was hoping they would announce that Zamboni as a scratch for the game, but no dice.

At least the Shark Tank knows how to properly maintain a resurfacer. (Or maybe they don't. Who knows.)

Max Power said...

!?

J.S. said...

rage, they might be dicks, but it's not like Staff has ever jobbed any other blogs or teams in general.

oh wait, yeah they have.

I actually like that the other sites are taking shots. At least they are responding, which shows they understand how things work here and are willing to job back. It's the other sites that won't respond that bother me. I'm gonna guess nothing will be heard from Carolina, Ottawa, New York (Rangers, but possibly both), or maybe even Toronto. Fuck em if they can't take a joke.

J.S. said...

Authorities say they've arrested a man who broke into the home of two California farmworkers, stole money, rubbed one of the men with spices and whacked the other with a sausage before fleeing."

max, that first paragraph is one word away from going from kinda gay to very gay.

Max Power said...

Yeah, I couldn't believe it when I read it. Made me laugh so hard I think I peed a little.

fleuryous said...

Holstrom...yeah, he hangs around the net a lot, but Gill let him know what's up. haha.


The boat's FIERCE.

Victor Raison said...

WOOOOOOOOO!

dying alive said...

their yinzer pierogi-holes

That made me laugh. And it made me hungry for pierogies.

Max Power said...

HA

jefe mays said...

i seen some sharks gear at their airport the other day.. hockey is in the air.

and who says all phones must be off during flight. thats BS.

akus said...

I did notice that Hacksaw did not answer the last question.
I think Charlie would be game for doing P.I Duty and look damn good as a Private Dick.

Whoa there, tough guy!

---

We Bleed Teal, great read.

shawnawwwesome said...

AO needs some sausage.

Ja' Red said...

random thought:

I realize that though Tampa is overpaying malone, he was a good guy and I thought I would miss him.

Bored at work I was scouring through some of his fight clips, and man, for a guy that doesnt mind dropping hte mits, he is one terrible fighter. He doesnt necessarily get his ass kicked all the time but he also doesn't ever really do anything damaging in a fight either. Jarko handles himself much better, but hopefully cookie monster will fill rutuu's role well.

sorry for the brain fart

Max Power said...

10:00 until the smoking ban goes into effect. Well done hippies. That fat fuck Rendell must pay!

Ja' Red said...

@ max power.

I moved out of the burgh after college, is pgh putting a ban on smoking in bars now?

j

Dan said...

yay for no more cancer!


sorry max

Pops Freshenmeyer said...

There are a lot of guys who fight but are terrible fighters. The one who most readily springs to my mind is Zdeno Chara, who's a fucking yeti, but he usually starts wrestling when the gloves come off rather than try to give his opponent some free plastic surgery.

That said, I did see him open up the USS Gill when Chara was still playing for Ottawa and Gill was playing for Boston.

Ja' Red said...

@ pops

yea, but most of the time when they do it, they are doing it in reaction to a hit on a player, something dirty etc. Very few of the terrible fighters make a concerted effort to go out of their way to drop the gloves or make arranged fights at the faceoff like malone will do. TK and Upshall was one of the best fights ever, seeing those two cruiser weights beat the shit out of eachother was great.

Max Power said...

Yes, you will not be able to smoke in something in the range of 90-95% of public places. What is this f'in Tehran? Let the record show that I am calling bullshit!

Dan shush.

Pops Freshenmeyer said...

@jared

It always seems that the cruiserweights put on the best fights. PJ Stock was one of the best fighters of the last 10 years, and his brawl with Stephen Peat was fucking epic. The heavyweights rarely ever live up to the hype (see: every one of the Laraque-Brashear scraps since BGL came east). It's probably because the lighter guys have an easier time staying on their skates while they're punching each other's faces off.

Pops Freshenmeyer said...

I think it would've been an interesting study if they'd implemented the smoking ban before the 10 percent drink tax went into effect to see if such a smoking ban would've actually cost bars business.

It'd still be an interesting study: when adjusted for inflation, do smoking bans negatively affect business for bars?

P.O. said...

ja'red

that pic you put up of AO with his eyes rolling in the back of his head needs to be kept around for a future photoshop.. say around october 16th

Mr. Plank said...

It'd still be an interesting study: when adjusted for inflation, do smoking bans negatively affect business for bars?

There's been a lot of research done on the subject, the NY Times is saying that bars and restaurants are doing better.

Thanks for the kind words guys.

Mr. Plank said...

Although there is some criticism for the study. Whatevs.

christina said...

looks like the team is delivering season tickets today....the pens website says it will have photos and video coming....

I Have Kasparaitis said...

Bugsy wasn't that bad of a fighter. Considering he never really fought when he was younger (in a college) and had to adapt to a different setting, he actually performed well. After ralizing his fighting in his first 2 seasons was nothing special, a friend of his in Canada started helping him out with fighting. Bugsy isn't that bad and the point of fighting isn't always to win, but to get your point across. When Sykie got messed with by Avery, Bugsy lost, I admit it, but he didn't fight to win. He fought to say "Don't mess with my teammates" ... Avery avoided too much confrontation with anyone who was on the ice when Bugsy was there because of respect (or what I thought it was.) Now his fight with Commodore was to get Commie agitated and off his game. Bugsy fights when anyone needs him to ... I cannot recall a time when he wasn't willing to throw down the gloves when someone got messed with, ever. And he did a damn good job of keeping Sid safe, so no bad talk about him! When Witt hit him open ice, Bugsy came over and pounded Witt's face in and won the fight. I remember seeing Bugsy ready to fight a guy, glanced over and saw someone messing with Sid, skated away from whoever he was about to fight, and attacked the guy trying to mess with Crosby. Plus his fight with Cooke, who lost btw, was also about Sid getting hit and Cooke stepping in for his teammate. He fought during the Flyers playoff series in defense of Gronk, he has fought for Geno, I mean, he really isn't a bad fighter and it's not the point.

