Wednesday, April 30, 2008

No Stress

Ok Sharks, this is it. By now we all know you aren't going to make it, so there's no pressure. All I want you to do is to FINALLY play like you mean it. Like you love the game. Don't play to win, don't play to get back into the series, for the hope of winning 4 straight, (though we would all be happy if you do), just play. You obviously aren't ready for the cup, so forget about it. Just play the game, have fun, because tonight is likely to be your last game this season.
If you can find it within yourselves to get a win, and give us Sharks fans a chance to say goodbye to you at home, that would be great, but I'm not going to make any demands. Just play and remind yourself of why you do this for a living. Keep that feeling in mind for next season. We'll be back in the Tank to watch you in October.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Where has my hockey team gone?

I feel like I've gone through the 5 stages of grief for the season in the last 24 hours. I want to believe that it isn't over but in order for me to be able watch tomorrow's game with any shred of sanity, I need to go back to mid-February Sharks watching. Watch till things go bad and then change the channel if these Sharks show up.

More tomorrow.

The Last Best Hope For A Win

2004 Red Sox = 2008 Sharks.

Anything is possible.

Do it for JR.

Hockey Hippo Fan Speaks Once Again!

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Don't disappoint the Hippo, gentlemen.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Some advice from a concerned fan

Do I need to break out the Hockey Hippo already?

The more I think about last night's game the more confused I am by it. Both games, actually. The Stars aren't playing amazingly well by any means, but they are playing consistently. (I actually found Dallas' style in these past two game boring, anyone else with me on that?)The Sharks, on the other hand, are getting sloppy and doing absolutely ridiculous things on the ice. I know I couldn't do a better job, but I sometimes wonder if giving some of the better skaters in the audience gear and a stick wouldn't be more successful than whatever the Sharks are doing now. They're being out worked by Dallas. SLowly.

There's also a total lack of passion from either team, which is very, very odd. I had this pegged as a great, nail biting, all out war sort of match up. Instead what I got was two teams who couldn't seem to care less and a Get Loud t-shirt. I appreciate the free clothing, but in order for me to be able to wear it, the Sharks kinda need to win a few games in a row, like, now.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

And now for something completly different.....

I know the Ducks are gone from the playoffs but mocking them never goes out of style.

Round 2 picks and a Suggestion for the Sharks

Since we all know who the better sportswriter is here, I'll leave my comments to some brief picks and a cartoony suggestion.

Habs v Flyers: Everyone has the Habs pegged to advance, which is hard to disagree with, but the Flyers are dangerous. I kinda of want to pick them in 6 or 7 but I guess I'll go with the party line and say Habs in 7.

Pens v NYR: This is hard. As much as I like the Pens, I think I'll take Rangers in 7. I'd be happy to have the Pens prove me wrong though. (A Pens v Sharks Cup Final would amuse me greatly)

Wings v Avs: I think the Wings looks somewhat deflated. Avs in 7. Put that in your octopus and smoke it.

Sharks v Stars: Obviously I want the Sharks to win, and I'm going to pick them. I don't think the regular season figures in as much to the post season as people claim. The regular season goes out the window once you hit the playoffs. I think these two teams are far more evenly matched than anyone claims and I see this being a long hard fought series. Sharks in 7.

And now for my suggestion to the Sharks for tomorrow night, and all nights in round 2 that follow:

Looking Backward and Forward

Round one is over. For me, it took way too long. 7 game series are always exciting to watch if it's not your team, and full of abject terror if your team is in it. I let Gray do most of the Sharks series talk since mine mostly boiled down to "Fire bad, tree pretty." I must say I found the introduction of the Hockey Hippo inspired. But enough ego stroking, it's time to check our round 1 picks. As a refresher, here is what we picked:

Mina - Detroit in 5, San Jose in 5, Minnesota in 7, Anaheim in 6, Montreal in 5, Pittsburgh in 6, Washington in 6, New Jersey in 7
Gray - Detroit in 6, San Jose in 6, Minnesota in 7, Anaheim in 5, Montreal in 6, Pittsburgh in 6, Washington in 5, New Jersey in 6

I can still make arguments why all of the teams we picked should have won, but as it turned out, we only correctly picked 4 out of 8 teams and Gray was the only one to pick a series in the correct number of games. So much for early retirement from my Vegas winnings.

