Joe Yerdon

Sharks going from Greiss to Stalock as Niemi’s backup?

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While the San Jose Sharks are Antti Niemi’s team, the question over who backs him up next season may be getting cleared up.

Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea.com reports the team is discussing a new contract with soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Alex Stalock. If that signing happens, it puts last season’s backup Thomas Greiss in a bit of a bad spot as he’s unrestricted as well.

Stalock is someone the organization likes quite a bit but he saw his career hit a speed bump two seasons ago when he had a nerve in his knee sliced by a skate. He’s since recovered from that and after spending most of his career with Worcester in the AHL is ready to take the next step.

As for Greiss, he played in just six games this past season and swapped spots with Stalock for a brief time meaning Niemi had to really earn his Vezina Trophy nomination. If Greiss is out in San Jose, perhaps a new gig in the German pro league awaits for him.

Darryl Sutter got hernia surgery from a robot

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Honestly, we don’t really need to add anything more to the title of this post but let’s give it a shot.

Kings coach Darryl Sutter had to undergo double hernia surgery recently and did so via a controversial means using a robot as CBS in Los Angles shares.

What’s the controversial part of it? The fact that surgeons are using a robot, called the da Vinci robotic surgical system, to do intricate operations of course. Sutter says he’s thankful for the procedure.

“I’ll be in full activity back on the ice again,” Sutter said.

Go ahead and tell me you’re not picturing Sutter still-woozy from anesthetics thanking his doctor and robot with snappy one-liners.

Sutter could be back at the rink within a week of the operation. Modern medicine is amazing and will be terrifying once Skynet is self-aware.

Update: If you’re curious how precise the robots are, here’s video of one (thanks to Josh Gold-Smith) peeling a freakin’ grape.

Tortorella arrives in Vancouver, gets swamped by eager media

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John Tortorella arrived in Vancouver this afternoon to possibly accept the Canucks’ offer to be their next head coach.

What he may not have expected upon his arrival was a very eager throng of media looking to get a glimpse of him coming to town. Not only are still photos there to capture a look at him, but video as well thanks to Matt Lee of CKNW in Vancouver.

Twitter, Vine… It’s like Tortorella’s version of Hell on Earth to be captured via so many different forms of social media.

Related: Canucks GM says Tortorella is a ‘very strong candidate’

Canucks GM says Tortorella is a ‘very strong candidate’

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Things are wild and crazy in Vancouver now with John Tortorella in town to speak with the Canucks again.

This afternoon, GM Mike Gillis spoke with Team 1040 in Vancouver about how the process is going and while he wouldn’t confirm Tortorella is their guy, he said all the right things pointing towards him.

“We’re trying to finish off the process,” Gillis said. “I can’t say at this point, but John (Tortorella) is a very strong candidate.”

Obviously with Tortorella there’s the aspect of working peaceably with the media that comes into question. Gillis was eager to tip-toe around that part of the job when it comes to the new coach.

“It’s important (to work with the media). We’re under the microscope all the time. We’re in the spotlight, we accept that.”

He also stressed that it’s not a one-way relationship as well.

“I think you (media) guys have an obligation to work with us as best you can. It’s a two-way street.”

It might be a two-way street, but Tortorella was a MACK truck in his dealings with the press in New York. If it’s true the Canucks are about to offer him the job, business is about to pick up.

What happened to Boston’s vaunted defense?

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BOSTON — Coming into tonight’s Game 4, one of the biggest stories was Boston’s tight defense and stellar goaltending. Watching Chicago take them down 6-5 in overtime made for quite the turn of events.

So, what happened? As you might expect, mistakes played a big role.

“We just made it too tough on ourselves,” goaltender Tuukka Rask said. “They got a lot of shots through and a lot of second opportunities. You allow six goals as a goalie you can’t be satisfied with the fact it wasn’t our best defensive effort.”

Did Chicago do anything new and different aside from putting Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane together? Rask didn’t think so.

“They just got shots through. I didn’t make saves or we didn’t block shots and they got those rebounds. It makes a difference.”

Captain Zdeno Chara kept his assessment brief.

“I thought they did a better job than we did [of crashing the net],” he said. “Net-front presence was something I thought we could do better. We didn’t manage the puck as well as we could’ve.”

Chara finished the night a minus-3 and was on the ice for five goals against.

Fellow B’s defenseman Johnny Boychuk says the team’s task heading into Game 5 and for the remainder series is simple.

“We have to clean up our own end and not make turnovers and play our own kind of game,” he said.

Is there anything positive to take from a frustrating loss like this?

“We did battle back and it was a two-goal deficit and we found a way to come back. We probably shouldn’t have been in that position anyways.”

Coach Claude Julien wasn’t going to evaluate his team publicly, but looking ahead he knows his team can improve.

“I think we can be a lot better,” he said. “We have an opportunity to be better next game.

“Hopefully, if anything, that makes us even hungrier for the next game.”