Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

Fashionably late? Better late than never?

I was late to the Penguins @ Sharks game and had to play DVR catch-up.  I missed most of the first period.  Apparently so did the Sharks.  I’m flattered, really, that they waited for me, but in the larger scheme of things it might have been better for them to go ahead and start without me.

2-0 Penguins.

I guess if you have to have a bad period it is more satisfying for the audience if it is the first period instead of the last.  Still, a little less suspense would go a long way with me.  I feel slightly battered by that game. 

Greiss was heroic.  He seemed to do everything right.  Oh, sure, he wandered into traffic a couple of times behind the net but hey, that goes hand in hand with all that jumping out to make aggressive stops.  He needs a loose rein.  Besides, that gave his team a chance to make it up to him, make up for that hideous spectacle that was most of the game.

After the Keystone Kops routine that the Sharks put on in the first period, I told myself to shake it off. That’s what you do in this situation, right?  Heck no, that’s what the Sharks do. I can curl up with my blanky and let the weight of the world fall in on me.

Instead, I went to get another beer.  I told myself it is crazy to let this get to me this way.  Of course it is, but dammit this is their job, no matter if I’m crazy or not.  When the tedious and terrible in life gets you down, your team is supposed to distract you.  Heck, it isn’t like they have to fight lions, tigers or bears.  Penguins should be perfectly manageable by comparison. A sharp stick should do the trick.

Take a drink, kid.  I sort of want to hit something but when the second fight breaks out it doesn’t do anything for me. I just think, “hey, you interrupted a perfectly good offensive rush there, get back to work!”

The Sharks did start to push back in the second, but it was a slog.  The Penguins are not known for sitting back, so even with that fat lead to glamour them into apathy, they weren’t going to get all drowsy.  The only thing the Sharks had going for them was their failure to bother Fleury enough.  There was a chance he might become sleepy as inactive goalies often do.

He didn’t.  Braun tested him quite a bit.  Seemed crazy easy for Braun to get a shot off.  I guess the Pens were not so interested in what he was doing as, say, Marleau.  They flocked in Marleau’s path whenever possible, and clung to Couture in the most inconvenient way.  Braun, they left for Fleury.

The comeback had a lot in common with Marleau’s goal.  It came awfully fast (not as fast as I hoped after said goal) and must have been a little surprising for the Pens.

2-1 Penguins.

That moment of high hopes was interrupted by another goal from Malkin, a messy ugly thing that went off of skates and leaped into the net like a startled toad.

3-1 Penguins.

If I thought McLellan’s line adjustments were hard to follow before, last night’s game blew all that away.  I think it ended up with Havlat on the third line with McGinn and Handzus, Marleau on the second with Mitchell and Clowe, Couture on the top line with Pavs and Jumbo… it was pretty crazy.  But it worked, I guess.  Something worked.  The new second line scored next, a very pretty tidy backhand from Clowe.

3-2 Penguins

As cranky as the game was making me, I was still delirious to see McGinn, with help from Handzus, tie up the game.  I don’t know if McLellan will leave Havlat on the third(ish) line.  Seems unlikely.  Still, after all his hard work doing other things, it was only fair McGinn get that.

3-3 all.

When the game went to a shootout, I should have felt all reassured because Greiss has a spotless, albeit short, record in NHL shootouts.  I didn’t know that, so I was in a state, sky is falling how can this be happening I’ve been worried they would go to a shootout ever since like yesterday….

Greiss has obviously done enough of them to be pretty confident.  I don’t suppose any of the Pens saw that last poke-check coming, but they should know better than to get so close to a goalie who just spent most of the game doing anything and everything except backing off.  Sometimes I don’t see a clear cut #1 star of the game.  Last night there really was no doubt Greiss was it.

I wondered how it can be that the Sharks have such a stellar record against the Penguins, since the teams meet so infrequently.  Seems like that would tilt the odds against any kind of a long winning streak.  Then again, each game is different.  Not all those wins were the same, and some would have been more definitive wins than others.   

That must bug the hell out of the Pens.  Sort of like the Caps have to be irked that they haven’t been able to win in Minnesota for such a long time.  As part of a losing streak or not, this Sharks win has to rankle the Penguins. 

Some of us just can’t start when the bell rings.  A lot of highly successful people are also terrible procrastinators.  It does eventually bite you in the ass but most of the time it gets you what you want. 

4-3 Sharks.

Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: jamie+mcginn, justin+braun, marc-andre+fleury, patrick+marleau, pittsburgh+penguins, ryane+clowe, thomas+greiss

Comments

Avatar

I did the reverse of you Petshark. I watched the 1st period, then went to sleep (had to get up @ 4am for work Friday morning). Upon waking, the first thing I did was fire up the smartphone and head to nhl.com/scores. Nice surprise to find that they took 2 points.

I’ve forgotten how many years that this team has been working on the art of not showing up for the start of games. Nabby used to be the king of that little trick.

Apparently, they miss him so much that they are simply paying homage to him.

Posted by Scum Bum on 11/04/11 at 08:43 PM ET

petshark's avatar

I almost did that.  I didn’t need to get up very early but I did almost run hide.  Glad I hung in there!

Posted by petshark from Nor Cal, and on Twitter @petshark47 on 11/04/11 at 11:48 PM ET

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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