At the time, I said "I realize that taking all the top seeds looks like a cop-out, but none of the lower seeds have really done anything to give me a great deal of confidence in them. Though I did give some serious thought to New York over the Devils, it was too hard not to pick Brodeur and co (but really just Brodeur). Still, I would love to see a first round upset......provided it isn't the Sharks losing." There are several things that hold wrong about this statement (including the several typos....eep). The lower seeds did much better than I figured they could, including both 8 seeds. I think this lends confidence to the theory that time off during the playoffs kills momentum. And while on paper the 4-5 match-ups looked close, I really though the Ducks and Devils were much better than they turned out to be (this series will cause me to be bitter if Brodeur wins the Venza. Seriously, how vulnerable did he look? Wow.).

Moving on to the 2nd round....this time with commentary. None of the teams left got in based o luck, so I'm operating on the premise that there will be no sweeps.

Montreal vs. Philly
Man is Philly scary. They can score, they can hit, and they are getting pretty good goal tending. But man are they giving up a lot of goals. Washington scored 3 or more goals in every game except 2 and 7. And despite going 7 games against the Bruins and then looking like noobs by rioting, Montreal proved they can score and Price looks generally unbeatable until game 5 & 6. But he, and the whole team pulled it together for game 7. Montreal in 6

Pittsburgh vs. New York Rangers
I differ from the popular pensblog opinion here in saying that I think a long layoff during the playoffs is a bad idea. Yes, you can have lots of practice, but there is no real substitute for real hockey games against people who want you to lose a lot. And when this series opens, the Pens won't have played in over a week. However, I think they super lucked out in geting to play the Rangers, who won't have played in a week. I think the first game will be ugly with both teams working off the rust. But it is a 7 game series and as much I almost picked the Pens, I have to go with New York, their Vezna candidate, and their overpriced whores (I mean that in the nicest way possible). Rangers in 7

Detroit vs. Colorado
This is another hard series to pick for me (like any are easy). I would love to say I think that this series will be like the hate-filled series of the past, but i just don't think so. They haven't played in the playoffs in a while and the guys who remember those times are old. And yes, old does give experience but old is still old. If Osgood goes down, the Wings are in trouble cause Hasek is all messed up in the head. On paper the Wings are so much better, but I feel an upset coming here. I'm going to take the Jose Theodore, Joe Sakic, Peter Foresberg (I can't believe I'm picking this) of old to show up and finish what the Predators started. Avs in 7

San Jose vs. Dallas
I'm really trying to pick with my head and not my heart. Fortunately, both think the Sharks will take this. I know this: if the Sharks of game 2 & 5 show up, the series could be over as early as 5. But if the Sharks of game 6 show up, it could be over as early as 4....with Dallas winning. A lot of people are taking the Sharks in 6 but I think Dallas is tougher than that, particular with the secondary scoring they are going to get. If Turco reverts to the Turco of old, the Stars are in trouble, but they had an impressive power play in the 1st round and the Sharks penalty kill dissapeared. Stiil, I go with my boys in teal. Sharks in 7

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008

Attention Sharks!

Please do THIS tomorrow! Thanks!


Sharks Fans Everywhere


Ignoring how annoyed I am the the Sharks didn't bother to even try and play last night, forcing a game 7, (don't mean you mean the Flames did? No. All the Sharks had to do to win was the play. They didn't do that, so they basically handed the Flames the win.), I am excited to see Nabby is a finalist for the Vezina! That wasn't something any Sharks fan expected to say just a few short seasons ago, but Nabby stepped up the plate when he became the only #1 goalie on the team, and surprised everyone with his awesomeness. I'm hoping he somehow manages to win, but I have a feeling Brodeur will because he's Brodeur and it's be "wrong" not to give it to him. /me sighs.
Lundqvist might also win, as he's been a finalist three times now, which I think gives him better odds. All three finalists are obviously very good goalies and all are qualified to win but I'd be happiest to see Nabby get it. There were times this season when he was doing amazing things and it really felt like the league was totally ignoring him.

