Ryan Dadoun

Sharks enter Game 3 with some of the same issues

20 Comments

After dropping Game 1, the San Jose Sharks set to correct many of their missteps in Game 2, but those efforts didn’t materialize into results.

More specifically, they wanted to cut down on turnovers and get off to a better start.

“We made some soft plays,” Joe Pavelski told CSN Bay Area in regards to some of the Sharks’ turnovers in Game 2. “The plays off the wall, they have done a really good job and we turned some pucks over and that leads to a lot of zone time for them.”

In particular, a Roman Polak turnover led to Phil Kessel‘s marker. As Sharks coach Peter DeBoer noted though, “if you’re not scoring, every mistake you make potentially costs you the game.” In other words, if San Jose was enjoying more success at the other end of the ice, errors like Polak’s might not be so dire.

Which ties into getting off to a better start, but the Penguins outshot them 11-6 in the first period and 12-5 in the second.

So they’re left to go into Game 3 with some of the same problems that they had going into Game 2. Only now the Sharks have less time to address it.

Of course it still has to be stressed that both of the Penguins’ wins have been by just one goal and they came in Pittsburgh, so now the Sharks will get an opportunity to defend their own home. A 2-0 series deficit in the Stanley Cup Final is hard to come back from, but that doesn’t mean the Sharks won’t.

Red Wings get permission to talk to former Sens coach Cameron

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 28:  Head coach Dave Cameron of the Ottawa Senators watches from the bench during the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on November 28, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
2 Comments

The Detroit Red Wings have already hired one experienced coach in Doug Houda to serve as an assistant to bench boss Jeff Blashill and they might be closing in on another.

The Red Wings have received permission to speak to Dave Cameron, per the Ottawa Sun.

Cameron, 57, took over the Senators’ head coaching job during the 2014-15 campaign and guided them in their improbable climb to the playoffs with a 32-15-8 record. That magic didn’t last though as Ottawa went 38-35-9 in 2015-16 to finish eight points shy of a postseason spot. After that showing, Senators general manager Pierre Dorion decided to fire the head coach mere days after accepting the GM job.

Prior to becoming Ottawa’s bench boss, Cameron served as the team’s assistant for parts of four seasons. He’s also been a head coach at the AHL and OHL levels.

Detroit is also reportedly considering former Wild and Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards for the gig.

Related:

Cameron on ‘hurtful’ Melnyk remarks — ‘It felt like I was fired for three weeks’

Bill Peters would be ‘shocked’ if Aho can’t make Hurricanes

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MAY 21: Nikita Zaitsev #22 of Russia skates against Sebastian Aho #20 of Finland at Ice Palace on May 21, 2016 in Moscow, Russia. Finland defeated Russia 3-1.(Photo by Anna Sergeeva/Getty Images)
Getty Images
2 Comments

The Carolina Hurricanes had three rookies play significant roles on their blueline in 2015-16. Next season it could be a forward that becomes the face of the team’s youth movement.

Sebastian Aho is projected to make the transition from the Finnish league to North America and while he’s still just 18 years old (19 on July 26), an AHL stint might not be necessary. After all he scored 20 goals and 45 points in 45 games with Karpat in 2015-16 and then Aho made a strong impression in the World Championship while he was representing Finland and Hurricanes coach Bill Peters was behind the bench with Canada.

“Sebastian was outstanding in the semifinal against Russia … and he was dangerous against us, too,” Peters told The News & Observer. “You’re definitely aware of him when he’s on the ice. I’d be shocked if he comes in and can’t make our hockey team. He’s done it at every level.”

The Hurricanes finished near the bottom of the league in goals scored last season and Aho could be part of the solution there. Before that happens though, Aho will get some extra experience playing against NHL talent in the 2016 World Cup as he was recently added to Finland’s roster.

UFA of the Day: Eric Staal

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21:  Eric Staal #12 of the New York Rangers skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Four of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 21, 2016 in New York City. The Penguins defeated the Rangers 5-0.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Getty Images
4 Comments

Every day until June 30, we’ll write about a pending unrestricted free agent. Today’s UFA of the Day is…

Eric Staal

There’s no potential UFA that’s coming off a contract with a bigger cap hit than Staal’s, but in recent years he hasn’t produced to the level you would expect from someone armed with a seven-year, $57.75 million deal.

Perhaps that’s part of what led the Carolina Hurricanes to part ways with their long-time captain by trading him to the New York Rangers on Feb. 28 in exchange for Aleksi Saarela and a pair of second-round picks. Under better circumstances, maybe Carolina would have worked out an extension with Staal before that happened.

Regardless, while he saw the trade to the Rangers as “an opportunity I needed to take,” the end result wasn’t good for him. He went from recording 33 points in 63 games with Carolina to just three goals and six points in 20 contests with the Rangers. In the playoffs, Staal had no points and a minus-seven rating.

At the same time, he wasn’t getting the big minutes with the Rangers that he was accustomed to in Carolina and that appears to be something he wants to get back to with whatever team he ends up with in 2016-17.

“I came here to fit and try to find a role that would be effective for this team,” Staal told The Record back in April. “Obviously you always want a lot more as a player. It would have been nice to see what I could have done with different chances but there were good players in good spots that we’re doing well and they had the year they had with certain players.”

Going forward he’s an interesting case given his long history of success that needs to be weighed against his offensive decline over the past few years. Is he worth the risk of another big contract at the age of 31 (32 on Oct. 29)? Would it be better for all involved if he signs a one-year deal in the hope of bouncing back and securing a better deal next summer?

As far as potential destinations go, Eric Staal might fit in with the Nashville Predators, which could use him to solidify their second-line center situation over Mike Ribeiro or Mike Fisher, especially after Ribeiro was scratched for Games 3 and 4 of their second round series against San Jose.

It’s also possible that he’ll end up back in Carolina. He did praise the Hurricanes for “doing the right thing with the young players” and his brother, Jordan Staal, is still inked through 2019-20. Plus if Staal still wants big minutes, then going back to the Hurricanes might be his best bet.

Click here for all our 2016 UFA profiles.

Report: Semin will stay in KHL for 2016-17

OTTAWA, ON - OCTOBER 11:  Alexander Semin #13 of the Montreal Canadiens skates during the NHL game against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on October 11, 2015 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-1.  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Getty Images)
1 Comment

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.