Sharks vs. Ducks: Finding Offense

Come at me, bro! - USA TODAY Sports

Tonight at 7 pm in Anaheim, the Sharks continue their quest for the elusive Bigfoot competent offensive performance.

I don't have many guilty pleasure television shows. The one exception, however, is Finding Bigfoot on Animal Planet.

If you haven't seen it, four researchers go around the country looking for Bigfoot. They'll investigate videos, talk with people who have claimed to see it, and camp out in the woods for a few days. Occasionally, they'll find a footprint or hear a tree crash, but SPOILERS: they haven't found Bigfoot. Despite the continual disappointments, they still carry on to their next investigation.

While watching the show last night, I, as a Sharks fan, had to sympathize with the investigators. There are just too many similarities. The Sharks travel around the country looking for offense. They study tape, talk with coaches, and run practices. Occasionally, they'll take a nice shot or hear a goal horn, but SPOILERS: the Sharks are dead last in the NHL in goals scored per game. Despite the continual disappointments, Sharks fans still come back for the next game.

To drive home this perfect metaphor, I've compared the roles between the broadcast teams for Finding Bigfoot and the Sharks:

Matt Moneymaker is Randy Hahn. They're the leaders of these crews. One founded the Bigfoot Field Research Organization, the other helped get an NHL team in San Jose.

Cliff Barackman is Brodie Brazil. Both are kind of just happy to be there. They always seem to take the optimistic outlook.

Ranae Holland is Kevin Kurz. Each plays the skeptic role. 'There's no evidence that Bigfoot exists!', and 'there's no evidence the Sharks are a good offensive team!'

And James "Bobo" Fay is Drew Remenda. The experts of the crews. They have the theories based on prior "experience". (Experience is in quotes because I'm not sure I believe Remenda really coached a Sharks team that went 11-71-2. And he still had a job the next season!? That has to be made up.)

Did this metaphor blow your minds, or should I stop emptying my DVR while writing game previews?

San Jose Sharks

@

Anaheim Ducks
13-11-6, 32 points
22-5-4, 48 points
9th in Western Conference 2nd in Western Conference

7PM PST | Honda Center | Anaheim, California

TV: CSNCA-HD | Radio: 98.5 KFOX, SJSharks.com
Know Your Enemy: Anaheim Calling, Battle Of California

Projected Sharks Lineup

Patrick Marleau - Joe Thornton - Brent Burns

Tommy Wingels - Logan Couture - Martin Havlat

James Sheppard - Joe Pavelski - T.J. Galiardi

Andrew Desjardins - Scott Gomez - Adam Burish

Matt Irwin - Dan Boyle

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Jason Demers

Brad Stuart - Justin Braun

Antti Niemi

Alex Stalock


Projected Ducks Lineup

Bobby Ryan - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Daniel Winnik - Andrew Cogliano - Saku Koivu

Peter Holland - Kyle Palmieri - Teemu Selanne

Matt Beleskey - David Steckel - Emerson Etem

Toni Lydman - Cam Fowler

Sheldon Souray - Francois Beauchemin

Bryan Allen - Luca Sbisa

Viktor Fasth

Jonas Hiller

HOLY IDEAL D-PAIRINGS, BATMAN!

Obviously the biggest change in the lineup is the subtraction of Douglas Murray. Murray goes to Pittsburgh for two second round picks (the second pick is conditional, but would still appear to be a third rounder otherwise.) The Neutral gives a solid recap with some analysis here. I basically echo his sentiments. Murray was a fantastic member of the Sharks and an absolute joy to watch... a couple years ago. The game has appeared to pass him by. You don't need advanced stats to tell you that Murray lost a few steps and couldn't move a puck out of the defensive zone to save his life. I wish him well with the Penguins. Watch him turn into an offensive dynamo and score a hat-trick now that he's got Sidney Crosby on the ice with him.

In other roster news, after some earlier reports saying he might play today, Ryane Clowe will not return to the San Jose lineup tonight. Thomas Greiss has also rejoined the team, but I doubt he'll force Stalock out of the backup role until he's guaranteed 100%. Kevin Kurz reports the line combinations will change. We'll see how Pavelski does on his own line. Maybe he can find some easy minutes and dominate the way he did with Kyle Wellwood an Torrey Mitchell.

As far as the never-ending quest for a sasquatch competent offensive performance goes, you have to believe we'll see it eventually. Maybe they'll just stumble over one, or maybe there needs to be some type of systematic change in the way they look for one. Until then, the search continues...

Prediction: Sharks win 5-4 in a shootout. Goals by Marleau, Pavelski, Boyle, and Sheppard. Meanwhile, Brent Burns is mistaken for Bigfoot at least twice.

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