Sharks/Penguins: Is that national television I see?

6 Mar

The Sharks are actually on national television, not that it matters much to my cable-challenged self. But hey, any and all exposure to Sharks hockey is good.

The Sharks are taking on the Pittsburgh Penguins at home in the Tank, which is probably better for them, as they’ve struggled against sub-par teams on the road (Buffalo, Carolina anyone?). San Jose is 14-2-1-1 in their last 18 matchups against the Pens, and 9-0-1-0 at home. In fact, the Sharks haven’t lost to Pittsburgh on home ice since 1997, the same day the Marlins beat the Indians in the 7th game of the World Series.

Let’s just hope the trend continues. My ex-girlfriend was a huge Penguins fan, so I would love nothing more than to see the Sharks completely dominate tonight. If you think I’m a bad guy for saying that, keep in mind that she took my dog in the break up. Not cool. I mean, look at this face…

The cutest most awesome dog ever with his favorite toy

My dog, Chief with his favorite toy.

Getting back to hockey, the Sharks need a spark if they plan on catching the fucking Ducks in the division. They finally got Burnzie and Havlat going last game against Carolina, even though they lost. It’s important to get that secondary scoring going, as Pavelski can’t score every goal (although he’s sure trying to).

Speaking of scoring, I’ve been seeing a lot of chatter online about Joe Thornton’s prolific assist total, about how he’s the best set-up guy, about how he’s a true playmaker, etc. While I definitely don’t disagree, I will say the same thing everyone else has said at one point or another while watching the Sharks: Thornton needs to shoot the puck more.

NHL Top 30 Scorers

Currently, Jumbo is second in the league in assists with 51, but is 16th in total points. The reason? He only has 84 shots on the season. David Kreji of Boston has the next lowest total of all skaters in the top 30 for scoring with 132 shots. That’s 48 shots, or as I like to call it, a slow Tuesday. At Thornton’s current shooting percentage of 9.5%, that’s 4.56 more goals with just those additional shots, which would nearly double his goal total on the season.

Anyway, enough babbling. I’m just hoping for a solid win against a team that I really want to hate, but respect the hell out of.

Prediction: Sharks win 3-1, with Thornton getting 2 goals and an assist, just to make me look like an asshole.

Taking crappy to a whole new level

5 Mar

Crappy blogs are usually characterized by a lack of content for long stretches of time, and for unrealistic apology posts. And unfortunately, as owner of Great White and Teal, I have taken this little crummy blog and made it truly shitty one for me and for all 14 of you who read it. For that, I am truly sorry.

So as a token of good faith and restored motivation, it is my imperative to put together a little post explaining my intentions for this thing moving forward.

Great White and Teal has been as silent as the Sharks at the trade deadline. What’s the deal?

Like all crappy blogs, posts stop coming because the owner either (a) is lazy, (b) can’t decide what to do on a post, (c) lost motivation, (d) lost his job and in turn, Internet, or in my case (e) all of the above.

So what now? Are you going to do this or not?

Yes. I can’t guarantee how much time I will spend toward this, but I think it’s reasonable to promise at least one post a week – and yes, the twitter should be much more active. Finally, I’m sure you’re all thinking. What would the world do without amazingly spot-on insight like this?

What can I expect if I read this crummy thing?

Not much honestly. You’ll still get the self-depreciating, roller coaster voice of your average Sharks fan. You won’t get a daily blast or live in-game analysis. There are plenty of other blogs for that sort of thing. Hell, I don’t even watch every game. I’m a fan, just like you. So I’m just sharing what being a Sharks fan is like. There is no major insight or analysis. Mainly what you’ll get is the same you’d find at a Korean restaurant: a good helping of incoherent rambling with (hopefully) some really tasty bits here and there.

I’d love at some point to do a podcast or some other additional content in the future, but that is more of a pipe dream as of now. Essentially, I can’t promise much right now, but if you stick it out, I can promise that Great White and Teal will deliver some quality Sharks fan content to your life at some point.

Until then, go Sharks!

Your least favorite Sharks blog is back!

3 Oct

But hey, at least so is Sharks hockey.

Tonight marks opening night for the San Jose Sharks (the third night of NHL action), taking on the Vancouver Canucks at home in the Shark Tank.

