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

    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 1:01 pm on January 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , NHL shootout stats, NHL Shootouts, , , SJ Sharks blog, SJ Sharks thoughts,   

    Random San Jose Sharks Thoughts, Jan. 5, 2012 


    It’s called shootout, not dekeout! And not just because “dekeout” sounds horrible. The Sharks keep winning shootouts, having lost only one this season, and the way they’ve done it tells us a lot about shootouts in general. Think about it, who is the best shootout guy on the Sharks? I would say Joe Pavelski. What about the best shootout guy to have faced the Sharks recently? The guy who bit them the most? Over the last season and a half I would probably say Jarret Stoll of the Los Angeles Kings. Then think of all the stars who aren’t good at the shootout, like Alex Ovechkin. How can Jarret Stoll be better than Alex Ovechkin at the shootout, the “skills competition?” Is Jarret Stoll actually more skilled at stickhandling, and/or in anything, than Alex Ovechkin? No way. Is he even a better shooter? Also no.

    But he shoots. He chooses to shoot every time. Same with Joe Pavelski and most of the Sharks. What am I seeing now is that skill level in the shootout is not nearly as important as decision-making, specifically making the decision to pick a corner and shoot the puck rather than stickhandle (or “deke”). In fact, it would seem that truth actually puts high-skill players at a disadvantage, as the more skilled the player, the more tempted he will be to stickhandle instead of simply shooting the puck. But that is the mistake many players and teams are making. If you’ve yet to witness the phenomenon with your own eyes, I believe you will if you start to take note of how players are scoring in the shootouts you watch. In the meantime, just consider the logic behind the notion.

    Think about it. When you get to skate right up to the goaltender and aim your best wrist shot at one of the top corners, there is really nothing a goaltender can do. Yes, NHL goaltenders are good, fantastic even, but they’re not superheroes. Just as humans cannot surpass the speed of light, goaltenders cannot surpass the limit of human reflexes and reaction time. CONTINUE READING FULL POST

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