(Originally published at Kukla’s Korner, February 27, 2013)
Tuesday afternoon, I heard Walking on Sunshine on the radio and it stuck in my head. I heard a whole lot of songs after that, but I couldn’t wash it out. I also felt unaccountably cheerful, sort of the way the Sharks looked at the morning skate. Part of me thought them looking jolly was an ill omen, the way it was the last time I noticed that, before the Ducks beat them some time last season. Of course, there is no good reason to not be cheerful when you’re thinking about a hockey game. Win or lose, it’s still a hockey game and the whole point of the thing is to have fun and make people happy. Maybe the sun shining and the fluffy merry nature of sport and entertainment would not be suppressed.
It was still derned uncomfortable, being all bouncy happy for no good reason.
Heck, even the odd decision to keep Gomez between Marleau and Pavelski seemed better in this light: “after a game and two practices, I’m sure we won’t see Marleau and Pavelski speeding up the ice, slowing down, looking behind them as if to ask who has the puck? with Gomez trapped back in the defensive zone… with the puck. I’m sure they got that all sorted out.”
That cheer peaked with Couture’s goal 25 seconds into the game, then settled into a more rational mood. “Beware the early lead,” I thought. I had to duck away to finish watching the Bulls game. I can’t watch the Bulls game on replay, or if I can I don’t know how, so I watched the end of that first.
As soon as it was over, I checked back in with the Sharks game and saw Galiardi’s goal. That made me glad. So far so good! I watched a little more, then had the genius idea to check my email. I had done well so far, avoiding spoilers. I still like to watch a game without knowing what’s going to happen, even if it has already happened.
Before I knew what I was doing, I clicked on an email about a change in the Sharks’ schedule. As it came into view I thought “oh no, spoilers!” but before I could click away I saw that Wednesday’s practice had been moved to HP and closed to the public. I stared at the message, trying to figure out what it could have possibly said that didn’t scream “big frikkin frak-up in tonight’s game.” I guess, if practice had been cancelled, that would tell me “great game!” Either way, the email was going to tell me what had happened. Kicking myself for reading it and ruining all the fine suspense I had earned by hiding from Twitter, FaceBook, and even yanking the headphones off my head when Jason (Bulls’ announcer) started to give an update about the Sharks’ game… after all that I HAD TO CHECK EMAIL???
I decided I would need a beer to get through the rest of the game with that black cloud hanging over it. And then I would only be able to write in the present tense.
Wait, is Galiardi on a line with Zus and Desi, or with Burish and Sheppard? What is going on with the lines here?
I can’t think, I can’t follow, not now that I know it all ends in a big stinking sticky mess.
Wait, what is Randy saying about someone we don’t know when he’ll be back…? Oh, Wingels. I knew that! Don’t go talking about players who aren’t in the game, I get all worried and upset, especially when I already know they lose. Lose! Again! I can’t stand this it is too horrible why do I watch this stuff.
At least I don’t have to watch the ads. Having to sit through the ads when you already know they LOSE would be intolerable… as well as being impossible, I guess. I mean if you can’t ffwd through the ads then I guess the end hasn’t happened yet.
I am already angry about it, even though I see a 2-1 Sharks score and the Sharks are on a power play. It is so confusing.
25-15 Sharks on the shot clock? How can they have lost? It is unacceptable. No wonder they’re practicing at HP. They are incorrigible brutes, no compassion at all for the people who want to watch them win.
If that’s the way it’s going to be, I should try to see the positives here. If they’re outshooting Colorado 25-15 before the second is even over, that’s progress. They needed to shoot more. And it’s so good to see Galiardi finally score, and getting into the thick of it. That was on my list of things too.
Ooh, but the disappearing defensemen, evaporating like blue line mist before Thornton’s pass, that’s no good. I was just kidding about defense not being important. I didn’t really mean it. Oh no, I hope the penalty kill hasn’t gone “poof!” too.
There’s Robinson. He has good things to say… but he shouldn’t encourage McLellan to switch up the lines during a game. McLellan does NOT need encouragement in this area.
Oh look, Demers making up for that earlier goal-allowing twitch with such a beautiful diving stick check. Nice, well done Demers. Dwell on the way, not the wynn.
Oh man, Drew. Does he really not know that “real” is Spanish for “royal”? Does Randy know? Why doesn’t he tell him. It’s CALIFORNIA. It’s okay to know some Spanish, it’s not like French in the rest of the U.S.
There’s Gomez being useful. Two nice entries in a row with him leading the charge.
I don’t understand. The Sharks seem to be doing a lot of things well here, even if they only have a one goal lead. How did they lose this? And what did they do that was so terrible here in the second half of the third period that would be worth going to HP for a private grumpiness session?
Now I feel sorry that anyone would be all angry with them. They seem to be working hard, and mostly working smart. And they’re moving fast. What did they do?
Huh, maybe Vlasic almost shooting at Nemo is a problem. Don’t do that Pickles.
Hits are 29-13 for the Avs? Doesn’t that mean the Sharks have had the puck more? You can’t practice hitting, not really. You’ll hurt people.
Oh dear. Maybe they will have Havlat practice not shoving guys from behind when the puck is nowhere near him. “Holding?” They call that holding? Lol.
Maybe they’ll practice Handzus’ breakaways. He needed to score there to shut people the heck up.
Bu really, it hasn’t been terrible, has it? Am I not watching closely enough?
Oh boy, that last save by Nemo… held my breath on that one.
Have to pause the replay now. I know the Avalanche must be about to score. There’s only 3:33 left here. Am I going to have to watch the Sharks lose in OT? Another shootout? What in the world can they do in three minutes and thirty three seconds to be mad about? Do they all jump off the bench to engage in an unprecedented in recent history Sharks line brawl? How do you practice that away?
Oh gads, there it is. How did the ref not see that goal? He’s just drawing this out.
So, the Sharks will be practicing not giving the puck away.
Now they all look so tentative, weak shot from Boyle, hesitation everywhere with passes, wobblies and wibbledies… Can they practice not melting down?
Great, the Sharks get to finish regulation on the power play. Maybe they’ll be practicing adding more power to the power play?
Oh, that was a nice hard pass by Thornton there. And Couture caught it so cleanly. I like those.
Maybe they should practice standing in the goalie’s line of sight instead of just next to him. That would be good.
Still, this doesn’t look so bad. They keep the puck in well, they keep shooting.
Two minutes left. The Sharks look hurried, missing more passes, having predictable grief in so much space against such speedy players.
Wow. Okay, that shift with Gomez and Pavelski and Braun there, Gomez sticking to the puck like velcro, Pavelski being in a good spot, not the best but still getting the puck to Braun while falling. He’s really good at doing things while falling. Heck, Boyle and Thornton and Couture followed that up with a pretty nifty shift of their own.
Are you kidding me? A puck into the screen with 1.4.. 2.2 seconds left? That is just… just… ugh.
Why couldn’t Zus do that on the breakaway? I’m glad he scored there but why..?
Why do guys bother shooting five hole on Nemo in the shootout? I’m glad he did but why..?
Oh, that’s why they shoot five hole on Nemo.
And that’s why they put Marleau in there… wait. They won?
I am never reading my email again.