The last time these two teams met? Well…

…that was awesome. That Marleau sure does suck in the playoffs, doesn’t he, JR?

Anyway, short post today. More to come as the season progresses. Go Sharks!

Prediction: Sharks win 5-1, because fuck the Canucks.

Why the Stanley Cup is the Greatest Trophy in Sports

10 Jun

Ok, so I’m biased. I’m a huge puckhead. I love hockey more than football, basketball and baseball. Especially baseball. I mean seriously, 162 games in a season? Of course I’m going to think the Stanley Cup is the greatest trophy in all of sports. Because it is.

I can’t help it, no matter what teams are in the Finals, I always get excited about seeing someone lift the cup (even if it does end up being Dustin Brown). It’s a really special moment for all hockey fans, and even with the Sharks out of the playoffs, I still cant wait. It’s the culmination of a season (or half season) of passionate fandom.

But in the interest of journalistic integrity (which is why you’re here after all), I will attempt to prove to the nay-sayers out there why Lord Stanley’s Chalice is truly the greatest trophy in all of sports, as objectively as I can.

It’s impossible to keep your entire roster healthy throughout the playoffs.

Hockey in general is a physically-demanding sport, but playoff hockey takes physical play to another level. It’s simply way more intense. Just look at some of the highlights from this year’s postseason alone.

And then there’s this one:

 

It wasn’t until after the game that you found out that he broke his leg on the play, and kept going.

If a team is able to finish the postseason with the same roster as it started the postseason with, it’s a pretty miraculous thing. This doesn’t even take into account the injuries players fight through in order to keep playing. You only really find out how healthy a team is once they’re eliminated. That’s when the truth about injuries start to leak to the general public.

The team favored to win the Cup rarely does.

The team winning the Presidents Trophy (given to the team with the best regular season record) has gone on to win the Stanley Cup just 39 times since the Cup was first awarded in 1893. That’s 39 times out of a 118, or just over 33 percent.

Well one out of three doesn’t sound that bad. In fact, it sounds like the top team wins the Cup pretty regularly. However, the first 21 times the Presidents Trophy winners went on to win the Cup happened only six teams in the league, the next four did it with only 12 teams, and the next nine with 18 teams in the league. Since the league began its modern era in 1992, only five Presidents Trophy-winning teams have lifted the Stanley Cup in the summer. If the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Boston Bruins, we’ll see it again – the first time since the Detroit Red Wings did it in 2008.

It’s one of the oldest trophies in all of sports.

The Stanley Cup was first awarded in 1892, the oldest of any major North American major sport. The only trophies older than the Stanley Cup are the Gentlemen’s Single Trophy, given to Wimbledon’s Men’s Single Champion (1887), the Claret Jug, given to the winner of the PGA’s British Open Tournament (1872), and America’s Cup, given to the champion of the yearly yachting competition (1848).

There is only one Stanley Cup.

One of the greatest things about the Stanley Cup is the fact that there is only one, which means that every player, coach and staff member that is a part of the winning team gets their name engraved onto the chalice. Kids who grow up idolizing their favorite hockey players can actually touch the same cup as their heroes, and have their names engraved alongside them. That is a pretty cool thing.

With only one Stanley Cup, it will forever remain elusive. Even after winning it, teams must return the Cup to the Hockey Hall of Fame after the summer. There’s no “motivation” you gain from seeing your Cup hanging out in your building. In fact, there is no “Your Cup,” just “The Cup.”

Also with only one Cup, it’s able to keep its integrity, steering clear of the potential for rampant commercialism. The Stanley Cup is not made by Tiffany’s, unlike the Lombardi Trophy (NFL), the World Series Trophy (MLB), the Larry O’Brien Trophy (NBA), the Wheeler-Schebeler Trophy (Indy 500), the Women’s National Basketball Association Championship Trophy (WNBA), the Samuel Rudin Trophy (New York Marathon), the Alan I. Rothenberg Championship Trophy (MLS), as well as a series of Super Bowl rings and Olympic medals.

If you win it, you get a spend a day with it – doing anything you want.

This is one of the coolest traditions in sports. Every person who wins the Stanley Cup gets to spend a day with it, doing with it as they please. And really, I mean you can do whatever you want with it.

