Petshark: Talking Stick
by petshark on 01/08/12 at 04:30 AM ET
The Caps came to San Jose, gave Sharks fans a great game to watch, and brought Stephen Whyno from The Washington Times with them. Well, the Caps didn’t bring him but that’s why he was here. He promptly wrote a story about Douglas Murray and his approach to hitting, under new rules and old. Murray followed that up with a demonstration, during the game. For anyone bothered by said demonstration, there’s a Twitter hashtag: #blameWhyno.
A few good things happened this weekend in my hockey book, along with the above-mentioned marvelous Sharks demonstration of why the Capitals will never win here. Sharks have been winning. Flyers winning too. Leighton won in the AHL outdoor game. Yes, I’m an unabashed Leighton fan. I am strange, perhaps, or just loyal to a fault. Whatever. The Phantoms won 4-3 in OT, not a splendid win for a goalie, but hey, a win’s a win, most of the time.
“A win’s a win.” That is usually my attitude about wins. That’s the way you have to view points in the race for the playoffs. But lately I am getting greedy about Sharks games. A one goal game against the Blue Jackets does not make me feel like the team has their act together, is taking the yeoman approach to getting the job done. It looks tentative.
Yes, Curtis Sanford played better than expected, played a very, very good game. But the Sharks gave up too many chances. Greiss got very lucky at least twice, Sanford less often. The 2-1 score reflected the Blue Jackets playing better than usual, the Sharks playing just well enough to keep their one goal lead. That can be harder than it sounds, since a one goal lead can vanish so easily. Yes, the Sharks outshot the Blue Jackets by a big margin, but they still gave up those chances and were not always responsible for cleaning them up.
The Sharks did not play badly on Thursday, they mostly dominated the game. But I wanted to see more. Defensive lapses take the wind out of your sails and wear you down. What would the score have been if the Sharks had played as hard as the Blue Jackets did?
Anyway, Leighton won. I won’t be half so critical of the Adirondack Phantoms as the San Jose Sharks. There should be no comparison. I expect a whole big lot more from the Sharks.
That’s what I was thinking before the Caps game, why I was not impressed with the CBJ game, even though the Sharks won and Boyle almost had a fight and sundry odd things happened: not good enough.
How can that be? The Sharks are slow, aren’t they?
Against the Caps, the Sharks played like men possessed. Murray was in full Caps game form. I wonder if the Caps forget about him or something? He always hits, but Caps red seems to get in his eyes and produce more, bigger hits.
Vlasic was evidently tired of not scoring, decided if a shot from the blue line wouldn’t work, he would drag the puck all the way to the net and take a few whacks at it until it went in. See how nicely that works out?
Beautiful passes in both zones, hustle in all situations, Boyle dancing on happy feet, Niemi moving just a little faster, seeing a lot better. Even Mitchell with the empty net under pressure.
Often, a game that moves that fast, with scoring back and forth so quickly, with a pretty high shot count (30-39 SJ), you get a lot of goals. The Sharks only gave up 2, one power play goal. Their one penalty kill failed, but they did score on one of their three power plays. But two of those power plays were less than a minute long. So it was just the one full 2-minute power play that didn’t pay off.
Magnificent. That is why I thought that other game was not good enough.
I know it takes a lot out of a body to go all-out for an hour. But winning is like milk: it does a body good. Even the fans get some exercise, jumping up and down to applaud all those goals. Yep, it’s goooooood. Maybe the tacos aren’t exactly good for you but how nice to get a power play goal in a pre-determined window of time?
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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