Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

Category: NHL

Sad news from Sharks on the passing of George Gund III

George Gund III, the first owner of the San Jose Sharks, passed away this morning at the age of 75.  The Sharks sent out a press release that read, in part:

George Gund III will always have a special place in the hearts of Sharks fans for his role in bringing the team to San Jose," said the ownership group of Sharks Sports & Entertainment. "His love for the Sharks and the game of hockey cannot be captured in words. George was a trailblazer and he knew that NHL hockey could not only survive, but thrive in the Bay Area. The Sharks organization will always serve as a proud reminder of George's passion. He will be greatly missed and our condolences are with his family.

In his memory during the 2012-13 season, the Sharks will wear a helmet decal and, later, a jersey patch bearing his initials: GG III.

You can read the full release on the Sharks website.  Condolences to the family, and heartfelt thanks to Mr. Gund for bringing the NHL to the Bay Area to stay.

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  Tags: george+gund+iii

Training camp opens: it’ll be over before you know it

Are the Sharks ready?  Is anyone? 

I had to decide not to go to training camp today since I had plans to go with friends to a Bulls game.  It takes us months to find a date that works for all of us, so I don't have regrets there.  But I am cranky that the Sharks couldn't skate early enough for me to do both.  It irked me that Flyers and Red Wings had volunteered to do physicals yesterday, and as far as I know Sharks didn't.  My crankiness is no doubt amplified by eager impatience for this season to get going.

Dan Boyle explained that this eagerness is shared by the players.  They can't truly know if they are ready either:

I did the best that I could to stay in shape... as much as you try, I think you need to play games to get into game shape.  It may take a week or two but... Everybody's so excited to be playing, I think adrenaline will kick in and this was just such a miserable summer for everyone so we're all excited to be back on the ice.  It should be a pretty exciting start to the season.

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Filed in: , hockey, , San Jose Sharks, , | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: bracken+kearns, dan+boyle, frazer+mclaren, james+sheppard, john+mccarthy, matt+irwin, matt+pelech, matt+tennyson, nick+petrecki, ryane+clowe, training+camp

Demers and Braun on Finland

Two Sharks defensemen went to play in Finland during the lockout.  Oddly, they both returned with hand injuries and probably won't be available to start the shortened season.   The only thing that would make it more odd would be if it was the same hand.  It isn't.  Jason Demers has a soft removable cast on his right hand, Justin Braun has a cast with a port hole for ultrasound therapy on his left.

Jason Demers played 30 games with Karpat Oulu, and then some more games with Canada's team in the Spengler Cup tournament.  His team won that, which made me think I need to work on how I ask questions.  When I commented that Switzerland was a nice way to wind up his time in Europe, he left out that whole winning thing:

To have Christmas and New Years with my family was icing on the cake for that trip.

Maybe you have to be a little more explicit when asking about beating your Captain's team for a title.  Obviously time with your family is important too, but.... WINNING!!!!  In all, Demers did have a very successful time abroad:

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  Tags: finland, hand+injury, jason+demers, justin+braun, sm-liiga, spengler+cup

The Bulls lose to Idaho and Guimond is on his way to Worcester

The Bulls fell to the Idaho Steelheads last night, 2-1.  The Bulls took an early lead, but Idaho outshot them through the game so it wasn't a terribly surprising outcome.   What was surprising was how composed the Bulls looked, despite the condition of their roster.

Tarasov and Tam have gone to Worcester, Crescenzi and Devane went back to Toronto, Viedensky is still injured... add to that, several players had flu symptoms.  They had every excuse to really fall apart.  Yet the game was a good, balanced, defensive game with neither team giving the other a lot of room.  Of the team's performance, Alternate Captain Scott Langdon said:

I think we had good possession in their end, I think we had a good forecheck.  Sometimes you just can't put the puck in the net for whatever reason... It'd be different if we spent the whole game in our own end but we didn't so we just have to move on to the next one. 

Sacha Guimond was loaned to Worcester today, so that leaves another hole in the Bulls defense.  That hole will be even bigger as Scott Langdon was suspended for last night's hit on Idaho's Mathieu Tousignant:

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  Tags: idaho+steelheads, sacha+guimond, scott+langdon, worcester+sharks

The game goes on: more to do in less time for Sharks

A couple of days ago we got news that Katie Moore, wife of Dominic, passed away.  I can't think of any words to make sense of this sorrow.  Dominic tweeted a few words yesterday:

@mooredom: I'd like to express our deep appreciation for the overwhelming care and sympathy we have received since my wife's passing on Monday. The example Katie displayed throughout her life and in particular during her illness is a source of continued strength and inspiration, as is the love and support of those around us. Donations can be made to the future Katie Moore Foundation at katiemoore.org

The outpouring of support and condolences has been recognized and appreciated, but I can't help thinking it is better that the family was able to go through the ordeal without any public attention.  I do think the hockey community gives people their space in such times, but on hearing the news I was reminded and glad of it.  In the case of such an awful loss, it is a good thing if the family can be together without distraction.  Healing thoughts to the family.

According to Doug Wilson, the Sharks don't anticipate many roster moves:

...with a 48-game season expected to begin Jan. 19, there's less time than usual for newcomers to become familiar with the Sharks' approach to the game and terminology used by the coaches. "We brought in 10 players a year ago," he said. "I wouldn't want to be bringing 10 players into a short and compressed season." -Mercury News

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  Tags: daniil+tarasov, john+mccarthy, jonathan+lessard, katie+moore, michael+wilson, mikael+tam, nick+petrecki, patrick+rissmiller, worcester+sharks

Unlocking the rosters: ECHL, AHL bracing for NHL training camps

It's a little like a combination lock being opened, the roster spinning that ECHL and AHL teams will have to do in the next week.  The CBA documentation may not be in order yet, but the roster shuffle has started in anticipation of NHL training camps opening this weekend.  The SF Bulls' Andrew Crescenzi and Jamie Devane will be heading back to Toronto tonight.  Who else will go?  Possibly one, or three more, according to this SF Weekly report.  Depends on whether or not the two from Toronto were counter there.

The Worcester Sharks of the AHL have  a lot of players out with injuries right now.  Off the top of my head: Tim Kennedy is likely to be out for some time.  Curt Gogol is still recovering from an ugly hit that resulted in a suspension many have deemed inadequate.  I didn't see it but I'll believe the reports.  Brandon Mashinter did not play in the last game, and a minor injury was mentioned.  Defenseman Sena Acolatse was also absent for the last game due to an injury.  Bracken Kearns, who did finish the game Sunday, was absent for a bit of that game getting his hand repaired after a fight.  So that could be not actually okay.  I know I missed someone in there, but the gist of it is that the Sharks' AHL team has all kinds of players missing right now.  NHL training camp can only shorten their bench.

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  Tags: andrew+crescenzi, brandon+mashinter, jamie+devane, john+mccarthy, matt+irwin, nick+petrecki, sena+acolatse, worcester+sharks

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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Filed in: , hockey, , San Jose Sharks, , | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: echl, jason+demers, marek+viedensky, mikael+tam, ontario+reign, sacha+guimond, scott+langdon, sf+bulls

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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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