A Fan of the Game

Sports Talk, Straight Talk

Inside the Shark Cage, Vol. 20

Quite the amazing performance by the Sharks in their dominant 5-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. My hatred for the Penguins may only be matched by my hatred for the Detroit Red Wings, and to see the Penguins demolished was beyond gratifying.

Where to start?

I was definitely wrong about Evgeni Nabokov. I don’t know what conditioning regiment this guy is on, but put the entire team on it. Three games in four nights and he comes out with a shutout. He stopped all 27 shots he faced. Wow. Can’t give him enough credit.

San Jose battled for every puck and came out with it most of the time. No one relaxed much — even after gaining a 4-0 advantage going into the third period.

Jamie McGinn scored the first goal from a bank-in off Marc-Andre Fleury’s left pad. You could feel something good was going to happen the whole night.

Joe Pavelski, yes, Joe Pavelski, finally came back to the lineup tonight after being out since the second game of the year. He didn’t disappoint. He put up two points (one goal, one assist) and didn’t have much rust. His assist really should have been a goal; the puck was headed in, but Dany Heatley slammed it home when the puck was about one inch from the goal line. Gotta love Heater!

Dan Boyle owned the ice tonight. It was his. No disputing that. He continuously carried the puck from the defensive zone all the way to the net for scoring chances. It looks like that broken thumb is fully healed, and he’s on a mission to contribute. One of those times coming down the ice, he deked a few Pens and snapped a shot past Fleury.  That was the end of Fleury, who was pulled right after. He allowed three goals on 14 shots.

Pittsburgh mailed it in during the third with some late hits and a few scrums. They became frustrated and tried taking it out on Sharks tough guys. Yea, not a good idea. Jay McKee made a run at Jody Shelley, who wasn’t really looking. The two dropped the gloves and Shelley ended up taking McKee down. Well, you think that would be the end for Shelley. He did his job, and can resume his role in the fourth line. Oh, contraire.

Eric Godard tried his hand at Shelley and Mr. Shelley handed Godard’s derriere to him on a bloodied, silver platter. Jersey jabs and right hooks galore from Shelley. Thank you! Come again!

Picture 10

After Joe Pavelski's original shot, Dany Heatley slams the puck home (From SJSHARKS.com)

Jordan Staal, much to Sharks fans’ amazement, took a few runs and delivered an elbow to Douglas Murray. Staal better watch himself in the parking lot. I may not be a big fan of Murray’s, but to deny his skills in fighting and toughness would be ignorant. Come on now Staal. You can’t bring your peach fuzz to a swedish meatball fight.

I got a little worried when the Sharks weren’t putting more goals in. They seemed to be a bit complacent for a stretch in the third, but it was those scrums that fired them back up. So, that would be the only criticism of the night.

I also saw Logan Couture on the penalty kill unit. Can’t say I’ve seen him on it before, but I like he’s getting more ice time. I read that he did move up a couple lines last game to play with Patrick Marleau and Manny Malhotra. Good to hear. (Malhotra, by the way, scored the fifth goal tonight on a shot through a bunch of traffic.)

Home Power Play

The Sharks ranked last in power play efficiency at home, somewhere around five percent. They netted two goals on the man advantage tonight. The entries and forecheck looked better tonight. Passes were sloppy, however, leading to Penguins clears and breakouts.

Injury Bug

NHL GameCenter Live used Pittsburgh’s feed and all the commentators would talk about is how injuries caused their recent play. Give me a break. Take a look at the Sharks who’ve been playing with five key players missing from their lineup, and they still managed to win six in a row. The Penguins just didn’t show effort tonight and looked awful. It won’t kill you to say that.

Other Notes

Hit-O-Meter: SJ 19  PIT 25; Scott Nichol and Murray both led with three hits a piece.

Sidney Crosby now has just one point in four games against the Sharks. Isn’t that great? San Jose has his number, and the Penguins’ number for that matter.

San Jose lost the faceoff battle. They lead the league in faceoff percentage with 56.8, and for them to lose to 19th-ranked Pittsburgh is surprising.

The Sharks get two days off before facing Nashville on Tuesday. The Sharks will look to extend their point-streak to nine games.

–Ray

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November 8, 2009 Posted by | Hockey | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WTHWWT – Week 7 (Ray)

Well, what do you know? I actually have a great week in picking! Sad thing is I almost changed my Dallas pick to St. Louis, but didn’t. Damn. The Pack crushed the Colts and didn’t allow Peyton to throw a TD. When is the last time that happened? Virginia Tech standout Aaron Rouse had a 99-yard pick-six too! Great stuff.

Chicago 48 Minnesota 41

I have pretty much ran out of stuff to say on the Bears and Vikings seeing as I write about one every week. Both teams need to figure out who they are and stop being inconsistent. The Vikes had more total yards, but Gus Frerotte threw 4 interceptions. That is not going to get anything done. Adrian Peterson ran well, but because of Gus’ stupidity, Minnesota goes down. As much as I don’t like the Bears, I like Kyle Orton, always have. I wonder if anybody remembers Rex?

St. Louis 34 Dallas 14

This is another one of the games I am thrilled to write about. The Cowboys got absolutely thrashed and I got to watch it. Brad Johnson, playing for the injured Romo, was probably the worst quarterback to replace him. He played dreadful and should just go ahead and retire. What is Drew Henson doing these days? Dallas is screwed if they keep getting injuries; the latest is safety Roy Williams who is done for the season. One thing I do want to mention is why ESPN is telling us Wade Phillips job is safe. Of course it is. Why would you even bring that up to Jerry Jones? It is not Wade’s problem that everyone is getting injured. Stop trying to make stupid drama when there doesn’t need to be. Seriously, leave the man alone.

October 20, 2008 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NFL Week 7 Picks!

Last Week’s Results:
Nathan: 10-4 (58-30)
Ray: 7-7 (47-41)

Games Nathan Ray
SD @ BUF CHARGERS BILLS
NO @ CAR SAINTS PANTHERS
MIN @ CHI BEARS VIKINGS
PIT @ CIN STEELERS STEELERS
TEN @ KC TITANS TITANS
BAL @ MIA DOLPHINS RAVENS
SF @ NYG GIANTS GIANTS
DAL @ STL COWBOYS COWBOYS
DET @ HOU
IND @ GB PACK PACK
NYJ @ OAK JETS RAIDERS
CLE @ WAS SKINS SKINS
SEA @ TB BUCS BUCS
DEN @ NE PATS PATS

October 18, 2008 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment