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Sharks Game 1: “We Meet Again”

8 Oct
Sharks forward goes flying into Kings' goaltender Jonathan Quick

Reed Saxon / Associated Press

It’s here, it’s finally here! The NHL opens its season tonight! The Sharks are heading down to L.A. to face their division rivals, the Kings.

Good thing that there’s no bad blood between these two teams.

The last time these two teams fought met?

Joe Thornton is sad.

But hey, all that shit is in the past, right? That’s the beauty of a new season—it’s new! We all can move on from past disappointments, sadness, and heartbreak that occurred last year. And what better way to start off the season than to beat the reigning champs in their own building, something the Sharks struggled to do last season?

San Jose will have to do so with a different leadership group, as the NHL’s best set-up man, Joe Thornton was stripped of the captaincy, perennial 30-goal scorer, Patrick Marleau was deemed ill-fit to be an alternate (meaning he’s now lost the C and the A as a Shark), and Dan Boyle was sent off to the world of free agency, landing with the Rangers.

All signs point to Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic taking over as Captain and two alternates, respectively. No formal announcement has been made, but come on. I mean, come on. Just fucking announce it already, DW.

“The captain? I’ll get back to you on that.”

The other things that haven’t been announced, but we probably can guess:

  • Who will start in net for the Sharks? Niemi.
  • Who will Dustin Brown knee in his first game? Couture.
  • Who will win the game? Kings.

I hate this so much, but I’m also so excited for this season to start.

Go Sharks!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

Well, well, well. Look who we’ve got here…

14 Mar

The L.A. Kings are comin’ to town!

Tonight marks the first time all season that the Sharks and Kings meet up in this ever-increasingly fierce division rivalry. Needless to say, I’m stoked.

I love watching Sharks/Kings games, and it’s not just because the Sharks have been on the winning side of those games for the past few seasons. It always promises to be a physical game, with top-notch goaltending, and excitement.

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Sorry everyone, I’m done venting now.

9 Mar

David Backes punches Marc-Edouard Vlasic

If you’ve had to be around me in the last week or so, you might say I was a bit surly when discussing the Sharks’ current scoring woes. And so for that, I want to apologize to all of you, and bring you all a positive post in time for San Jose’s matchup against the Blues.

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The Traveling Sharks Circus Show is Coming to Calgary!

6 Mar

Joe Thornton cheering.

Come one, come all! Come see the “Most OK-est Show on Earth,” when the San Jose Sharks head to Calgary to take on the Flames. Fresh off a performance in Vancouver last night, the Traveling Sharks Circus Show received rave reviews from all in attendance.

“Pretty entertaining game there, especially at the end.”
– Cory Schneider, Goaltender

You heard it here, folks! Entertainment!

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High octane offensive juggernauts face off in San Jose tonight

2 Mar

sad shark, sharks can't score more than 2 goals.

The offensive powerhouse Nashville Predators head into San Jose to take on a Sharks team with an explosive offense that is clicking on all cylinders.

All joking aside, the tight, defensive-minded Predators, a team that no one in the hockey world thinks of as a huge offensive threat, have scored at least four goals in three of their last six games. On the other side, the Sharks haven’t scored more than two goals in their last nine games, including zero against Nashville back on February 12. The last time the Sharks have scored four goals in a game? January 27, against Vancouver.

During the Sharks’ season-opening seven game winning streak, the Sharks scored at least four goals in five of those games. To say that it’s important for them to get back to their scoring ways is an understatement.

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