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Cut Us Some Slack: Sharks vs Ducks series preview with Fear the Fin

We here at Fear the Fin do not actively advocate murder. I should just get that out there.

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 28: Justin Braun #61 of the San Jose Sharks skates up ice during the third period of a preseason game against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on September 28, 2017 in Anaheim, California. Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The San Jose Sharks will start their series against the Anaheim Ducks tonight. There are some concerns, that may turn to outright fears, but for now, we mostly feel... good? We think? What is happening?

We popped in and out of our Slack channel last night to talk about this series. With a bit of editing, here’s how the Fear the Fin staff is looking to the Sharks’ first-round match up:

Sie Morley: So. Biggest concern going into this series has to be goaltending, right?

Demetrius Kyle: No defense
Jones has a history of performing way above his regular season standard. He, I think, has the rep/tag of “playoff performer”

Sie Morley: Wait, you’re saying Brent Burns isn’t enough for defense?

Erik Johnsgard: Are we relatively confident that John Gibson can play more than 20 minutes without tearing an everything?

Sie Morley: I mostly meant that Anaheim is gonna kill the Sharks in the goalie battle
If Gibson gets injured then the Sharks face a back up and well.
We know how that goes

Bryan Del Fava: Ryan Miller has been... good? Wow

Demetrius Kyle: They both have for sure. But Ryan Miller: Playoffs isn’t something we’ve seen in a while

Erik Johnsgard: Miller has been good this year, but Gibson has been elite.

Tyler Elson: Gibson seems to struggle in playoffs, though. He’s only 11-9-0 in his career, so at least the Sharks have that to look forward to..?

Demetrius Kyle: Also the health of Gibson is definitely a question mark

Bryan Del Fava: Reto Berra is their backup right now right?
If Gibson is still injured?

Demetrius Kyle: I think so? They are super screwed if Gibson is out and Miller goes down

Bryan Del Fava: Kevin Boyle hasn’t been too bad for the Gulls, but he’s never played an NHL game. Easy to see why when their organization seems to love their goalie depth

Sie Morley: I can see the Sharks going into Game One and getting frustrated when they can’t score

Erik Johnsgard: Ah, the tried and true Sharks 55-shot-4-1 loss strategy.

Demetrius Kyle: Maybe. This is a veteran heavy team so I think the expectation of 2-1 games and similar is already there

Erik Fowle: Biggest problem is the Sharks defense is not good
Offense is pretty stellar. Jones should be fine.

Demetrius Kyle: This isn’t say the Jets or Leafs, who may get very antsy when they aren’t scoring. The Sharks know how to playoffs

Sie Morley: Except for Evander Kane, whose penalty differential

Erik Fowle: Gibson is very good and Ryan Miller has played well

Bryan Del Fava: Paul Martin over a healthy(?) Joakim Ryan. That’s how bad it is on D
Also, we can’t talk D without mentioning the burial of Tim Heed

Demetrius Kyle: Kane would fit in with the ducks who are very heavily penalized

Sie Morley: Yeah, definitely looking forward to the dumb penalties they plan on taking

Demetrius Kyle: My counter point to the San Jose defense isn’t good is to Google the 2017 Penguins defense crew. Schultz, Maata, Dumoulin, Hainsey, Ian Cole,
That’s a god awful crew
The San Jose power play has to score. It’s very good and if they inflict pain on the PP this will be a short series

Bryan Del Fava: I’ll actually be shocked if they get more than two power play goals this series

Demetrius Kyle: Anaheim takes A LOT of penalties

Sie Morley: The Winnipeg/Minnesota game only had three penalties total
It’s gonna be weird to flip to Anaheim taking six penalties tomorrow

Demetrius Kyle: Haha, yes. And San Jose is very disciplined. The special teams battle could make quick work of this series
Also, it is jarring flipping on Kings/Knights and seeing how you can tell it’s playoff hockey. Aggressive, extra hitting, everything seems more intense

Sie Morley: So last year was a wash because San Jose died at the end of the season and we knew nothing would come of playoffs

Demetrius Kyle: Viking funeral in Edmonton lol

Sie Morley: But 2016, the biggest issue came to speed and forcing physicality
Have the Sharks resolved that?

