Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

The Flyers are here

Actually, the Flyers have been here for a couple of days now, learning about Pinkberry from Wayne Simmonds, being bussed between rinks and meeting fans at Sharks Ice. It is very exciting for Bay Area Flyers fans.  It’s like a TaO fan holiday.

Yesterday I saw this article on NHL.com detailing the deadline day trade between the Sharks and the Avalanche.  The title is “Avs add McGinn on deadline day.”  It goes on to talk about what a splendid acquisition McGinn is for the Avs.

Isn’t that nice? McGinn is the big news, the article makes his acquisition out like the big story, only devoting a few lines at the end about Galiardi and Winnik…

Wait, what?  OMG, DW, what did you do?

No, no, no, don’t think like that.  Surely two for one NHL ready players has to be a good thing. 

Gulp.

All the new guys were on the ice this morning.  Dominic Moore, for some reason, was wearing a white helmet while everyone else had black ones.  Odd how they could get black ones for Galiardi (#37) and Winnik (#34) but not for Moore (#18).  Seems like he should have seniority.  Maybe they ran out of orange jerseys?  Surely not.

McLellan will be out as he is still suffering from concussion-like symptoms.  How often does that happen?  This morning I saw Laviolette raise a glove and duck as a puck came around the glass.  I think, in his position, I might be wearing a helmet.  Wouldn’t want to be the third head coach to go down with a concussion this season.  I wouldn’t want to be the first or second either, but the third one has to think “gee, maybe I should have seen that coming.”  Nothing like being injured and also feeling like you ignored all the warnings.

So, it will be Shaw and Woodcroft as it was at the end of the Minnesota game:

@markedwinemmons: “Told Matt Shaw and Jay Woodcroft are basically co-coaches tonight.

I hope they do have a secret chain of command behind this official “co-” ness.  Otherwise it doesn’t sound very efficient.

Couture will probably be out too.  He tried skating this morning, he says he feels good, he is officially a game time decision but we know what that means: he should not play.

It wasn’t super cold at HP.  Hope that won’t be a problem tonight.  Funny how pucks don’t seem to bounce as much during practice as during a game. I guess players have that tiny portion of a second to settle the puck in practice, that tiny little move so quick and light that they don’t even think about it.

I missed the line rushes, the team was out a little early and I hit the strangest traffic on the way here.  It could have been called stop and go but the gos were around 65 mph, the stops unexplained.  Very bizarre.

Winnik was in white with the top line guys, Galiardi in teal with the bottom six guys.  Moore was also in white, not only his helmet.

According to our trusty beat guys, the lines were:

Ryane Clowe and Tommy Wingels flanked Joe Thornton, while Marleau centered Winnik and Joe Pavelski. Michal Handzus, scratched on Sunday, was between Galiardi and Torrey Mitchell while the fourth line remained Andrew Desjardins, Brad Winchester and Jim Vandermeer. -Sharks Talk

For some reason, acquiring Winnik set off a flurry of tweets about names that start with “win.” The Sharks already had two—Winchester and Wingels—but it was the third that made people notice.  Oh hell, there’s that number again.  What-ev.

While I hid yesterday from the details of McGinn being traded, I got a chance to watch the Flyers practice.  They skated for about an hour.  They had a day off Sunday, though apparently travel days are not true days off.  They have a full day of travel/rest and a long practice on the Sharks.

I was glad to see the Flyers end with drills that could pass for shootouts or breakaways because stopping these has not been the team’s strong point.

Who do I root for on these very rare occasions when the Sharks meet the Flyers?  I depends on who needs the points more, but I can always root for Health and Safety.  This time, as last time, the Sharks need the win more, becalmed at 71 points with a record of 3-6-1 in their last ten games.  The Flyers have had their struggles but they look a little better with 75 points, being 4-5-1 in their last ten.  So yes, I hope the Sharks win tonight.  I would not mind overtime, the Flyers can use points too.  Also, it’s nice for everyone to go away feeling like they got something, just like in a good trade.

Last time the Sharks played the Flyers it was a perfect game in my mind, though probably not in the coaches’ minds. I remember thinking each team had a good period and each had a “wth are you doing?” period.  I love symmetry.  Better still, each team got to feel victory for a moment because of that freaky tenth of a second too late OT goal from Richards.

Richards won’t be playing, neither will Nitty.  Neither will Bob.  Just as the Sharks are bringing Niemi up to speed by playing him through whatever was bugging him, the Flyers will start with Bryzgalov.  It will be a battle of belaguered starters, both taking fire from fans for sub-par performance.  Ah, uneasy lies the head that wears a starter’s mask.

Bryzgalov looked good in practice this morning, had a little pop that I’ve seen him lack.  Jaunty, yes, he looked jaunty.  He has avoided the media for a couple of games but talked to them today.  Sharks fans might take some heart in that.  Maybe that will break him again. 

Niemi may not have played the Flyers much lately but he spent some quality time with them a while back in the Stanley Cup Finals.  Bryzgalov, yes, he’s acquainted with the Sharks.  Those familiarities go both ways.

Both teams will also be playing with new guys, though the Flyers’ new guys have a jump on the new Sharks.  Grossman and Kubina have been making themselves useful.  The Sharks should be pretty familiar with Grossman from his Dallas days.

I’m a little concerned about the Flyers’ player-blogger Zac Rinaldo.  He’s a little bit unpredictable, sort of a sharp object.  I hope Laviolette will see fit to give him the night off.  I suppose that will depend on the available bodies.  With James Van Riemsdyk back, and Couturier there and Brayden Schenn and Matt Read and Jagr (for the moment) all healthy, maybe they won’t need Rinaldo?

Rinaldo was not one of the last players on the ice.  Shelley and Lilja were.

You’re getting very sleepy, Peter, your eyelids are heavy, you don’t need Rinaldo against the Sharks…

Besides, the Sharks might be in a terrible mood so Rinaldo would be a bad idea all around.  The Sharks may be impatient after their travel difficulties and the suggestion that they lacked conviction in the last game, that they let Couture get all mangled and didn’t do anything about it.  It sounds a little like that team back east that watched their goalie get decapitated and didn’t respond suitably…. Yes, I fear the Sharks might be very short-tempered.

Which would imply that the Sharks have not crumbled like a glass village.  Sure, the Flyers are not to blame for what happened in Minnesota, or Columbus, or Nashville, or…. but they might be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Go Sharks!

Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: antti+niemi, ilya+bryzgalov, jamie+mcginn, logan+couture, todd+mclellan, zac+rinaldo

Comments

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I think they put addictive additives in the yogurt in the Bay Area. There’s almost nothing better, and never a duplicate treat.

Posted by Jesters Dead on 02/28/12 at 10:35 PM 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