Usually, players will take it to their hometown and share it with their friends, family and former coaches. It’s a pretty special moment to be able to share your accomplishments with those who helped make it happen.

And sometimes we get some really candid photos.

And my personal favorite…

There is actually someone employed to be the “keeper of the cup.”

That’s right. This guy, Philip Pritchard, has the job of keeping the Stanley Cup in tip top shape year-round. While it might seem like a simple job, it’s full-time. He is the curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame (which is where the Cup lives most of the year), he travels with the Cup as people get to spend their day with it, and he keeps it fresh, clean and shiny for presentation, which he also gets to be a part of.

Seriously, how do you land that gig?

In conclusion, hockey’s Stanley Cup is obviously the best trophy to win in all of sports. Why? It’s super fucking hard to win, you get your name forever engraved onto its ever-growing body, and you get to spend a day with it just like your heroes before you did. The Stanley Cup means more to hockey fans than the Olympic flame mean to the world. I’m serious, it’s just science.

Get excited, people. We’re going to see the Stanley Cup get awarded here soon, and no matter who you root for, it’s a really special and exciting time for the hockey world.

San Jose vs. Vancouver: Music Edition

7 May

Image of Don Cherry's Hockey Hits

So I didn’t think of the idea for this post until just now, and I wish I had thought of it before the series (curse you, full-time employment!). Basically, I thought it would be fun to compare two bands: one from San Jose and one from Vancouver to see which one is better.

And since we’ve seen who has the better hockey team through three games, maybe now actually is a better time to start the discussion.

San Jose: The Limousines

The Limousines are an “indietronica” band hailing from the South (and East) Bay, California. They formed in 2007 by sending each other samples and melodies through the Interwebz. Then they compiled said samples into actual tunes.

The Hits:

“Internet Killed the Video Star” – lame title, but catchy as hell.

 

“Very Busy People” – another catchy tune, but even better video.

 

Vancouver: Mother Mother

Mother Mother is an eccentric, five-piece indie/folk/rock band that features brother and sister, Ryan and Molly Guldemond. Their lyrics can leave you in a state of wonder one song, make you laugh the next, but always leave you wanting more. Basically, they’re awesome. Way more awesome than their hockey team.

The Hits:

“The Stand” – One of my favorite tunes of theirs, although the video is a bit dizzying.

 

“O My Heart” – I hadn’t actually watched the video until now, but it’s about what I would expect, in a good way. The song itself is awesome.

 

The Winner: Mother Mother

I like the Limousines (and have their album on vinyl), but Mother Mother is more musically talented and are better songwriters. The Limousines do have interesting music videos and did completely fund their new album (out in 2013!) on Kickstarter, but Mother Mother has been killing it for much longer. And let’s face it, this is my blog, I don’t need to prove myself to you guys.

What do you think: Mother Mother or The Limousines?

Oh and by the way, and I’m taking Vancouver sneak away with a victory, by whining and crying until the refs just let them win. Final: 2-1, with goals from the Sedins and Couture.

Sharks Canucks Series Preview

30 Apr

Joe Thornton against some guy for Vancouver

The Sharks lost their final game of the season, slotting them into the 6th seed and blah blah blah, you get it already. The Sharks play the Canucks.

As I said in an earlier post, I don’t like the Canucks. They freak me out. I mean, does everyone have to look like a Sedin? Plus they knocked the Sharks out of the playoffs a couple years ago, and that’s not cool.

But that was 2011. Things are different now. And seeing how one of the biggest buttholes from that team now plays for the Sharks, I figured I’d give them a fair shake and do a real preview post.

Offense

Brent Burns being awesome.

Brent Burns being awesome.

Both teams have capable centers throughout their lines: Henrik Sedin, Ryan Kesler, and Derek Roy for Vancouver; Joe Thornton, Logan Couture, and Joe Pavelski for San Jose.

Both teams have tough top lines, and an offense that tends to live and die by the power play.

Advantage: Draw

Defense

Dan Boyle taking out some loser goaltender.

Dan Boyle doesn’t care how many pads you have.

