Sharks

49ers Notes: Goodwin not worried about fumbles

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49ers Notes: Goodwin not worried about fumbles

SANTA CLARA – As Colin Kaepernick casually strolled through the 49ers’ locker room, he couldn’t help but notice a sizeable media contingent around center Jonathan Goodwin.

“Don’t hassle Goodie about it, it was my fault,” Kaepernick said.

A smiling Goodwin replied, “50/50, husband and wife. Of course, he’s the wife.”

Fortunately, they could now laugh about the trouble they were having with the football in Sunday’s win in New England. Kaepernick fumbled the ball four times while trying to handle the snap from Goodwin, including twice in the first quarter and another on the first play of the second quarter.

Goodwin didn’t seem too concerned that it will be a recurring problem, though, for a couple of reasons.

“The fact that the latter part of the game we tried something different and we didn’t have any problems, and we hadn’t had any problems in regular weather, I don’t think it’s something that’s going to concern us,” said the 11-year pro.

Inclement weather is always a possibility in the Pacific Northwest this time of year, so Goodwin expects he and his new quarterback may spend a little more time handing off the ball in practice this week. The early forecast for Sunday in Seattle, according to weather.com, is cloudy with a 20 percent chance of rain.

“I haven't checked the forecast, but if rain is in the picture, it's definitely something that we need to work on,” Goodwin said.

* * *

Although Kaepernick was having trouble with the ball, the young QB showed poise beyond his years late in the game after New England's furious comeback, according to tight end Vernon Davis.

On the first play from scrimmage following the Patriots’ game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter, Kaepernick found Michael Crabtree for a 38-yard score, giving the 49ers a lead they would not relinquish.

“He had just this will-to-win attitude. His demeanor was just, like, on another level,” Davis said of Kaepernick. “His mind was clear. He was ready to win, he was talking, he was getting guys in the huddle, telling guys to run back and get lined up. He was just a complete champion in that game. That’s what we expect him to be.”

Still, Davis admitted that he has yet to find the personal chemistry with Kaepernick as he had with Alex Smith. After reeling in six catches for 83 yards in Kaepernick’s first start against the Bears on Nov. 19, Davis has just four catches for 29 yards in the last four games combined.

On Sunday in New England, Davis was targeted three times including a pair of deep balls, but finished with just one reception for 10 yards.

“One thing I learned in the beginning when I first got here, everyone was talking about being on the same page as the quarterback, as Alex Smith. You have to develop that chemistry, that bond so you can be on the same page. That’s something me and Kap don’t have right now. We don’t have it. You have to expect that, because he just stepped in.

“Me and Alex, we’ve been here. It took some time for me and Alex to get like that. In the beginning, Alex would overthrow me, he would underthrow me. We had to build that chemistry that he could trust that I’m going in that spot that I needed to be. That’s something that me and Kap don’t have right now, but we’re working on it. We started working on it the moment he stepped in. So, we have to build that.”

* * *

Demarcus Dobbs’ season may be over after he was placed on injured reserve last week, but the second-year pro won’t need surgery on his right knee, he said on Tuesday.

“That’s the blessing. No surgery, just rehab, take it easy try to let it go back and do a lot of treatment,” Dobbs said before revealing he had a partial tear of his PCL and MCL.

Primarily a special-teamer, Dobbs had to be carted off of the field in the 49ers’ win over Miami last weekend after covering a kickoff.

“It looked a lot worse and felt a lot worse,” he said. “I thought it was my whole knee, my ACL and everything. I thought the worst of it.”

It’s been a rough go lately for Dobbs. The 25-year-old, who had seven tackles in 12 games this season, was arrested on Nov. 30 for suspicion of drunk driving and possession of marijuana following a single car accident.

* * *

The 49ers (10-3-1) won’t have much time to bask in the glow of Sunday’s thrilling victory over a fellow Super Bowl contender in front of a national audience. Instead, they face what would probably be considered an even more important game against division rival Seattle (9-5) on Sunday.

A win over the Seahawks would clinch the NFC West title and put them one step closer to securing a first round playoff bye, something they would do with victories in their final two games. The Seahawks are a perfect 6-0 at home and have put up at least 50 points in each of the last two weeks in wins against Arizona and Buffalo, winning three in a row overall.

"We've got to move forward,” Frank Gore said. “We can't thrive on what happened last week. We got the win. Now we're looking at Seattle. We know Seattle's playing good ball. They're a good team. We'll be ready."

