Two dudes blogging and podcasting about the San Jose Sharks, straight from sunny California.

post Episode 89 – Olympics, Devils, and Trades

March 3rd, 2010, 8:18 pm

Filed under: podcast — Written by Mike

So many things to talk about this week!  The Dudes start it off with the great Olympic goal medal game between the U.S. and Canada, and how the loyalties were split just a little bit.  After talking about the loss to the Devils, which the Sharks managed to climb back into, Mike and Doug dive headlong into the trade deadline, because who likes talking trades more than the Dudes?  Lots of Pacific Division action, and there are some winners and losers on trade deadline day


post Let the Grind Continue

March 1st, 2010, 10:20 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike

I don’t mean to sound too negative here, because the USA-Canada game yesterday was probably the best hockey game I’ve ever watched.  It’s hard to beat the suspense of multiple overtimes in the Stanley Cup playoffs, but this one came close.  It had a Game 7 feel with even more talent.  It seems some people are very crushed the US lost, but not me.  I’m disappointed.  Even amidst the disappointment, I’m still very happy about the results- most didn’t pick the USA to medal.  They still beat Canadan once, the most talented team, and held with them into overtime, creating an Olympic moment people will remember for many years to come.  It’s truly a victory for American hockey.  Even more so than 1980 because that game was a triumph of a system, philosophy, and coaching.  This tournament had the top teams all on roughly equal ground to start.

Now that it’s over, it’s time to attend to some Sharks business.  The trade freeze has been lifted, and trades have already started, with Jordan Leopold being dealt to the Pens.  It’s possible the Sharks could make big waves, but I think it’s less likely.  Boston is reportedly in the hunt for Dan Hamhuis.  Kaberle has re-re-reconfirmed he isn’t waiving his NTC.  Corvo is reportedly in the mix, but I would think that would have been part of the Wallin deal if it were in the cards.  We should steel ourselves for the fact that the Sharks could look very similar on Thursday.

That may not be a great thing, especially since Pollak has confirmed that Vlasic does in fact have a knee “tweak” (props to Fear the Fin on calling that one), and hasn’t skated yet.  With a whole host of Sharks not completely healthy for the playoff run last year, this provides a feeling of deja vu all over again, as Yogi Berra would say.  At least he’s not trying to play through it, which is more than we could say for Patrick Marleau late in the season last year.  The last thing the Sharks need is to be more rickety on defense, trying to compete against the great Western Conference defensive corps of  Calgary, Detroit, Chicago, and L.A.

We’re waiting for the trade deadline to pass before we do the podcast this week, so look for that Wednesday night.

post Super Hockey Sunday Didn’t Disappoint

February 22nd, 2010, 10:15 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike

Three great matchups, three great games.  Maybe the Sweden-Finland game was a shade under “great”, but I’d still say the day lived up to its billing.  And of course the story of the Olympics so far is the U.S. upset of Canada 5-3; it was yet another game where the Canadians vastly outshot their opponent and didn’t win in regulation.  They did the same against the Swiss, but Jonas Hiller had a great performance.  They must be frustrated that the same thing happened last night against Ryan Miller.  Gabe Desjardins had a great post that showed the out-and-out dominance the Canadians had over the Swiss, and here’s a bit of a taste of that about last night’s game.

What to say about last night?  It seems to be a triumph of will vs. skill.  Or maybe it was just superior goaltending giving the U.S. a chance to get some gritty goals and steal it.  Either way, it was incredibly exciting.  I’m still not sure if any of the American players would have made Team Canada if they were all magically transformed into Kraft-dinner eating, Celine Dion-loving Canucks, but somehow they won.  Even if you take out the “Miracle On Ice 2” or whatever they are calling it, it was an extremely pivotal game for the Americans in terms of their medal chances.  Given they won all three games in regulation and have the best goal differential, they have the easiest path through the tournament by far.  Here’s the bracket:


As we can see, Belarus will be our likely opponent in the quarters, with either the Finns or the Czechs a potential semifinal matchup.  The U.S. will avoid the Canadians, Russians, and Swedes until the goal medal game.  That’s what I call a sweet bracket.  While I still can’t say we are the favorites to win gold, now I’d say that I’d be disappointed if the U.S. didn’t medal.  Actually, I’d say the silver is probably more likely than the bronze at this point.  I like our chances vs. the Czechs over any of the Big 3.

Despite the major media coverage, I wouldn’t say this game had any real “national significance”.  Unlikely 1980, there’s no political ideology at stake, and no real underdog status here.  One team made up of NHLers beat another team of NHLers.  And while I’m happy the game was close and exciting, I don’t hold much hope that casual watchers of the game last night will be converted into hockey fans.  We didn’t get an NHL ratings bump after Torino, and we won’t see it this year either.  Frankly, that’s fine by me, because if hockey got popular, that might mean more NBC coverage.  If I hear Ed Olczyk say “active stick” or “puck in the back of the net” one more type, I’m going to start wishing for more Mike Milbury, which will rip open the very fabric of space and time.