Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

The Sharks are down 3-1…is that all there is?

The Sharks’ audience didn’t leave early in such great numbers last night, not the way they did as Game 3 stumbled to the finish.  Sure, the Sharks were only down by one goal for most of the game, they were never down by three.  Still, I like to think people stayed because that was very likely the last game they would see this season.  It hasn’t gone on long enough to feel like a real second season.

So we stayed and we gave a cheer full of gusto for Thornton’s last-minute goal.  As the noise died down, I got that feeling best described by a Peggy Lee song I first heard in the movie After Hours.  It is depressing, maudlin even.  I don’t recommend it for play during a hockey game, or after one for that matter.  But I remember the movie being hilarious.

Finally the Sharks announced the recall of the Black Aces:

Defensemen Mike Moore and Matt Irwin, forwards Tim Kennedy and John McCarthy, and goaltenders Alex Stalock and Harri Sateri will serve on the practice squad. -Sharks Talk

Matthew Taylor says Sexsmith is here too.  Kurz says Sateri will go to St. Louis, the rest will stay here.  That’s optimistic.  I hope they all have a nice time while they’re here.

It’s important to stay hopeful and optimistic, but I’m no good at that.  Maybe this is why I don’t hate the Blues.  Besides, the Blues haven’t given me any reason to despise them.  They aren’t arrogant ex-champions, they aren’t loud whiners or cheaters or dirty players.  N’ah, they’re all right.  They’re just winning.  Can’t hate them for that.

Not long ago I may have hated a team just for winning but I’m still convinced those teams had other things going on that made me hate them.  A roster full of rental players, or a savage reputation for hurting people, or a tendency to fall down too easily or mime being struck in the face.  I think that’s what made me hate other teams that beat my team.

The Sharks gave us white tee-shirts last night.  Someone threw one onto the ice during play.  Thank goodness that didn’t earn the Sharks a penalty.  That was nice of the refs.  That person must have been very frustrated.  Someone else shouted “Let’s go Giants…” during the last few minutes.  As the Sharks head off to St. Louis, they leave many many frustrated fans behind.

Ivan Makarov ‏ @IvanoSJ: “The biggest fish in my aquarium, named Jumbo Joe, died this morning. Probably couldn’t handle the Sharks loss yesterday.”

He doesn’t sound half so torn up as I did over the death of our dog Hector during the 2010 WCF.  Still…

Today my Twitter feed asks “will this be Lidstrom’s last game?”  Red Wings fans have it worse today than Sharks fans had it last night.  They’ve moved on to our tomorrow and have the Lidstrom question to ponder as well.

Some Penguins fans are not so enchanted with the Pittsburgh-Philadelphia series as the media is.  They are talking about self-mutilation.  They may have brought that on themselves by cheering for such a team, but I can still sympathize with them and find their ravings amusing.

What about Vancouver?  No love lost for that team but their fans have been nice enough to me, the ones verified by dual support for some other team, the way guests of the wrong political persuasion might end up at a wedding.  They have some nice fans, they deserved a better fate than this.

So do we.  But that’s hockey, people like high scoring games, you can’t always have them evenly high, and what happens on the scoreboard is likely to bleed over into the series tally.  Of the teams down 3-1 this morning, the Sharks are the only ones to have won the first game.  Last season someone tweeted that in a five game series, game three is the one the series loser usually wins.  That made me kick and scream but it came true anyway.

It doesn’t matter.  If you have to win three and they only have to win one, you are in big trouble.  Your fans should gird their hopes, make ready to sit by the season’s bedside until it takes its last breath.  It is a sad thing but it happens as often as not.  In fact, it happens precisely as many times as it doesn’t.

Or we can move on, start talking about who to trade, who’s been signed, like Dylan Demelo or who might be signed:

Darryl Hunt ‏ @210Darryl: “Hearing from many different sources that the #SJSharks are working hard to sign Yanni Gourde. He looked like legit pro player w/ #WorSharks”

We can move on to speculation about the offseason.  I’m not ready for that.  I have to wait for the last game.

I’m a rookie, not only as a writer but as a hockey fan.  It seems like I am rushing through many stages of understanding and feeling.  I can remember when I noticed that as soon as I gave up, my team would rally.  Of course as soon as I noticed the pattern it didn’t work anymore. I would feel but a twinge of giveup and start to expect a rally, and wouldn’t get it.  Now it all feels like impending disaster, which is inappropriate too.  It’s just a game, a game that got to me in a way I still don’t understand.

In that regard, my mission has failed.  That was my first task, the primary one: figure out why I am so obsessed with this thing.  It’s a locked box, a shiny, ornate case I can’t stop fiddling with.  I don’t want to smash it to see what’s inside, but I cannot leave it alone.  I can’t simply appreciate its beauty and say that’s enough. No, I have to stare at the distorted reflection on its surface, a captive in a Sartrian hell, trying to find an answer that may not exist.

I should probably spend the summer working on some other writing project. And I really need to stop listening to that song, though, in some twisted way, it gives me hope that the circus will be back.  It will always come back, right?

Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: black+aces, hockey+fans, loss, peggy+lee, playoffs, st+louis+blues

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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