A Fan of the Game

Sports Talk, Straight Talk

Inside the Shark Cage, Vol. 4

Quite the dominating performance by the Sharks tonight in a 4-1 win at Anaheim. The Sharks absolutely eviscerated the Ducks on their home ice, spoiling the party for Ducks fans. San Jose won in every aspect of the game — a refreshing experience compared to the horrid Colorado game.

Benn Ferriero scored his first NHL goal to get the game started. What did he do? Went to the front of the net! He found the puck right in front of the crease and buried it behind Jonas Hiller, who got the nod ahead of J.S. Giguere. It was fulfilling to see the Sharks dismantle Hiller, after the debacle that was the 2009 playoffs. Jason Demers and Frazer McLaren picked up assists on Ferriero’s goal, which was their first points of their career.

Patrick Marleau continued his excellence by blocking a Ryan Whitney shot on an Anaheim power play, and beating out Whitney for the puck, leading to a shorthanded breakaway. Patty went forehand-backhand to beat Hiller. Perhaps the ‘C’ on jerseys is an extra 20 lbs, because Patty is playing 20 lbs. lighter. I’m looking forward to him having a career year.

Good news Sharks fans! Dany Heatley showed up tonight and the chemistry with Devin Setoguchi and Joe Thornton was on. Coming out of the penalty box, he found Jumbo Joe, who also went forehand-backhand on Hiller — looks like we found a weakness in ol’ Jonas, ‘eh?’

The same sort of play happened next period with Heatley along the boards passing to the slot finding Setoguchi who shot a rocket into the twine. Good to see things picking up for the trifecta.

Benn Ferriero celebrates his first NHL goal (From SJSHARKS.com)

Benn Ferriero celebrates his first NHL goal (From SJSHARKS.com)

Other Observations

It was definitely a scrappy affair as the teams combined for 80 penalty minutes. That’s what I’m talking about! There were only two legitimate fights (which weren’t very good) but a cornucopia of scrums after the whistle. I liked seeing that though, shows the Sharks aren’t taking exception to any kind of Corey Perry-esque activity. Douglas Murray did get a game misconduct for being third-man-in. Murray went to an Ivy League school; I thought he was supposed to be smart.

The third and fourth lines for San Jose looked amazing and completely gelled. They were always fighting for loose pucks and winning for the most part. I think last year, those lines fought but didn’t succeed enough. I guess when coach Todd McClellan said they now had more grit, he was right. A lot more determination out of guys like Manny Malhotra and Scott Nichol tonight — both who were involved in fights and altercations.

Improvements

Marleau was 1-8 in the faceoff circle; that needs to improve.

The Sharks were 1-7 on the power play. They didn’t keep a constant forecheck enough and looked sloppy entering the zone. McClellan is supposed to be the power play guru, so hopefully that’s fixed by the next game at Los Angeles.

Overall, I was elated to see us disembowel Anaheim and hear their fans immersed in a deafening silence. Here’s to Anaheim not making the playoffs.

–Ray

October 4, 2009 Posted by | Hockey | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What the Hell Were We Thinking (Week 3, Nathan)… and the Ryder Cup Recap!

Dallas 27 Green Bay 16

So, for the first time ever the Dallas Cowboys beat the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. It’s upsetting but somewhat expected. Mason Crosby, the best kicker in the game right now (especially since he is on my fantasy team.. sorry Ray) had 3 good field goals which helped me win my match-up in fantasy. I love when kickers can contribute to a winning team. (I am going to leave Tony Romo and Terrell “I’m a baby” Owens out of this blog. Thats because they are simply talked about too much. Until they win a Super Bowl, until they prove themselves worthy of my time, you won’t hear me say a word about them after this… ) The Packers are still the best team in the NFC North and will be back in the playoffs once again. Go get ’em boys!!!

Minnesota 20 Carolina 10

Wow! The Minnesota Vikings actually won a game. I guess Gus Frerotte can still lead a team to victory. The Panthers had won both games this season in the fourth quarter. Well, the Vikings did not even give them a chance to do that again. The Vikings looked like a good team. If this keeps up, they have a chance of challenging the Packers for the division.