Demetrius Kyle: Weirdly yes? Wilson has added no face punchers and general low skill, high physicality guys. The one guy he did add that has physicality is also really fast in Kane

Sie Morley: Plus there’s Timo
and Brenden Dillon isn’t slogging around Roman Polak

Bryan Del Fava: I did not like the Eric Fehr trade one bit, I thought that we had no business trying to play a guy who had just been loaned to the AHL
I was dead wrong. He’s been great on the fourth line

Demetrius Kyle: Yeah the Dillon-aissance has been great and also gets him away from being the hitz guy
Agreed Bryan, that Fehr trade has been excellent

Bryan Del Fava: Goodrow-Fehr-Hansen, when healthy, has been one of my favorite lines that the Sharks have used all season

Joe Cuevas: I’d say it was Fehr

Sie Morley: Fehr has been the best surprise

Erik Johnsgard: Speed may be less of a factor against the Ducks. The only guy I’ve seen consistently slow the game down to his level like Joe Thornton is Ryan Getzlaf.
I think he might be a wizard.

Joe Cuevas: Fehr was down in San Diego for a while and looked pretty good here. Clearly here because of a Center logjam.

Bryan Del Fava: Yep, I vividly remember him scoring against us a few times at the Tank

Sie Morley: Trashbag Ryan #1
re: Getzlaf

Demetrius Kyle: The Ducks have fast guys, but play a “slow it down, bang it out” Carlyle-style, so I’m not worried about the speed element in series one in particular, though I do believe San Jose is firmly faster

Bryan Del Fava: I have to assume Kesler’s another one

Erik Johnsgard: Kesler may very well be held together by 2x4s and rubber cement at this point.

Sie Morley: Kesler is Trashbag Ryan #2, in fact

Demetrius Kyle: There’s a very real universe where San Jose comes out in Game One, throws on a beat down, and the Ducks get injured and pack it in

Sie Morley: “slow it down bang it out” title of Randy Carlyle’s sex tape
The Sharks have been good against the Ducks this season
But I feel like with all of their injuries, that’s hardly a measuring stick

Joe Cuevas: Especially given how large a factor injuries were for Anaheim early this season, I believe in Kyle’s reality
Especially in playoffs hockey players will play when “playable” rather than actually health

Sie Morley: So the key to this series is.........murder?

Demetrius Kyle: .............yes

Joe Cuevas: A murder of ducks

Erik Johnsgard: Murder most fowl

Bryan Del Fava: Making A Murderer Season 2 confirmed

Joe Cuevas: It’s like crows but with more Ryans

Bryan Del Fava: This time it’s on Peter DeBoer

Joe Cuevas: I mean, PDB spent time in Jersey

Bryan Del Fava: Are you implying he’s in the Mafia

Joe Cuevas: I’m not not implying that.

Sie Morley: [Hamilton voice] everything is legal in New Jersey

Demetrius Kyle: Hasso Plattner is German, they’ve never done anything wrong

Joe Cuevas: Honda Center. Dawn. Sticks drawn.

Sie Morley:’re on

Demetrius Kyle: Who would win an Anchorman-style brawl

Bryan Del Fava: I like the sound of this, Kyle

Sie Morley: Okay, but on the real, if murder isn’t the key to this series, what is?

Demetrius Kyle: Special teams
If the Ducks continue to take penalties, San Jose’s power play is good enough to end this series

Bryan Del Fava: But can they live up to those expectations?


Sie Morley: We are TRYING to STAY POSITIVE

Joe Cuevas: Wasn’t Paul Maclean running the Ducks’ special teams for a while? I don’t think he’s there anymore

Sie Morley: I think leveraging speed against the Getzlaf line is a big one

Erik Johnsgard: Line matching will be tough on the road. Then again. Randy Carlyle.

