Shark Week: Week Twelve Player Rankings

"Shark Week" will be a piece that runs every week on Fear the Fin, where Plank and TCY will track the progress of the players over the course of each week. The players are listed alphabetically, the arrows will indicate the change on a weekly basis. We will also keep track of our top five Sharks players each week.

Big stick tap to Japer's Rink, whose weekly feature called "Capitals Ups and Downs" helped inspire this series. In fact, we pretty much stole it entirely.

Goalies___________ Trending Notes
Antti Niemi The tandem goaltending has worked out well for San Jose as of late; before Niemi's third period issues against LA he had been playing well. Even in that game, he kept the Sharks in throughout the tilt as they were thoroughly out shot and out played.
Antero Niittymaki Niittymaki's complaint over his lack of starts didn't fall on deaf ears. He has seemed to regain the starter's role from Niemi, and has responded nicely. He hasn't allowed more than a goal in either of his last two starts and has brought his save percentage back up to .910.

Dan Boyle Boyle hasn't played less than 25 minutes per game since the 4-0 win against Ottawa in early December. Although that affected his offense early, the defense is back at full strength and Boyle gets to do more of what he does best. Score. He has five points in his last five games.
Justin Braun It doesn't seem fair that Braun lost his starting job, but with Huskins and Murray healthy there isn't any room for him. There is the possibility that they roll with seven defensemen (Joslin got the nod against LA); McLellanhas shown that's an option, in addition to possibly giving Braun some time on a forward line.
Jason Demers He's a good player, and no one is going to say he isn't. But with this team's defensive issues, he's not being allowed to shine offensively as much as we'd like. In his last four games, he has just three shots, even though he's playing more than 19 minutes per night.
Kent Huskins Huskins has looked slower than slow returning from injury; it just doesn't appear that he's up to game speed yet. He's only played more than 18 minutes once since returning from injury.
Derek Joslin He was chosen to fill in as the seventh defenseman against Los Angeles on Monday, and responded with a -2 in 9:47 of ice time. We'd assume it's Braun who fills the role next time.
Douglas Murray Like Huskins, he hasn't looked the best since returning from injury. The team needs his physicality and his minutes.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic Even though he was also -2 against Los Angeles, he's been leaned upon to play big minutes. We're hoping that his recent offensive resurgence will continue.
Niclas Wallin His minutes have been down as he's been asked to babysit the rookies most of the time. Still, in 10 games December, he's only been a minus player twice.

Ryane Clowe His physicality is still there, but he hasn't been scoring as often as he did when he was named player of the month in November. He has two assists in his last six games... surprise surprise, both on Couture goals.
Logan Couture He's scoring goals at a clip not seen since Alex Ovechkin's rookie season. Not only a candidate for Rookie of the Year, but also Sharks MVP.
Benn Ferriero Just three points in December. He's back with Couture and Clowe, who as a line created the best (if not only) chances on Monday. Hopefully he regains his scoring touch.
Dany Heatley Just two points in his last five games and one shot against LA. He has to pick it up.
Patrick Marleau Marleau had a three game scoring streak going (2G, 3A in the span) before his team was shut out at the hands of Jonathan Quick. A relief to see him playing well.
Jamal Mayers Jamal being Jamal?
John McCarthy Apparently has been nursing an injury for some time, but hadn't impressed in recent minutes. Could lose his spot to the next callup.
Jamie McGinn A goal would be nice, but he's always giving it his all out there. Gets him points in our book.
Torrey Mitchell Out with an injury, not expected to be serious.
Scott Nichol Still a faceoff dynamo, but he's been missing some of the tenacity that made him such an important part of the team last year. The scrap against LA might help reignite his fire.
Joe Pavelski Thank god he's scoring again. Six assists in his last five games. Has made his line mates Setoguchi and McGinn relevant. Update: Per WTC, Pavelski is hurt and will not make the trip to Minnesota. An up arrow formerly replaced the injury marker.
Joe Thornton Was a big part of the team's recent four game winning streak. However, he was also a big part of the loss against the Kings. Thornton needs to be more consistent. Too many errant passes intercepted last night.
Devin Setoguchi

Good to have him back, and he's playing with that physical streak that makes him dangerous. Still, he needs to score goals to be effective.

Fear the Fin's Top Five, Week 12
Logan Couture (15)*

Dan Boyle (9)
Joe Pavelski (3)
Antero Niittymaki (2)

Ryane Clowe (9)

*The number in parenthesis tracks the FTF Top Five over the course of the 2010-2011 season. Five points for a week in first place, four for a week in second, etc.