Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Hockey All the Time

The season is 5 games old for the Sharks, and they are 4-1. The Blues game on opening night was a good one, with the Blues putting up more than a fight than I thought they would. Tkachuk still manages to be a pain in the ass with his physical play. Guerin and Weight, while declining the past few years, are wily veterans than made our young D look foolish at times.

The second game was against the Islanders, which the Sharks won 2-0. Nabby put in a great effort against a terrible team. The Isles have one legitimate top-6 forward, Alexei Yashin, and that's a bit of a stretch. Plus, they are the #3 hockey team in the tri-state area. I was watching a bit of the Islanders-Predators game on Center Ice last night, and to say Nassau Coliseum was half full would be charitable. Just a horrible turnout.

The third game was against the Flames, and the Sharks continued their dominance of Calgary, continuing their pre-season streak. Alex Tanguay scored their only goal late in the game on the power play. The Flames continue to have offensive troubles. After you get past Iginla and Tanguay, who does Calgary have that can put the puck in the net consistently? Amonte? 14 goals last year. Freisen, the old Sharks #39? 17 in 2005-2006. Their #2 scorer last year was Daymond Langkow, with 25 goals. Third? A rookie defensemen, Dion Phaneuf. Not good.

The game against the Oilers was the heartbreaker. Cheechoo had a hat trick, it was the third period, and the Sharks were up 4-2 in the Oilers' building. Then the floor fell out. Ryan Smyth had a hat trick in a little over 2 minutes to give the Oilers a 5-4 lead, and they went on to win 6-4. This is the only game I didn't watch (my TiVo forgot) and I'm glad. I have a feeling I would have broken something if I watched that. A brutal loss against the Sharks' opponent in the Western Conference Semis last year.

To the Sharks' credit, they rebounded in Vancouver the next night in a back and forth game, winning 6-4. Goals game from the most unlikely of players- Curtis Brown and Mike Grier scored on breakaways, and Rissmiller and Niemenen also scored. I must say, the Sedins with Naslund is a pretty fearsome line. Daniel had a pretty stunning goal on a cut to the middle. Ohlund and Willie Mitchell are holding the blue line down fairly well for the Canucks, but it's apparent they miss Ed Jovanovski. Even Luongo can't keep the puck out of the net when there are 2 or 3 guys in the crease.

So tonight, we play one of the three undefeated teams in the Dallas Stars. Their new big signing, Brendan Morrow, is leading their team with 4 goals. Their record might be a bit misleading- they've playing Colorado, LA twice, NJ, and the Ducks. Only the last two are actually decent. It'll be a great matchup.

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