Bryan Del Fava: F*** OK, that was the realist in me
Even though I’m a ridiculous optimist at times
Yeah, Anaheim’s lines have been crazy
Things escalated to the point where Derek Grant was on the first line at one point
I think

Demetrius Kyle: Rackell-Getzlaf-Perry
Vermette-Grant-JT Brown

I am not scared of that

Erik Johnsgard: I am

Sie Morley: Silfverberg and Kase
They scare me

Erik Johnsgard: That third line will be for real.

Demetrius Kyle: Meier is about HANDLE Ondrej Kase

Bryan Del Fava: Is that Brett or Nick Ritchie

Joe Cuevas: Nick

Demetrius Kyle: Inferior Ritchie

Bryan Del Fava: Yeah, Brett’s in Dallas, huh

Joe Cuevas: Brett is on the Stars, so like, I’m still not scared

Erik Johnsgard: He will struggle to make a mark on this series from Dallas.

Sie Morley: Brett Ritchie, surprising MVP of the series

Demetrius Kyle: San Jose has a big boy to handle all lines
Various fourth line bigmans
For instance, none of those scare me like Pearson-Carter-Toffoli or Anze Kopitar

Sie Morley: That’s definitely fair

Demetrius Kyle: LA currently has a line of Clifford-Thompson-Mitchell....... Lol

Sie Morley: Thought: losing home ice. How do we feel?

Bryan Del Fava: Not happy about that

Erik Johnsgard: Totally unconcerned.

Joe Cuevas: Oh yeah, we lost home ice, didn’t we?

Bryan Del Fava: But I don’t think it matters too much

Joe Cuevas: I was considering driving up to Anaheim for a watch party, so I’m okay with it?

Sie Morley: Final prediction for the series? Bold prediction for the series?
I said Sharks in five
My bold prediction is Timo is the leading scorer of the series

Bryan Del Fava: I’m going Sharks in six

Demetrius Kyle: Sharks in six
Bold prediction: Sharks average four goals a game and light up Ryan Miller/John Gibson

Joe Cuevas: Sharks in five
Bold prediction: Sharks take one of the first two Ponda games and Reto Berra makes an appearance

Bryan Del Fava: Bold prediction: Couture dominates this series

Erik Johnsgard: I said Ducks in seven. On the bright side, I’m historically terrible at this.
Bold prediction: six overtime periods.

Sie Morley: Not bold enough, Bryan

Demetrius Kyle: Erik J, get out

Bryan Del Fava: Oh, even bolder?

Erik Johnsgard: I’ve been hurt too many times.

Bryan Del Fava: Logan Couture hat trick in a Ponda game

Erik Fowle: Henrique/Kase/Ritchie is a very good line
Timo and Co. will have trouble scoring vs them

Ryan Holte: Sharks in seven.
Bold prediction: Chris Tierney scores the series-deciding goal.

Sie Morley: There we go!

Demetrius Kyle: Cobra Kai!

Erik Fowle: I think Kane and Pavs will be okay vs Manholm
Couture and Vlasic will have trouble vs Getzlaf
And fourth line will come in hot because the Ducks fourth line is garbo
Manholm will play 26 minutes a night

Demetrius Kyle: Erik F, live from our Hawaii Bureau

Sie Morley: There’s a ten minute delay getting Fowle’s thoughts

Demetrius Kyle: Eric Fehr: playoff hero?!?

Erik Fowle: Yes

Erik Johnsgard: Lindholm is a friggin’ invisibility cloak. They just toss him over a forward line and they disappear.

Erik Fowle: Although, that line is offensively deficient

Bryan Del Fava: Somehow the Ducks have Francois Beauchemin. Again.

Sie Morley: Eric Fehr D*** Trick

Demetrius Kyle: The Ducks have one defensive pair

Erik Fowle: Yeah, but I think offense wins out and Donkey/Pavs/Kane is an offensive vision

Demetrius Kyle: Manson-Hampus is legit AF

Erik Fowle: Yuup. One very good pair and three very good lines

Ryan Holte: Bolder prediction: Randy Carlyle punches an official after game three.

Erik Fowle: Yeah, that’s Manholm

Sie Morley: Jesus, Ryan

Demetrius Kyle: Beauchemin-Montour is trash on ice

Erik Fowle: Yes

Sie Morley: Oh, you know what. Over-under on Joakim Ryan appearances?