This comes down to a couple of questions: Will Jason Demers come back this series? If not, who will replace him? Rookie Matt Tennyson is a capable puck-moving defensemen and natural complement to likely partner, Brad Stuart. Scott Hannan is slow and terrible with the puck, but he’s got “experience” which the coaches love, so it’ll probably be Hannan.

Meanwhile, Dan Boyle is still awesome, Matt Irwin is solid, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic is tenancious by the net.

Kevin Bieksa has been rock steady all season for Vancouver (which makes Dan Hamhuis Bebop). Unfortunately for him, he’ll most likely be facing the Couture-Marleau-Havlat line. The rest of the defense for Vancouver is somewhat suspect, so I got to give it to the Sharks on this one.

Advantage: Sharks

Goaltending

Antti Niemi is the man.

Antti Niemi does it all in style.

Antti Niemi has been putting up Vezina numbers all season, while the goalie soap opera continues in Vancouver, which in my opinion is the dumbest thing ever. Roberto Luongo is hands down a better goaltender than Cory Sedin Schneider. If Schneider plays, I give the advantage to Nemo. If Luongo plays, I still give the advantage to San Jose, but the Canucks will be harder to score against.

Advantage: Sharks

Douchebags

Burrows being a loser.

Mmm…hockey glove.

The Canucks have a few guys on the roster known for their epic levels of douchebaggery. Kesler and Burrows instantly come to mind, but ever since the acquisition of the king of all a-holes, Raffi Torres, this is actually closer than ever. Since Torres has yet to rip anyone’s head off in teal, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Once he does though, the Sharks will be the third douchiest team in the West, behind only the Kings and Ducks.

The big takeaway however, is that Vancouver’s jerks can actually draw penalties, so at least there is a method behind the madness.

Advantage: Canucks

Series Prediction: I give it to the Sharks in 6 if they win Game 1. If they lose on Thursday, they’ll take it in 7.

A Postseason Introspective

29 Apr

NHL Playoffs 2013 logo

A Sharks postseason is a lot like a Christopher Nolan movie: deep, entertaining, and always falling short of the biggest prize.

In 2008, The Dark Knight was released, breaking box office records in the process. Then after the tragic death of Heath Ledger, the movie was snubbed for an Oscar, not even garnering a nomination for Best Picture.

In 2008-2009, the Sharks won the President’s Trophy, finishing the season with 117 points, the most in Pacific Division history. Then they got bounced by the Disney on Ice, the Anaheim Ducks, in six games. And that was without Emilio.

In 2010, Christopher Nolan released Inception, an intense thriller that followed a team of extractors exploring the deep subconscious of people while dreaming. The movie had it all: an Oscar-winning leading man, a great supporting cast, a brilliant director, and a big budget. Yet, still no Oscar. It got beat out by The King’s Speech, a movie about a man unprepared for the throne.

In 2010-2011, the Sharks named the gold medalist and Art Ross and Hart Trophy-winning badass, Joe Thornton, as their new captain. They won the Pacific (again), then beat the Kings and beat the Red Wings in epic fashion. However, it was in the Western Conference Finals that a bad dream became a reality, with the Sharks losing to a team unprepared for King Stanley’s throne.

Here’s hoping that this postseason is more like Man of Steel, a movie about a man with enough super human strength to defeat a whale, duck, king, bear, penguin, whatever.

Let’s just hope the Sharks don’t play the Seattle Kryptonite.

Since the Sharks don’t play until Wednesday, here’s a preview of Man of Steel, which looks awesome.

I don’t want to talk about the Sharks right now.

20 Mar

This shortened NHL season has been a huge disappointment thus far for the San Jose Sharks. They started the season 7-0-0 (that’s longer than even the Blackhawks went without a loss), only to free fall into the playoff bubble, winning five of their next 21 games. Yes, after starting 7-0-0, the Sharks went 5-10-6. That’s five wins and 16 losses.

So, as a new Sharks blogger, I’m getting tired of talking about the same old thing day in and day out, and I won’t do it anymore. I just don’t want to talk about the Sharks.

Continue reading

Sharks looking to bounce back against Ducks

18 Mar

It has quickly become the norm for this team to look great one game, and then leave you wondering how they could look so bad the next.

