Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dan Rusanowsky at Seagate Broadcaster Blog,
Okay, folks, the test has started, and it isn’t an open book test. It’s a Stanley Cup playoff test, it’s happening in the very first round, and it may be the best thing for a team that wants to win the Stanley Cup.
So, you thought that the Sharks would waltz to a four-game sweep or a relatively easy five-game knockoff, as was the case with the Nashville Predators in the past two years? Sorry, folks, that isn’t going to happen this time. The first supreme test for the Sharks this year is happening, right here and now, in the presence of the hard-working, hard-hitting Flames.
“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.
“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.
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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