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Sharks: Captain’s Practice, Etc

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I took a little tour of South Bay ice rinks this morning into afternoon.  Despite being on the wrong side of the Bay for convenience, I found what I was looking for.  A tour was not what I had planned, it just worked out that way and it’s how I trick myself into driving all over hell and gone.

The skate was a little late getting started at Sharks Ice, which gave me time to wonder if, even after so many trips to this rink, I was wrong about where the unofficial optional and coachless practice-like activity would be taking place.  I had the trusty tweet from David Pollak telling me it was to be in the south rink but the rinks are not labeled.

I asked a few folks if they had ever seen a label and even some young figure skaters admitted they didn’t know which rink was really called what.  It seems like the carefully displayed schedules would be more useful if the rinks were labelled.

If they can bother to post “No Outside Food or Pets” signs, they can label the rinks.  I have no idea why you would want to bring your inside cat to the rink, but I can understand why my outside dogs aren’t welcome.  They would probably go nuts stealing sticks, which would be funny but a real time-waster.

David Pollak was there, he got some quotes.  You can find those here.

Nope, there was no Captain at the first Captain’s practice of 2011, but we did have a big exuberant new defenseman out there.  I mean Brent Burns of course.  He has a touch of the Tigger in him, I think.  You don’t need to know he has a Harry Potter tattoo or that he has superhero pajamas to recognize this, but it’s all of a piece.

Maybe I was just thinking bouncy because of the new glass in the south rink at Sharks Ice.  That stuff has some spring to it.  It’s also nice because the sheets are so much wider and there is less in the way of a clear view.

The boards are all shiny new too.  They are so clean that for a second I thought I saw a marble threshold in the doorway, which would make no sense at all.  It was just blade-scratched plastic but that’s how clean it all looked.

I didn’t do a head count or a roll call.  I used to forget to do that a lot when I was teaching too.  Besides, there isn’t a list for these things.  Owen Nolan was there, and Thomas Greiss, Viktor Tikhonov, Cam MacIntyre and several others unfamiliar to me.  Apparently Nemo was in the building but not skating.  Strength & Conditioning Coordinator Mike Potenza was present as well, and he was skating.

I left a little early to go see if I could find Nabby and, you know, see what he was up to.  I found him right where a friend said I would find him, playing in a pickup game.  He looked very well, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and I left as soon as that creepy stalker feeling set in.  No, I did not ambush him in the parking lot and ask a bunch of impertinent questions, mostly because I didn’t have any pertinent ones.

It seems like there’s a lot of hockey going on in the middle of the day on a Wednesday in early August, for a part of the country not known for hockey.

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, petshark, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brent+burns, captain's+practice, owen+nolan, sharks+ice, thomas+greiss

Comments

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How the hell are you a Sharks blogger when you don’t know anything bout bay area hockey?

Posted by Yimmers from Bay Area on 08/11/11 at 11:42 AM ET

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When you walk in the front doors the North rink is directly north, the east rink is directly east, and the south rink is directly south. And when you have to drive 1 to 2 hours south from Sonoma area you should know which direction south is. Also, don’t sound like you are trying to bash the Ice Centre. It sounds like you are a canadian writing from canada about why its so foolish to have hockey in a place it never snows.

Posted by jeff from los gatos on 08/11/11 at 12:39 PM ET

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Yimmers beat me to it. How are you blogging for the Sharks and have never been to the South rink? I can get my mind around that maybe you aren’t an actual Sharks fan - but sheesh. Never attended a training camp scrimmage?!? Wow.

Posted by skilletboy from CA on 08/11/11 at 01:12 PM ET

petshark's avatar

I believe I mentioned I have been there many times but I haven’t ever seen a sign on any of the rinks.  I find it amusing that none of the people hanging around the rinks and stretching, getting ready to skate, knew either.  On guy who pointed out the tv monitor schedule said he just “knew” which the south rink was.  He did not, however, verify that he knew which was north, east or west.

And jeff, I’m glad you have such a good inner compass.  I don’t, and I’ve found that using the freeways for directional guidance is unwise.

But if suggesting that putting up a couple of signs sounds like bashing, I’m sorry.  It seems like a fairly small criticism.  But here, I’ll try to make up for it: they have really nice bathrooms, and did I mention the new glass?  It’s frequently quite busy, it’s the largest public ice skating facility I’ve been to in the area, hence the mention of labels.  No, I don’t really take tours of ice rinks, I just happen to have been to several over the last few months.  But the only other one I’ve been to with more than one rink was Vacaville.  Guess what they have? Rink labels.

Posted by petshark from Nor Cal, and on Twitter @petshark47 on 08/11/11 at 01:38 PM ET

petshark's avatar

How the hell are you a Sharks blogger when you don’t know anything bout bay area hockey?

Posted by Yimmers from Bay Area on 08/11/11 at 10:42 AM ET

Can I rephrase this?  I think the implication is that if a person doesn’t know all the rinks and hockey-related activities in the Bay Area, she doesn’t know about hockey and should not write about it.  The people most likely to know all that would be people playing hockey in the Bay Area.

A friend of mine does play in the Bay Area and she has more than once tried to recruit me.  She is baffled as to why I would want to go watch her play and yet not want to play also.  I don’t quite have an answer to that, but I sympathize with her confusion.  I used to show horses a lot, from age 7 or so.  I don’t think I’ve wanted to watch a horse show since I was about 9.  I like riding, I don’t care about watching someone else do it.  I never understood why other people wanted to watch, until now.  I don’t have any interest in playing hockey, but watching it fascinates me. 

I don’t know what makes a person want to do one thing and only observe another but, now that I’ve been on both sides of the fence, I understand it isn’t a personality thing.  Maybe it’s a life-stage, or a function of competition burn-out.  I don’t know but I do know that there’s more money in the watchers than the doers, so I don’t feel like a neglected demographic.

Posted by petshark from Nor Cal, and on Twitter @petshark47 on 08/11/11 at 02:12 PM ET

Steve Strowbridge's avatar

Keep up the blogging!

Posted by Steve Strowbridge from St. John's, NL, CA on 08/11/11 at 09:49 PM ET

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Loving the blog! I’ve skated in San Jose and also find it confusing. I usually just look for people I know to get to the right rink! Perhaps I should put a compass in my hockey bag…

Posted by sharon from sf bay area on 08/15/11 at 05:02 PM ET

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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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