Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Talking about Dallas' ability to hold a lead:
" 'You're playing a team that's like Tupperware,' Wilson said. 'Once they close the lid and burp it, you're done.' "
Quite a game last night, eh? Great to see resilience and persistence on the road, although there's still a few things to nitpick about (opponents are still teeing off on Nabby like he's a duck in a shooting gallery).
Anyways, my favorite parts from last night's game:
- The Versus announcing crew sounded like they were calling a 6th grade bake sale, not an NHL inter-division rivalry game. Immediately after Joe's SICK feed from his knees to a streaking Setoguchi, they started droning on about faceoffs or something. That picture-perfect pass was Joe's best assist of the year - Randy Hann would have been going nuts right there. However, I really really enjoyed JR and the mic'd up segments. He looks like he's having the time of his life out there. I loved the bit of him chatting up Ehrhoff during the pre-game skate. He continues to entertain me and I'm glad he's on the team.
- When word came down that Setoguchi and Mitchell made the opening day roster, I knew something felt a little funny. The Sharks are Stanley Cup contenders, and we have 2 rooks cracking the starting line-up? Obviously, no explanations are necessary. Gooch absolutely flew around the ice tonight, and shot an absolute LASER past Turco for his first goal.
- How about Gooch's second goal? " 'I told him on the bench that I was going to battle in front so look for me,' Setoguchi said. 'As soon as he saw me coming, he threw it in front and I was right there and banged it in.' " That was like poetry to my ears. I just shed a single tear.
- How about Joe's expression after Gooch's first? It's actually the still frame on this video from ESPN. That's the face of a centerman whose RW finally scored a goal. Speaking of which...
- Jonathan Cheechoo, defensive specialist. What a last shift out of Cheech! I rewatched his split of the defenseman to kill the icing... I can't believe Cheech outskated one D-Man, let alone 2. Then, to follow that up with a perfect chip along the boards to himself, sealing the victory!?! Cheechoo's like the jealous, homely girlfriend to Joe's smooth-talking ladies man - Joe can score no matter who he's with, so Cheech has to slut it up on other lines and do the dirty work so they can stay together... That analogy made a lot more sense in my head.
- Another 4 day layoff? Fuck!
Monday, October 29, 2007
Saturday, I watched the Columbus game at Sharks Ice. The effort was thoroughly disappointing in a very winnable game.
I refuse to read too much into it, however. Back-to-back road games, less than 24 hours apart, against non-division opponents don't rile me up too much.
Tonight starts a stretch of 12 consecutive division games, and tonight the losses start becoming unacceptable. The Sharks have been treading water; now it's time to sink or swim.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
HANLON: Hello? Alex Semin is off injured reserve, huh? Well yes, I want him to join the team immediately! Whats that? How should he get here?
Alex Semin on a plane
Alex Semin on a train
Alex Semin, in a bar
Alex Semin, in my car
Alex Semin on the ice
Alex Semin, I think it’s nice
Alex Semin, gives me glee!
Alex Semin, coming at me!
Alex Semin, but not to share
Alex Semin everywhere!
Alex Semin, Sam-I-Am
Alex Semin, green eggs, and ham!
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
The last name is unquestionably hilarious, but the first name is what seals it. Go ahead and yell this out your nearest window:
"Alex Semin Alex Semin Alex Semin Alex Semin Alex Semin Alex Semin Alex Semin Alex Semin Alex Semin Alex Semin Alex Semin Alex Semin Alex Semin Alex Semin Alex Semin Alex Semin"
Either you'll be arrested, or you'll have a new friend with similar interests.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
On the plus side, the Sharks should eviscerate LA and Phoenix the 7 times they take the ice. On the downside, this looks like a baseball schedule. What idiot schedules 9 road games to 3 home games in the first month of the season, then 11 straight division games in the second month of the season?
"Yes, sometimes you get points for losing"
"Team points are different from individual points. I don't know why they use the same term."
"Yes, it sucks when your rivals go to overtime"
"No, I don't know why they don't just use a percentage system"
That last one really irks me. If you follow baseball or basketball at all, you're familiar with a percentage system. Thus, I present to you the Chum Bucket Percentage of Points system. As you know, the maximum points you can get per game is 2. So, you divide points by games played x 2 to find how many of the maximum number of points your team has earned.
|Rank||Team||GP||PTS||% of PTS|
So, our beloved Sharks are doing OK, 6th in the Western Conference and practically tied for Dallas for 1st in the Pacific.
