Friday, May 23, 2008
SportsCenter tells me it's between the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Detroit features their perennial all-star lineup featuring Pavel Datsyuk, Nicholas Lidstrom, and red hot goalie Chris Osgood. Pittsburgh has risen from the ashes with the deepest lineup of centermen in recent memory - Sidney Crosby, Evgeni M...
Oh who gives a shit. Hockey, nay life, is meaningless if it does not involve the San Jose Sharks. For some, the season goes on. For Sharks fans, it died an untimely death in Dallas some weeks ago. Woe is me.
Can anything spark my interest in the Stanley Cup?
Wow. That worked really well.
Pens in 7.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
First of all, I was not a fan of the previous 3rd jersey:
The all-black look is just too boring, too uninspired. I actually believe in the proposed color-psychology link; black is intimidating, pink is pacifying, etc. Still, the black sweater never did it for me.
My other concern - all black with orange piping... sound familiar?
However, I'll take any chance to see less orange on our sweater. Bring on the black.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
From reading some recaps, here's what we learned:
1. No news on the coaching front (shocking!)
2. No news on signing free agents, other than J.R. (thrilling!)
3. People ask long, stupid questions (asinine!)
4. It took three hours!!! (get a life!)
The biggest news to me is the possible return of a 3rd jersey. It's a long offseason, so check back tomorrow for my thoughts on this.
You can read more about things you probably already knew here and here and here.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
Here's the only 5 viable questions and how Sharks brass will
1. What are you going to do about the coaching vacancy?
We can't discuss the ongoing coaching search.
2. What are you going to do about the restricted and unrestricted free agents?
We can't discuss the ongoing contract negotiations.
3. What are you going to do about players currently under contract?
We can't discuss the status of potential trades.
4. Are you going to spend money like an actual NHL franchise or like my grandma sending me a $10 check for my birthday?
5. So if you're not going to spend any more money, why did ticket prices just go up 10%?
Thanks for coming.
/leans into microphone
Go f@#$ yourselves.
I can't wait to waste an hour of my life tomorrow. If you've got a question for Greg Jamison, Doug Wilson, or Jonathan Cheechoo(?) and don't have the time to get smoke blown up your ass, leave it in the comments. I'll do my best to get a legit answer.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
However, despite a fiercely loyal core fanbase, achieving mass popularity has been difficult for the National Honky League, which currently ranks behind the NFL, NBA, NASCAR, MLB, college football, NCAA basketball, tournament poker, and figure skating in television viewers. The sport, while definitely colorful, is somewhat difficult to watch on television; many say the fast action is actually too hard to follow, as they are unsure where the hanky puck is at any given time. The sheer number of games is also somewhat intimidating; the NHL season is believed to have actually began sometime last year.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Certainly not helping matters is the current NHL television deal. The league shares the same cable space you'd check for Pro Bull Riding and Bassmasters: Versus. Just this year I finally memorized the network's channel on Comcast - it's 81, bookmark this page for future reference.
We all know Versus sucks. Their coverage of west coast hockey is ridiculously sparse (there are teams other than the Penguins and Rangers, by the way). Their commentators valiantly try to put the audience to sleep in spite of the fast-paced, hard-hitting action on the ice.
And now, this: If you were to trot out the worst hockey gimmick of the last 20 years, what would it be?
You guessed it: Glowing pucks.
I remember as a youth just getting into the sport and hearing about FoxTrax. "Great," I thought, "Sometimes I lose track of the puck, now I'll know exactly where it is all the time."
3 minutes later...
"Oh, I knew where the puck was all along, and now that stupid halo is annoying the shit out of me."
Here's a thought: I know where the puck is because I'm watching the fucking game! Let's say Frank Gore gets tacked by 3 linebackers. I can't see the football, but I know where it is because I'm watching the fucking game! Same concept with hockey. If you're paying attention, you know where the puck is. It's just that simple.
