Kukla's Korner

Petshark: Talking Stick

Tomorrow: it’s only a day away

After spending yesterday paying attention to another team, I feel especially cranky that we have to wait until tomorrow, yes it is finally just tomorrow but it is still not today, to see the Sharks play.  If you’re paranoid, that smacks of NHL conspiracy and disregard for our needs as fans.  Whatever, you can’t always get what you want.

Marleau did skate today, but said he was not 100%:“Hopefully the muscle ache goes away,” Marleau said, “and we’ll be ready to go.” (-Working the Corners).  I’m not sure it’s worth it for him to play.  Is it safe?  What if he pulls something? I mean, it seems like everyone else has scheduled injuries and illnesses for now, why not him too?  No need to rush back.

McLellan said he was not sure Niemi would not play this weekend.  Niemi did skate with the rest of the team this morning, and was the first on the ice.  I can see that being a good sign.  But Havlat was the second one on the ice, and he is not expected to play.  Even though Niemi is known to get out there early, in sickness and in health, I sort of expect to see Greiss play both games.  I don’t know why I think that, Niemi looked fine, the coach said “maybe.”  It’s like the smell of Fall in Nor Cal.  You smell it, it seems like time for Autumn, but two days later it’s all Summer hot again.  So yes, it seems like time for Nemo to play but the forecast is unreliable.

Maybe it’s just me wanting to see more of Greiss.  If these are the goalies, use them.  Both of them.

Greiss was wearing a different mask today, I don’t know if it is old or new, but it looked kind of familiar, a big Shark mouth around the face.  It isn’t clear if he will play in that one.

After all the talk about practicing at HP to get used to the boards, I sort of expected more of something that involved the boards.  I did not see any particular extra use of the boards.  On the other hand, the team has to play tomorrow so maybe preparing for that took precedence.  Makes sense to me.  How inconvenient to have to share your arena with anything else instead of having it perpetually and exclusively at your disposal.  I guess a building has to make a living too.

About those boards.  Apparently the verdict is not in yet from the players on the subject of whether or not they feel “softer” when being smashed into.  But it sounds like they are doing their job:

“The glass has a little more give,” Clowe said. “It’s almost like a cushion when you hit guys into the boards. When I got hit last year and hurt my shoulder, I remember it was almost like hitting a wall.” -Mercury News

They make a nice loud noise when a puck hits them but not so much when players hit them.  Either the players last Saturday were hitting each other very gently (which I believe Andrew Murray would dispute), or the give in the new glass, combined with plastic stanchions, has taken some of the bang out of hits.  Well, at least the “clank,” or “pop,” and “kerthud.”  Maybe I’m going deaf, or I’ve finally lost the ability to hear the sounds only children hear.  Hm.  No, I don’t think guys running into barriers would qualify as a high-pitched sound.  Or not usually.

If I am not losing my hearing, I can think of some easy solutions other than stiffening the glass or replacing the stanchions with ugly and probably less safe metal ones.  You don’t want to revive the sound effects by eliminating the safety factor.  Just put something that makes a noise along the outside of the boards.  You don’t really think spurs have to jingle, do you?  No, spur-makers make them a little loose or even add little dangles to make the intimidating sound.  So that’s where I get the idea.  No need to kill anyone, just slap a loose piece of metal along the outside somewhere safe, make it look useful so it doesn’t jump out at the audience.  Am I nit-picking?  Maybe.  But who doesn’t like a big clanging noise to accompany a nice hit? 

A couple of days ago, @LadyStanley mentioned that she noticed some Lokomotiv decals on the players’ helmets in some photos she took.  Some inquiries later, we have more information on that thanks to Pollak.  The Sharks decided to wear them in memory of the KHL team lost in the September plane crash:

“A bunch of the guys played with guys on the plane there,” Joe Thornton said. “It’s just to commemorate friendship. We still think of them and it was a tragedy, so we put a sticker on the helmet just to show we care for everybody that’s still here.” -Working the Corners

Per Stephen Whyno, the Caps and the Pens are also wearing such decals on their helmets.  It does appear to be a team by team decision, I don’t know which other teams are wearing them.

According the a tweet from Pollak, the decals are not for sale from the Sharks, but apparently game-worn jerseys bearing memorial patches will be auctioned by the Caps and the Pens to benefit the families of the fallen players.  That’s all I found (or stumbled across) on the decals.

Assuming the Sharks have a way of flying to So Cal faster than the rest of us can drive, they should be in Anaheim by now, with all three goalies.  Here’s hoping they can get back to that fast start that’s been on pause all week.

Filed in: , San Jose Sharks, | Petshark: Talking Stick | Permalink
  Tags: antti+niemi, hp+pavilion, lokomotiv+decals, patrick+marleau


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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

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