Petshark: Talking Stick
Marleau, Pavelski and Niemi are the first on the ice. Marleau sprinkles pucks around one end of the rink, gives the bag to Niemi, who takes it to the other end. Pavelski and Marleau start shooting, others come out on the ice.
McGinn begins doing goalie drills with Niemi, while others do shooting and tipping drills.
I check Twitter. When I look up, Marleau and Pavelski have left. It’s an optional skate I guess.
Boyle is there, smiling.
Clowe is there too, visorless. I think he looks sheepish without it but I must be projecting, imagining he knows he should wear one. I’m sure he doesn’t think so. I hope his head is as hard as it seems. Sigh.
Owen Nolan didn’t want to stop playing professional hockey. He knew it was time but he fought it all the way. When we’re done doing one thing and ready to move on to the next thing, it is often called retirement. I think I’ve retired from school, but along the way I graduated a lot too. Seems like there’s more hope and optimism attached to graduation than to retirement, though both situations are a little like being evicted from your long time home. Some people cry, and other people give you congratulation gifts.
Nolan’s retirement was a little different in that he was simultaneously re-connected to the Sharks organization, though he hadn’t played with the team for many seasons. Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau presented him with a Captain’s jersey in the new Sharks colors.
So many rumors, so little time, mere weeks before the NHL trade deadline. When I see the phrase “sources say…” I always hear “survey says…!” in my head, the way they used to say it on Family Feud. Perhaps I only hear it that way when I’m on cold meds. Meds or no, something tells me that what most sources say is less reliable than game show surveys. Bruce Garrioch mentions the Sharks in two different scenarios in a single rumor pack, beginning with Ryan Smyth:
If Smyth does decide to waive his no-movement clause, there won’t be any tears shed. The 35-year-old could easily go to a contender as a pure rental, take the chance to win the Stanley Cup and then return to the Oilers. -Ottawa Sun
Then there’s Teemu Selanne. Garrioch says San Jose is one of many waiting for him to decide to waive his NMC:
The Sharks would be an attractive option because of San Jose’s proximity to his family in Anaheim. -ibid
Those are fun. I especially like the part about Smyth being able to go back to the Oilers later since he likes it there so much. That’s sweet.
It was said on Twitter. McLellan was quoted saying it on Working the Corners and in Kurz’s CSN blog. It was discussed during the pregame show. It was the big story before Saturday’s game in the mostly empty Jobing.com arena: how very dangerous, unpredictable, hungry and possibly tough to play against the Phoenix Coyotes would be. What were they thinking? Here’s what I was thinking:
I didn’t get it. Why would the Coyotes be more frantic than Dallas? Isn’t that losing streak they’ve been on an indication that they are not playing well? Was everyone trying to say the Coyotes have the Sharks’ number?
If that’s the case, I thought, it’s a very bad sign for the Sharks. I hoped fervently that it was all a bunch of manufactured drama, like the endless euphemism-filled discussion of where Niemi was hit by that puck, why he missed the last game. I’m still not clear. As Brodie pointed out during the pregame show, women don’t understand these things. Someone will have to be more specific.
Today we learned that Owen Nolan is making an announcement about his career on Tuesday. The Sharks will give him a forum at HP for the press conference but Brodie Brazil has already said it will be a retirement announcement. Thank goodness Brazil cleared that up. No one could have guessed that. Then Darren Dreger congratulated Nolan on Twitter using a tweet and not even an @ message or a DM. I’ll go ahead and save the congrats until Nolan has a chance to speak for himself. But I’m not a news hound.
Niemi is feeling better, so Sexsmith has been sent back to Worcester. Not sure what they’ll do with Nitty now. He didn’t play today, although he was sent there to, you know, play. Whatev. It’s one loss not on his record.
Last night I wrote down several impressions of the Sharks game against Dallas. I decided that, since they were not playing today, I would finish it in the morning. I woke up and was completely sick of hockey. This has never happened before. Well, it may have happened a decade ago, I don’t remember. It took me so much by surprise that I didn’t know what it meant. But the Sharks won! And without any fighting! What is WRONG with me?
Something, presumably not grave, happened to the Sharks number one goalie yesterday in practice. I will assume it had nothing to do with a baseball bat:
@PollakOnSharks: “Change in net: #Sjshark Niemi dinged up in practice and Tyson Sexsmith recalled from WOR to serve as Greiss’s back-up tonight vs. DAL.”