Let's take a look at who's for and against retreading this horrible idea:
- Marty Ehlrich, Versus Executive Producer - "We're looking to track the evolution of a play,"
- Marc Fein, Versus Sr. VP of Programing - "You could see how they thread the needle,"
- John Shannon, NHL Sr. VP of Programming - "Hockey's a game of flow, the flow of players. Understanding where they go is more important than where the puck goes,"
- Mike Emrick, Versus announcer - "Once you see [a live game], you're hooked,"
Monday, May 12, 2008
"We should be rejoicing in how solid our team is"
"[Getting fired is] all irrelevant. You look at my record, it's second to none, literally, in the sport, so I'm not even worried about that,"
"We've accomplished more since I've been here than any other team in the league except win the Stanley Cup."
In Ron Wilson's final act with the team, his quotes encapsulated the 2003-20008 San Jose Sharks perfectly - Solid but never spectacular, using yesterday's accomplishments to justify today's failures, and always coming oh-so-close-but-not-really. Wilson became just like his team, willing to say anything to keep his job.
Wilson should know a thing or two about job security - it was a luxury he never afforded his players. On his line shuffling from earlier this season:
"What I'm responsible for is putting us in a position to win. If a line isn't holding up its end of the bargain, they're not entitled to continue to play together."
He's right. Ownership is responsible for putting the team in a position to win. If the general manager, players, and coach aren't holding up their end of the bargain, they're not entitled to continue to work together, regardless of how talented each is.
Wilson may be a great coach, but he should know best, even the greats get bumped off the top line sometimes.
Friday, May 09, 2008
TO UNDERGO SURGERY:
Devin Setoguchi: Left shoulder, sports hernia.
Mike Grier: Right knee.
Patrick Rissmiller: Sports hernia.
Kyle McLaren: Knee, plus recovery from groin injury.
SCHEDULED FOR MRI:
Brian Campbell: Knee, shoulder.
Craig Rivet: Wrist, knee, elbow.
Patrick Marleau: Shoulder.
Joe Thornton: Right knee (hurt in final playoff game).
Curtis Brown: Left hand.
Christian Ehrhoff: Ankle sprain.
Milan Michalek: Shoulder injury (hurt in final playoff game).
Douglas Murray: Wrist pain.
Jeremy Roenick: Rib cage.
Jonathan Cheechoo: Knee sprain.
- It's so oddly reassuring as a hockey fan to see this list. We all love Griersy, so I know every Sharks fan thought at least once during the playoffs, "He must be hurt. I sure hope he's hurt". When else do you hope someone you like is injured?
- No surprise with Big Mac - let's hope he can return to form by next year.
- Gooch? That's surprising. Ever look up sports hernia in wikipedia? Sounds fucking horrible - general pain in your abdomen and balls. Here's a picture of where it hurts!
- Ehrhoff's sprained ankle hopefully explains his sudden inability to skate the puck out of the zone, not a relapse of whack-at-the-puckitis
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Ugh... I don't know about that. That contract would make him the third highest paid Shark (behind Jumbo Joe and Patty). It's a lot of scratch and a lot of years for a player who generally disappointed in the playoffs. Lord knows the last thing we need around here is another playoff disappointment.
More than that, I just don't think management will pay that kind of money. San Jose was way under the cap this year - 27th in the NHL in cap expenditure. Think back to last year and the Chris Drury/Sheldon Souray sweepstakes. Drury got a 5yr/$35M contract, Souray a 5 yr/$27M deal. Management wouldn't bite on either of those, but they'll pay 6 years, $36M? I don't buy it.
I also don't buy that Soupy will take a hometown discount. He liked it in Buffalo but rumor has it he balked at their lowball offer. Maybe Joe can convince Campbell otherwise, but I believe Soupy will end up wherever he can get the best long-term deal.
Update: While I'm throwing around links, I really liked this post from Dan Rusanowsky sumarizing the season. He gives a comprehensive rundown of the year with a perfect perspective on the highs and lows. Check it out.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Ron Wilson, captain Patrick Marleau and star Joe Thornton were unanimous in their public belief the Sharks were good enough to win a championship this season, if they had received just a few of the lucky bounces that didn't go their way in a six-game loss to the Dallas Stars.