We'll have to wait and see.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Note to Self

Apparently I should have made a "don't choke/screw this up" post for game 6 because the Sharks didn't get the memo. They look TERRIBLE. Wow.

Friday, April 18, 2008

This just in......

I rule! I got the game winning goal in my hockey game tonight. Shot from the top of the crease in the five hole. Yay me!

(Note: Don't expect to ever see a post like this again. This is my 2nd goal ever.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Game 4= awesome ending

I nearly died at the end of the 3rd but then it happened and I cheered so loud my neighbors could hear. More of that please, gentlemen! game 5! Please win! Go Sharks

Game review time! I did miss the very end of the 2nd and part of the 3rd last night, so my review will be based off what parts of the game I saw. I'm actually having a hard time remembering periods 1 and 2, probably due to the fact that I am still dazed by the last ten minutes of period 3. The review will also reflect that haziness.

The Sharks looked much improved last night, though there were still some obvious weak spots in their game. D was still an issue, especially early on. McLaren played much better, but Campbell still looked confused. An early turn over lead to a scramble in the Sharks zone which resulted in a goal for Calgary. The Sharks looked so confused during that play, I nearly cried. The desire to fight and get psychical was obvious from the drop of the puck but for a lot of the first it seemed like that desire was withered. I realize (and am thankful) that the Sharks want to play smarter than the Flames, but it was temporarily worrisome. The restraint the Sharks have is probably what gets them into trouble. They want to avoid the mind games and goon style hockey tactics so much they fall flat. I don't have an answer for the problem, but if the Sharks keep playing like they did at the end of the game last night, they might just solve that problem on their own.

Erhoff was a much needed addition to the game. Setoguchi was also a nice addition once he settled down. He had some good chances and after the first few minutes, didn't look to phased by the fact that he was playing in his first NHL playoff game. Mike Greir hitting people? Always good. I was glad to her JR had a chat with the team. If anyone can snap a hockey team into shape, it's JR.

Ryane Clowe? More please. Same goes for Patty.

The intensity and drive towards the end of the third was incredible. That was what Sharks fans had wanted to see all series. A team determined to win. I spent my time chanting "come on Sharks!" at my television. I nearly fell out of my chair when Cheechoo scored. At the time, I assumed we got to OT, but I hoped for a late tally by the Sharks to win it. The Flames got a few chances towards the end, which made me panic a bit, but just when I thought we were for sure headed to OT, Joe scored. I you read above, I think my "YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYES! could be heard from space.

That was the response fans had been waiting for. Now they need to keep it up for games 5 and 6, (7 if necessary). I am elated they won last night but there's still a lot of hockey left to play in this series. Let's hope the Sharks can keep this up and improve throughout.

Sharks: Please Do This Tonight! KKTHX

Things I'd Like to See Tonight

Good D. I'll even take OK D if it's consistent and doesn't go away after the first period.

Brian Campbell not sucking.

Erhoff. (did anyone think they would be saying that at the end of the year?)

The Sharks responding to the Flames with good psychical play. (Kyle, if you play tonight keep your elbows in check, please.)

Joe Thornton being effective. Stop passing, start shooting. Actually, this goes for pretty much everyone on the Sharks.

A Sharks wins. I don't think they can come back if they lose tonight. Yes, sure, they could suddenly wake up and take game 5 and 6 to force a game 7 but I'm not putting any money on that. After game 1, I knew they could win game 2. After game 3, I'm not so sure of the Sharks ability to bounce back anymore. That game was very reminicisint of past seasons where they got beat on and gave up. They need to stop doing that. I hate to say this but I hope they watched the Redwings v Nashville game last night. As much as I hate to use Nashville as an example, the Sharks need to do what they did last night.

