Sharks Need Defense; Avs Need Goalie Luck

As I mentioned yesterday, it’s still early in the season, so it’s still hard to make observations about team problems and team successes. But having said that, some interesting ideas are already starting to emerge.

Like will the Sharks play defense this season? They went down four goals to the Kings, managed to come back, but then couldn’t keep the momentum and still wound up losing. Goalie Evgeni Nabokov wasn’t great but he certainly wasn’t horrible. And you can kind of see that in Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi’s going a combined -7 on an eight-point night. Sharks coach Todd McLellan might have to think about dismantling that line to get some defense inserted into it &#151 maybe someone like Manny Malhotra. Or maybe the issue can be resolved with coaching. But right now, something seems off in San Jose.

Things were rolling well for the Avs. But yesterday Adrian Dater reported goalie Craig Anderson has a minor groin strain. It’s not expected to keep Anderson out of practice today, but as Dater points out, groin injuries can be catastrophic for goalies. And the Avs need Anderson and his .973 save percentage and 1.00 goals against.

Finally, Kevin Allen has some interesting Atlanta Thrasher predictions, including that the team will stay in Atlanta and 70-30 odds the team will re-sign Ilya Kovalchuk, which are pretty great odds. I was thinking it was more like 30-70.