Thursday, February 19, 2009

San Jose Sharks Wish List

This is a list of what one thing I would instruct the general manager and coaching staff as well as each of the team’s likely 23 active players in the playoffs to focus on to get better. It starts with those I think is most responsible/indispensible to the team’s success and works its way down to the one I think is least important. Some of them require me to really nitpick.

Note: salary and expectations are not a factor in this determination, and thus does not measure over/under-achievement, but it does factor in how much they have to work with, which explains why Setoguchi is ranked below Pavelski and Clowe.

1. Doug Wilson: If this team does not start playing with more consistent urgency, don’t be afraid to make a change in personnel—we need the Cup this year because who knows what the chances will be in the future.
2. Todd McLellan and staff: Light a fire under these guys’ butts, because they are not focused enough! I hate to recommend techniques used by Ron Wilson, but occasionally calling someone out publicly might work if doing it in the locker room so far has not.
3. Patrick Marleau: Be more physical. You are big, play like it.
4. Joe Thornton: Shoot the puck more! People would give you more passing lanes if they had to respect the shot.
5. Dan Boyle: Don’t take so long to wind up on those great slapshots—it’s giving the opposition too much time to clog the shooting lanes.
6. Rob Blake: Your offence and leadership have been great, but you are in the penalty box too much.
7. Joe Pavelski: Your shootout efficiency has dropped, and with it the team’s last four competitions—we need you to be money again.
8. Ryane Clowe: You are my favourite player, but it is ridiculous that your linemate is more effective in traffic in front of the net when he is over 50 pounds lighter than you are.
9. Devin Setoguchi: You still need to keep working on attending to your defensive responsibilities more—don’t make the second-year mistake of cheating for offensive opportunities.
10. Marc-Eduoard Vlasic: Ron Wilson is not coaching this team anymore—you don’t have to be afraid of mistakes so much that you don’t get as involved as you could on the offensive end.
11. Milan Michalek: In your case, a well-placed roughing penalty might send a message on the league to stop picking on you.
12. Christian Ehrhoff: Remember to take something off that slapshot so you can put it somewhere that helps us. When your production disappeared mid-season, you were missing everything from the point. (Or stop whining about every penalty like you’ve never committed one—I’ll take either.)
13. Douglas Murray: Keep the hits coming, but you need to work on that shot!
14. Mike Grier: Stop putting useless shots right into the goalie—aim for a corner or the five-hole on some of those, or bounce one in front of him he needs to fight off.
15. Torrey Mitchell: Just get healthy already, and no more rushing your recovery, causing set-backs!
16. Jonathan Cheechoo: We need the guy that scores back, and you need to work on that until it is as casual as it was in 2006, ‘cause your in a real funk.
17. Brad Lukowich: I’d like to see you more involved in the offence when you finally return.
18. Tomas Plihal: Go to the net, young man, and you will get more points.
19. Marcel Goc: Make sure more of your shots are on net—you’ve blown a few big chances you worked hard to create by missing high and/or wide.
20. Jeremy Roenick: Can’t you bring the fire in the locker room or practice rink? ‘Cause this team lacks it, and Scott Parker used to motivate when he didn’t play.
21. Evgeni Nabokov: What the heck are you doing behind a bunch of people who have missed a bunch of games? Because you are not playing consistently, and if you can’t handle the workload, it is your responsibility to own up to that.
22. Jody Shelley: Too many teams are taking too many liberties with your teammates, and it’s time for you to make them more afraid to do so.
23. Alexei Semenov: See above, and work on your fighting—at your size, you should never lose.
24. Brian Boucher: You have been the team’s best netminder since coming over at last year’s trade deadline. Do whatever it takes to get a coach to put you in net, even if it means kissing butt!
25. Claude Lemieux: Get a point already, or at least do more enforcing.

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