Kukla's Korner Hockey
“I don’t know how many lessons we have to learn,” murmurred a disgusted Evgeni Nabokov. “Maybe it’s good that we got this out of the way early in the series. We have to rebound. We have to show poise. We have to turn it around.”
And that chronic reputation the Sharks have for pulling the chute when the going gets tough?
“It takes men to change that,” he answered with chilling accuracy.
“Some of our boys are going to have to become men.”
more by George Johnson of the Calgary Herald…
from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
On a Sunday night that will live in franchise infamy, the Sharks repeated their familiar and lousy act of playoffs past. They wasted away their excellence. Again. They didn’t respond well to a physical challenge. Again.
And they are halfway to an early playoff exit. Again.
“We got off to a fantastic start,” Joe Thornton said, “but we just didn’t really play well from then on in.”
They didn’t really play well?
Here’s a better phrase: They totally and completely blew it.
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
In relief, the Flames turned to Curtis Joseph and right then it seemed as if this was going to be a long and painful evening for the Flames. Only it was Marleau who was left feeling the pain.
On a hit that changed the complexion of the game, not to mention Marleau’s, Sarich caught Marleau in his own end of the ice along the boards with his head down. It was a monster collision that brought the crowd alive and left Marleau dazed and bleeding.
“We were down 3-0 and I was just trying to make something happen,” said Sarich. “I hit him and followed through. They [the referees] called it right. I didn’t think it deserved a penalty.”
Watch the hit below…
added 8:11am, Sharkpage breaks down the Sarich hit…
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
“We’re like the Queen,” the San Jose Sharks’ Joe Thornton was saying. “We travel with our own toilet seat.”
OK, that probably needs some explanation. The Sharks moved into the visitor’s dressing room at the Pengrowth Saddledome Sunday morning, to continue their best-of-seven Western Conference playoff series against the Flames. The Sharks usually travel with all kinds of team-related paraphernalia. Draped just inside the entrance to the dressing room are replicas of their Pacific Division champion banners (from 2001-02 and 2003-04). There are personalized Shark skate mats for each player; every one of the four walls also has a This Is Sharks Playoff time posters. All make sense – sort of.
Update 6:01pm ET: More from Duhatschek today on the Sharks/Flames series, including musings on Jarome Iginla’s “scoring slump”:
[On] Masters Sunday, Keenan invoked the spirit of Tiger Woods, noting how Iginla “reminds me of Tiger – a bogey on the first hole and then he’s going to birdie the rest of the 17. I’m looking forward to it.”
added 6:51pm, Why not- even more on the toilet seat from Working the Corners....
from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
In San Jose, we enjoy hockey. In Canada, they metabolize hockey.
How best to explain it? Take the average amount of pro football interest in an American city. Multiply by three. Then stick an “I ♥ FACIAL STITCHES” bumper sticker on it.
That’s hockey in Canada.
Tonight is the first Sharks playoff game in this city since the 2004 Western Conference finals. My major off-ice memory of that series is how, while walking around downtown, every third or fourth person I saw was wearing a Flames jersey. It was preferred work attire. I was checked into my hotel room by Jarome Iginla. I exchanged my American money with bank teller Miikka Kiprusoff. And I was served a fast-food burger by Robyn Regehr.
Also, I could swear every cab driver I had was a Sutter brother.
from the AP via Sports Illustrated,
“I’m biting my tongue here,’’ Keenan said after Game 2.
That didn’t sit well with Sharks coach Ron Wilson, who has long argued against a more relaxed standard of officiating in the postseason.
“The playoffs are an extension of the regular season, and we play by the same rules,’’ Wilson said Friday. “There’s not a red rulebook for the playoffs and a white one for the regular season.’‘
All in all, it’s been a virtuoso performance by two of the NHL’s top bench bosses and media agitators. Both are experts with pungent sound bites and jabbing comments to their players as well.
“They both have their thick books of things they say,’’ Roenick said. “At times, I’d like to put earplugs in my ears on the bench, but they both do it because they’re passionate about the game.’‘
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
There was no chance of the Shark Tank faithful serenading Phaneuf with a song for his special day, not while they were busy firing the boos that were raining down on him in both games so far in this series. Every time Phaneuf touched the puck, the boobirds came out.
“They obviously don’t like the way I play or they’re just trying to do their part to help contribute,” Phaneuf said with a shrug.
“It’s part of the game. It’s a fun building to play in—there’s a lot of energy and a lot of emotion.
“They’re a loud group of fans, so it’s an exciting building to play in.”
Phaneuf may be a fan favourite in the Stampede City, but it’s not a show that goes on the road.
from the Calgary Herald,
But with the splendid netminding of Evgeni Nabokov, not much offence was required for the Sharks, who happily cuffed the Calgary Flames 2-0 in National Hockey League playoff action Thursday at the HP Pavilion.
Calgary coach Mike Keenan refused, more than once, to be dragged into a discussion about referees Marc Joannette and Tim Peel.
“I’ll share those thoughts with the league and with the supervisor of officials,” said Keenan, whose side was saddled with six straight minors in a nine-minute span in the second period. “I’m not going to comment on it. I don’t have a comment on it . . . I’m biting my tongue here.”
Flames captain Jarome Iginla was more outspoken about the penalty disparity—but not by much.
“I haven’t seen that (a string of penalties) in a playoff game. It wasn’t even that vicious. Nah, it’s a tough one,” said Iginla.
via Eric Francis at Best of Seven,
“We read the papers like everybody else and know that nobody thinks we can win this series,” said Jarome Iginla following the win - the Flames sixth playoff win at the Shark Tank in seven playoff games dating back to 1995.
“But we believe we can and that’s all that matters. We match up well.”
from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
We didn’t have a great game,” Thornton said. “We had some good chances and we didn’t capitalize. We have to play better.”
Welcome to the first game of the 2008 Stanley Cup playoffs for the Sharks, a 3-2 loss to the Flames on Wednesday that will be remembered either as a hiccup and learning experience on the way to an eventual series victory by the Sharks . . . or as an ominous and frustrating precursor of another horrible and premature playoff exit.
We will know the answer within a week or so.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org