Petshark: Talking Stick
Entries with the tag: playoffs
This is going to be long. It is, after all, the end of the Sharks’ 2012 playoff run.
Hands shaking. Why? I’m not even watching the game live. This has all happened before, it has literally happened already, I am watching on delay because I am that paranoid. Still with the hands shaking.
Before the game, Boyle said that no one outside the room believed they could do it. That was a dagger.
Why is a win so important to me? I won’t lose pay if the Sharks don’t come back to play another day. Hell, I might get more paid work done if this is over.
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.
It felt uncomfortably warm in San Jose, even before noon. After the dramatic storms seen here during Game 1 and in St. Louis for Game 2, a windless warm day seems ominous. It’s hard-to-breathe weather. Or maybe it’s just me.
Looking back to those last regular season games against the LA Kings, it sure looks like the Kings won by losing. We’ve only had the two games so far, but it feels like the Sharks are so far behind already.
Todd McLellan hasn’t said he will change the lineup for tonight’s game, but Kevin Kurz tweeted that Colin White left the ice early. I saw some fan tweets during and after Saturday’s game saying White could be an option if the Sharks anticipated any more fighting. I’m not sure I follow that. I remember a game where McGinn said he jumped in so White would not have to fight. I’m sure he can do it but I don’t think it’s his thing anymore. More likely, McLellan felt that the Demers-Braun pair was overwhelmed. I’m not sure I believe White will be an improvement there but who knows. Maybe Murray will come out. I don’t think that’s likely, I don’t like what it would imply, but it could happen.
So I spent two days running to and from home to the hospital and back again, carrying dogs and dispensing pills to one of those dogs and doing other stuff people can’t do when they’re having a baby, and wondering and worrying and asking wrong questions to doctors and then deciding I should stop speaking before I freak my brother and his wife out in their time of happy panic. I even forgot to write about the Flyers on Sharks game day and then I spilled makeup on my Sharks jersey. Maybe the stained jersey can be the memento of the kid’s birthday in lieu of a nice win from the Sharks.
So that’s all over, at least the part that is the most dangerous thing a person can do that isn’t considered a medical disorder or suicidal. About the time Jack was being born, Pickles and Nemo were collaborating to score the game’s first goal. It’s okay to call him Pickles if you’re mad at him, right Clowe? Do we have a special name for Nemo? Come on guys, I’m trying to train a little fan here!
In the last couple of hours before the game started, there were tweets about cooking, wanting to puke, trouble breathing, and countless calls to “drop the puck already!” After a busy day I was able to engage in some nervous house tidying and, after all those tweets about cooking, I had to make some food. I put Darla’s orange collar on but had to stop myself before changing Marleau’s to teal. No need, it was just Wednesday.
Sharks fans had to wait an extra day for the playoffs to start, or that’s how it feels anyway. Through all that waiting I still couldn’t make any sense of the noise, the predictions, the hype. It’s nerve-wracking, I can’t imagine how fans do it for more than one sport.
“Everybody looks good and looks healthy,” Joe Thornton said. “Let’s get it going.” -Working the Corners
I couldn’t agree more.
The Sharks used two sheets of ice today, skated for well over an hour. Mitchell practiced on the third line without sharing the spot with Handzus. Evidently he suffered no ill effects from yesterday’s practice. Clowe was still out, which is alarming despite the assurances that he will be fine for Game 1. When teams start using playoff-speak, I need to see with my own eyes to believe.
That Brian Elliott was injured in practice has most people thinking Halak will start for the Blues. Since they traded Bishop away, they don’t have an experienced NHL backup. I don’t think it matters a lot unless Elliott’s injury is a lot more severe than anyone thinks.
I keep hearing predictions that say the Sharks have more recent playoff experience than the Blues, but the Blues will win the series anyway. Pshaw. If the Sharks can beat the Blues even once, why not four times? I want to look at the other, more verifiable claim: that the Sharks have more playoff experience than the Blues have and this matters. I know it matters, I believe the Sharks have more experience, but sometimes I like to make lists anyway.
The last goal in the last minute (2 seconds shy anyway) of the last game on the last day of the regular NHL season was scored by Dan Boyle for the Sharks. The Sharks’ pride prize was winning four in a row to end the season against their nearest divisional rivals. In their last 10 of the season, they were 7-3-0. The prize in standings was to play the St. Louis Blues instead of the Vancouver Canucks, to which I had to say “wait, wait… WAIT!”
From the regular season record, the Sharks would have been better off playing Vancouver in the first round. They only beat Vancouver once this season, but they didn’t beat St. Louis at all.
The Kings were 3-1 against the Blues but only 2-2 against the Canucks. To me, that suggests that the Kings had greater playoff incentive to win last night.
This phrase “control their destiny” has been flying around a lot lately, not only about the Sharks. People like to add “own,” as in “their own destiny.” I suppose whose destiny it is can’t be emphasized enough.
As the last ditch scramble for the playoffs rises to a fever pitch, a few NHL teams are still in make or break mode. As a fan, I am nearly catatonic, it is so stressful. Before I crawl back under my desk to chew on my sleeve, I wanted to say something about the word “destiny” and this idea of controlling your own or anyone else’s. Several writers have started questioning the use of the word:
Stephen Whyno @SWhyno: “Grammar qualm: #Caps control their own fate to make playoffs. Not destiny. You can’t control destiny. Thank you.”
Finding a substitute is no small task. The problem is not only grammatical, it is philosophical. Don’t get your hopes up, I will not solve the second problem here but I might throw some light on the grammar part.