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

post Round Dos – Here We Go

April 29th, 2010, 11:01 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Doug

Game 1 at the Tank tonight. The city of San Jose doesn’t take kindly to people arriving late to an early 6pm start, so I hope the Red Wings plan it better than their Tuesday night arrival. Here’s the Dudes thoughts on the four conference semis. Chime in with your predictions as well.

Montreal (8) vs. Pittsburgh (4)
Doug: The buck has to stop somewhere and it would be mission impossible for the Canadiens to knock off both the Eastern Conference titans, right? Pittsburgh has the experience, talent and heart to overcome a little Jacques Martin mojo. Penguins in five.

Mike: Pittsburgh got a huge gift in the 6-8 seeds winning, and them not going to the Stanley Cup Finals for the third straight year would be a choke job on their part.  Pens in six, and it only goes that long because Josh Gorges PWNS.

Philadelphia (7) vs. Boston (6)
Doug: This series might have more grinding than a weekend with Wilt Chamberlin. It has the potential to be the most entertaining, if you like old school, blood and teeth cocktail hockey. I’ll be watching and as usual, Chris Pronger will still be standing at the end. Flyers in seven.

Mike: Marc Savard is back, and this emotional high will last until he skates through the middle with his head down (or up) and Pronger sticks him in the nuts.  Then cross-checks him in the head.  Then stomps on him.  Flyers in six.

Vancouver (3) vs. Chicago (2)
Doug: The dislike between these two teams is delicious. The Hawks were criticized in Round 1 for not playing with much heart, but they showed me a lot at the end of Game 5 when they refused to go down. I would love to pick Vancouver, but when have they ever made the Conf. Finals? Not since their Stanley Cup run in 1994 behind Bure and Linden. Hawks in six.

Mike: It’s disappointing to see Doug abandon his prescient observation that Chicago’s goaltending is a ticking time bomb.  I now take the reins of that bandwagon.  Canucks in seven.  Steve Bernier has 27 points in the series.

San Jose (1) vs. Detroit (5)
Doug: The path to glory has been determined and the Sharks are going to have to earn it. If ever there was a year for our boys to oust the mighty Wings, this is their best chance. We have the talent, depth and a goalie who knows he could be looking for a new team if he doesn’t make this happen. Daniel-san kicks Mr. Miyagi in the nuts. Sharks in six.

Mike: Past DOH guests Craig Custance (DOH 94) and Mark Purdy (DOH 88 and 51) have written about this series already.  It appears that both have picked the Wings to win, so now I’m questioning my decision to link to the them.  No matter.  As Custance said, this could change the reputation of the entire franchise.  This is the best team the Sharks have ever had in the playoffs, and you can’t say that for the Wings.  Sharks in seven.

post Episode 73 – SuperBoyle

November 11th, 2009, 8:37 am

Filed under: podcast — Written by Mike

The Sharks are on another run, 8-0-2 in their last ten games.  The Dudes break down the late-game winner by Dan Boyle versus Nashville, the 1-point escape against Detroit, and the hurt the Sharks put on the defending Cup Champions.  With more players coming back from injury, Mike and Doug try and figure out how the lines will sort themselves out, and if the Sharks might even make a move for a defenseman.

post Double-You Oh Double-You

November 8th, 2009, 1:39 pm

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike

W-O-W.  That’s how Jamie Baker described the keep-in Dan Boyle performed at the blueline before he passed to Thornton, who then dumped it into the slot for Pavelski, and Heatley cleaned up the garbage for the Sharks’ fourth goal.  This is after Dan Boyle made Ruslan Fedotenko and Martin Skoula look like a couple of beer leaguers, faking and deking right and left before burying a low wrist shot far side that chased Marc-Andre Fleury from the Pittsburgh net.  Second in the league in points by a defenseman, Boyle has played the first month of the season with a broken thumb, and we witnessed last night what can happen when Danny is 100%.  Holy crap.  Is this guy fun to watch or what?

But Jamie’s exclamation about the clinic Boyle put on really applies to the whole 5-0 Sharks trouncing of the defending Stanley Cup champions.  Actually, it wasn’t completely unlike the win the Sharks handed to the Pens last year at this time, though that one had a much more modest score (2-1).  Sidney Crosby is still a handful, and he got a few dynamite chances, but we saw none of the breakdowns the Sharks commited against Columbus a few weeks ago in leaving Rick Nash alone in the slot, or the head scratcher against Washington in leaving Ovechkin alone on a 2-on-1.  The Sharks quietly dominated play much of the game, and answered the bell with physicality when Pittsburgh got tired of being humiliated.  I think Jody Shelley’s fight against Eric Godard was the best one I’ve seen him fight in two years.

The Sharks are again on top of the NHL in points (although Colorado is tied with us with a game in hand), and many of the kinks have worked themselves out.  Pavelski, despite missing 15 games, was an integral part of everything last night.  Malhotra chipped in on the power play.  Scott Nichol continued his domination in faceoffs, got an assist, and had several scoring opportunities.  We witnessed last night how good the Sharks can be.  All this without Devin Setoguchi, Rob Blake, or Torrey Mitchell in the lineup. Of course the next question out most Sharks fans’ mouths will be “but can they do it in April?”