Running back Anthony Dixon said: “We’ve got to take them serious. We’re not going to underestimate them, and we’re definitely not sleeping on them. We see what they’re doing, but at the same time they see us, too. It’s going to be a clash of the titans. It’s going to be good. It’s going to be fun, it’s going to be physical. But that’s the way we like it. We’re ready.”

While the Seahawks may be perfect at home, San Francisco is 5-0 in primetime matchups, including the 41-34 win over the Pats.

Time is now for Sharks to experiment with new lines

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USATSI

Time is now for Sharks to experiment with new lines

The San Jose Sharks were shut out for the first time this season on Thursday night, but it sure didn't feel like it.

You’d be forgiven, albeit mistaken, if you didn't think the loss was their first goose egg of the season. San Jose’s been one of the lowest-scoring teams in the league this year, and has scored two or fewer goals in all but two of their six games in November.

The Sharks controlled play, but their raw possession numbers were misleading: Through the first two periods, San Jose was outshot 23-18, and poured it on in the third looking for the game-tying goal.

In order to break out of his team’s extended slump, head coach Peter DeBoer appeared to throw his lines in the proverbial blender. The changes weren't very significant, though, as DeBoer worked mostly around the edges.

Joe Thornton remained with Joe Pavelski, while Melker Karlsson and Timo Meier rotated in on their wing. Joonas Donskoi swapped in with Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl, and on and on.

The core pair of each line remained intact, while DeBoer swapped complimentary wingers. Subtle changes, unsurprisingly, didn't lead to drastically different results.

He’s been amenable to bigger changes at times, briefly breaking up longtime linemates Thornton and Pavelski last Sunday against Los Angeles. The bottom six, especially the fourth line, has mostly been a revolving door.

That's a start, but far from enough. 

As long as the Sharks struggle to score, similarly significant changes are in order.

DeBoer shouldn't want to sacrifice the team’s defensive dominance, or its strong possession game. But, the Sharks haven't scored enough through 17 games to justify using the same forward combinations. 

In Thornton and Pavelski’s case, those struggles date back to last season. For just about everyone else, the sample size is getting increasingly more significant as the season approaches the quarter pole.

The Sharks bench boss expressed a willingness to mix up his power play units earlier this week, and needs to do the same at even strength. It's time to try Pavelski on Couture's wing, Meier on Thornton's, or any number of permutations.

Tweaking around the edges hasn't made much of a difference, so far more comprehensive adjustments are not only welcome, but necessary. Of course, DeBoer may not find the perfect lineup solutions.

At this point, though, it's worth a shot. It's hard to imagine the Sharks scoring any less than they have so far this season, and the Sharks need to explore if any line changes can provide a remedy.

Luongo picks up a career first in Panthers win over Sharks

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AP

Luongo picks up a career first in Panthers win over Sharks

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE — Roberto Luongo made 35 saves for his 74th career shutout and the Florida Panthers blanked the San Jose Sharks 2-0 Thursday night on goals by Colton Sceviour and Nick Bjugstad.

Florida coach Bob Boughner won in his return to San Jose. He served as an assistant coach for the Sharks the last two years.

Luongo earned his first shutout of the season and first in 32 games against San Jose.

Martin Jones was nearly as good for the Sharks. He stopped 26 shots, but that wasn't enough to keep the Panthers from winning for the seventh time in their last eight trips to San Jose.

Sharks defenseman Tim Heed had a goal disallowed on a coach's challenge a little less than five minutes into the second period. Replays showed he came into contact with the puck just behind the blue line, making the play offside.

San Jose had another goal overturned after a replay review. Brent Burns took a hard shot that Luongo nearly caught but couldn't handle and it bounced along his pads. Marc-Edouard Vlasic was one of three Sharks trying to poke at the puck and he used his stick to push both the puck and Luongo's pad into the net.

Sceviour scored a minute into the second after digging out the puck along the boards behind the net. He skated around the cage and poked a shot that hit Jones' pads. He took a second shot that got over the goalie's pads and went in.

Sceviour has four points in six games since returning from injury. He had two points in his first six games this season.

The Panthers, who have won three of four, added an insurance goal with less than eight minutes remaining. Radim Vrbata intercepted a pass in the Sharks zone and played it to Jamie McGinn, who got Jones to commit before dishing to Bjugstad for the score.

NOTES: Panthers C Michael Haley received a warm ovation from Sharks fans. He played in San Jose the last couple of years. ... Sharks D Paul Martin missed his 15th game with a lower-body injury, though he has been skating pain-free for the past two weeks. ... Florida center Vincent Trocheck has 12 points in his last 10 games. ... The Sharks have not scored on their past 15 power plays.

UP NEXT

Panthers: At the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

Sharks: Host the Boston Bruins on Saturday.