Petshark: Talking Stick
by petshark on 03/13/12 at 05:00 AM ET
I didn’t watch the game (live). I didn’t write about the Sharks on game day. I did not expect a win, I did not let myself think the thought “they are winning” during the game. I did not visualize the puck flying past the Sharks’ goalie. I reverted to all the anti-jinx rules I made for myself years ago. I forgot one: to think nice thoughts about the other team’s goalie. It’s been a while, I’m out of practice.
I was not alone in my antics. Before the game, I watched other fans hatch a plan on Twitter to try and change things up. They agreed to wear fan gear for other teams. It wasn’t random gear, it was all gear they had anyway because they liked players who were no longer on “their” team. I think the sincerity behind having the gear must be an important component. You can’t distract the fates by waving new colors in their faces. You have to really care to divert their attention away.
My interpretation of that exercise reminds me of a tradition I once heard of where parents do not praise their children or brag about them because this could attract interest from evil spirits. Maybe it was something like that: “pay no attention to the boys in teal, over here, look over here at these guys who aren’t even playing today.”
Even though I know that really odd patterns are very unlikely to repeat, that Oil Slick one bugged the hell out of me. I was so tired by the time the Sharks won that all I could feel was relief. I felt that relief all the way down to my toes. From the post-game interviews, I can imagine the Sharks felt the same way. Hardly exuberant victors, it isn’t hard to think their heads are still in the game.
Winning really is so very much better than losing, but I’m not ready to break out Wild Cherry’s ode to funk just yet.
McLellan made some changes for the Edmonton game too. He sat Colin White, putting the young offensive defensemen together again: Demers and Braun. I was curious about the timing of that, because White had not been playing badly of late. As much as the team needs to get offense going, having an all-offensive defensive pair isn’t the done thing. Then he tried something else: hardly any line mixing during the game. As near as I could tell, he tried to let them play where they started.
I was sure McLellan wouldn’t do any of those things. He proved me wrong, I am so glad he did. I wonder if he liked the result.
What I saw:
- Marleau doing pretty things with the puck. Sure, pretty doesn’t always result in a goal but it shows he is feeling confident and the puck is respectful of that confidence.
- Mitchell. Ibid, but less pretty, more jam. Seems to be seeing the play well, anticipating the next move.
- Galiardi and Moore. Looked a little like they got caught in the gears. As my father likes to say when you can’t save them all: “sacrifice!” Even if they’re getting tangled up, someone else is tangled up with them so it evens out.
- Couture. Having some trouble making the puck do what he wants, or maybe he isn’t entirely sure what he wants it to do.
- What became of Wingels? “Undisclosed injury.” Oh dear.
- Sharks paying attention to rebounds from Niemi, expecting them, getting them cleared out.
I also placed a bet that the Oilers would win, a $2 bet. I made my brother take the bet. It was a desperate measure and Bodog has been seized. I realize that some might think I won the only other bet I’ve placed on a sporting event, because two of the horses finished first and second. I considered the bet a loss because the third horse broke his leg. I didn’t want an Oiler to break a leg, but I wasn’t too worried about the fates being that detail-oriented. It turns out they were not. They gave two little wins, two goals, and a lost game to the team. I guess that’s about equivalent.
No. It is not. These patterns mean nothing, they are just like ghosts, without substance. That the Sharks won Monday proves it. There is no fate but what we make. Just look out for the time-traveling cyborgs and all will be well.
Calgary. They’re on a little winning streak right now. Hell, as Sharks fans we would be thrilled to death with a three game winning streak. Maybe it isn’t so little, especially at this time of year. They’ve won against Winnipeg, Montreal and Minnesota. That isn’t the most formidable competition but wins are wins. Before that they got as far as a shootout against Dallas. Gee, the Sharks did that too, minus the three wins in a row.
It doesn’t matter what they did yesterday, or what the Sharks did yesterday. It’s today now so I had better get this posted before I am officially writing on game day.
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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 email@example.com