Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

Let’s get it going

In the last couple of hours before the game started, there were tweets about cooking, wanting to puke, trouble breathing, and countless calls to “drop the puck already!” After a busy day I was able to engage in some nervous house tidying and, after all those tweets about cooking, I had to make some food.  I put Darla’s orange collar on but had to stop myself before changing Marleau’s to teal.  No need, it was just Wednesday.

Sharks fans had to wait an extra day for the playoffs to start, or that’s how it feels anyway.  Through all that waiting I still couldn’t make any sense of the noise, the predictions, the hype.  It’s nerve-wracking, I can’t imagine how fans do it for more than one sport.

“Everybody looks good and looks healthy,” Joe Thornton said. “Let’s get it going.” -Working the Corners

I couldn’t agree more.

There were other playoff games going on to keep me distracted Wednesday.  Through the playoff delirium about that other team, I was able to appreciate this tweet:

Mark Emmons ‏ @markedwinemmons: “Ladies and gentlemen, Ryane Clowe has taken the ice for the Sharks practice. You may commence breathing again.”

Phew.  Everyone accounted for then.  So I can stop worrying, right?  I paused for a second to consider the players I suspected are not 100% and in what manner they might be compromised, but then I remembered I had a Flyers game to watch and pushed that right out of my head.

The talking heads don’t want to say they think the Sharks will win, though many give the Sharks two games.  Those same folks say the Penguins will beat the Flyers, which has not yet been disproven but pisses me off anyway.  So here’s the only guess I care to think about:

Jason Plank ‏ @fearthefin: “According to @TSNBobMcKenzie and the non-playoffs coaches he asked, #SJSharks and #STLBlues only West series that has no consensus winner.”

It isn’t exactly confidence but it’s something.  I’m sure the predictions will come harder, faster, and more specific after today’s game.

It has been a while since the Sharks had to deal with being the road team in the playoffs.  So here’s something to dispel that myth:

Since the 2004-05 NHL lockout, road teams are 12-12 in Game 7s. That means that, in reality, there’s statistically actually no home-ice advantage at all. -Flyers Talk

Watching Wednesday’s Flyers game, I wasn’t sure if my hands would start shaking or I would fall asleep.  I tend to get very sleepy when my team isn’t doing well.  I think it’s a form of hysterical narcolepsy, which I guess is better than the hands shaking that is usually accompanied by shortness of breath and nausea.  Maybe the latter will show up in elimination games again.  I’m not really sure I want it to.

Matthew Taylor ‏ @FTFsTCY: “Almost feel like a good # of Sharks fans go into playoffs cynical to curb what they think is coming disappointment. Wish more excitement”

That’s the downside of experience.  People can get a little jaded.

Of course there’s the same danger for players, that they lose the wide-eyed enthusiasm of never having been before.  You might also remember so many losses that you can’t clearly imagine a win.  I’m going to remember this: the Sharks, as a team and as individuals, have won more playoff games than they have lost in the last five years.  We know it can be done, the Sharks just might need a little help from the unknown.

You don’t often get to see saints face off.  This series may have the best city names of the first rounders, though Music City versus Motown is a close second.  But those are nicknames, not proper names.

image

For the Sharks we have hardworking St Joseph.  On Joseph’s patronage resume, I noticed “against doubt and hesitation.”  That could be helpful.  He also looks after unborn children, fathers and immigrant workers.  The Blues have St Louis, ex-King of France,  the patron saint of, among other things, hairdressers and lace makers.  He built a lot of fancy stuff for the Church.  Joseph raised Jesus.  I don’t think there’s really any contest there.

Brodie Brazil mentioned an aspect of experience and mental fortitude that fans might find useful:

You have to learn to ride the turbulence of what is ultimately a safe flight.  Not getting caught up in any one negative moment is a key for any team hoping to hoist the cup. -Sharks Talk

Somewhere between passing out and hysterical shouting, we all need to maintain a balance.  Breathe, just breathe.

Go Sharks!

Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: joe+thornton, playoffs, ryane+clowe, saint+joseph, saint+louis

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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