Oh those lucky bounces. Those wacky, random, lovable puck bounces that determine the fate of every NHL game. How I hate those bounces.
We'd all agree some of the bounces didn't go San Jose's way in the playoffs. But follow me on this chain of logic:
1. The Sharks didn't get the lucky bounces they needed.
2. Hard work and consistency create so-called "lucky bounces".
3. San Jose couldn't work as hard or stay consistent throughout the playoffs because they faced an incredibly difficult series of opponents - a vicious and resilient Calgary team and a brutally grinding Dallas squad. Not exactly the cupcakes Detroit faced in Nashville and Colorado. Detroit didn't need any bounces to go 8-2 against them.
4. San Jose would've faced those cupcakes if they'd secured the #1 seed.
5. San Jose could've secured the #1 seed if they'd been more consistent throughout the entire season. The up-and-down, barely .500 team throughout the first few months of the season ended up sabotaging their efforts in the end.
Hindsight is 20-20, so it's easy for me to say this now.
But I despise hearing the top 3 leaders of the team complain about how the team was screwed by "lucky bounces". This season wasn't decided by a few lucky bounces in a few games. It was decided by a lack of consistency throughout all 95 games.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
But still lost.
The defense gave their best 60 minutes of hockey in the first 3 overtimes. The squad blocked shots, stood up at the line to stop Dallas from entering the zone, and most importantly, cleared the zone with control and poise...
But still couldn't stop the Stars power play.
Patrick Marleau answered many critics with his play after the All-Star Break and throughout the first round of the postseason. His two shorthanded goals vs. Dallas were spectacular at critical times in the games...
But he was still -2 for the series and didn't contribute much at even strength.
Ron Wilson prepared his team for the nearly-insurmountable task of an 0-3 series deficit. San Jose played like the impossible was more than possible, even likely...
But the team somehow got into that 0-3 deficit in the first place - through long stretches of mental lapses and a complete inability to compete on special teams.
The San Jose Sharks captured their 3rd division title, posted a team record for points, and finished 2nd overall in the NHL regular season...
But fell far short of expectations, prematurely exiting the playoffs in the second round. Again.
How do you feel right now about the San Jose Sharks? Optimistic? Pessimistic? Disappointed? Proud?
How about conflicted? One minute, I couldn't be more proud of how every single Shark played in Game 6, especially in overtime. The next minute, I'm incensed they managed to fall to 0-3 vs. Dallas and bow out of the playoffs early again.
It's really very fitting for these San Jose Sharks. Glimpses of brilliance between eternities of mediocrity.
So where do we go from here?
Friday, May 02, 2008
So to entertain you, the non-mainstream Sharks blog readers out there, I've been bringing you the latest omens and witchcraft affecting San Jose's wild ride through the playoffs. We've had visits from the pontiff, voodoo referees, actual shark attacks, and now this:
"A 30-year-old dolphin at Sea World has died after colliding with another dolphin while performing aerial tricks, the Orlando, Florida, amusement park said Monday."CNN continues...
"The dolphin who died was named Sharky."You've got to be fucking kidding me. Another Shark-related death? Maybe this doesn't count though - dolphins are mammals and his name isn't even spelled right.
Still, I'd feel better get S.J. into the witness protection program.
"Who is that masked mascot, anyways?"
Thursday, May 01, 2008
That's quite an omen, and let's be honest, hilarious to boot.
Well, karma is a bitch. Take it away, AP.
Within 3 days of making fun of a deadly shark attack, an actual San Jose Sharks fan dies by shark attack. Even worse, the Sharks blew the first two home games of the series. Talk about your omens.
OK, we get it karma, you took one of ours for thinking improbable death-by-animal attacks are are funny. Time to balance things out a bit, right? Corey Sarich trapped in a burning building? Mike Ribeiro impaled by falling meteor? Pavel Datsyuk violated by giant octopus? Is there no justice in the universe?