I’m getting tired of that question.  I’m savoring this win.

post NHL Gamecenter Review and Pens Preview

November 7th, 2009, 3:44 pm

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike

Because I have U-verse, that means I can’t get Center Ice (stupid AT&T).  The one plus with U-verse is I get great internet bandwidth at home, which makes NHL Gamecenter an obvious choice.  A bit more money than Center Ice with several more features.  The big downside is obvious- you can’t crack a brew in front of the TV at home and watch Canes-Sens.

The live streaming is just ok.  Not sure if it’s the server load or what, but I generally get better video performance with hulu or other video sites (admittedly that’s not live).  The “Adaptive” streaming mode, which gives you tivo-like features as well as changing quality of video depending on your pipe, is a decent compromise.  When the quality goes down, the video gets a bit more pixelated and the puck harder to follow, but at least the link stays up.  If you aren’t in adaptive mode and the network slows, the whole video freezes for a moment or two, which gets infuriating very quickly.  Adaptive mode also enables you to watch up to four games simultaneously.  Click on the game you want to get the sound from that feed.  It’s pretty intuitive.  I don’t really use (or have a use for) the in-game features like chat and running stats, and even if I did they are overlayed on top of the video.  Why would I want to block my own view with that crap?

The big benefit to getting NHL Gamecast is the games archive.  You can get games all the way back to the 2007-2008 season, or games from just a few days ago.  Because Tom asked in the last thread about the Pens, I watched their Thursday night matchup with the Kings.

The biggest annoyance with Gamecast is the way you access archived games.  Across the top of the screen is the schedule, going back only a few days.  That’s one way to access games that already happened.  This is good, although I wish that scroll went back a week or more instead of a couple of days.  The other way to access an old game is very backwards- you choose the team from a list, then the opponent, then the date.  I want to choose a game by two different methods: by date, and by team then date.  For instance, if I want to scout the Sharks opponent, I have to know who they played last (and the date) in order to watch that game.  Dumb.  You should be able to choose a team, then have that team’s schedule appear.  Choose the game you want from the list.  The other thing is, that backwards method is only for the games that don’t appear in the schedule on top.  I tried to choose Pens-Kings from that list, by selecting Archive, then this season, the Pittsburgh, but LA wasn’t in the opponents list.  Really dumb, and I almost just gave up then, figuring the archive wasn’t available yet.

Anyway, once you actually get into the archived game (assuming you found it), the video quality is great.  You can even picture-in-picture (or multi-play) with other archived games.  That is really sweet.  One problem- if you switch to multi-game from single game, it starts the single game you’ve been watching over from the beginning.  And there’s no way to skip ahead, except by 10-second increments. This almost makes multi-game archive viewing useless.  Another thing- if I have the game paused for a while (to write parts of this post, for instance) sometimes the whole thing freezes up, and I have to start the game over again.  Clearly, there’s room for improvement with NHL Gamecast.  Overall grade: C+.

After all this playing around, I finally get around to watching the Kings-Pens contest on Thursday night.  The Kings were on a major hot streak at the time, and continued it by beating the Pens 5-2, cracking the Pens perfect away record so far this year.  This sounds like a beatdown, but in fact the Pens were up 2-1 until Kopitar tied it almost 7 minutes into the third.  The go-ahead goal didn’t happen until there were less than 8 minutes left in the game.  It was a pretty even matchup until then, with both goalies making very good saves.  They had to because the D on both sides seemed a bit weak.  The Pens did play without Malkin, Gonchar, and Tyler Armstrong.  All three will probably be out tonight, and according to this, even Alex Goligoski is questionable.  That’s huge.  Goligoski has 13 points, only one behind Boyle, and has really stepped up with their top offensive defenseman (Gonchar) out.  It’s been Letang and GoGo on their top PP unit, and they might have to put Brooks Orpik up there tonight.

The Pens top line is still very dangerous- Bill Guerin had a ton of chances against the Kings, and we all remember how annoying Chris Kunitz can be since he played with the Ducks.  The second line is much easier to handle, with Staal used to playing with Kennedy and Cooke, now he might be playing with Fedotenko and Chris Bourque.  I hope the Sharks can jump on that weakness, though they have injury troubles of their own.  With Blake out, there is no defensive depth.  Glad we get the last change tonight- if we get the wrong matchup against the top line, there could be trouble.  And now with the news Pavs is back, and Crosby a bit banged up, I have to call a win for the Sharks.

In the “who cares” department, you may have heard the last podcast where we beat up on the Columbus announcers a little bit.  The Pens announcers, Paul Steigerwald and Bob Errey (one-time Sharks captain) are on the opposite end of the spectrum.  Great play-by-play and commentary, up there with Randy/Drew and Dan/Jamie.  On the radio side, which I didn’t listen to, is the legendary Mike Lange, who always sounds like he smoked 10 cigars then swallowed a bag of charcoal right before the game starts.  And he says stuff like “scratch my back with a hacksaw, he SCORES”.  Can’t beat that.

We’ll see you tonight with our Dudes On Hockey shirts on.  Come and say hi if you see us.  Might I suggest a free beer to break the proverbial ice?

ruldrurd