Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
“Geez, I wish I could play tomorrow,” Ricci said, referring to the playoff-opener against Calgary.
For seven seasons Ricci was the face of the franchise—with his rock-star hair and gap-toothed grin. He became arguably the most popular player in team history with a reckless-abandon playing style that often left him sprawled on the ice.
That finally caught up to him when a slow-healing neck injury forced his retirement last summer. Now working in the Sharks’ front office, Ricci, 36, finds himself wishing he could still lace up his skates, oh, constantly.
“At least once a week he says he’s going to start training again and that he’s even going to play in the minors if he has to,” said his wife, Beth. “All I can do is smile and laugh. I do feel bad. His heart wanted to play, but it was just too much for his body.”
from the Calgary Sun,
Douglas Murray’s invention doesn’t have huge cashflow, but he’s tapped into college kids’ hearts.
While at Cornell University, the San Jose Sharks defenceman and some friends came up with the UberTap, a quick spout for beer kegs.
Surely it must have him drowning in success.
“Not right now,” he said. “But we’re making some kids happier.”
The ubertap website...
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.
From The Consumerist,
Comcast SportsNet has more sports than they do channels. When fans of the San Jose Sharks tuned in to see playoff hockey last night they were surprised to see a baseball game in progress. When that game went into extra innings, ComcastSportsNet decided to stick with the game and drop playoff hockey.
And they might do it again tonight.
from Drew Remenda at Seagate Broadcaster Blog,
Tim Hunter said it best before the start of the 3rd period. ‘We’ve been outworked.” I thought I entered a time warp and was watching the early season version of the team. Some guys were working, some weren’t. The defense made poor choices and moved the puck slow. The forwards were too far up ice and in poor postion to support the D. Too many long pass attempts, too many turnovers, too many mistakes.
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.
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