Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

Penitent

Yesterday I explained why I expected the Sharks to lose in Dallas, including a preposterous theory that every season they will lose six in a row with the last loss being to the Oilers.  And still the Sharks lost.  What happened to me being usually wrong?

How am I supposed to do this if they change the rules and don’t tell me?  It isn’t that I imagine I cause an outcome by speaking of it.  I don’t take jinxes that seriously.  No, I’ve just always felt like a terrible meteorologist, believing fair weather is coming when really there a big dumping rain storm on the way and vice versa.

I wasn’t heartbroken about last night’s game.  My Twitter feed felt differently:

Jon D. Allred ‏ @Jon_Allred: “#SJSharks had several chances to win this game. But when they can’t hold a lead or score on a 4-on-3 pp in OT, they didn’t deserve a win.”

Todd McLellan agreed that the OT power play was a disappointment but overall he was not let down by the team’s performance. He said the team was not agitated by the non-call when Boyle was tripped, just that they all regretted giving up the lead in the third and the game going to OT at all.

I hope it’s okay if I was really pissed off about that non-call.  It did result in a goal, it wasn’t hard to see at all.  It was ignored and I find that offensive.  I was happy that, later, Marleau’s brilliant backcheck did not end with a penalty shot for the Stars.  It would have been easy to notice a stick between your legs and “trip” over it.  Maybe by then everyone knew that it wouldn’t be called anyway, so why bother?

Our friends in Columbus and Minnesota came through to keep the Sharks in the race, each sacrificing a starting goalie to the cause.  Mason and Harding both left the games injured.  Those teams must really like the Sharks.  According to one report, Setoguchi wasn’t even feeling well:

Michael Russo ‏ @Russostrib: “Devin Setoguchi is real sick; he’s apparently run to a few garbage cans tonight”

He still managed an assist in regulation and a goal in the the shootout.  Then Heatley, the one they boo, scored the shootout winner.  Sure, the Wild let the Coyotes get away with a point but beggars can’t be choosers.  With all this support, how can the Sharks fail?

The Sharks didn’t have a bad game in Dallas. Mitchell and Marleau in particular played very well.  Marleau didn’t have nearly so much trouble handling passes or making them.  Mitchell, as he has been now for a few games, was able to use his speed to better effect than just moving himself hither and yon: he was able to take the puck with him.  The team should have been able to win that, even if the Stars are not as terrible as they are supposed to be.  This disappointment, for some Sharks fans, was still emblematic of repeated failure:

Chris Sampang ‏ @chrissampang: “WHY, hockey. 13 years of watching, 0 cups, and now tonight, #sjsharks.”

Clearly there is an unseen hand at work.  The Sharks are bedeviled, they cannot win.  Their characters are deficient.  That’s one way of looking at it.

SisyphusBefore the game, I moved rocks.  That’s the kind of thing you have to do sometimes on a ranch.  Technically, they were big chunks of broken concrete, but close enough.  They posed a hazard sitting in a pile in the middle of the field, but there was an exposed stake along the fence nearby, so piling them up around the stake made sense.  Still, it was just moving rocks from one place to another, the way they used to do in prison.  Do they still do that?

After you do something wrong, you may have to pay for it down the road, even if you have mended your ways.  It’s a matter of consequences.  Even if you escape prison, you will certainly not get special treatment for being the more needy as a result of your bad behavior.  Like, if you play badly on a long road trip against most of the worst teams in the league, you will not get lucky later just because you need the points more.  You might sometimes get a little help from your Midwestern friends, but you can’t count on it.

The Sharks needed a little luck to win last night.  They didn’t get it.  Luck, fate, the hockey gods, they do not care if you need points more than the other guy needs them.  You can work very hard, give the game your all, and you still might lose.  You have to do your time.  Move rocks with the rest of the inmates, no matter how much you regret your past sins.  If you are very very good, you might get early parole.  But you have to be very very good and move those rocks like no one has moved rocks before.

The Sharks don’t sound like they’re sitting around licking their wounds, bemoaning the cruelty of fate.  Just as McLellan said the team is still climbing the mountain, Clowe commented that last night was not good enough, giving up the tying goal was unacceptable:

“If you’re on the ice in the last minute, you better be taking pride in that,” he said. “That’s like a coach giving you a little pat on the back. If you’re on in the last minute, he’s showing trust in you and you’ve got to take pride.” -Mercury News

I suppose the real reason I wasn’t tearing my hair out over last night’s game is that I hoped the Sharks would start playing like they mean it.  To my eye, they are doing just that.

*I got that picture of Sysiphus from wikipedia but don’t know how to caption pics that are right-aligned.

Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: fate, patrick+marleau, penance, torrey+mitchell

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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