I will point out to you gentlemen that the new season of Deadliest Catch starts tonight and if the game goes south, I will be changing channels at 9. Just Saying.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Cartoon Clarification

My More Complete Thoughts on Game 3

I'll address the Sharks issues first then I'll go into my conspiracy theory at the end of the post. This isn't as objective as I had hoped I could be by the morning but I tried to address all the issues I saw last night, not just the lack of call against Sarich.

No D. None. Where did it go? The Sharks need to get that back if they have any hope of advancing to round 2.

Brian Campbell started to suck. Seriously. The man's giving away more pucks than a mystery puck night. My wacky suggestion, though it's never going to happen, is to sit Campbell. You eff up, you sit. That would send a message to the rest of the team to get their act together. This would unfortunately mean the Sharks would have to play Semenov or Ozolinsh, neither of whom I trust very much, but at this point, Campbell is about as ineffective as they are and I'd be tempted to try something shocking.

Kyle McLaren. As much as I like you Kyle, you've been sloppy. Taking penalties the Sharks don't need at bad times. Those situations all seem to be resulting in goals. McLaren isn't hitting and isn't playing effectively. I hope Erhoff is back for game 4 because I think Kyle also needs some bench time. My guess is he's worried about getting hurt. If he's that unsure, he should sit.

Lack of response, lack of physical play. Last night there was SOME response to the hits on Patty but not enough. (Clowe and Carle, thanks for coming over to try and beat some guys up in response) I realize that it wouldn't have mattered, the refs would have sent the Sharks straight to the box for pulling the same crap as the Flames, but they needed more than Shelley having some words with the Flames bench.

Other Issues: (The conspiracy theory section)
The refs: What, did they think three goals in under 5 minutes was too much? How can you possible NOT call anything on Sarich for that elbow? HOW? WTF! That was the signal, the moment, that changed the pace of the game. If the refs had done their jobs and sent him to the box the Flames would have known they couldn't get away with dirty play. But they didn't. That was one of the worst blown calls I have ever seen. If that had been blown in favor of the Sharks it would have left a bad taste in my mouth. What utter crap. The officiating has been very poor all series but last night was especially atrocious. Ugh.

Lack of scoring chances: After the Sharks chased Kipper and after the Flames realized they could get away with playing dirty, they shut down they Sharks completely. There were very few quality chances and the Sharks had such a hard time entering and maintaining puck possession in Calgary's zone that they had a hard time responding to anything.

Calgary playing dirty: There's a long history of the Sharks getting screwed by teams who decided to play a little rougher than is necessary. I don't just mean hard hits. I'm fine with hard hits. It's when Calgary can cross check a guy to the back of his head and get away with it that I get really pissed. It's like Nashville with their "I'm going to hold on to you for as long as possible" style of hockey. Or the hit the guy waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy after he no longer has the puck, because we can, approach. And the refs ignore it. That's a shitty way to win. If you out play a team, fine. But to beat the hell out of them by getting away with bad hits and things away from the play, that's just low. I know, I know, it happens every season and every season the Sharks fail to respond. I don't think it's a failure to respond so much as a lack of desire to play like a bunch of jerks. I'm proud of the Sharks for not wanting to sink to that level, but they're going to need to find a way to respond or they'll keep having teams shit all over them because they know they can.

You don't have to agree with my assessment, I actually doubt most people will, but that's how I saw Game 3. It was a frustrating, poorly called mess of a game. Even if the refs had sent Calgary the message that dirty play wasn't going to be allowed, I realize the outcome could have been the same. I'd be less annoyed by the Sharks losing if that had been the case.

