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Sharks Game 2 Recap: Beating the Douchiest Team in Hockey

11 Oct

Yay, the Sharks beat the Ducks who somehow managed to get even more douchey this offseason by bringing on Kevin Bieksa. There’s almost no one left on the Canucks to hate. It’s a weird feeling. At least there’s still Burrows.

OK, let’s get to the game recap. Wow, what a game that was. The Sharks came to play. They’re playing aggressive, they’ve got energy and they are getting it done in all three zones, 5v5, and on special teams. It’s really been a treat thus far.

The Good

Patrick Marleau

This dude straight up came to play. He notched both goals for the Sharks, and both were hard earned, tenacious beauties.

Martin Jones

First game at home. First shutout. Not a bad way to go. Jones kept the Sharks in the game early making one crazy good save after another. This kid is looking to shaping up to be the real deal. And the defense in front of him hasn’t been terrible either!

Peter DeBoer

Forechecking? Net-front presence? Who is this team we’re seeing here? This new system DeBoer and staff have implemented is firing on all cylinders right now, and it’s a beautiful thing to see. The Ducks had no answer for the forecheck, and the Sharks’ best chances came from crashing the net, and getting physical up front.

The Return of Angry Joe

Jumbo lined up across Ryan Getzlaf in the faceoff dot, when Getzlaf started getting physical before the drop. Joe didn’t like that and gave him a swift stick to the abdomen, while getting tossed out. Verbal fisticuffs followed, and it was so good seeing a familiar friend. (Pavelski lost the faceoff)

Brent Burns on Defense!

This is the first game I’ve seen where Brent Burns looked not only competent but downright solid in his defensive role. He played hard, was in good position, and caused an amazing turnover with his stick as he fell to the ice to block the pass. That, and he did his usual damage and disruption in the offensive zone.

The Bad

Frederik Andersen

He didn’t play bad. In fact, he looked straight up nasty. This is bad news for future Sharks/Ducks games, as it’s going to be hard to score on this fool.

Joel Ward’s Empty Net Miss

From center ice, Ward shoots on an empty net to try and get his first goal as a Shark…and it hits the post. D’oh!

The Ugly

The Ducks’ Coaching Staff

Seriously, look at these guys. My god.

Boudreau

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Next Game: Tuesday, Oct. 13, 4:00 @ Washington Capitals

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Sharks Game 1: The Good, The Bad, and The “Brown”-y

7 Oct

After a 20 minute puck drop delay due to the stupid Blackhawks game (which made me miss the first L.A. goal), the Sharks finally started their season on my television. And I gotta say, it wasn’t a bad way to start. Although as we know from last year, winning the first game of the season in L.A. is no guarantee of success. At least this time there’s no banner hanging ceremony to deal with…

The Good

Martin Jones

After giving up his first goal as a Shark on the very first shot he faced, Jones settled into the game and showed why he was so coveted in the offseason. This is a dude who is young, athletic and just about to hit his prime. If he can play at this level consistently over the season, the Sharks will be just fine.

The Penalty Kill

This tweet sums it all up.

The Sharks went 6-6 on the PK.

Captain Pavelski (and the entire top line)

In his first game as Captain, Pavs looked absolutely fantastic, deflecting in a Brent Burns shot in the first, then scooping up a nice rebound in the second (later given to Donskoi). He also set up Burns on a wicked wrist shot that flew past Quick before he knew what was going on. Totally rad.

New System

We Sharks fans have only been saying for years that it might be nice (and effective) to FORECHECK. DeBoer has the boys playing aggressive and wow, what a difference. L.A. had no answer for it, and that was awesome.

Young Guys

Donskoi. Hertl. Tierney. Goodrow. All these guys looked good, especially Donskoi. He was constantly in the right spot on the ice, and is going to really shore up that top line nicely.

The Bad

The Second Line

OK, if I really have to pick something to criticize, the second line was less than stellar. But that’ll happen when you spend most of your time against the Kopitar line. Plus getting punched in the face by Dustin Brown doesn’t help. Honestly though, when the top line plays as well as it did, it’s hard to look as good. This new Marleau-Couture-Ward line is going to be fine.

