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Be Good, Be Lucky, Whatever Works

The Sharks are in a very strange position. In the SCF games they won, they did not play their best games. The stats all said so, the eye-test said so. They were outshot, outchanced, outworked, out-everythinged except scored, which sounds like some pretty dumb luck. On the other hand, in the games they looked better in, won more faceoffs, limited opposition shots, got more shots of their own… those games they lost. So, what the heck are they to do? (more…)

No Signal

I usually have some kind of feeling about how a game is going to go, an intuition. Those notions are wrong as often as right but I have them. Tonight I have no sense of what the outcome will be. I have bought into the idea that the Sharks have been improving from game to game, but I don’t hear a lot of others doing so. It’s weird. I don’t know the Penguins well enough to really say whether their game has changed much since the series started. They seem much the same. It is a very high-level same but still it seems the same.

Nope, still no inkling, no sign-seeing or omen. My old cat who has been sort of getting ready to die for months… for a few minutes I thought he might have died but he had not. Cats are like that and even by a stretch I could not tie his fate to the Sharks. He’s just a very old black cat. Who is still alive.

To my eye, the Sharks found some holes in the Pittsburgh game and exploited them in Game 3. they also, and this is kind of surprising, won the faceoff battle… that seems like a specific mental adjustment the San Jose players made in themselves. They won more battles in general. Did they take enough shots, or are they too concerned about how well the Penguins block those shots and take the puck back the other way? Does it matter?

I don’t have a clue. And I still don’t have even a suspicion about tonight’s game.

The top prospects were here this morning. I listened to some of them being interviewed. I was struck again by the professionalism and maturity in the way they conduct themselves. I wonder who trains them, when do they start?

I mean, I look around in any setting and I will see most people acting insecure and inwardly focussed, fidgeting and looking at the floor and mumbling their words and generally not projecting an air of authority and civility. So yes, trained, someone must train these young men to present themselves effectively to the public, just like they train them to skate or shoot or eat properly.

Most of us do not get that training, most of us move clumsily and awkwardly through the world. That is fine, if we’re all doing it, it is not something we should be ashamed of. But those draft prospects are not only prepared to play hockey at a high level. They are groomed for positions in the public eye. Stuff like that can get you elected to office. It’s curious.

Nope. Still nothing. I do not know if that is good or bad. Never been here before.

Sharks Win Game 3 in OT, Climb Back in Series

SCFG1open(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

SAN JOSE–The San Jose Sharks defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final Saturday, by a score of 3-2. The Sharks now trail in the series 2-1. The game winning goal came in overtime from rookie Joonas Donskoi. Joel Ward and Justin Braun also scored for the Sharks, while their goaltender Martin Jones made 40 saves on 42 shots for the win. Ben Lovejoy and Patrick Hornqvist scored for the Penguins. It was the Sharks’ first overtime win this post season.
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Sharks Without Hertl for Game 3

(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

SAN JOSE–Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer has confirmed that Tomas Hertl will not play in Saturday’s Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. He described Hertl’s injury as a lower body one. Of Hertl’s performance so far, DeBoer said:

He’s arguably been our best player for the first two games but injuries are no excuse this time of year, we’ve got someone who will go in for him and we’ll roll out there and be ready to play.

As for who will draw into the lineup, there is little mystery. When Matt Nieto returned to the lineup for Game 2, Dainius Zubrus was the odd man out. He will most likely be back in. On the subject of who will play in Hertl’s spot on the top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski, DeBoer said: (more…)

Pregame Jitters

It’s too much. I had trouble remembering whether I needed to go up or down in the elevator just now. A building employee came up behind me and pushed the up arrow and it set me off in a cycle of doubt. I asked out loud, “am I going up or down?” then I answered myself: “down.” Then, when the elevator arrived, I got in and the building employee had to say “aren’t you going down?” I looked up and saw that it was going up. I thanked her and got back out. (more…)

Redundant Recap: Game 1, Stanley Cup Final 2016

(So I believed I was supposed to write this and I did and only found out as I went to publish it that I didn’t need to write it… I think I may be suffering from the same start time confusion that the Sharks were today.)

The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the San Jose Sharks in the first game of the Stanley Cup Final, by a score of 3-2. The Penguins won the game primarily in the first and third periods, while the Sharks dominated only the second period. After the game, Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer gave an assessment of the game: (more…)

Carry On My Wayward Son and stuff

What a year. For me it has been rough. Not my worst year on record at all, but one of those crisis-to-crisis years that makes the phrase “no rest for the wicked” echo in your head.  I don’t feel especially wicked, but I guess folks assume that the universe acts with intent, and if life is hard, it’s because you did something to deserve it. I don’t believe that but catch phrases have a way of infiltrating your consciousness.

It’s like the song lyric “Carry on my wayward son” that keeps echoing in my head. Yes, I watch Supernatural but I haven’t seen any this week. I keep thinking how the Sharks need to carry on and it sort of rolls into the lyric. I would not call the Sharks “wayward.” They are quite the opposite this season. They have been diligent as always but more steady and task-oriented than ever. No, they are not wayward. They are very much on target. (more…)