NHL notes: Sharks GM keeps a cool head amid bad skid
|San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture checks Anaheim Ducks defenseman Toni Lydman off the puck in the first period during their NHL hockey game in Anaheim, California February 4, 2013. (REUTERS/Mike Blake)
It’s not how you start, but how you finish – something the San Jose Sharks know all too well a quarter of the way through the shortened NHL season.
The Sharks are on a seven-game winless run since starting 2013 with a 7-0-0 record.
But according to Sharks general manager Doug Wilson, the answer to San Jose’s perplexing turn for the worst already resides inside the dressing room.
"If we hadn't seen the glimpse of the seven-game start, that would tell you something,” Wilson told the San Jose Mercury. “There are other teams that have gone through phases of losing some games, other very good, talented teams out there that are not on top of their game to the level they want to be."
The Sharks have scored just three times in their last four games, allowing 12 goals along the way.
"We're more concerned about our group and getting back to the things that led us to the first seven games,” Wilson said.
If they're going to change their fortunes, San Jose will have to do it on the road. The Sharks are in the midst of a six-game road trip which sees them travel to St. Louis Tuesday night.
NHL DRAFT CHANGES COURSE
Each of the NHL’s 14 non-playoff teams will have a shot at the first overall pick in next year’s NHL entry draft lottery, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
Under the league’s previous draft rules, the lottery winner could only move up as many as four places, meaning only teams that finished in the bottom five of the previous season's standings had a chance at securing the top pick.
Whereas in previous seasons the last place team had a 48.2% chance of securing the first pick, this season’s bottom dweller will see its chances of acquiring the first overall selection decrease to 25%.
SETOGUCHI ESCAPES SUSPENSION
Minnesota Wild forward Devin Setoguchi has reportedly escaped suspension for a nasty cross-check on Detroit Red Wings defenceman Kyle Quincey.
During the second period of the Wild’s 3-2 win Sunday night, Setoguchi dropped Quincey with a blow to the face.
But as the Minnesota Star-Tribune reported Monday, Setoguchi’s disciplinary hearing with the league on Tuesday will only be to determine how much the 26-year-old will be fined.
Under the league’s CBA, only fines in excess of $5,000 require a front office hearing.
Setoguchi has never previously been fined or suspended by the league.
BRIEFLY: Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen will miss his fourth straight game with a hip injury on Tuesday, according the Detroit Free Press. The Wings are winless in three games without the Swede, who has three goals and six assists through 12 games this season … New York Rangers forward Darroll Powe has been placed on injured reserve with a concussion, stemming from a collision with Washington Capitals forward Matt Hendricks in New York’s 2-1 win Sunday night … St. Louis Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak looks set to return from a groin injury suffered earlier this month. St. Louis head coach Ken Hitchcock told the Blues' official website he expects Halak to start either at home to the San Jose Sharks Tuesday or in Colorado on Wednesday.