So last night Tootoo charged/boarded/elbowed Aaron Miller, then when Bourdon came over to defend his honour, he cross-checked him in the face. This is stunningly like the incident last season when Tootoo charged/boarded/elbowed Mike Modano, then Robidas came over to defend his honour, and he sucker punched him. I'm not surprised in the least. This is the kind of behaviour that Barry Trotz implicitly encourages in all his players by defending their actions and making up stories to excuse them. He turned even a skilled Russian player into a gutless puke, as it were.
A Pred could hit someone knee on knee, while simultaneously throwing an elbow into his mouth, spearing him in the groin and slew footing him to the ground away from the play and Trotz would say, oh, that's not a penalty, the guy obviously embellished. (If you think I'm exaggerating, well... I am, but I'm not at the same time! Last season when one of the Scotts knee on kneed Cheech and simultaneously elbowed him in the face, knocking a tooth out, Trotz declared that Cheech had lost his tooth when his face hit the ice. Obviously he's a better judge of what happened than Cheech himself. And I think he also accused Bernier of embellishing, well... see for yourself.)
Comments from yesterday morning:
harleymae: Ahh, yeah, is Alfie playing tonight? You should be able to beat the Kings even without him, but you kind of never know with the Kings, haha. They're one of those annoying teams that generally flail around incompetently and then suddenly get their shit together for one game as their backup goalie plays out of his mind.
abby20: Well, we inspire that in every team we SHOULD beat, so my hopes aren't high. ;) Also, since Gerber's been playing decently against pretty good teams, I expect him to have a mental breakdown against a shitty one any day now.
Devin Setoguchi is back with the big team, and he and Torrey Mitchell are back to bickering like an old married couple. ♥
Setoguchi set on staying with Sharks
Shark learns what it takes to keep his place in San Jose
By Mark Emmons
When Devin Setoguchi rejoined the Sharks last week after another brief exile to the minors, the next-happiest guy was Torrey Mitchell.
"He's got all of his stuff in my apartment," Mitchell said.
Hold on, countered Setoguchi. That's our apartment. "Even when I'm down there," he said, "I still pay my half of the rent."
Either way, Setoguchi is back and he's hoping to stay. He has been only a part-time tenant in San Jose - splitting his season between the Sharks and their American Hockey League affiliate in Worcester, Mass. Although he has gotten plenty familiar with Boston's Logan Airport, he would prefer to avoid any more cross-country flights.
And he can do without the less-than-lavish features of minor league hockey.
"The bus is a little bit different than a charter plane," he said.
Setoguchi, 21-year-old right wing, understands that he has considerable say over what happens to him next - perhaps even more than Sharks Coach Ron Wilson.
"The coach doesn't send me down," Setoguchi said. "I send myself down with my play. It's not his fault. He's not the bad guy. If you're not producing and being the player you should be, it's all on you."
It has been a rookie season filled with remarkable highs and lows for the eighth player picked in the 2005 draft.
In October, Setoguchi became the first Shark to score two goals in his NHL debut. Three times this season he has scored twice in a game - including last Friday at Detroit in his first game back. In 33 games for the Sharks, he has 11 goals and four assists.
Yet he has done three tours with Worcester - technically four because he also was sent down briefly during the All-Star break. It's as if Setoguchi is playing the season with an airline boarding pass tucked inside one of his gloves.
Setoguchi is the first to admit that he has been inconsistent, and that's why he has been bouncing between the NHL and AHL. There have been games where he was all over the ice and others where it seemed like he was still in the minors.
"The one thing you learn quickly is to never get too comfortable because there's always someone ready to take your spot," he said. "Being sent down is a reality check and makes you more motivated. You get angry. You want to show them that you deserve to be up there. I just need to be more consistent and there won't be a problem."
The early returns are promising. With the rookie playing on Patrick Marleau's line, Setoguchi's speed seems to have re-energized the embattled Sharks captain. Monday, in a 6-4 victory over Montreal, Setoguchi assisted on Marleau's opening goal with a nifty pass between the legs of a defender.
"Great pass, great play, great creativity," Wilson said.
Earlier in the day, Wilson made no apologies for demanding steady effort from Setoguchi - and punishing him when he hasn't seen it.
"That's the least of my worries," Wilson said when asked if the moves risked damaging the youngster's confidence. "If you don't do things right, you don't play here. If he doesn't do it right, I shouldn't send him down? If he's not getting the job done, he is deciding when he comes and goes."
Mitchell, his good friend, said Setoguchi has handled the demotions well, which is why he keeps getting called back to San Jose.
"It could be depressing going from a nice big arena to a city that doesn't have the atmosphere here," Mitchell said. "But he's been great with that. Guys keep reminding him that he's so young and that he's going to have a great NHL career."
Yeah, "veterans" like Mitchell, who also is a rookie.
"Well, I am two years older than him," he added.
During his last stint in the AHL, Setoguchi bunked with another Worcester Shark, sleeping on a pull-out bed. Now he's back at Mitchell's apartment. Or their apartment.
"I was living large when he was gone, having the place to myself," Mitchell said. "But it also was getting pretty quiet in there because there was nothing to do."
Monday, Mitchell was surrounded by reporters from his native Montreal. Setoguchi, impatient for lunch, said he was leaving without him.
Better not, Mitchell warned, or "I'll lock you out."
Right now, Setoguchi is more concerned with not getting himself locked out of HP Pavilion again.
Oh, those crazy kids! Still trying to stay together even though Devin keeps getting sent down. *sniffle* And Torrey playing the field without Devin around, but ultimately still missing him! And threatening to