Larry Levitt on Pro Hockey

by Larry Levitt

DALY CITY–The San Francisco Bulls really have moments when they really look like they have a good team that’s getting it together and then they have a momentary loss and all it takes is that one little momentary loss of team work and you give a team an opening and they take it and unfortunately for the Bulls they’ve been capitalizing on those openings a lot lately.

The Bulls lost in their last game in Stockton 5-1 for their fourth straight loss, it was a local rivalry and they should be up for those games and it’s not a lot of travel and it’s not like their flying or riding the bus for a long time it’s a couple hours to Stockton from the City it’s early in the season still and yes you need to get the win if your going to get to the playoffs and go far in the playoffs you need to have some confidence and this is where you got to start.

You got to take them one game at a time and get that win and work on the second win and the third and get a string of them together and every team goes through a losing period you just don’t want multiple strings of them. The Bulls need to come out and play a good game of hockey and just have fun and play the sport and play the game and it will all come to them but they got to put the work in it doesn’t come easy.

The thing with the ECHL or the minor league level you really don’t have time to jell and get used to each other and their all hockey players and they all know the game but the tendencies of each individual and if you stay with a teammate for a long period of time you get to learn their tendencies and where their going to be and it makes it that much easier for your game. You don’t have to stop and look and think it’s just automatic and that’s what they got to get to they’ve got to learn each others game.

San Jose Sharks update: I was fortunate to be able to talk to Sharks left winger Tomas Hertl the other night and he’s well grounded whose really doing well. Hertl’s English is a lot better than my Czech 101 that I learned on You Tube it was pretty funny but with Burns coming back on that line it’s going to take a little time to get that timing back. What I like about Hertl and Burns is they go straight in front of the net.

Hertl and Burns knows Joe Thornton is the passer, they know they’ll find you but you got to go to those sturdier areas in front of the net and pay the price of the hard hits and the pushes and the shoving. They’re not scared to do that, they go in there and do their job and they cover that area. Patrick Marleau he’s a great team player, he’s a great skater he uses his speed to his advantage against the Tampa Bay Lighting.

Marleau wiffed on a shot which actually pulled the goalie out of position in the Tampa Bay game last Thursday night at SAP in San Jose and it allowed him to do a simple backhand into the net and when you get the breaks and when things are going well you take them. You don’t fight it you just go with it, the Sharks were very fortunate to win because Tampa Bay at times had pretty good shots at the Sharks net and they didn’t get the breaks.

The Bulls weren’t allowed to get the puck in the net for one reason or another and it was Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi who came up with some really good saves or the defense just got their stick on it enough. It was a pleasure to watch the Lighting right winger Martin St. Louis what a great player he is. When he was on the ice I was isolating on him and it was a joy to watch he’s got the speed. He’s not the size but he’s got the speed, he’s got the hands and he’s just an amazing hockey player.

The Sharks are hosting the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night at the SAP for the second in this five game homestand which started last Thursday with the Lighting.

Larry Levitt does pro hockey analysis each week for Sportstalk Radio

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