Erik Fowle: Their bottom pair might be okay at defense

Demetrius Kyle: Peterson Welinski is f***ing horrendous

Erik Fowle: 1.5

Ryan Holte: 1.5

Erik Johnsgard: Montour is good. It’s just that Beauchemin has been clinically dead for four years.

Demetrius Kyle: Under lol

Bryan Del Fava: Under :(

Ryan Holte: Lol

Joe Cuevas: Under, dawg

Demetrius Kyle: If the Sharks are winning, Pete keeps ‘er steady

Erik Fowle: I think Cobra is a good prediction. Ondrej Kase is my series MVP if the Ducks win

Demetrius Kyle: If the Sharks get in trouble, he’ll lean on his vets and do some ancillary roster jerk off session with like Hansen in/Labanc out lol
Oh, we should pick a series MVP
Both ways

Bryan Del Fava: Ducks: Silfverberg
Sharks: Couture

Erik Johnsgard: Ducks: Rakell
Sharks: Donskoi

Sie Morley: Realistically?
Sharks: Couture
Ducks: Kase

Ryan Holte: Sharks: Couture
Ducks: Rakell

Demetrius Kyle: Sharks: Donskoi
Ducks: Miller/Gibson

Cami Hong: Ducks: Rakell
Sharks: Couture/Jones

Erik Fowle: Sharks: Burns
Ducks: Kase

Ryan Holte: I want a Randy Carlyle meltdown soooooo bad

Joe Cuevas: Sharks: Hertl
Ducks: Miller

Demetrius Kyle: Carlyle gets the solid red wave, lol. He just starts turning a darker rouge

Erik Fowle: lol. Timo’s first playoff multigoal game comes Game Three back in San Jose with the series even at one

Sie Morley: The timeline we deserve

Erik Fowle: Gibson kills it Game One, but reinsures himself

Bryan Del Fava: Evander’s first playoff goal comes in Game Two

Erik Fowle: Kane gets shut down Games 1-2 and the media starts freaking out about how he’s not playoff tested yet
But when the Sharks have home ice, he goes nuts
Okay, I’m gonna go drink
It’s been a pleasure

Demetrius Kyle: I am super for the kids with no scars avenging our worn, sad souls
Kane, Labanc, Meier, Donskoi, Hertl (sorta), Jones, Ryan

Sie Morley: I like this fanfiction Fowle wrote us

Ryan Holte: While sitting on the bench, Corey Perry gnaws on a dead pigeon that he found behind a dumpster in the parking lot

Erik Johnsgard: Ryan Getzlaf fights a teenager again.

Demetrius Kyle: Little known fact: Getzlaf needs a fresh diaper at each intermission

Bryan Del Fava: Carlyle is fired midway through a blowout

Joe Cuevas: Reto Berra gets invited to play for Switzerland at Worlds and refuses a Ducks call up

Sie Morley: Okay side note, this is a true fact, Jamie Benn is so sweaty that he changes his underwear between periods
That’s a for real thing

Demetrius Kyle: That’s really gross lol

Sie Morley: Yup
You’re welcome

Demetrius Kyle: I played with a guy who had multiple shorts and stuff so he could swap at halftime lol
It’s super gross in person

Sie Morley: Okay, we gotta find a way to wrap this up

Demetrius Kyle: Cup predictions!
Teams, winner, length

Sie Morley: Sure!
I have Sharks and Bruins
Which is just a wishful thing
I think the Bruins could win the Cup this year

Bryan Del Fava: Jets and Bruins, realistically

Joe Cuevas: Sharks and Bruins and I’m wearing my Worcester Sharks jersey through all six games

Demetrius Kyle: Sharks over Capitals in seven. F*** it.

Bryan Del Fava: Jets in seven due to a McAvoy injury

Erik Johnsgard: I have Perds over Bolts in five

Sie Morley: Bruins in six over Sharks

Joe Cuevas: And then the Bruins win off a weird bounce

Cami Hong: Bruins and Preds, with Bruins winning in six

Ryan Holte: Leafs beat the Jets in seven. America forgets about hockey, and Canada burns.