Blah Blah Blah, here's Alexei Semenov dumping Eric Godard into the Sharks bench:
Friday, October 19, 2007
Time on Ice - 18:07
Power Play Time on Ice - 4:56
Goals - 0
Assists - 0
Plus/Minus - 0
Shots on Goal - 0
Penalty Minutes - 0
Hits Given - 0
Faceoff Percentage - 7/13, 35%
With stats like those, Marleau might have a future in reality TV. The trick, Patrick, is that ONCE YOU DISAPPEAR, AT SOME POINT YOU SHOULD PROBABLY REAPPEAR.
Why doesn't FSN carry every Sharks game? How does it make sense to haul your cameras and crew around to 30 road games but not 41? Speaking of which, why are 9 of the 10 non-televised games on the road? Is that just an extra fuck over for the fans?
Sorry, illogical decisions drive me nuts. I should be ecstatic I can watch 81 Sharks games. But I don't want to drop $170 to watch Atlanta v. Columbus, so Stanley's it is. Hmmm... I wonder if it's any coincidence that the only bar with Center Ice in a 1000-mile radius is owned by the Sharks...
Hands down, the best part about that article focuses on the one game that won't be televised - March 7th at Chicago. "The Blackhawks don't televise home games"?!? Fucking really? Y'know, because a team that's made the playoffs once in 10 years can afford to shovel goodwill into the incinerator. Come to think of it, FSN, you're the best!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
We've got a great one this year, Saturday night vs. an original sixer, the Boston Bruins. Here's the only problem - I've got an entire day Saturday to get prepared (drunk) and no idea the best way to do it. 6 months of baseball and football have spoiled me on grilling brats and shotgunning beers in parking lots. How else is a fan supposed to kill 2 hours before a game? Engaging in intelligent disucssion? Supporting local businesses? Pffffffff. I'll take unregulated drunken debauchery, thank you.
Right now the most likely scenario is pregaming it at Khartoum's in downtown Campbell. If you've never been to Khartoum's, let me paint you a portrait: You'll start by navigating a minefield of rickety wooden chairs, then wedging your way through the regulars crowding the bar. After the 10 or 15 minute wait, I recommend brandishing a weapon, lighting money on fire, or pouring yourself shots from the well. One of these might pique a bartender's interest enough so they actually serve you a drink. No guarantees.
Regardless, there's a lot of good stuff going on Saturday - Free magnetic schedules for everyone in attendance, a street fair at 5 p.m., and those crazy mystery pucks. I hope I get Rob Davison!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
The Sharks took out Chicago last night on a Michalek power play goal with about 3 minutes to go. My thoughts:
- Drew Remenda and Curtis Brown spoke about the importance of puck control, which certainly defined the high and low points last night. When they were good, the Sharks kept the puck deep, cycled, and created opportunities on the PP. When they were bad, the Sharks didn't pursue on the forecheck and whacked at pucks in the defensive zone instead of controlling them and clearing effectively. I swear, Christian Ehrhoff's stick has a magical puck-repelling hex on it. As soon as the puck gets near him, he flips it away or turns it over or does something stupid with it.
- I think there's gonna be a little too much excitement about this win. True, 5 of 8 points on the road is nothing to sneeze at (and puts us atop the Pacific), and everyone will point to the 32 shots and a win despite Khaby's big game. But lots of those shots were basically garbage - dumps toward the goalie on PK breakaways from Brown and Grier. Khabibulin had a clear look at the vast majority of shots. The Sharks 2 goals? High traffic, diversionary plays.
- Is it weird to say I'm enjoying the play of Roenick? He's slower than molasses and doesn't really fit in with the Sharks uptempo style of play. But, he's the only forward willing to go in front of the net and bang around, and he does the little things like dig in corners and advance the puck through the neutral zone. I hope this rubs off on the young guys. Maybe "not fitting in with the Sharks style" means "busting your ass and doing the dirty work"?
- Weird game from the #1 line. Thornton, Cheechoo, and Clowe each had -1, and none registered a point. Some of the Sharks cycling and PP problems stemmed from Thornton having a sub-par game. The Sharks won't win many games with Big Joe not registering a point.
- Chicago didn't suck! Toews was obviously impressive - he burned Carle on his sick-looking goal and COMPLETELY blew past McLaren on another play. But he looked oddly familiar... hmmm...
Where have I seen you before?
Gap-toothed buck teeth...
- Not a good situation in Chicago. Your top young prospect debuts, recent MVPs and Scoring Champs come to town, the most famous Blackhawk in the past 20 years returns - and you can't even draw 50% attendance. The crowd looked sparse on TV and even worse on paper.
- Oh yeah, Milan scored 2 goals and was an empty netter away from a hat trick. Go buy a paper if you want more detail.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
- He has friends in Edmonton that eat dinner.
- Christian Ehrhoff reads and watches movies.
