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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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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…)

Stanley Cup Final Preview: Sharks and Penguins

(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

In their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final, the San Jose Sharks are in a good position to win, and so are the Pittsburgh Penguins. Not surprisingly, the two teams accumulated were very similar numbers on their way to the Final. Perhaps those are just the kind of numbers winners needed this year. Perhaps they are as irrelevant as statistics from the regular season. The Sharks and the Penguins could play each other four times or seven times, and it won’t add up to the number of games they played getting here. Games, and by association the series, can still be won or lost on a bounce. Either team could have trouble adjusting to a new sort of opponent, a heretofore unseen weakness could be exposed. This is why they play the games, because the NHL can’t award the championship based on past performance. Still, the likeness is uncanny. (more…)