Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

Focus if you can, Game 3 tonight

It felt uncomfortably warm in San Jose, even before noon.  After the dramatic storms seen here during Game 1 and in St. Louis for Game 2, a windless warm day seems ominous.  It’s hard-to-breathe weather.  Or maybe it’s just me.

Looking back to those last regular season games against the LA Kings, it sure looks like the Kings won by losing.  We’ve only had the two games so far, but it feels like the Sharks are so far behind already.

Todd McLellan hasn’t said he will change the lineup for tonight’s game, but Kevin Kurz tweeted that Colin White left the ice early.  I saw some fan tweets during and after Saturday’s game saying White could be an option if the Sharks anticipated any more fighting.  I’m not sure I follow that.  I remember a game where McGinn said he jumped in so White would not have to fight.  I’m sure he can do it but I don’t think it’s his thing anymore.  More likely, McLellan felt that the Demers-Braun pair was overwhelmed.  I’m not sure I believe White will be an improvement there but who knows.  Maybe Murray will come out.  I don’t think that’s likely, I don’t like what it would imply, but it could happen.

Will Winchester play?  Many sources tweeted that he was smiling a lot this morning.  I don’t know how telling Winchester’s smiles are.  He’s a cheerful guy on most days.

For the Blues, expect to see Chris Stewart back in the game.  They’re also stuck with Elliott for a while.  Poor them.  Whatev. 

Dominic Moore also seemed well, but at this point players will tend to do that as long as they can stand.  Now that we know he has a broken nose, I’d rather not see him back in the game until we see that teams have settled down.  As McLellan put it, this round “... is borderline chaos right now.’

Hitchcock didn’t like that characterization.  It isn’t clear if both or either mean this series or the whole of the first round:

Brodie Brazil ‏ @brodiebrazilCSN: “Hitchcock disagrees with McLellan’s “borderline chaos” comment on series. “Organized chaos”, he says. #sjsharks #stlblues”

Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he, since they won?

Tim Kawakami claimed that Saturday’s record penalty numbers were a sign that the Sharks will win, that they have uncovered some heretofore untapped reservoir of giveadamn. He is wrong. That was a freakout, plain and simple. The Sharks will only win when they settle in to beat their opponent, not beat on their opponent. In case Tim missed it, the Sharks LOST that game 3-0.  I’m comforted that the Sharks were mad about that but I would rather none of us have reason to be mad again.

Yesterday, Mark Emmons asked the teams to share their morning-after take on the melee that was Game 2:

“Our goal is to win, first and foremost,” defenseman Dan Boyle said. “I think that’s the best payback we can have, sending these guys home. And I’m sure that they’re thinking the same thing.”

In fact, that’s exactly what the Blues say.

“All this stuff about message-sending, it never works anyway,” St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said. “This time of year there’s only one payback. Win the hockey game. There’s no retribution other than that.” -Mercury News

Aha.  Another good word: retribution.  Don’t mix it up with revenge.  Revenge is emotional, personal, is not restrained by the worth of the original wrong.  Retribution is supposed to be cool and carefully measured to match the original harm.  In short, retribution should be doled out by some third party, like a disciplinary committee set up to do that.  It would be awesome if the NHL had one of those.

As for revenge, there is no place for that if you are still trying to win the war.  You lose your head, you lose the game.

The Sharks have put Mike Moore on re-entry waivers, it’s that time of year.  I don’t hope the Sharks need any of the Worcester Sharks, and I guess it’s a hassle for them to come out here unless they can expect to play, but I’m still glad they are coming.  No idea why.  I hope some of them are glad to be here.  I guess the full list will come out tomorrow.

There’s this thing I did two seasons ago, part of a superstitious ritual: to write about the Flyers on Sharks’ game days and not a word about the Sharks. Since that did not end perfectly, I changed it up, wrote about both. It is very difficult to focus on only one team when the other team is over there doing back flips on a high wire.  I just can’t tune out their goofy giggling.  So I put it all on Wordpress because there’s too much fawning over the Flyers in it to justify squeezing it in here.

“It’s tough to lose a game the way we did. But the next day the sun comes up and you turn the page and you focus on what’s ahead of us…” -Mercury News

I hope Boyle is right.  Maybe the Sharks got the silly out of their system on Saturday.  They tried the “hard to drown” defensive strategy.  They tried the “come unglued way too early” approach.  The Blues had their win, they broke their playoff dry spell.  Good for them, but the Sharks don’t need to give them another lead.  Time to push back and remind the Blues why they have lost so many playoff road games in a row… even if it has been like 1000 years.  Who am I kidding?  The Blues know they’re not the same team they were once upon a time.  Beat them anyway, Sharks.

Focus, focus, focus.  I’m trying, I really am.  I’ve never been any good at that glass half-full or half-empty thing.  When I start thinking about that I see two glasses.  The Sharks could clear it up for me by winning tonight.

Go Sharks!

Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: brad+winchester, colin+white, focus, mike+moore, playoffs

Comments

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Thanks for this info… I love this post and subscribed your blog.

Posted by Rohit from India on 05/16/12 at 03:54 AM ET

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Thanks for this info… I love this post and subscribed your blog.

Posted by Rohit on 05/16/12 at 03:56 AM 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