Petshark: Talking Stick
Tonight the Sharks play the Florida Panthers. This is not an opponent they see often, and not one that has been noticed much by anyone, in a long time, until recently.
What’s funny about the Panthers’ goal sound, you know that growl or scream or whatever, is that panthers don’t make any sound unless they want to warn you away. So that sound isn’t really very scary. What’s scary is when you don’t hear anything at all, unless it’s a rustling in the leaves over your head before the panther drops out of the tree. What is scary about a panther is that you don’t hear him. This could very well be the strategy that the Florida Panthers have been using to spread their strain of cat scratch fever through the NHL.
Several have lots of hair. Not flowing locks, but certainly thick manes covering their necks. Hold on, panthers don’t have manes, they’re supposed to be sleek. Oh well, the Panthers are defying a lot of expectations lately. Who are these guys? Many names you know but not familiar together. It’s like watching an episode of The Love Boat: you know the faces but the costume is all wrong.
You know how those stories about Greek gods always involve or imply the torment and suffering of mortals? That’s what being a fan is like sometimes. Even though the players are doing the hard work, the bleeding and breaking and rushing about, we spectators watch and hope our fragile little village will be spared by the storm. So it has to be a good thing to have a guy named Zus on the team. No way your church tower gets blown over by the western wind storm of the century, not with Zus on your side.
I heard a lot about those perilous high winds, but they never came to my neighborhood. If I really thought this was connected to my NHL team allegiance, I would have to build a shrine or something. Surely it isn’t just Michal Handzus making things happen or not happen. Surely he must have some help.
To go to sleep angry is something you shouldn’t do. So I was glad that CSN showed the new Shark Byte right after that appalling game in LA. It was chock full of fun and cute things and happy cheerful banter. Something other than what was probably going on in the Sharks dressing room and on the plane home tonight. I hope, but that’s because I’m still a little mad. Maybe I should watch it again. The Shark Byte, not the game. That wallaroo was adorable.
I thought the Sharks would give a few strong performances here, since they were facing teams they should take seriously. The Canucks game was depressing but McLellan said it was a good effort. He’s the expert, so I’ll just believe him. But this game in LA was painful to watch. The team could not have been more disjointed if they had itching powder in their gloves and helmets. They were so very much out of sync, it was hard to tell who wasn’t making hasty wrong decisions and bizarre choices.
Well that was demoralizing. I’ll just open another beer and try not to think too hard about the Canucks winning twice in a row, in my sight, this time against the Sharks. Booooo.
In less than a minute, the Canucks @ Sharks game went from wonderfully tied with a goal from the Sharks’ 4th line to a stifling 2 goal lead for the Canucks. In such cases, a fan should close her eyes and think of… somewhere else.
I started the night with my ear to a horse’s stomach, listening for sounds. I could hear sounds, I didn’t need a stethoscope. There were lots of gurgles and bubbling sounds in there. Stethoscopes don’t help. I can hear all the good sounds with my bare ear, stethoscopes amplify extra noise that is hardly ever what I need to hear.
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.
I don’t know exactly what a red card is but I suspect it has to do with misbehaving in a soccer game. So I think it’s kind of ironic that I watched the Sharks @ Stars game at a sports bar called Red Card. I usually lean toward older, danker places where the wood (there’s got to be lots of wood) was steeped for years in cigar smoke and the leather upholstery is a bit alive with the scent of many bodies.
Red Card isn’t like that. It’s got shiny metal highlights and a lit bar that changes colors. It also has exposed brick walls and black and red leather upholstery. You know it’s a pub, even if the chairs and bar stools are of a distinctly modern design. It also has a bunch of satellite feeds so it gets pretty much any sports event you need to see.
I order soup and beer and watch the Sharks game begin.
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Tags: antti+niemi, brad+winchester, brent+burns, jamie+mcginn, jason+demers, jim+vandermeer, red+card, ryane+clowe, todd+mclellan, travel
I was surprised by how difficult it was to find a place to watch Sharks or Flyers games the first day I was here. I spoke to bartenders, hostesses, a hotel concierge and one bar-restaurant manager, and none could answer me the simple question: where can I watch a Sharks/Flyers game?
Answers I received:
-“We might show that if it’s on CBC and nothing else is on. But I can’t promise anything.”
-“Right upstairs”, to which upstairs responded “what channel is it on? Oh, no, we only show Canadian teams.” To which downstairs retorted “I used to work upstairs, I know they have a lot more hockey channels than we do down here.”
I did not go back upstairs to pursue this matter.
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Tags: andrew+desjardins, andrew+murray, antti+niemi, brad+winchester, colin+white, jason+demers, marc-edouard+vlasic, todd+mclellan, travel
Sharks fans thought we had it bad when the Sharks embarrassed themselves and us by losing 3-0 to the Coyotes. That was bad, but it could have been worse. Coyotes do stuff like that all the time, sneak up on you and steal your chickens (or your cats, or your toy dogs) when you’re not looking. Imagine being a Wings fan and watching the Blues… oh. Right, done that too. Some Wings fans are pretty mad about that. Like, really pissed off. I wonder if Mr. Babcock is also pissed off.
Ok, well, what about Stars fans, however many there are? They have to be pretty angry about a 6-0 loss to the Panthers. Sure, the Panthers are on a streak of road wins but still, it’s the Panthers, and Dallas has forgotten they were doing amazingly well. They’ve started dropping games like pennies in a wishing well. So it could be worse.
I did harp on how important the third period would be in last night’s Coyotes @ Sharks game. I’d like to start with how obvious it was that the Sharks took the third period very seriously, worked hard and had their heads in the game, even if the first and the second periods slipped through the cracks.
I’d like to, but I have to settle for giving the team the benefit of the doubt and supposing they were trying really hard to get their act together, in some subtle way I just couldn’t see. They were more frantic but no more effective. After all, Thornton was bleeding from his face. He must have been trying to do something.
The Sharks again outshot their opponent, in the second 2 periods by 11-5 and 13-7. So they were doing something.
Tonight the Sharks play the Coyotes. Greiss will be in net. Wow. I mean yay! and also wow. Maybe the Coyotes games will be Greiss’ games this season?
The Coyotes are in 8th place in the Western Conference right now. That’s four spots behind the Sharks but only two points behind. I could say the Coyotes are nipping at the Sharks’ heels but sharks don’t have feet.
I don’t think many people thought Mike Smith was a great replacement for Ilya Bryzgalov, but considering Bryz was given the elite streets of gold treatment last Summer, I don’t think replacing him was ever in the cards for the Coyotes. But I also think a lot of people underestimate Smith. He made a pretty good showing in the playoffs for Tampa Bay. Combined with the Yotes’ tendency to show up and work hard, Smith and company might be one of those teams you have to be very careful not to take for granted, even if your last meeting was a blow-out in your favor. Remember the 3rd, Sharks, remember the 3rd!
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Tags: colin+white, dany+heatley, devin+setoguchi, douglas+murray, jason+demers, justin+braun, marc-edouard+vlasic, mike+smith, minnesota+wild, phoenix+coyotes, todd+mclellan
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