- He worked with Grier to finish a crossword puzzle.
- He bought a bottle of water.
- Sometimes he goes to dinner with the other Sharks, and sometimes he doesn't.
I like. The top two lines played significant time together the past couple of seasons, so the familiarity should instantly be there. Good to see Brown cracking the line-up. But where the hell is Setoguchi?
Friday, October 05, 2007
Any guesses what the conclusions are? Well, you're WRONG. The Sharks are even worse than you thought.
Click on Stephen Jackson's brand new gun tattoo to read the post:
The Sharks fell 3-2 in a shootout loss last night, with the shootout ending on Jarret Stoll's glove-side wrister. Lots to talk about:
- #1.A.I Topic of disussion - Torrey Fucking Mitchell. Holy Shit Holy Shit Holy Shit!!! This kid was a revelation. He played out of his mind last night. One of his many near-misses, about halfway through the first, was incredible. Mitchell, alone on the forecheck, pursued 3 different Oilers in the attacking zone. This forced a turnover, Mitchell hit the gas then made a sweet deke on the defender and rang a shot off the post. It's just one game, but Mitchell displayed aggressiveness, presence, sweet hands, and killer speed. I'm excited.
- The defense sucked. How many odd man rushes did Edmonton have at the start of the 3rd? How many huge saves did Nabby have to make to keep us in it? Maybe they were gassed? Murray played just 5 minutes, with the rest of the D getting between 23-27 minutes.
- Speaking of Murray, the refs blew tons of calls last night. Murray's game misconduct was the most egregious. Torres takes a cheap shot and Murray's the one who gets a misconduct? What's the message you're trying to send, NHL? McLaren's trip and Hemsky's hold in the first were also blown calls.
- I fucking hate the Oilers. A bunch of cheap shot, no talent losers. It was mentioned during the broadcast that teams that can't keep up with San Jose's talent will be more inclined to take cheap shots, and that sure is what happened. On that note,
- Raffi Torres, after last night's blatant knee to Pavelski, you are my new most hated player in the league. Congratulations, I hope a goalie stick gets shoved up your ass (blade first). Oh and nice hair. The blonde makes you look less like a ginger pussy and more like you're cruising for a hand job at The Manhole. Go fuck yourself.
- Joe Thornton, still awesome. His 5 shots on goal lead the team, when he averaged 2.6 per game last year. His goal with 10 seconds left was an absolute laser. I love when they show a play in slow motion, except when it gets to the good part, it looks like it's still in regular speed. See: Trent Green's concussion from game 1 last year.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Lets keep it simple, the Sharks regular season goal persists: win the Western Conference. To achieve that, they must:
- STAY HEALTHY - We're not going anywhere without Joe Thornton and Evgeni Nabokov. We'll need them on the ice for at least 80 and 70 games, respectively. That sound you hear? Me banging my fist on wood.
- GET OFF TO A FAST START - Who knows how long Anaheim will miss their big guns? The Sharks need as much separation in the early going as possible. The schedule makers did San Jose no favors - we don't face our feathered rivals for over a month (Nov. 9th), and October sees the Sharks traveling 15,400 miles - an average of 550 miles per day:
View Larger Map
I thought we played in the Western Conference
- IMPROVEMENT FROM MICHALEK AND PAVELSKI - The stars of the 06-07 regular season and 07-08 preseason, respectively. It's time for Milan to show he can remain prolific and motivated without Big Joe, and for Little Joe to prove he's worthy of centering the #2 line.
- ANOTHER DOUG WILSON DEADLINE DEAL EXTRAVAGANZA - Where will our boys in teal will be 50 games from now? Still without a 6th D-man, that's where. In any case, the Sharks possess assets, cap space, and a willingness to deal. Why pay full price for a question mark during the offseason when you can get a proven commodity for half price at the trading deadline?
LET'S GO SHARKS!
I’ve blogged to this point about the tribulations of the 2007 offseason. Free agent departures, skyrocketing contracts, some old guy that showed up, and butt-ugly jerseys have led me to become somewhat disenfranchised.
But really, all of that represents the gray lining on the silver cloud. The Sharks:
- Play in a weakened division,
- Retained Ron Wilson and Patrick Marleau, two individuals for which there was no possible upgrade,
- Return with the majority of the cast that fell a hair shy of the 2nd best record in the NHL last year,
- Feature young and improving players like Milan Michalek, Matt Carle, Marc-Edouard Vlasic,
- Send out one of the best goalies in the league night-in and night-out. If you forgot, Nabokov went 25-16 with a 2.29 GAA, 9.14 SV%, and 7 shutouts…
- And have the best player and playmaker in the league, Joe Thornton.