Draft Kings

As if seeing ten commercials for these guys and Fan Duel every break isn’t enough, now they’ve got dasherboards! Watching sports this season is going to be rough.

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Sorry for the crummy resolution. 

 

The Ugly

Fuck Dustin Brown. Seriously, this guy is a roach who shouldn’t be playing in the league, and please God never ever again for Team USA.

Also, Milan Lucic, a guy who looks like the love child between Stallone and a bloodhound. The best part is that he’s not even the worst on the ice.

Next game: Saturday, Shark Tank, 7:30 vs. Ducks. Ew…getting all the turds out of the way early.

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!

2014-2015 Season Predictions

30 Sep Sharks' forwards Joe Thornton and Brent Burns

It’s almost here. It’s almost fucking here. That wonderful day when a new NHL season begins, and I can go back to comfortably ignoring my obligations while daydreaming about the Sharks hoisting the Cup in the Spring (I mean it has to be their year this time, right?).

Wednesday, October 8 is only eight days away. I can’t wait for it to get here.

But for Sharks players, it will be filled with even more energy, as they have to start their Cup campaign in L.A. against the stupid, butthole, good-for-nothing, Kings. Not only do the Sharks have to play the team that knocked them out right away, but they also have to watch them lift their Stanley Cup Champions banner into the rafters.

 

Dustin Brown of the Kings lifting the Stanley Cup.

I hate the Kings. Fuck.

So now that a new season is nearly upon us, I wanted to take a moment to make my pre-season predictions, for the Sharks, the Pacific Division, and the playoffs altogether.

Prediction Number 1: Joe Pavelski will be the new Sharks captain.
Not that this is a real earth-shattering prediction. I think most people expect Pavs to take over the C this season. And if the Sharks’ new marketing efforts are any indication, they’re looking at Pavelski, Logan Couture, and Tomas Hertl to take over as their captain and two alternates. But if they don’t make Vlasic at least an alternate, that’s a huge mistake.

Prediction Number 2: The Sharks will continue to publicly alienate both Thornton and Marleau.
But privately, they’ll suck up as much as possible. Not because they respect them as players like all of us fans do, but because they want to find a way to move them. Still. I just don’t get it.

Prediction Number 3: Vancouver won’t suck nearly as much.
They’ll still finish no higher than 4th in the Pacific, but the Canucks will improve upon last season. The Sedins will play well. Ryan Miller will too. Nick Bonino will be alright, and they won’t even miss Ryan Kesler that much. The Sharks will still find a way to beat them every time, though.

Prediction Number 4: The Ducks will win the Pacific, Again.
I hate to say this, because of how much I hate the Ducks and all, but they are going to win the division again. They’ve added Ryan Kesler and Dany Heatley, both of whom I think will help them. However, because this is a Bruce Boudreau coached team, they’ll lose in Game 7 of the first round of the playoffs. Brucey likes doing that.

Prediction Number 5: The Sharks will finish 2nd in the Pacific.
Because they’re good like at in the regular season.

Prediction Number 6: The Avalanche will struggle this year.
The Avs will be the surprise disappointment this season, finishing 4th in the Central division.

Prediction Number 6: The Blackhawks will win the West.
I mean, it’s their turn after all. The Blackhawks will beat the Kings to get there.

Prediction Number 7: The Penguins will win the Cup.
I honestly don’t know why I’m saying this, but it has to happen again sometime, right? Maybe a new coach will get them over the hump.

Go Sharks!

Here’s my final predictions, by division:

Pacific

Ducks
Sharks
Kings
Canucks
Oilers
Coyotes
Flames

Central

Blackhawks
Stars
Blues
Avalanche
Predators
Wild
Jets

Metropolitan

Lightning
Bruins
Canadiens
Maple Leafs
Red Wings
Senators
Panthers
Sabres

Atlantic

Penguins
Rangers
Islanders
Capitals
Devils
Blue Jackets
Flyers
Hurricanes

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 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.