If you’ve been following Twitter news about Alex Stalock, you might wonder why the Sharks would fly Sexsmith all the way out here and send Nitty back to Worcester instead of just bringing Stalock over from Stockton. Sure, Sexsmith is higher in the depth chart but all that to and fro air travel is hardly a sound ecological strategy. Luckily, I stumbled on an answering machine tape out in Stockton that recorded this recent phone call:
“Hi, Dan, Doug here. How are you this morning?”
When the game is winding down and the Sharks have a power play and Vlasic is out there with Douglas Murray, John McCarthy, and Brad Winchester, something has gone awry.
Here is where I begin a rant likely to alienate any hockey fan who bothers to read my blog. If it makes a difference, I know how you feel: alienated. So we have that in common. For the sake of that common experience, I apologize in advance.
I felt badly for the Blue Jackets going into the third period of last night’s game. What a disaster they are, how depressing to be them. That said, I wouldn’t for a second indulge their need to hit something. I’m not that much of a softie.
I guess the Sharks felt differently.
I introduced another friend to hockey last night. While Dan Boyle was punching the kneeling Brassard, my friend commented: “It’s not very gracious to be doing that, when the Sharks are up by so much. It isn’t very sportsmanlike.”
At the last minute I got a break on some tickets to the Sharks Foundation benefit at Club Auto Sport, San Jose (sponsored by Porsche and Joseph Georges wines). It seemed like the sort of thing I should check out if at all possible so I did. Granted, I have a moderately bad reaction to wine, and I’m no petrolhead, so it wasn’t the kind of event I would normally attend. Even so, there were some good wines and a lot of pretty cars that even I could appreciate after I got over the flushed, feverish sick feeling that hits me when I drink wine. Even a tiny bit of wine, it seems. They tasted good anyway. And how can you not love a DeLorean tricked out as a time machine? Yes, fun and pretty cars.
There were a lot of photos being taken but I didn’t see any autographs being done. That lent a casual, friendly air to the event. Of course I could have missed them if they were discreet. A reliable eye-witness I am not. I didn’t see anyone climbing inside the cars, it is possible that this was not permitted. I did not ask. In the back there was a little Ferrari room, with Ferraris in it.
The silent auction sold mostly large bottles of wine that had been autographed by the team. The live auction featured the ever-popular dinner for four with Douglas Murray. The high bid for that was around 21k. Um. Wow. I’m going to guess the event raised a whole lotta money for the Sharks Foundation.
Logan Couture was picked last in the NHL All Star Draft. Antero Niittymaki wasn’t picked off waivers at all. Couture will be remembered for being picked last, he got a car and donations to his favorite hockey charities and it’s possible he will get a superincredible season in 2012-13. That last one isn’t guaranteed because the sample size is too small to call it a pattern.
But all’s well that ends well and the award for best sportsman on Twitter goes to Logan Couture (@Logancouture), the San Jose Shark who went last in the draft. -Kevin McGran
@Logancouture: “Is it me or is it getting hotter back here after every pick?”
@Logancouture: “Who went last? I missed the end of the draft?”
@Logancouture: “First order of business. Pimping that Honda out”
Apparently the car will go to Logan’s brother. Couture did handle himself well. Several players were less composed than he was during the proceedings. Carey Price was so flustered by not realizing he had been called that he dissed his All Star Captain on his way to the holding box.
Last night, Benn Ferriero took one shot, got one point, and Antti Niemi blanked the Flames. No, Niemi didn’t do it by himself, but he gets the special credit for it.
Ferriero’s been kind of quiet lately, but last night he made an effort to point out the obvious: if you can’t hit the target, you need to get closer.
@SharksStats: Benn Ferriero’s 4th career game-winning goal, 3rd this season. All 3 GW goals this season in road games.
The lone goal of the game was Ferriero’s sixth of the season. It was the only shot he took, if you believe the shot counters, and he took it at point blank range. I think that might qualify as a teachable moment. Sounds like McLellan thinks so too:
“We’ve got to get a little hungrier in and around the net, much like the winning goal tonight.” -Mercury News
It was just one goal. It was the Flames. The Flames have been better lately, but they’re still the Flames.
It was just the first win for the Sharks after three losses.
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