Kukla's Korner Hockey
by petshark on 08/30/11 at 08:55 PM ET
Monday, a charity golf event kept at least some Sharks away from the 10am practice. Acolatse and Greiss were the only Sharks there until 11, when McLaren ventured out. Acolatse entertained us early with some subtle trick shots, and later Nolan gave Greiss some unrelenting grief. I haven’t seen Greiss for a while, so I won’t make too much of that. Like, I won’t hope Nolan ends up with some team more distant than the Canucks. Well, maybe I’ll hope for that just a little bit.
Tuesday, Sharks far outnumbered visiting skaters. Finally! Tikhonov, Stuart, Nolan and Cheechoo were there again, but there was only one other visiting skater, and two extra goalies.
The Sharks present were, in roughly the order they hit the ice: Greiss and Niemi, Thornton, Demers, Acolatse, Marleau, Burns, McLaren, Couture, Boyle and Clowe. It was refreshing to have two Sharks goalies in net for some five on five that got going very promptly. Just as I observed that to be the case, Niemi went to the bench to give one of the visitors some ice time, and Greiss followed soon after. It was hard to keep track of which team was scoring more, and the teams were oddly lopsided: more forwards in white and more defensemen in black. That was logical since the Sharks D wear black in regular practices while the forwards wear white, but it made for strange teams.
One of the things I noticed about the Sharks is that they are not especially noisy during practices. At first I thought this was some trick of the glass but then I saw (and heard) Burns at play in those early skates. Today Burns appeared unusually subdued. This was not my imagination:
@Burnzie88: “Gr8 skate today at sharks ice! Boyz all getting back into town #fastpace should be faster but the ninja crushed everyone before we skated “
That might explain why today was a little quiet. They may not be ninjas yet, but the Sharks seem to have one working on them.
I do understand that this is serious business, it isn’t all fun and games, even if it looks like a game. Yet I think it would be a good thing for everyone to be at ease communicating loudly, as they need to do during a game. Everything should be practiced until it becomes so natural as to be involuntary. I’m not saying they should say whatever they feel like saying in front of an audience that can hear them, it’s just that it’s kind of weird for them to be so quiet.
Some of the players were delayed on their way off the ice by photo and autograph seekers. Marleau, Couture, and Greiss were among the waylaid. Others scampered by, probably not unnoticed but no one was going to tackle them.
Both Burns and Couture reported via Twitter that they shot ads, the “so and so is a terrible such and such, but he’s a great hockey player” ones. Couture refused to give away the details of his ad, and Burns said only that he is a bad actor. So that’s something for Sharks fans to look forward to.
Also from Twitter: Tommy Wingels is in town and he is sorry not to be able to explore San Jose with Carter Hutton. Sean Sullivan is going surfing, and Jamie McGinn is looking for advice on his NFL fantasy draft.
I’ve become unused to the sound of shots hitting the boards, I’m all flinchy again. By then end of last season I was so oblivious to the sound that it didn’t even make me blink. That is not great either since I am very attractive to projectiles and if it is even a little bit possible, they will hit me. I should try to pay attention.
So the summer stretches out, like one of those hallways in a horror movie- no matter how hard you try, the end never seems any closer. The weather in the Bay Area is teasing us too. Morning fog hints at cool weather but burns off, day after day, leaving the thirsty earth frustrated. Okay, it isn’t quite the dust bowl, but it’s getting old. Even the pollen has given up.
We need some October already.
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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.
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