Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

Morning skate notes, Caps @ Sharks tonight

James Sheppard on the ice this morning:

David Pollak: “Long-awaited James Sheppard update: Practiced today w/ #sjsharks teammates, knee feels good and a March 1 target date for game action.”

Also on the ice: 19, 88, 61, 30, 1, 69, 57, 2, 78, 17, 28, 64, 68, 39, 26, 10, 60, 31.

Not yet: 29, 12, 22, 3, 8, 44.

88 hootin’ & hollerin’ over a goal.  No need to point out who he scored on. 

smile

There’s 12 now.  And 8, and 29.

Now Todd McLellan.  Well that is interesting.  Looks like a not very optional skate today.

I’m always happy to see more than ten players show up for optional skates, when they’re really truly optional.  I don’t mean I think badly of the ones that aren’t there, I just mean the appearance of working away industriously is a good thing to see.

Oh! There’s Pic… I mean 44.

Now 3 is there.  I wonder if everyone being here has anything to do with this:

image


Today they’re holding a recycling drive at HP, so the practice has an audience.

Probably, the mostly day off yesterday has more to do with everyone being here now.

And there’s 22 on the ice now.

White was here earlier, looked like he skated a bit before the zamboni went out.  But he’s gone now.

The skate doesn’t last long.  At least half of them are off the ice before 11.  That’s okay too.

Less okay is that some people think the Sharks and the Caps have a lot in common. My knee jerk reaction to that is “You WISH, Caps.”

But I can’t be sure.  I don’t know enough about the Caps, despite the NHL’s best efforts to overmarket them to me.

Speaking of Caps, they hit the ice while the zamboni is still working, about ten minutes before their scheduled time.  How diligent.  A few minutes into their practice, I notice Havlat watching from the tunnel behind the benches.  I guess that means everyone on the Sharks roster, IR or not, has been spotted this morning.  I have a horrible suspicion I may have forgotten someone.

How are the Caps doing?  They’re better lately than their standings (9th in the East) indicate.  They have more 20pt players than the Sharks now, but that’s not hard to do.  There are only five 20pt Sharks, the usual suspects, Marleau, Pavelski, Thornton, Clowe and Couture.  The Caps have 7, but they also have 10 minus players today, to the Sharks’ 2.  See? They’re nuthin’ alike.

The Caps haven’t been in crazy high-scoring games lately, and they haven’t been allowing as many goals as earlier in the season. Of their last five games I am most curious about that 4-1 win over the Rangers. How they fared against the Sabres, the Blue Jackets and the Flames… not as interesting. They won, except for five games ago, where they lost to the Sabres.

Oh, and they’ve won their last four games.  There’s that.  Actually, having won two of those against the Blue Jackets and the Flames does put them in a similar situation to the Sharks: on a winning streak but maybe not against the best teams.  The Caps beat the Rangers, the Sharks beat the Canucks.  I guess that’s kind of similar.

The Caps are the most challenging opponent the Sharks have faced in a bit, unless you count the unaccountable weakness before Ducks, for which there is no explanation. Lets hope that is over.

The Sharks will start Niemi, The Caps are starting Vokoun. Backstrom is out for the Caps, which should work in the Sharks’ favor. Him not playing is also a good thing since he took an elbow to the head recently and shouldn’t rush back.

I suppose the fact that he skated yesterday and then didn’t skate today is not a great sign for him. Get well soon, Mr. Backstrom.

In the mean time, go Sharks!

Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: nicklas+backstrom, washington+capitals

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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