Games 4 and 5 are next. I'm hoping the Sharks can spilt the series in Calgary and win game 5 at home. (and then win game 6)

Imagine My Surprise

Stupidly, I sleep with sports radio on. For years, KNBR, the only sports talk radio station in the Bay, has been playing Giants game replays at midnight and I've been going to sleep listening to them or the ESPN radio coverage. The problem is that in doing that I guarantee that I wake up listening to their morning radio coverage. More often than not Brian Murphy and Paul McCaffrey annoy me by panicking to the high heavens about Giants and Warrior losses while only paying lip service to the Sharks. So imagine my surprise to wake up at 5.30 to hear them talking about the Sharks for more than 30 seconds. And of course this happens after the latest in the Sharks string of "Worst Games of the Season." Of course.

What makes me the most angry is that they are right. The Sharks got pushed around. Their captian got bloodied and there was no real physical response. Of course it was a questionable hit, particularly coupled with the sketchy one by Phaneuf on an icing play. To be fair, if the Sharks had played that way, they would have paid the price with penalties. Calgary ended with a power play after Sarich hit Marleau high. Elbow or no, both the Sharks and the refs sent Calgary and Mike Keenan a very important message last night: keep playing rough and on the edge of dirty because there will be no consequences. I know that the league will look at the hit, but I have no confidence that anything will happen. Even if it there is a suspension, that won't solve the Shark's problems.

Can the Sharks come back? Yes. Can they still win the series? Of course. I think this is a bigger test than losing Game One. But that's the obvious statement to make. It's not over until Calgary or the Sharks win 4 games. If the Sharks can't figure out how to solve Calgary, there is very little chance they would have made it past Detroit or any of the other teams making it out of the first round. I just had this eerie sense of deja vu: Big hit on important Shark, little response from team, Sharks panic, lose series, rinse, repeat.

Though one thing can be said: I never though I'd see the day that there are some of the neagtive Feederites saying it's too early to panic. April continues to surprise me. But Paulie Mac is right: The Sharks are no longer flirting. They are in bed with Danger.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Game 3

It's good to know that whining to anyone who will listen about unfair calls can win you a hockey game. That's the long and short of my opinion on the second half of the first period-thrid period of that game.

Watch this space for a more objective review of Game 3 tomorrow. There was a lot more going on than one sided calls and I plan to discuss it once I'm not still fuming over that BS lack of call on Sarich. (Though that one may take awhile, but I'll do my best to give an objective overview tomorrow)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

My Hockey Boyfriend: Eastern Conference Version

This is Mike Green. He plays for the Washington Capitals. He scores awesome goals. He is adorable. He has given me a reason to care about an Eastern Conference team.

Ducks v Dallas, Game 2

If you had come to me at the end of the regular season and told me that Dallas would get 4 PP goals in game one and blank the Ducks, then come back in game 2 to get 5 goals, all while completely out skating and out playing the Ducks, I would have laughed. The Stars slumped so badly in March I didn't even expect them to show up. Not only have they show up, they're proving themselves to be a real challenge for the very frustrated and sloppy Ducks. Dare I say they're the better team? That decision will have to wait until the series is over but at this point, Dallas is certainly better in terms of discipline and drive. The series is far from over, however, as the Ducks could easily steal both games in Dallas, or split and then win at home to force a game 6 or 7. No matter what happens it will be an interesting series to watch.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Playoff Round 1 far

(Last night I went to Giants game and, despite a very good performance, I spent most of the game paying attention to the Sharks game (including all of the 8th inning watching the game standing with a few other people by the Irish pub (fish and chips! yum!)). Therefore, I have not watched any of game 2 and I'm going to wait until I do to comment on the games in San Jose. Looks forward to that.)

So far all but the Caps and Flyers have played their first games and there are a few impressions that I have had about how the games haven gone so far:

* I was struck by the following quote in the Deadspin NHL Closer: "Complacency breeds despair: Ducks fans are bringing inflatable, prefab Cup replicas to the rink that cost $40 and a few seconds of lung power. Montreal fans are meticulously creating aluminum foil Stanley Cups and then wearing them on their heads. Who do you think wants it more?"

