Kukla's Korner Hockey
From David Pollack at the Mercury News,
The Sharks surprised the hockey world in September when they signed veteran forward Jeremy Roenick as a free agent. After all, the guy is 37 and had all but announced his retirement after a couple of subpar seasons in Los Angeles and Phoenix.
Lately, Roenick has been the one doing the surprising. Brought in as a strong locker room presence, Roenick has been getting it done on the ice as well. Saturday night, his second-period power play goal held up as the winner as San Jose defeated Nashville 3-0 for the Sharks’ first home victory in three tries.
There’s an audio slideshow of the game available as well, with some commentary by the players. A nice feature by the Mercury News.
from the Mercury News,
But if the Sharks are to escape their early season doldrums, goalie Evgeni Nabokov said, that has to change.
“Everybody’s talking about how good we are, how talented we are, how fast we are, how big we are,” Nabokov said. “We have to put all of that aside and just start working hard. It’s wasting our skills if we don’t. Teams are learning how to defend us, so now we have to answer that by playing like a bunch of hungry guys.”
So far that has been easier said than done.
from the Mercury News,
“Say you win,” Nabokov says of tonight’s game. “What are you going to prove, that you’re better than them? They beat you in the playoffs. It doesn’t really matter.”
None of which is to say the Sharks - despite the usual disclaimer that all games count for two points, no more no less - are treating this like just another contest in an 82-game season.
“They’re a good measuring stick, a very good team, easily the best team we’ve played so far,” Wilson said of the Red Wings. “We have to measure ourselves against these kinds of teams and I’m sure they’re saying the same thing.”
From Jim Morris at the CP,
Roenick is on course to become the 40th NHL player, and just the third born in the U.S., to score 500 goals.
“That would be great,” said Roenick, who signed as a free agent with the Sharks this summer after a couple of frustrating seasons in Phoenix and Los Angeles. “That would be a true treat but that’s not my goal right now. That will be something I can look back at when I’m done and really feel good about myself. No. 1 would be the Stanley Cup.”
Roenick, a 37-year-old native of Boston, headed into the game against Vancouver with 497 career goals. The two goals he scored this year both came in a 3-1 win over the Canucks on Oct. 5.
*I’m guessing he gets his 500th against Vancouver—it seems like everyone scores their milestone goals against the Canucks.
So it’s either a hat trick tonight, or Sharks fans better not expect him to score his 500th till December 13th…
From David Pollak at the SJ Mercury News,
A pregame power outage delayed the start of the Sharks home opener Saturday night by about 20 minutes.
Players were warming up on the ice when the arena bowl went totally dark about 7:05 p.m. Five seconds later, the HP Pavilion generators kicked in and there was enough light for the players to continue skating, but limited power elsewhere in the building.
Fans weren’t able to enter the building for a short period and the parking lot was also dark.
As efforts were being made to restore the power, Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson and Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli huddled to determine the best way to begin the game once conditions were ready.
from the Marin Independent Journal,
If all goes well for Sharks fan Ken Conroy of San Rafael, they will eventually play Detroit in the playoffs and he will once again mock a Red Wings playoff tradition by throwing a real ice-cold shark deep onto the San Jose Arena ice. Last May 2, Conroy’s conspiracy plan was launched and it landed with a thud on the rink in front of a sellout crowd, setting off a mayday response from arena security personnel.
Beware: Conroy and Company are prepared to do it again.
from the National Post via Canada.com,
“I don’t want to be the Buffalo Bills of hockey, who keep getting there and getting there, but you don’t really finish it off,” Sharks defenceman Kyle McLaren said. “Guys are getting older and more experienced. They’ve been in these situations a few times before. Our lack of confidence after Edmonton, the way we lost that, and Detroit ? We just have to get better. Be able to close teams out a little better.”
General manager Doug Wilson has engineered a wonderful team and a strong organization in San Jose. He’s got an excellent farm system, the biggest group of forwards in the NHL, and as the season opened had more than US$10-million of cap room with which to improve..
From Mark Purdy at the Mercury News,
This should be the best Sharks season ever. Starting tonight.
If they keep remembering Detroit.
The Sharks have the size to intimidate other teams. They have a top goaltender to frustrate opposing scorers. Their young players should only keep getting better as the relentless 82-game schedule progresses.
If they keep remembering Detroit.
from the AP via the Red Bluff Daily News,
“Just knowing these guys and watching them skate every day, I don’t see how we can’t be the odds-on favorite,” Roenick said Tuesday. “But with that comes a lot of responsibility, a lot of pressure. We have to make sure that we don’t sit on those accolades. We have to go out there and make sure they come true.”
After making few changes to a roster that posted a franchise-record 107 points last spring, the Sharks are so loaded with largely homegrown talent that Roenick—the 495-goal scorer who signed on 10 days before training camp—probably will be a healthy scratch when San Jose opens its season in Edmonton on Thursday night.
“I can be a cheerleader, and this is a great team to cheer for,” Roenick said.
from Michael Farber at Sports Illustrated,
Thornton watched two games of the 2007 Ducks-Senators final on tape while in India and, between winces, noticed the physical dominance of Anaheim, the Western Conference team. So, why shouldn’t it be San Jose’s turn in 2008? “We have a little more experience from the Edmonton and Detroit series,” he said of second-round meltdowns in the past two seasons. “We realize we had some of those games in hand, but couldn’t find a way to finish them. There are a lot of pieces here, a lot of guys going through their prime years. Realistically, we’ve got a shot at the Cup.”
The Sharks, in fact, have an excellent shot. With Thornton taking the mantle of leadership that has been assigned to him since his teenage years with the Bruins, San Jose is SI’s choice to win it all.
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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