Petshark: Talking Stick
by petshark on 11/23/11 at 06:30 PM ET
It took me a lot longer than I expected to get back online after the trip to Vancouver. The access was there (even at the Vancouver airport, so very nice of them!), but I couldn’t think clearly at all. I was distracted by things like what it means that I’m watching a hockey game on my phone in an airport waiting room while a young man in hiking boots across from me is knitting. Am I sexist for noticing that? Was that legitimately unusual or am I an old fuddy-duddy? In any case, the whole moving from place to place left me disoriented and I’m still a little fuzzy.
The Sharks have announced their Black Friday sale. That would be coming up on Black Friday, which is Friday. Everything except jerseys will be marked down 30%, and jersey customization will be available on site for $65.
That made me think about how little it costs to be a Sharks fan lately. You still have to do the things any fan does, watch the games, or listen to them, or at least follow the score online. But you don’t have to make excuses, hope the next game will be better, try to appreciate a good effort in a losing cause. You don’t have to find creative ways to think of your team as winners, because the Sharks are winning.
There’s so much to brag on right now: the way the team is sharing the scoring across all the lines, the way both goalies are playing well, beating tough teams, beating fast teams. Demers had a good game in Dallas, I thought White looked pretty good in Colorado. Ryane Clowe paid $2500 for the privilege of rapping Mr Robidas on the knuckles for an insult to the Captain. Stuff like that has to make a Sharks fan feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
When the most you have to complain about is that Havlat hasn’t scored for a while, that isn’t much to complain about. Sure, he’s been moved to the 3rd line, but that is hardly cause for alarm. Keep in mind, Pavelski spent a good deal of time on the 3rd line last season. Also, the third line is a little more robust with Handzus there at center. While McLellan concedes that six games without a point is a drop off worth noting for Havlat, he also mentioned that he believes Havlat and Handzus play well together:
“I think Marty has played some of his better hockey with Michal Handzus,” McLellan said. “I like that right now. Marty gives that line some speed and we feel comfortable with that right now. But that can change in a flash.” -Working the Corners
So I don’t see this as a strict demotion. It could become a very productive combination to add to the team’s already adequate scoring.
And Vlasic! VLASIC! What in the world has gotten into him? Some say he was just waiting for the chance to become a scoring machine, some say… well… I don’t know what they are saying but it’s like he’s suddenly bloomed into the psychic defenseman. Someone check his passport and see if he went to Tibet in the offseason to get his mind tuned. Bet he’s bending spoons too.
He also wants to be called Eddie, since that is less of a kid name than Pickles. It may be. It is less distinctive than Pickles and it also reminds me of a Haskell, so I’ll be sticking to Vlasic. But it’s still important to note, since choosing your name is a rite of passage. Maybe Vlasic always thought of himself as Eddie and not Pickles, and just now has come out publicly with it. Sort of the way his play jumped out of the box all preformed like it had always been there, just in hiding.
What an awesome “find” this tuned-up Vlasic is.
Enjoy it while it lasts, Sharks fans, a run this nice can’t last forever. It can, however, go on for a bit longer.
I’m excited about the upcoming games. They are tough opponents, opponents the Sharks like to play hard against. We can hope for good games and better odds of winning than we might have if the Sharks had a string of slumping, ailing or otherwise soft teams coming up. Sharks only notice lively prey, not like bears who would just as soon feast on sluggish targets. The Sharks had a couple of struggling opponents recently, but it should be a little easier for them to get up for games against the Blackhawks, the Canucks and the Kings. Between grudge matches and divisional rivalry, those three should be good games.
That first game is tonight. Set your DVRs, move a tv into the kitchen, or move the dinner prep into the living room, whatever works.
Last on the ice this morning: Greiss (we knew that Nemo would start) and White and Braun and Andrew Murray and Desjardins. Does this mean that Demers and Vandermeer will play tonight? (I guess so: @PollakOnSharks: “Expect to see 2 and 60 vs. CHI tonight.”)
Brodie Brazil tweeted that it is extra cold in HP this morning. I wonder if it will be so tonight as well. I guess it’s good for the ice but it’s hard on the spectators.
The Blackhawks are practicing. Every time I see Duncan Keith, I remember his teeth being knocked out by Paddy, which makes me remember how it seemed like Paddy was throwing a lot of pucks at goalies’ heads in those playoffs. Haven’t seen him do so much of that, if at all, since.
There’s Sean O’Donnell, and Carbomb, and Jammer. OMG this is going to be a weird game in terms of exes. Lots of exes from both Sharks and Flyers on this year’s Blackhawks. It makes it hard for me to maintain that resentment born in 2010. If the Sharks win tonight, I might even, kind of, you know, not dislike Chicago anymore.
So, Go Sharks!
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About Petshark: Talking Stick
Native of Northern California. Hockey fan since 1998... sort of... there's a hiatus in there that I still can't explain.
I want to know about anything and everything related to the sport and the spectacle. I watch, I react, I write it down.
My interest in the Sharks was initially a matter of geographic convenience and regional loyalty because that seemed to be how it worked. I had no prior interest (at all-- AT ALL) in professional sports of any kind. When I met hockey, it might have set off a chain reaction of general sports fandom. It hasn't, I don't think it will. At all.
Since then, that interest developed into full blown (mostly sort of usually almost completely) exclusive loyalty to the Sharks.
I started blogging a couple years ago on wordpress. I still occasionally put things there that I don't think fit here because they are not about the Sharks. Wherever my words wander, here on Kuklas Korner, they will (usually) hang on to a teal thread.
I can be found in cyberspace on Twitter @petshark47, or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org