Jacksonville 23 Indianapolis 21

A new stadium… Peyton Manning… and a Sunday Afternoon. What do you usually get? Usually its a Indianapolis Colts victory. But not this season. So far in the new stadium, they are 0-2 and have yet to take advantage of Tom Brady’s injury. They were supposed to be the second best team in the AFC and when Brady went down, that shot them straight up to the top of the League. Well so far, it looks like they need to go back to their old stomping grounds. Baltimore! Just kidding.

Miami 38 New England 13

For the first time in over a year, the New England Patriots have lost a regular season game. Joey Porter of the Miami Dolphins talked the talk, and he definitely walked the walk. The Patriots looked like they had no clue what they were doing out on the field. Matt Cassel spent more time on his back than a cheap hooker. (no offense… and no hate mail from ‘the corner’). Bill Parcells has made the Dolphins into a good team; not quite great but a good team. It was actually fun watching the Dolphins for the first time in a long time.

And now onto the most exciting thing that happened this weekend:

RYDER CUP RECAP

In Kentucky, Kenny Perry and the United States Ryder Cup Team brought home the trophy. For the first time in years, the Men beat the Boys from across the pond, in the 37th Ryder Cup.

While watching the Ryder Cup, I almost felt like I was watching a hockey game. The fans were chanting, the crowds were loud, and it was a blast to watch. When Jim Furyk’s championship clinching putt was conceded, I could not help but chant “USA, USA, USA!!!!!.”

While Phil Mickelson choked once again, Anthony Kim and Boo Weekly dazzled us Americans. The best part of this weekend was to see Paul Azinger, the captain of the American’s, riding around on his golf course doing “victory laps” and the fans chanting “BOO!!!!” after each and every amazing shot by fellow American, Boo Weekly. It was good to see the men having fun and celebrating a victory.

-Nathan

September 23, 2008 Posted by | Football, Golf | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What the Hell Were We Thinking (Week 3, Ray)

After suffering last night’s Packer defeat, I am a little feeble today. I will get to that later. It was a sloppy game actually so I still can’t see why people are claiming the Cowboys proved they are the best. No, they did not. Anyways, I might be a little less relentless than last week but let’s get started.

Tampa Bay 27 Chicago 24

Again you do this to me Chicago. Why? You blow another lead with less than 10 seconds left. You made Brian Griese throw 67 passes, picked him off 3 times and still lost. How is that possible? Well, you were 4/15 on 3rd downs. That is hideous. You must keep the ball in situations like that and not continuously give it up. You still won the possession battle though, which is surprising. Kyle Orton was competent enough for the victory again. Speaking of Orton, I seriously hope everyone realizes that he is definitely the QB of this team. He is doing quite well for the Bears, and they could easily be 3-0. Let’s prevent the Gex Rossman talk (don’t want to jinx anything). Hire Rollie Fingers for some closing tips. You need them.

Miami 38 New England 13

According to my sources, this is not a September Fool’s joke much to the chigrin of Pats fans. Wow. Your team got destroyed by Ronnie Brown. He alone put up 5 touchdowns on you. Go sit in the corner Patriots defense. You do not allow one person to do that; this is what halftime adjustments are for. Matt Cassel was Matt Cassel, average and there was no running game (Maroney was injured). This team must be about the defense if they want to make the playoffs. This loss has shown the entire NFL that now is the time to crush the Patriots. This could very well be the start of a losing streak for New England, and maybe a winning streak for Miami lasting more than 1 game.

Seattle 37 St. Louis 13

The only thing I have to say about this pick is “Whoops!” I figured the Rams could surprise a struggling Seahawk team. This was Julius Jones’ game with some additional support from T.J. Duckett. They combined for 219 yards and 3 TD. Let me use this platform to tell everyone that Steven Jackson is the new Larry Johnson. He had a great year or two but now he is now is an all-carries no yards back. He had a 2.9 yard per rush average yesterday. I don’t think it will get any better for him this year. As for Seattle, I do not think this win does anything for their chances. They are still an average team that should lose to Arizona. Let’s move on to avoid more embarassment.

