The San Jose Sharks aren’t getting too far ahead of themselves after beginning the 2013-14 season with a bang.
“We’re happy,” head coach Todd McLellan told CSN Bay Area after 4-1 wins over Vancouver and Phoenix. “Are we satisfied? No. But, we’re happy.”
The Sharks opened the year with a solid effort against the Canucks, the same team they swept out of the opening round of last year’s playoffs. They out-shot Vancouver 35-22 and had seven takeaways to the Canucks’ zero.
In Saturday’s 4-1 win over Phoenix, even more things went well. The power play, which went a ghastly 0-for-8 against Vancouver (despite having extended time with a two-man advantage), rebounded to go 2-for-4 against the Coyotes. What’s more, San Jose had an even bigger disparity in shots — 51-23 — meaning the club has now out-shot opponents by 41 this season.
McLellan again reiterated he was happy with the style of play, but felt there was room for the Sharks to play even better.
“When we look at how we want to play, yes [we’re happy],” he said. “We want to be fast, we want to be hard, we want to be aggressive.
“Pretty supportive group right now, amongst each other, and that always happens when you’re winning.”
Part of this tempered enthusiasm could be due to last season. The Sharks opened the lockout-shortened campaign with a perfect 7-0-0 start, only to go 0-4-3 over their next seven.
It seems there will be no NHL comeback attempt by Alex Semin. At least not in 2016-17.
Instead, Semin has inked a one-year extension with Magnitogorsk Metallurg, according to Sport-Express writer Igor Eronko.
At 32 years old, Semin still could have a lot of years left in him as a professional hockey player, but at this point it wouldn’t be surprising if he has played in his last NHL game. Early in his career his talent was clear and demonstrated by some great showings offensively, but he was plagued by inconsistency. In recent years though, he wasn’t so much inconsistent as he was underwhelming.
After being limited to six goals and 19 points in 57 games with Carolina in 2014-15, the one-time 40-goal scorer was bought out of his five-year, $35 million contract just two seasons into it. Montreal took a chance on him for 2015-16, but he only appeared in 15 games with the Canadiens before they put him on unconditional waivers on Dec. 9.
He’s fared better in the KHL though, with five goals and 14 points in 20 regular season games followed by another seven markers and 15 points in 23 playoff contests.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Among the 21 NHL.com and NHL Network experts offering their prediction for the Stanley Cup Final, 17 of them are choosing the San Jose Sharks. (NHL.com)
The majority of ESPN’s experts are also picking the Sharks. (ESPN.com)
For CBS Sports, Adam Gretz and Chris Peters are split on the outcome. (CBS Sports)
Tickets for the first Stanley Cup Final in San Jose appear to be going for significantly more than their Pittsburgh Penguins counterparts. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Inspired by John Scott‘s comments, here’s the start of a World Cup All-Snubs’ team. (TSN)
Peter DeBoer said that then New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello fired him from the Devils’ head coaching job late at night on Christmas. The news then broke on Dec. 26. (Tom Gulitti)
The Pittsburgh Penguins are Vegas favorites to win the 2016 Stanley Cup, but the odds lean toward a San Jose Sharks player capturing the Conn Smythe.
Bovada released a variety of odds on Sunday after others surfaced on Friday.
Joe Pavelski is pegged as a +400 favorite as a winner, edging some other top candidates such as Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel and Matt Murray.
Here’s the full list:
Logan Couture +500
Martin Jones +600
Brent Burns +700
Joe Thornton +900
Evgeni Malkin +900
Kris Letang +1400
Bovada also released prop bets, including how long the series might last. Check that out here.