Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

The End of the Lockout, or What You Will

The lockout was announced as over on January 6, Twelfth Night.  Was it an industry-wide epiphany?  Was it time to clean up, as is traditional in many Christmas-celebrating households?  Was it just Ed Snider's birthday present?  Was that the prize in the plum cake?

It seems like I should be feeling something like this:

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! it had a dying fall:
O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:
’Tis not so sweet now as it was before.

Hm.  Nope.  I mean I can see how it would fit but the strain and the dying and the sickening and the sweetness just aren't there.

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  Tags: epiphany, lockout, twelfth+night

An ace that they can keep: Bulls shoot Eagles down

Before the game, I wondered if the Cow Palace audience would get to see a hat trick on Country & Western Night.  If they were wearing cowboy hats, this could pose a problem.  Cowboy hats are a lot more expensive than ball caps and heavier too.  Would people throw them?  It was a typical sort of jinx.  There was a hat trick, but from Colorado.  Joey Sides did score three goals for the Eagles, but it was not enough for them to win.  The Bulls managed to score four and they beat the Eagles for the first time.

The Bulls have had trouble winning when they don't score first.  They did it once before, back on November 9: Stockton scored first only to be taken apart for the rest of the game until it ended 4-1.  My memory of that is so hazy, the lack of multiple game recaps and no video for me to review is maddening.  How could I have not noticed the team winning without scoring first?  I have concluded that it must have been a fluky goal so strange that it failed to break the "score first or lose" curse.  Maybe it was off a Bulls player or even an own goal, though the recap from Stockton did not make it seem so.

In any case, the Bulls have had a whole lot of trouble winning games when they don't score first.  They have had as much trouble scoring at all against Colorado.   Wednesday's game showed a glimmer of hope, but still ended in a shootout loss.  So this is the mountain they had to climb, with omens casting shadows on the ice.

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  Tags: colorado+eagles, daniil+tarasov, dean+ouellet, jordan+morrison, pet+curcio, peter+sivak, rob+kwiet, scott+langdon, taylor+nelson

Last games of 2012

There are games going on today in the AHL, and the Worcester Sharks will be in one of them.  They play tonight at 7 EST against the Monarchs.  The Worcester Sharks' Friday game got some attention for suspense and spectacle, with the highlight goal from James Sheppard and the tenacity of Matsumoto to keep after that game winner.  But their Saturday game was memorable too, with Mashinter scoring after a very long dry spell, and a game winner on top of it.  Unfortunately, Sena Acolatse is likely to be out for some time, after being injured in that game.

The Bulls' last game of the year rivaled the season opener for attendance (8,000+), and they won handily to boot.  The Bulls owed Vegas one, after that regrettable visit to Nevada last month. That was a close game but it shouldn't have been.  With Scott Langdon back in the lineup, the team grabbed an early lead and went on to win 4-1.  Hans Benson was also back, and he left a mark or two on the game. Speaking of back in the lineup, or the lineup in general:

@Guimond15: "Flying all night ! Back in san francisco tomorrow #freshmind #misstheboys #playoffhockeynow"

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  Tags: brandon+mashinter, echl, hans+benson, james+sheppard, sacha+guimond, san+francisco+bulls, scott+langdon, torrey+mitchell, worcester+sharks

Finishing the game

For me, Friday's Bulls game started with a long drive through the rain. This demonstration of diligence and commitment is less impressive if you know that I had a thrilling Worcester Sharks game to listen to on the way. No hardship there. It was probably exactly the sort of game I would never want to watch (I think they may have broken some season penalty minute records, could hardly go five minutes without a fight.  I believe Frazer McLaren alone racked up 27 minutes before being excused.) Still, the back and forth scoring and right up to the last second suspense made for a great listen.

SF Bulls defenseman Sacha Guimond has gone back to Canada.  This tweet from Simon Danis-Pepin sat there in my Twitter timeline for days:

@Simon_D_Pepin: "Having a good hangout with @Guimond15 before he heads north. Feel like my son is going away to college. #lesbulls #ledream"

I couldn't get anyone to explain it on Twitter, and I couldn't get to the city to ask someone about it.  All I could get before the game was that Guimond was, in fact, going back to college in Canada.  That was sort of anti-climactic.  Guimond's official status would remain a mystery until after Friday's game.  At that point I learned that his status isn't officially official, there is a possibility he will return but the forces of a scholarship  are against it.  He needs to enroll very soon or give up a hefty educational opportunity.

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  Tags: echl, jason+demers, marek+viedensky, mikael+tam, ontario+reign, sacha+guimond, scott+langdon, sf+bulls

Bulls’ winning streak against Thunder ends in San Jose

Last night, the Sharks' ECHL affiliates, past and present, met in San Jose.  They have met before, many times, but this was a new experience for both of them.

It was bound to happen, the Stockton Thunder was unlikely to keep losing to the San Francisco Bulls.  When two teams meet as often as these do, they will figure each other out and the team that has lost the first three matches will probably find a way to win one.  The teams will have a chance to get to know each other even better- they have nine more games to play.  It's just too bad for the Bulls that their first loss to Stockton happened in San Jose.  The final score was 6-4 Stockton.

The Bulls had a day to rest after a quick but rough road trip.  From Thursday's OT win against Stockton, they rode to Ontario to be brutally defeated Friday, then drove back north to Bakersfield to win handily Saturday night.  

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  Tags: echl, jordan+morrison, lockout, marek+viedensky, mikael+tam, pat+curcio, ryane+clowe, san+francisco+bulls, scott+langdon, stockton+thunder, taylor+nelson, thomas+heemskerk

Bulls finish 4 at home, score 4 to win

Last night, the San Francisco Bulls beat the Stockton Thunder 4-3 in overtime.  It was their fourth of four games at home, the first of three games in three nights, the second and third to be played in Ontario and Bakersfield.