I conclude with ... let Bugsy be.

Dan said...

if someone was smart enough to open up non smoking bars a long time ago, i would've been there. i can smoke the occasional cigar at home, no loss there.

Max Power said...

That might work in NY where everybody is out of their minds. Its imports from such places that cause things like this to happen turning our city into a haven for Nancys and tuckers.

Ja' Red said...

@ po

My in 30days poster with him said

IN 30 DAYS....

You'll be just as ugly as you are today.

no love from pensblog staff

shawnawwwesome said...

I am not a smoker, nor do I like walking out of restaurants and/or bars smelling like smoke.

That having been said, I couldn't be more against the smoking ban. The trade-off of subjecting myself to a smoke-filled bar for the pleasure of getting drunk in front of strangers was my choice to make. The government didn't need to make the choice for me.

I call Communism on the commonwealth.

I Have Kasparaitis said...

You know the season's coming if I begin ranting *laughs*

To actual comment on the post, I have a liking towards the Sharks. Roenick, who wasn't a favorite of mine during the dark days on the Flyers, is a Shark, so I'm fine with them. Although, Cheechoo's cheapshot on Mark Eaton makes me angry ... Well done, Mr. Plank.

I Have Kasparaitis said...

The whole deal with the smoking ban has to deal with the negative effect it has on others (the reason why movies with smoking now are rated R), people complaining, and supposedly doing this for the health of the people. This is a flaw in the law because the government is supposed to protect its people and have their rights protected as well. Now if a referendum was to be voted on, I would be less unhappy that law coming into action than legislature saying you can't smoke in public. Because smoking effects others, they can put a ban on it but if enough people fought on it, I'm sure it could be repeeled.

Also, the US Constitution has it set up so the rights of one matter. Max could take this to court (if he wanted) and make the charge that the government is taking over his rights as a citizen to smoke in a public area, which isn't illegal, and site the Constitution. Jsut because it's public, doesn't mean it doesn't impede on his rights. I would be a bit shocked if he lost in court.

(Let it be noted I hate smoking. I will never smoke; I think it's disgusting, but what is worse is the government telling individuals what they can and cannot do)

End politicalrantblog ... (I'm such a talker today ...)

e11ehcim said...

Yep, christina, season ticket delivery at least started today. How do I know this?

Pascal Dupuis delivered to my work place. . .but not for me. DAMMIT! He rolled up in a black Cadillac with some girl and a camera man.

Sweet!

P.O. said...

ja'red

that would have been better than any of the recent ones i have seen... nice work

KaylaJ said...

until the sharks do something in the playoffs, they're just one of those teams i cannot take seriously when it comes to talking about a deep playoff performance.

Rage said...

While I can tolerate the Sharks much better than other evil teams, you gotta admit, that piece was well written and extremely entertaining, so when I called 'em dicks earlier, I meant it in a friendly jobbing kinda way

Dr. Turkleton said...

miche11e backwards...

did pascal deliver 'em to the woman whose seats you sat in for the ECF clincher v. Filthy???...if so:
• I'm jealous.
• I'm sure that will be all the talk on the 20th!!!

got Season Ticket Holder Town Hall Meeting stuff in the mail today [scheduled for Thursday, the 18th]...

BNG66, let me know if you're planning on coming into town for this.


[TANK]

Stoosh said...

Anyone else planning to go to the Town Hall Meeting? Reason I ask is twofold...

1. I think we'd need to run TownHallMeetingblog.

2. I just realized this past week that I am NOT going to be able to Pensblog Gameblog 1.0 for the Tampa game on the 20th. I completely forgot that I had a wedding to go to that night, so I will regretfully not be in attendance for the Tampa game (grrrrrrr).

curtO. said...

My Town Hall tickets arrived today as well and I'll certainly be there.

My friend texted me today that a Mr. Max Talbot stopped by her house to drop off her tickets...YAY Amy.

fleuryous said...

STOOOOOOOOSH! I wanted to meet you next weekend.


Damn :(.

AO picture=definite photoshop.


And I, too, cannot wait for the Cookey monster to give out some SACK lunches. Only a little while longer.

Ugh, I feel like a virgin on prom night. Let's get this goiiiiiing.

Stoosh said...

@ Fleuryous -

:(

I know...I was looking forward to meeting up with everyone that night, the tailgating, etc.

I'm hoping that we should be good to go for most other gameday get-togethers; we thought our summer was going to be pretty laid back and it's seemed like every weekend since mid-June, we've had something going on or had to be somewhere.

This one would've been sweet because so many people were going to be there, to say nothing of all the fun the game would've been.

J.S. said...

by the looks of it, i'm out for the next weekend too. stupid drill weekend, and it's not so much the drill weekend, but not getting back until well after midnight and having to run the following morning makes things difficult.

and without sounding like too much of a suckup to mr. plank, not only did he have a good write-up, but it's also kinda cool that he shows up here more than once a year, even if it one of those times is to poach our free agents. dick.

sh0ez said...

So, js, you won't be coming?

Rachele, do you need a ticket?

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