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

post Sharks, the Game Started at 7:30. It’s Now 7:45

January 29th, 2010, 9:16 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike

Save the opening ten minutes of last night’s game, the Sharks put in a really good effort.  The second and third periods were more or less how we expected the entire game to be- fast, end-to-end, with dynamic chances.   After the longest layoff since mid December, the Sharks started the game flat, which certainly includes Nabby.  They coughed up three goals before you could say “Kris Versteeg douchey sunglasses.”  While the first goal was clearly a missed assignment, leaving Byfuglien alone in the high slot for an open shot, I thought the second two were mostly on Nabby.  He had plenty of time to get in position on Brower’s first of the night, leaving the near side open.  Then, on the third goal, a shot came from a sharp angle, and instead of Nabby kicking it to the corner or directing it behind the net, it was kicked back to Hossa, who passed it to Ladd for the tip-in.  I might have pulled Nabby right then and there.

But give the boys some credit- they woke up, and managed to tie the game eventually on the NHL’s #1 team in terms of shots and goals against.  Going back to the formula that beat the Hawks in their barn on December 22nd, the Sharks were shooting high all night on Huet, and several missed seemingly by millimeters.  All this without Marc-Eduouard Vlasic, who Doug and I only noticed wasn’t out there in the middle of the third.  He actually only played 7:25, his normal load for the first, and never came back for the second or third.  The fact that Huskins had more ice time than he’s had all season (25:46), Murray third most all season (23:54), and Blake third (24:26),  seemed particularly evident on the last play of the game, when Murray rushed the puck deep, the Hawks produced a turnover and an ensuing rush, and Murray looked even slower than usual in getting back in the play- from where I was it looked like dead legs.

I can’t find a single report that even mentions Vlasic’s injury, much less the extent of it.  I expect Pollak should have something on his blog today.  All I can say is, Boyle, we missed you, and Vlasic, get well soon.  Hurt even more because he had another strong offensive night, being in exactly the right place and passing the puck perfectly to Pavelski.  Say that three times fast.

post Don’t Look a Gift Horse In the Mouth

December 23rd, 2009, 11:33 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike
Especially when a bear is riding it.

Especially when a bear is riding it.

Doug wanted at least three points on the recent back-to-back, and he got four.  However, it’s a time of giving, and I could argue that all four points were gifts from the hockey gods.  As I said on the recent podcast, if Ivan Vishnevskiy hadn’t fumbed the puck into our own net, Dallas would have tied that game; I’m sure of it.  And last night, Nabby withstood a hailstorm of biblical proportions, making 45 saves, giving the Sharks the win despite being on the short end of just about every statistical category, even faceoffs.

Watching the post-game interview with Dan Boyle with the sound off, you would have guessed that they lost.  Other than the power play, which was pretty damn good, there weren’t a lot of high spots.  One high spot was Patrick Marleau, who again made the Hawks defense look incredibly foolish, generating chances for himself out of very little.  This guy HAS to be on the Canadian Olympic team.  In fact, it was a veritable showcase of Olympic talent last night- Marleau, Heatley, Thornton, Boyle, Pavelski, Kane, Toews, Keith, and Seabrook all have good shots at making their respective teams, and that’s just North America.  Nabby, Hossa, Hjallmersson, and Murray are the European reps.

Clearly this was a marquee matchup, and the Sharks came out on top.  A win’s a win, right?  I suppose.  It’s difficult to believe that the Sharks would win another game if they played Chicago ten more times like that, so it rings a bit hollow with me.  As I’m writing this, Doug just texted me with “Last night was a perfect example of why the Hawks will not win a Cup with Huet.”  But I disagree.  Huet had two consecutive shutouts before last night, and gave up only two goals on 33 shots the night before that.  I do admit that Huet wouldn’t be my first choice to backstop a Stanley Cup contender, but given the Hawks are best in shots allowed, and second best in shots taken, they can continue to shield Huet if they keep playing like this.

Actually, there were times last night where I thought to myself that this Hawks team was not unlike the Sharks last year.  Gaudy shot totals, though many were of the unscreened long range variety.  Top of the league in December (they still are in my mind, because they have two games in hand).  Could Chicago meet the same fate at the Sharks did last year, because they “peaked too early”?  Who knows?  All I know is there’s no way I’m missing the final matchup of the season between these two teams on 1/28.