On Thursday night, the Sharks beat the Kings in every aspect of the game. They played tough, they battled along the boards, they got scoring from unlikely sources. Then Saturday came along, and with an opportunity to push ahead of these same Kings in the standings, they went back to their slow, stale, turning the puck over with reckless abandon style of play. And obviously, they lost that game 5-2.

Not to worry though, the Sharks now have a chance at redemption, an opportunity to show the world that they are indeed the same top-quality team that beat the Kings so handily last week. All they have to do is beat an Anaheim team who is currently second in the league in points, with only one more regulation loss than Chicago. I mean, seriously, if it wasn’t for Chicago’s amazing streak, everyone in the hockey world would be talking about Anaheim and how amazing their season has been thus far.

I hate to say it, but there is just no way the Sharks win this game tonight. The Ducks beat the Sharks five out of six games last season, and that was a Ducks team who was way out of playoff contention. We’re talking about a good Ducks team now. Anaheim has a 98.9% chance of making the playoffs. San Jose is at only 53.7%. To say that the Sharks need this win more is an understatement. The season series is tied between these two clubs going into tonight’s game, which to me means the Sharks have already gotten their win against Anaheim for the season.

Luckily, the schedule over the next week looks good, assuming San Jose can stay competitive against the Ducks. After tonight, they head to Edmonton on Wednesday, Minnesota on Saturday, before a home and home against these same Ducks next Monday and Wednesday. The Sharks can really build some confidence off a win tonight. However, they can also find themselves in a free fall with another loss.

Huge game tonight in Anaheim. Let’s go Sharks.

(Inaccurate) Prediction: Ducks win 4-1…ugh.

Sharks actually look good, win a game

15 Mar

Brent Burns being awesome.

Hey, the Sharks just won a game. In regulation. Against the defending Stanley Cup champs. Their struggling offense scored four goals. All lines were fast, energetic, and physical. Niemi played great the entire game. Brent Burns looked amazing in his second game up at forward.

This is the Sharks team we’ve all been waiting to see.

The forechecking came alive. Brent Burns had three amazing steals in the offensive zone that led to three high quality chances, two of which went in the net. The defense got involved in the scoring. Hell, even Douglas Murray had a nice chance on a backhand wrap-around.

It was definitely an exciting game from start to finish, but I’m feeling left with more questions now than answers.

How long will Brent Burns stay at forward?

It’s scary how good he was up front against the Kings. He’s got a big body that’s hard to push around, he’s established chemistry with Logan Couture, and because of his defensive acumen, he’s able to jump back when needed, allowing the defensemen to pinch up on the play. Wow, seriously, I don’t know when he’ll head back to D, but I’m loving him up front right now.

Is Burns the cure for the lack of secondary scoring?

The Sharks scored four goals against the defending Stanley Cup champs, and drove their Conn Smythe goaltender out of net in the process. Burns was active on three goals, getting himself a goal and an assist in the process. He had another fantastic chance off of a steal that he almost knocked in.

Matt Irwin has stepped up as well, and looks like he will no doubt take the torch from Dan Boyle, firing pucks on net from the point. He’s got a huge blast, and already has three goals this season.

The rest of the team? Still not so hot.

Clowe, Sheppard, Burish, Handzus, Wingels, Kennedy, Gomez, and Galliardi have a combined eight goals this season. Hell, even Havlat has three goals. While it’s exciting to see Burns going at the rate he is, it’s tough to look at this team and not be concerned about staying in games without more scoring from unlikely sources.

What kind of fight does this team have?

The most concerning thing I saw in this game was the lack of fight from the Sharks once they got a comfortable lead. They went in to the third period up 3-1, and they came out flat. They stopped playing the physical game that got them the lead in the first place, and instead looked like they were on the penalty kill. They were complacent, they looked tired, and they lacked the urgency to score, even when the Kings made a late push.

This passive style has been the norm this season for the Sharks. They need to figure out how to play a full game, an intense, physical, sharp 60 minutes. Against the Kings, they played 45 minutes at best. Without some luck on the power play and Brent Burns’ crazy forechecking, I think the Sharks walk out of the Tank with zero points.

This was a great game, and a much needed win and confidence boost for the Sharks, but this is only the beginning. Saturday is a big test to see what kind of fight this team has.

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