New things seen at last night's game: The Cube can be broken, and repaired quickly.  A shot from I'm not sure who in the first period went too high and hit the board right in the period number.  A panel was knocked loose but was as easily fixed during intermission.

Also new: Peter Sivak moved to the line with Justin Bowers and Dean Ouellet, and Jordan Morrison centered both Sharks forward prospects Marek Viedensky and Daniil Tarasov.  That second line scored the first goal of the game, credited to Tarasov, with the assist to Viedensky.  

Stockton's only goal before the third period was a power play goal, scored with only 13 seconds left on a double minor against Justin Bowers in the second.  When they say "the puck took a crazy bounce", they mean this one-- it took several pinball-like bounces before popping over Heemskerk's glove and into the net.  It really shouldn't have been a very disheartening goal-- bouncing plus four minute penalty kill should warrant some self-forgiveness.  Nevertheless, it put a damper on the Bulls.  The Bulls had outshot the Thunder in the first period but didn't do so again in the second or third.

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  Tags: andrew+crescenzi, daniil+tarasov, dean+ouellet, dylan+king, echl, jordan+clendenning, jordan+morrison, justin+bowers, kris+belan, marek+viedensky, peter+sivak, sf+bulls, stockton+thunder, thomas+heemskerk, tyler+bunz

A different group of guys: Eagles defeat Bulls 5-1

A different group of guys lost to the same group of guys that beat the Bulls back in early November.  Well, not exactly the same group.  Two Colorado players from the last meeting have gone (Joey Sides, Adam Chorneyko) and one was added (Kevin Ulanski).  In Friday's game, the quantifiable distinction amounted to one assist from Ulanski.  That's not right, Sides had 2 assists and a goal before.  I don't think the math actually matters here.

Curcio describes falling behind early as a persistent challenge for the Bulls:

"We didn't get any breaks early.   Being such a young team-- not making excuses-- we don't battle through adversity... if we get up early, we can do anything once we're up.    When we're down we're a different group of guys."

If you want to look for indicators of how a Bulls game is going to go, Jordan Morrison going to the box early could be one, at least in the games I've watched.  Still, the Eagles' didn't score until after a second penalty was called against Belan, giving the Eagles a minute and 23 seconds of five on three.  Then Chad Costello scored his 40th point of the season.

The damage from those penalties was limited to the one goal.  Unfortunately, it set the tone for the rest of the period.  The little errors crept in and multiplied, passes failed, decisions didn't work out:

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  Tags: colorado+eagles, echl, jordan+morrison, kyle+jones, pat+curcio, sf+bulls, taylor+nelson, teddy+bear+toss, thomas+heemskerk

Teddy Bear Toss at tonight’s SF Bulls game

The Bulls play the Colorado Eagles at the Cow Palace tonight.  Bring a teddy bear to toss, enjoy the game, forget your worries.  The game will be broadcast on Comcast Hometown Network, for those with access to that.  Otherwise, listen for free on KNBR.com or the Colorado feed on iHeart, or pay to watch on America One Sports.

Neither the SF Bulls nor the Worcester Sharks showed up on the transaction lists today, or since the December 1 recall of Mikael Tam to the AHL.

Daniil Tarasov did end up starting on a line with Justin Bowers and Dean Ouellet for Wednesday's game.  That worked out well and quickly, as he scored the first goal less than five minutes into the game.  Assists went to Bowers and defenseman Scott Langdon.  The Bulls went on to roll over Bakersfield for a final score of 4-1.  Two of the Bulls' goals came from Peter Sivak, the first on a power play in the first, assists to Viedensky and Tarasov.  His second was scored at even strength in the second, assist to Alex Tuckerman.  The fourth Bulls goal was scored by Dean Ouellet in the third, assists to Bowers and Tarasov.

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  Tags: colorado+eagles, daniil+tarasov, dean+ouellet, echl, peter+sivak, sf+bulls, teddy+bear+toss, trevor+hendrikx

Home again: Bulls host Condors at Cow Palace tonight

The San Francisco Bulls have returned from an unmemorable three game road trip.  Perhaps it wasn't really unmemorable.  The back and forth scoring and last-second tying goal in Las Vegas was pretty exciting, but the team still didn't bring a win home.

Tonight they face the by now familiar Bakersfield Condors at the Cow Palace.  As of Monday, the Bulls' forward lines still looked much the same, aside from the possibility of Tarasov and Clendenning switching lines.  But that was just one practice two days ago, hardly conclusive.

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SF Bulls to host Stockton Thunder in San Jose, December 17

The SF Bulls (as the new San Jose Sharks affiliate), will be the home team when they face the Stockton Thunder (last year's Sharks affiliate) at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.  The game is scheduled for Monday, December 17 at 7:30 pm.  There will be free tickets available,  even some for those without season tickets or ticket packages for the Sharks or the Bulls.  General public tickets will be available Dec 12.  Parking will be free in the HP lot on a first come-first serve basis.  Bring a toy for Toys for Tots. They are the beneficiary of this event.  Fans hungry for hockey will also get some relief. 

Is this the beginning of a make whole arrangement with the fans?  You can never make whole again, but you can try to make amends.

Last winter, I tried to fly out of Detroit in perfectly mild weather, but there was some insane fog in San Francisco, so my flight was canceled.  It was rescheduled, and then that flight was delayed too.  It was a big long foul-up.  I found ways to kill about eight hours, but eventually was stuck sitting on the plane for two hours before it actually took off.  What kept me calm during that last bit of waiting was this: anticipation that I would get a prize for my patience.

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  Tags: echl, hp+pavilion, lockout, sf+bulls, sj+sharks, stockton+thunder

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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 talkingstick@petshark.net

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