I know in some respects this is a knock on west coast fans, but I will take it as a knock on Anaheim fans. My feelings on the fans in Anaheim go way back (we have issues over the 2002 World Series among other things) and I can only imagine how full of themselves they have grown since winning the Stanley Cup. From what I have seen of the game, the Ducks looked terrible. But then again, so did the Sharks on Wednesday. And I have the same reaction to the Ducks game I did to the Sharks game: if the Ducks can't get it together to play Game 2, it will be a mercilessly short series. And I have no issue with that at all.

* The 8 seeds looked overwhelmed. I have heard all about the Nashville Holding-Palooza 2008 and honestly, I figured that was the only way they had any chance. They have to play Detroit physical and even then I don't think they stand much of a chance. Same for Boston. I don't like the chances of either of these teams, though I think they will probably be able to scratch out a game. I can only hope that Nashville can do what they did well the last 2 years, which is play their opponent (the Sharks) super physical and tire them out for the second round. Lord knows Detroit doesn't need another championship.

* Poor Ottawa. 2008 has just been a proverbial House of Horrors for them.

* I am looking forward to seeing Ovechkin and the Caps play (though I will miss some of the begining getting home from work). I don't put much faith in the ability of the Flyers soley on how physical they can play, but I think this series could be full of scoring and hitting which pleases me greatly.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Game 2 Reflections

That was beautiful. It wasn't perfect, but it was a good solid effort and best of all, that Sharks won and looked good doing it. Some of those saves Nabby made blew my mind. He robbed Nolan of a goal. Absolutely robbed him. It was fantastic.

The Sharks looked great on the PK, for the most part, though they could use some major improvement on the PP, but I'm willing to take it one step at a time if they can keep on winning. I think this game shows they can. Rumor has it they were nervous yesterday, extremely so, and that's what did them in. They shook those nerves off tonight and came back to win a VERY important game at home. They played well, frustrated Calgary and it paid off. The Flames stayed in the box a lot of the night which kept them from gaining any real momentum. Nabby shut them down every time they challenged him and took the wind right out off their sails.

More of that please gentlemen! As you can see, I was right. If you play well, we'll stay loud for you.

On the Flames side I have to commend the outstanding play of Kipursoff. He annoys me with how good he is. He made some saves that boggled my mind and he kept his team in the game. Were it not for such solid play by him I think the Sharks would have had a lot more than two goals.

The Flames obvious frustration did them in. They got overly psychical and took some silly penalties. I expect to see more of that was the series wears on when things aren't going their way. They are a good dangerous team and the Sharks would do well to remember not to tread to lightly around them. Respond to their hits too, though a little less sloppily than you did tonight. It was horrid to watch game 1 and see NO response at all. Keep up the good work boys and try to improve upon it. We'd all like to see you move on to round 2 (and beyond) so keep working.

Way to go Sharks! See you Sunday in Calgary.

My Picks for Round 1

I did these last night but they didn't make it here, largely due to lots of sadness over the utter lack of play I witnessed at the game last night.

Detroit over Nashville in 6. The sadist in me really wants to pick Nashville in this series. Wouldn't it be hilarious if they won? The Sharks would have to face them in R2 if that were the case, so maybe it wouldn't be so hilarious.

San Jose over Calgary in 6
, unless the Sharks decide to keep playing like crap.

Minnesota v Colorado.
7 game series, last team with a man standing wins. I don't expect this to be an easy series and I don't expect many players on either team to make it out alive.
Edited: Apparently I'm forced to choose a team not just predict the state of both at the end of the series. Wild in 7.

Anaheim over Dallas in 5. I don't think this one requires much explaination.

Now onto the East. I don't pay much attention to the East during the regular season so forgive me if these picks seem odd.

Montreal over Boston in 6.

Pittsburgh over Ottawa in 6. I'm being generous here and giving Ottawa a chance to show up. I doubt they will.