Baltimore 28 Cleveland 10

What’s the sound? That chant? Bra-dy Quinn! Bra-dy Quinn! OK Cleveland, do you really think you have a chance at making the playoffs this year after Derek Anderson’s 22.9 QB rating performance? You’re kidding yourself if you say yes. Brady Quinn may not have started a game but I guarantee he gives you a better chance to win the Anderson. However, Romeo Crennel is going to hold onto Derek as long as he possibly can. Give it up Romeo, your fired after this season anyway. Mark it down. Wait a minute! Breaking news! As I am writing this I read that Crennel says Brady Quinn will get a “few more reps.” Maybe there is hope for the team now. Watch for each QB to play a half this week.

Dallas 27 Green Bay 16

I will tell everyone right now why the Pack lost: the offensive line. It was a bad performance by them. Aaron Rodgers was constantly under pressure and wasn’t able to set his feet for throws. Even so, Rodgers still put in a solid game. He played well in his first big game. Injuries did not help the Pack either. Center Scott Wells was out along with safety Atari Bigby, and CB Charles Woodson was playing injured. Both teams were dreadful in the red zone combining to go 2-8 within the 20. One key thing the Packers did not do was play action. They did try to get the run going but they would never try to go play action, over-the-top. I have no idea why. You need to do that against an aggressive Dallas defense. That was disappointing. Tony Romo did not look very good at all. Green Bay shut him completely down, constantly pressuring him. Terrell Owens was lost in the game too. Marion Barber is why they won the game. Green Bay shut down Romo and the receivers (except Miles Austin), but left it open for Barber. This game only proves that these teams are very evenly matched, NOT that Dallas is overwhelmingly the best team in the league as some ESPN ‘experts’ want to tell you. It is a Cowboy lovefest over there, I swear. We don’t even know if they are the best team in the division let alone the NFL! The Pack will be fine. They know what they have to do to get better. Go to Tampa and take care of business.

San Diego 48 New York Jets 29

These two teams are quite possibly the biggest engimas since Michael Jackson’s nose. San Diego can look brilliant, like last night, then look like the 0-14 Buccaneers another. As for the Jets, Farve is doing what he can but things are not the same after leaving his great supporting cast in Green Bay. One thing I have seen that really ticks me off is this article by NFL columnist Vic Carucci. He proclaims Brett Favre’s future is done! Oh no! On a night where he threw more TD then INT (granted it was late in the game), his New York career is apparently over. After the first game of the season against Miami, everyone is saying ‘Favre is back! He is the same ol’ Favre.’ When are these columnist going to grow some kahones and stick with a prediction throughout the year. Stop flip flopping like John Kerry after every week and actually review what happened in the game. Stop making outlandish statements that are begging to be disproven next week. It is unfortunate that more columnists and ‘experts’ are doing this. The Jets defense certainly didn’t do anything to help almost allowing half a hundred points. Thomas Jones only ran the ball 10 times. Even though you’re behind, you cannot keep throwing the ball in the first half. Make room for play action. Favre will be fine. If he puts up a 4 TD 0 INT game next week, I better not see columns popping up proclaiming Favre as leading the Jets to the Super Bowl. These ‘experienced’ columnists need to stop writing for the public debate and actually write about the game

-Ray

Source: ESPN

September 22, 2008 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NFL Week 3 Picks!

Last Week’s Results:
Nathan: 8-7
Ray: 7-8

Games Nathan Ray
KC @ ATL FALCONS FALCONS
OAK @ BUF BILLS BILLS
TB @ CHI BUCS BEARS
CAR @ MIN PANTHERS VIKINGS
MIA @ NE PATS PATS
CIN @ NYG GIANTS GIANTS
HOU @ TEN TITANS TITANS
ARI @ WAS SKINS SKINS
NO @ DEN BRONCOS BRONCOS
DET @ SF 49ERS 49ERS
STL @ SEA SEAHAWKS RAMS
CLE @ BAL BROWNS BROWNS
JAX @ IND COLTS COLTS
PIT @ PHI EAGLES EAGLES
DAL @ GB PACK PACK
NYJ @ SD CHARGERS JETS

September 19, 2008 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment