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  • SharkCircle 7:00 pm on July 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: advanced stats errors, , Doug Wilson, , , , , , , , Should the Sharks trade Thornton and Marleau?   

    My Thoughts On Thornton, Marleau, and The Sharks Future (DR, Part Three) 

    Follow me @SharkCircle

    Here is the third and final part in the blog-series Diverging Realities. You can read Part One here, and Part Two here. Please enjoy part three!

    After the first two parts of Diverging Realities where I talked about the all the divides and contradictions among fans in terms of what other people believe, some of you reading may have had the thought, WELL WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IN, EXACTLY! WHO ARE YOU! DO YOU EVEN BELIEVE IN ANYTHING AT ALL?

    So to answer that thought, well… Hi, I’m Shark Circle. And I believe in marmalade on a hot summer’s day.

    Oh, you meant when it comes to hockey? And in this case, analyzing the Sharks? How about, I believe in… noticing what happens in the moment, and then what that moment turns into the past, I believe in remembering what I noticed. Because, you see, memories in sports can be fickle. Especially complex sports like hockey. There are hundreds of “events” every game (thousands, really), so most people don’t remember the details of a playoff series that happened five years ago. It’s not like football where you can just point to a couple of plays that decided the Superbowl or a playoff game. But for all the “fancy” stats available today, I remember some “simple” stats, not to mention performances, from past playoff-years that have colored my opinions on Joe Thornton and Patrick Marlaeu as much as anything else. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING FULL POST!

  • SharkCircle 9:08 pm on July 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Doug Wilson, , Joe Thornton trade analysis, , , , Patrick Marleau trade analysis,   

    Diverging Realities Part Two: The Sharks Fan Base, Jumbo And Patty, And Why The Playoffs Matter (Really! They do!) 

    Follow me @SharkCircle

    Hey, Shark Circle here. Part One of this blog-series focused on what I mean by Diverging Realities, what caused them, and how the phenomenon has divided the hockey world at large. Here is Part Two, which will focus on the effect within the Sharks fan base, in particular the debates surrounding Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and the question of whether players are responsible for their performances in the playoffs. If you haven’t read Part One yet, I recommend you start with it first, otherwise Part Two will be very difficult to understand. Please enjoy!

    I spent the last blog detailing how realities have diverged among fans across the NHL, but that doesn’t mean the phenomenon isn’t at its worst, or close to it, in San Jose. Nowhere have I noticed the divide between the people who try to understand as much of reality as they can, and the people who inadvertently create their own through mathematical miscalculations and manipulation**, more than within the Sharks fan base. Specifically, the debate surrounding Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau’s playoff history. The advanced stats community (aka #fancystats on twitter) has always discounted the entire idea of “performance” and self-determinism in the playoffs, so it’s no wonder that a discussion surrounding great regular-season performancers who decline in the playoffs completely confounds them. And for the first time since these fans have risen to prominence arrogance within the Sharks community, they are greatly displeased with the way things are going, what with Sharks GM Doug Wilson saying he’s moving towards major decisions they don’t agree with. And as we all know, it’s not until adversity hits that you necessarily see all of people’s true colors. And this group of fans has turned on Doug Wilson very aggressively since he stated his intention to change the direction he takes this franchise in.

  • SharkCircle 5:29 pm on July 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Doug Wilson, , , , San Jose Sharks rebuild, , Tom Gilbert advanced stats   

    Diverging Realities Part One: The Great Divide From Sharks Fans To All Of Hockey 

    Follow me @SharkCircle

    Hey, Shark Circle here. Just wanted to pad the length here by putting up a “note” explaining this next series of blogs, Diverging Realities. In contrast to the more specific, ne’er continued series Beware of Advanced Stats In The Hands Of Less-Advanced Statisticians, Diverging Realities is going to take a more general look at the consequences that false statistics, biased “studies,” and the advanced stats community’s inability to acknowledge anything they can’t calculate are having on the hockey world.

    Part One will touch on the Sharks, but focus mostly on explaining what I mean by “Diverging Realities” and what caused the phenomenon, and how it has divided the hockey world. Then Part Two will really dig into how this phenomenon has attached itself to the debate around Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau in SJ and made the Sharks into a polestar for this divide.

    Not For nothing, it’s been the most difficult blog I’ve written here, even more involved than the Beware blog, or the blog advocating for more skill in the NHL-game, and bigger ice. Or even the ill-conceived Scout With Almost No Footage one. But as someone who likes to be part of the ongoing, evolving conversation that is NHL-hockey, I feel this is one of the most important subjects I’ve written about. Because the way we all experience, analyze, and understand the game is very important to the way we discuss it, and I’ve been disappointed the last few years to see hockey discourse become almost as partisan as political discourse. And that’s what I felt needed addressing, so I hope you enjoy the slog blog!

    “Some men cannot be reasoned with.”

    If you’ve listened to Sharks’ GM Doug Wilson speak frankly this offseason, then you know that’s probably a pretty good approximation of what he’s been thinking to himself about Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau lately, as it now appears he’s finally come to realize what most NHL fans have believed for years: that there is something going on with those two as leaders of the Sharks that has hindered the team’s ability to succeed in the playoffs relative to what was expected of them (internally and externally).

  • SharkCircle 2:04 am on February 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bias in NHL, Doug Wilson, , San Jose Sharks Bias, San Jose Sharks trades Doug Wilson, Sharks GM Doug Wilson,   

    Is San Jose Sharks’ GM Doug Wilson Evaluating His Team With Rose-Colored Glasses On? 

    In a recent article by the San Jose Mercury News, Curtis Pashelka interviewed San Jose Sharks’ General Manager Doug Wilson about whether the Sharks needed to make any roster moves in response to their current seven-game losing streak.

    Wilson made clear that he still has faith in the Sharks’ roster as it is now assembled, saying that “the answer lies within that room.” However, the justification he gave for his continued confidence in the team suggests to me that he is not evaluating the Sharks’ roster honestly, but rather with bias that is clouding his judgement. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING FULL POST

  • SharkCircle 1:40 am on August 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Barret Jackman, Brad Stuart, Brad Stuart analysis, , Doug Wilson, , Jason Garrison, , , , , San Jose Sharks offseason analysis, , Zbynek Michalek   

    San Jose Sharks Sign Brad Stuart: Is He Worth The Cap-Hit and Were There Better Options? 

    Brad Stuart #7

    Brad Stuart donning teal.. and …grey…

    With Jim Vandermeer and Colin White unfortunately not returning to the Sharks next season, Sharks GM Doug Wilson looked to appease the masses of distraught, sobbing Sharks fans by replacing their departed heroes with what he hopes is a superior model, if that’s even possible, in Brad Stuart.***

    As you would expect, the premium model will come with a higher price tag; Brad Stuart signed for a three-year, 10.8 million-dollar contract, a $3.6M cap-hit compared to Colin White and Jim Vandermeer’s matching one-year, one-million dollar deals last season, and to Doug Murray’s $2.5M cap-hit.

    However, Brad Stuart also comes with an undeniably higher talent level than any of them, and Doug Wilson is surely hoping Stuart’s combination of size and smooth skating will equate to excellent performances on the ice for the next three seasons.


  • SharkCircle 4:16 am on February 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Dean Lombardi, , Doug Wilson, GM Pierre Mcguire, Ken Holland, , , ,   

    A Lot Can Change In 10 Years, A Look At The NHL in Year 2022 

    Follow Me On Twitter @SharkCircle

    Have you ever wondered what life will be like 10 years from now? What about the National Hockey League? Luckily, I have the answer to the more important of those two questions, and have decided to give my readers a peep through the looking-glass. Where will the NHL be in 10 years? Suffice it to say, a lot can change. Read on to find out. (Note: this was written five days ago, before the Kyle Quincey and Jeff Carter trades).

    February 20th, 2022, Sports Section of ‘The Shark Circle Times,’ the world’s leading newspaper. The article is titled “Weekly NHL News Update,” a fair example of the creativity that helped propel ‘The Shark Circle Times’ to the lofty heights of being the galaxy’s most successful paper.

    • With the San Jose Sharks looking to bolster their roster at the trade deadline in the hopes of winning their sixth straight Stanley Cup, Sharks’ fans are anxious to see what GM Doug Wilson has up his sleeve. Unfortunately, Doug Wilson was unavailable for comment when I tried to reach him, but his secretary Dean Lombardi did make himself available to reporters, stating that if the right deal came along to improve the team, his “superior” (he probably just meant his boss, but reporters are not ruling out a Freudian slip) would definitely consider it. CONTINUE READING FULL POST

    • LoganCoutureFansite 4:39 am on February 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Hilarious, loved it! But if Logan Couture gets a concussion I’ll remember that you jinxed him 🙂


      • SharkCircle 4:42 am on February 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        I’m glad you liked it, even in spite of the comment on Couture. To be fair, he did draw the penalty that helped the Sharks beat Detroit. But glad you liked it, and I wouldn’t worry about Couture. I have no idea how he got injured in juniors. Not that people hit him much anymore in the NHL, I think the Sharks play in a very clean/non-physical division, but even when he does get himself in bad spots, or someone hits him bad, like Colton Orr last year, he just never seems to get hurt.


  • SharkCircle 4:23 am on September 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Doug Wilson, , , , , , Preseason, , Sharks, Tommy Wingels,   

    San Jose Sharks Pre-season Impressions 09/25/2011, Sharks 4, Canucks 3 

    This past sunday night, the San Jose Sharks faced off against the Vancouver Canucks in a pre-season game that the Sharks won, 4 – 3. The game was broadcast on the NHL Network. The Canucks did not ice many of their NHL players, with the most notable names on their roster being Maxim Lapierre, Keith Ballard, and Marco Sturm, but the Sharks did. New additions Brent Burns and Jim Vandermeer played, along with returning regulars Dan Boyle, Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and others.

    For many of us, this was our first opportunity to see some of the Sharks regulars back in action. I was interested to see how the players looked after the short offseason, who looked faster or slower, etc. Here I will offer impressions of what I saw from notable players, starting with the defense.


    Dan Boyle is still an elite offensive defenseman. No surprise there, but he is 35 years old and coming off back-to-back grueling seasons where he played huge minutes for the Sharks, so some fans are understandably on the lookout for signs of decline. And since his excellent 16-goal first season with the Sharks, he probably has declined. His point totals were down last year, for instance. But from watching him play, I’m here to tell you that the decline is still very slight. He’s still as shifty as any defenseman, and he looks to be in great shape. Expect another great season from Boyle. Continue Reading Full Post

    • CaniacCanuck 7:00 am on October 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I’m hopeful that Vlasic can get back to his 08-09′ numbers but unless he gets those type of PP minutes again (which he didn’t even come close to last season) I’m beginning to think what we see from him now (offensively) is what we’re going to get. Obviously in his own zone he’s getting better each year which is great (set a career high in blocked shots, takeaways, and is one of the better guys at not giving the puck away, but trailed off in hits.) I’ll be interested to see if he defensive stats improve again this year (or maintain their last year numbers).


    • SharkCircle 4:48 am on October 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Hey thanks for the comment. I agree, I dont think he’ll put up huge numbers unless he just gets tons of second assists because the Sharks steamroll everyone like they’re currently doing to phoenix. Vlasic can skate but he has no offensive ability beyond that. Passing is fine but unspectacular, he’s not creative at all, his shot is far below average, he can’t deke at all. He’s not an offensive player, and he doesn’t need to be to be solid defenseman.


  • SharkCircle 4:04 pm on September 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Brodie Reid, Doug Wilson, Freddie Hamilton, , Michael Sgarbossa, , Sena Acolatse, Sharks Prospects, Taylor Doherty, Young Stars Analysis,   

    Young Stars Tournament Analysis: San Jose Sharks Prospects 

    Last week, prospects from the Vancouver Canucks, Winnipeg Jets, San Jose Sharks, Calgary Flames, and Edmonton Oilers faced off against each other in Penticton, British Columbia, in the annual Young Stars Prospect Tournament. In this article, we will offer our impressions of the San Jose Sharks prospects who stood out enough in one way or another for us to have impressions. Not every player will be profiled, given that the tournament was too short for us to get a feel for every player. We will start with…


    Acolatse is a 5’11”, 205 lbs, 20-year-old defenseman who the Sharks signed to an entry-level contract out of the Western Hockey League. Through 3 games of the Young Stars Tournament, he had one goal, and was a -1 in the plus/minus category. He is a good skater with above average speed, and he moves the puck pretty well. I thought he was the Sharks best defenseman in the first prospect game, and perhaps throughout the entire tournament.
    Continue Reading Full Post

  • SharkCircle 9:21 am on September 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Benoit Pouliot, , , , Doug Wilson, Jody Shelley, Marc Staal, , , , Steve Montador, , Top 10 offseason signings, Top 20 offseason signings   

    The Best 20 Free Agent Signings of the Offseason, And Why the Sharks Should Have Signed Them, Part 7 

    In this series of articles, we will take an in-depth look at the 20 best value UFA signings of the offseason from both a neutral and Sharks perspective, in no particular order. There is no guarantee these players would’ve come to the Sharks, but we find it interesting to analyze signings through a Sharks lens. Enjoy!

    If you missed the first six parts when they were posted, you can check them out here. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6.

    Today’s post will focus on underrated players. Stay tuned next week for our look at the Shark who made this list, as well as thoughts on the Young Stars Tournament.

    Age. 24. Height. 6’3″. Weight. 199 lbs. Shoots. Left.
    Contract. 1 year, 1.1M.
    2010-2011 Stats. 79GP, 13G, 30PTS, +2 plus/minus, 87PIM.

    Benoit Pouliot is a left-wing who signed with the Boston Bruins this summer. He is a smooth skater with good agility and edge-control, and he is good at keeping the puck on a string. At 6’3″, 199 lbs, his frame is superior to most finesse forwards, and his fairly long skating stride is one benefit of this, along with greater reach. Overall, he is a slick forward who excels at the finesse aspects of the game. He has the skill of a top-six forward, and the Bruins nabbed him for Jody Shelley money. That’s value. Continue Reading Full Post

  • SharkCircle 5:10 am on September 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 10 best signings, , , Doug Wilson, , Eric Belanger, , , , , , , top 10, , top 20 signings, Top signings   

    The Top 20 Signings of the NHL Offseason, And Why the Sharks Should Have Signed Them, Part 6 

    (Editor’s Note. Don’t forget to vote in the poll or comment with your thoughts!)

    In this series of articles, we will take an in-depth look at what we consider to be the 20 best value UFA signings of the offseason, in no particular order. We will first detail what makes the signings good from a neutral perspective, then discuss why the signing would have benefitted the Sharks (at the same contract terms unless others are discussed). There is no guarantee these players would have even come to the Sharks, but we find it interesting to analyze signings made this offseason through a Sharks lens. Enjoy!

    If you missed the first four parts when they were posted, you can check them out here. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5. Now for Part 6.

    Age. 33. Height. 5’11”. Weight. 185 lbs. Shoots. Left.
    Contract. 3 years, 5.25M, Edmonton Oilers.
    2010-2011 Stats. 82GP, 13G, 40PTS, +11 plus/minus, 36PIM.

    Eric Belanger is a third line center with the two-way skills to step up onto the second line if needed. Continue Reading Full Post

    • sjfan 4:57 pm on September 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I agree, Belanger would have been an excellent signing for the Sharks. He always struck me as a smart, versatile player . You brought up all the reasons I think would have made him a better signing than Handzus. He may not have Handzus’ size, but brings speed and scoring depth which I believe is somewhat lacking in the Sharks foward corps. Maybe DW was turned off by his three year term.


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