Sharks

GM Wilson calls Moore 'important, versatile piece'

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GM Wilson calls Moore 'important, versatile piece'

TAMPA The San Jose Sharks have acquired the versatile, depth forward they have been looking for.

The Sharks traded for the Lightnings Dominic Moore shortly before their matchup with Tampa Bay on Thursday night. Moore did not suit up for the game, but left the arena to pack for the remainder of San Joses lengthy road trip. The Sharks were playing in their third of a nine-game trip, and its expected that Moore will make his debut on Friday night in Carolina.

San Jose also picked up a seventh round pick in the 2012 NHL draft in exchange for the second round pick in 2012 they originally acquired from Minnesota as part of the trade for Brent Burns last summer.

NEWS: Sharks get Dominic Moore from Tampa Bay

General manager Doug Wilson spoke to the media after the first period of the Sharks-Lightning game at the Tampa Times Forum.

The ingredients he brings to our team are versatility, speed, faceoff ability, penalty killing. Were very familiar with the player.

The penalty killing aspect could be especially beneficial to the Sharks, as Moore averages an even two minutes a game shorthanded. Although the Sharks PK unit has been steadily improving, will 39 kills in 45 chances since Jan. 4 (86.6 percent), adding Moore could allow them the opportunity to let players like Joe Pavelski or Logan Couture rest up on the bench rather than expunge energy while trying to defend an opposing power play.

When that theory was run by Wilson, he said: Its time management, and its minute management. Youre exactly right. Weve seen him a lot, and certainly his speed and how he kills penalties is similar to what we do.

Wilson mentioned that Sharks assistant coach Matt Shaw and director of pro scouting John Ferguson are both familiar with Moore, who has had stints in Minnesota and Toronto during his eight-year NHL career. Moore has also played for the Rangers, Penguins, Sabres, Panthers and Canadiens.

In 56 games with the Lightning this season, Moore has four goals and 15 assists for 19 points and 48 penalty minutes with a -10 rating playing mainly as their third line center. Moore has also spent time on the wing, and has a 1.1 million salary cap hit this season. He is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

Could the Sharks try and sign him past this season?

Well see. Its all based on performance, and hes only 31 years of age. So, thats the thing, a player can come and understand what were trying to accomplish and well see where it goes, Wilson said.

The Sharks general manager sited moves by Stanley Cup finalists Boston and Vancouver last season as motivation to make the deal. The Bruins added defenseman Tomas Kaberle around the deadline, while Vancouver picked up Maxim Lapierre.

Historically, that type of player, the guys that teams picked up last year, thats what it costs when youre trying to add an important, versatile piece like that, he said of surrendering the second round pick.

Moore will wear uniform number 18.

Young Sharks fitting in, not neccessarily standing out

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USATSI

Young Sharks fitting in, not neccessarily standing out

 

The message for the San Jose Sharks’ prospects was quite clear this offseason.

After general manager opted not to re-sign Patrick Marleau, or sign any free agents of consequence, it was readily apparent the Sharks would need to rely on their young players to fill any holes.

Before the quarter mark of the season, that youth movement is underway. Five first or second-year players will suit up at SAP Center Monday night against Anaheim. 

Partially, the infusion is due to injury, as Barclay Goodrow, Melker Karlsson, and Paul Martin are all on the mend. But as the season wears on, the young players’ presence is becoming a necessity. 

Joakim Ryan looks like a natural fit alongside Brent Burns, and the Sharks are a decidedly better puck possession team with him on the ice than when he’s not. Tim Heed leads Sharks defensemen in scoring, and Danny O’Regan assisted San Jose’s lone goal in his season debut on Saturday. 

That assist set up the goal that ended Timo Meier’s drought, and he looks primed to break out: he’s third on the team in five-on-five shots despite playing the ninth-fewest five-on-five minutes this season, according to Corsica Hockey.  Kevin Labanc’s cooled off since his scorching start, but is still tied for sixth on the team in scoring and skated on the top line at Monday’s morning skate, according to the Bay Area News Group’s Curtis Pashelka.

There’s still room for improvement, of course. Labanc and Meier could stand to score more, but the same can be said about most everyone else. Ryan’s made his fair share of mistakes, but Burns has struggled plenty of times alongside him, too. 

So the young players are fitting in, even if all of them aren’t necessarily standing out. That shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. 

Meier’s the only first-round pick of the lot, but he’s also only been able to legally buy a beer for a month. Ryan and Heed have made the best adjustment, in no small part because they’re the oldest (24 and 26, respectively) of the Barracuda call-ups, and thus have the most professional experience. 

Of course, fitting in isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It is, however, far from ideal, when that’s what many other players on the roster are doing. 

Having all of their young players stand out is what will ultimately make the Sharks stand out from the rest of the pack. It hasn’t quite happened yet, and San Jose’s one of 22 teams separated by six points or fewer. 

And if it doesn’t, the middle of the pack is where the Sharks will remain.

 

Bad offense, not bad officiating, is main culprit for Sharks' skid

Bad offense, not bad officiating, is main culprit for Sharks' skid

For just the second time this season, the San Jose Sharks have lost consecutive games.

It’s the first time since the club opened the season 0-2, and were outscored 9-4. San Jose played much better in Thursday’s loss to Florida and Saturday’s defeat at the hands of Boston than they did to start the campaign, but have now been on the wrong side of four goal reviews.

The Sharks have lost each of the last two games by two goals, so there’s an understandable temptation to chalk these losses up to questionable officiating. Yet even if you disregard the notion that the officials got each call right (which they did), it’s one that must be resisted.

Their actual lack of offense, not a perceived lack of good officiating, is the main culprit behind the losing streak.

Timo Meier’s goal on Saturday stands as San Jose’s lone tally on this three-game homestand. It’s not for a lack of trying: The Sharks pumped 72 shots on net in the last two games, but could not solve Roberto Luongo or Anton Khudobin.

You can blame the officiating in San Jose’s last two losses all you want, but a good offensive team would have converted subsequent chances to make up for the goals taken off the board. The Sharks have not been a good offensive team this season, and could not make up for it.

San Jose’s inability to finish chances has been their main weakness all season, but they were still able to win games thanks to their defense and goaltending. The latter’s lapsed at times over the last two games, and the former let them down on Saturday when Aaron Dell allowed three goals on only 20 shots.

But that, as well as the discussion around the recent officiating, only serves to mask the Sharks’ real issue. San Jose just simply cannot score.

They’ve only scored on 7.41 percent of their shots this season, according to Natural Stat Trick, which is the third-worst rate in the league. There’s too much talent on the roster to expect that to continue all season, but the Sharks faltered offensively down the stretch last season, too.

Plus, they’re relying significantly on players on the wrong side of 30. Brent Burns, 32, hasn’t scored a goal, and Joe Pavelski, 33, is on pace to score fewer than 20 goals.

He hasn’t failed to reach that mark in a decade. At some point, it must be asked: are the Sharks just unlucky, or is age catching up to their star players?

The answer is probably a bit of both. How much of a role either factor has played is up for debate, but that either has led to San Jose’s failure to score goals is not.

Poor officiating is easier to diagnose than a poor offense, but it’s the latter, not the former, that’s responsible for the Sharks’ most recent skid.