The moral: in spite of a tepid offseason, the Sharks are still one of the best teams in the league. Even more impressive, they are still way under the salary cap and only increased their assets. (Really, their draft was spectacular – they removed the log jam in the net and dead weight with
So, bucketheads, approach this season with cautious optimism. It will be a long 82 game grind to the playoffs, where the true mettle of our boys will be tested.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
That thought should not be forgotten by you, because it already has been by the many hockey writers around the web. I previously blogged about the hockey writers of Canada picking the Sharks to win it all, and now ESPN is joining the masses. There is now no doubt that the Sharks are the consensus pick to win the Stanley Cup.
Please don't kill me when I say... really?
Don't get me wrong. I love the Sharks. Nothing would make me happier than to see Joe Thornton hoist Lord Stanley's Cup. I just have a very difficult time believing the arguments supporting them as preseason favorites. Those arguments are, in order of greatest importance as expressed by those writers:
- The Detroit Red Wings and Anaheim Ducks (especially) have lost key members of from their rosters.
- The Sharks have the greatest playmaker in the league - Joe Thornton.
- Their goaltending and supporting players are solid from top-to-bottom.
- Those questions about heart, resilience, and burning desire? Uh... what questions?
- True. But do you really consider a team "improved" just because the competition has gotten worse? I'm not a better basketball players just because I can swat a 6th grader's shot. Not to mention, who knows what Selanne and Niedermayer are thinking? Of all sources, Randy Hann expresses considerable doubt that those two will sit at home for all of 07-08.
- 100% true, no argument here.
- The Sharks are indeed returning most of their players, but the losses are not to be dismissed. As Ray Ratto points out, is Dmitri Patzold better than Vesa Toskala? Is Rob Davison better than Scott Hannan?
- Apparently most hockey writers did not watch the Sharks get bounced out of the last 2 postseasons. The Sharks didn't lose because of talented players on other teams, they didn't lose because of an underperforming Joe Thornton, they didn't because of a lack of talent throughout the lineup - the Sharks lost because they got knocked down and could not get back up again. This problem has not been remedied to my satisfaction. The leadership is all the same, the roster is mostly the same, and the closest thing we have to a new, vocal leader is a dinosaur who's gonna play 5 minutes a night. There, I said it.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
The Mercury News reports that Ron Wilson will be loading up the big guns on the #1 line: Marleau - Thornton - Cheechoo.
While surprising, especially considering Michalek's success as the #1 LW last year, I like the idea. Marleau can use some confidence points early on to establish himself as the captain and team leader. There's no better way to do that than with Thorton hitting him in stride on a breakaway, or having Cheechoo bury a tape-to-tape pass. Also, the Sharks are rolling 4 deep lines (as usual). The remaining 3 lines will not suffer from a lack of talent.
Speaking of the other lines, the above article had more interesting tidbits. Wilson's other confirmed line for opening night will be Rissmiller - Goc - Grier. Good to see the young, hardworking guys confirmed as our starting grinders.
That leaves just 6 forward spots open for the remaining 8 players. My thoughts on each heading into the season:
- Joe Pavelski - Little Joe broke out this preseason, leading the NHL in assists and points with 6 and 8, respectively. Whether he can keep up that torrid pace during the regular season remains to be seen, but Wilson will certainly reward him with substantial ice time.
- Ryane Clowe - Clowe brings a rare skill to the Sharks forwards - a left-handed shot. I still don't think this will salvage his starting role. Wilson is too impressed with the young kids and Clowey only had success last year with Joe as his centerman.
- Steve Bernier - Almost certainly an odd man out. Questions about his dedication and heart continue, and who knows if another trip to Worcester will wake him up.
- Milan Mihalek - The speed and left-handed shot continue to impress. If he can break out on the 2nd line, the Sharks will be in great shape. Self-confessed Alchomichalek.
- Jeremy Roenick - Apparently they brought him here to play, so play he shall. Wilson will likely stick him with 2 of the young guys to provide some leadership
- Curtis Brown - Dead quiet preseason - 0 points, 1 shot, and a -1 rating. Either a sign his spot is completely assured or completely in doubt.
- Devin Setoguchi
- Torrey Mitchell - They're the kids. Without televised preseason games, I couldn't get a good look. But judging from Wilson's resounding support and the quality of the other forwards on the team, they must be something special. Mitchell, a former 4th-round pick, has especially opened some eyes.
Marleau - Thornton - Cheechoo
Mihalek - Pavelski - Setoguchi
Brown - Mitchell - Roenick
Rissmiller - Goc - Grier
McLaren - Vlasic
Ehrhoff - Carle
Rivet - Davison
RESERVES (10-15 min per game) - Brown, Clowe