Washington over Philadelphia in 5. Yeah, I know, 5? Somebody needs to be a risk taker here. The Flyers are tough but the I think the Caps want it more and they want to keep any series against Philly as short as possible.

New Jersey over New York in 6. I made this pick only because Jersey has Brodeur. This was also before I saw the score of last night's game. I'm sticking to it though, so watch it be wrong.

Some Commentary on the Sharks Quarterfinals Game 1

This is what JR thinks of your suck.

orginal image credit Barry Melrose Rocks

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Game 1 Reflections

Well now, that was incredibly craptastic. Nothing like showing up to find your team no longer remembers how to play hockey. Good effort the last three minutes but it was too little too late. I hope that was the kick in the butt you needed to get rid of that cocky swagger of yours. The Cup isn't just going to fall in your laps; you need to EARN it. Keep that in mind. Calgary isn't just some push over you can dance around. They have nothing to lose, and you have everything. So tomorrow, gentlemen, play like you mean it and maybe, just maybe, the fans will keep the tank nice and loud for you as requested. I don't event think I could be proud of that win were I Calgary. It wasn't a challenge, it wasn't even close.

At least Ryane Clowe decided to come and play. Too bad nobody else did.

Playoff Preview - Round 1 Sharks vs. Calgary

My expertise in hockey is not so much in trying to make predictions about how teams match-up against each other. The problem with using paper to make predictions is that paper never ends up playing hockey games. Emotional players who remember past games and hold grudges and can make amazing plays in the clutch play these games. Those men make making predictions so difficult and so very often wrong.

On paper, the Sharks look vastly superior to the Flames in almost every that counts. But as any Sharks fan will tell you, they remember how quickly Jerome Iginla can kick you in the crotch and make you cry. There are a handful of players on that team that can make the difference between winning and losing in the matter of moments. And of the teams the Sharks could have faced, there is no team that I would hate losing to than the Flames (there are others in the conference but we'd have to wait till later to face the Wings and the Ducks etc.). With all the former Sharks and Darryl Sutter (who I've held a grudge against for a long time), if this were to be a first round upset, it would be worse than making it deep and losing.

And yet, the performance of the Sharks in the last few weeks and the addition of Brian Campbell comfort me greatly. I have confidence that the Sharks will win this series, but I would be stupid to say it will be a walk in the park. While I would perfer a sweep, if you held twisted my arm, I think the Sharks will win the series in 5 games (I think that a short series coupled with other long series will hurt the momentum). But those will be 5 stress-filled, pillow cluthching games of internal terror.

In an act of put up or shut up, here are my first round predictions for the playoffs (I'll make predcitions each round in the effort not to upset the sports karma gods):

Detroit over Nashville in 5
San Jose over Calgary in 5
Minnesota over Colorado in 7
Anaheim over Dallas in 6
Montreal over Boston in 5
Pittsburgh over Ottawa in 6
Washington over Philadelphia in 6
New Jersey over New York in 7

I realize that taking all the top seeds looks like a cop-out, but none of the lower seeds have reall done anything to give me a great deal of confidence in them. Though I did give some serious thought to New York over the Devils, it was too hard not to pick Bordeur and co (but reall just Brodeur). Still, I would love to see a first round upset......provided it isn't the Sharks losing.

Sharks win kkthnxbai.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Hockey Blog ENGAGE!

It is about that time cats and kittens. It's playoff time. Hockey playoffs. 2 and a half months full of clutch performances, sweet goals, punishing hits, and stressed out fans. In the end, one team and their devoted following will bask in the awesomeness that is the greatest trophy in all sports: the Stanly Cup. I won't lie. I want the Sharks to win. A lot. After getting bounced in the 2nd round for 2 years in a row, it's time for the Sharks to show the rest of the league why San Jose is not a silly place to have a hockey team. I will be blogging most of the playoff here. I will definitely follow the Western Conference closely and the Easter Conference when I feel like it. For now, all I have to say is....

see more crazy cat pics