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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…)

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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.

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…)

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…)

What Are The Sharks Doing Now?

What are the Sharks doing now? It looks like the same thing they have been doing all season but I still don’t know what it is.

Andrew Desjardins, Tyler Kennedy and James Sheppard are all going to the Stanley Cup playoffs without the San Jose Sharks. Desi will play with the Blackhawks, Kennedy with the Islanders, and Sheppard was traded to the Rangers. Others won’t be in the playoffs but at least they are seeing NHL ice time– without the Sharks. Freddie Hamilton and Tye McGinn landed with the Colorado Avalanche and the Arizona Coyotes respectively. McGinn’s move might have been an “oops,” since he was claimed off of waivers when the Sharks tried to send him down to the AHL. Hamilton was traded fair and square. (more…)

Westbound Flight

No idea why I decided I wanted to take a bunch of photos through the window as I flew home Wednesday. But I did. Apart from the shots of the coast lines, I have pretty much no idea what I took photos of. I think I got several of Colorado. Those would be the ones with snow on the mountain tops. Otherwise, it’s just a glimpse of how impressive it is that we fly across this big continent so easily. (more…)

NHL: “If They Can Take The Job…”

(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

The San Jose Sharks did not make any moves this week, they did not even turn up in the rumor mill. For better or worse, it does look like Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau be in teal next season. As I have said before, I think that is for the best.

Listening to a radio interview with the Red Wings’ Mike Babcock, I was reminded of Doug Wilson’s comments about the role he expects younger players to take this coming season.

Back in May, Wilson described part of his plan for the team. He was talking about Al Stalock’s chances of taking the starter’s role: (more…)