A Fan of the Game

Sports Talk, Straight Talk

Inside the Shark Cage, Vol. 13

Quite the fast performance by the Sharks in their 4-3 win over the Atlanta Thrashers. The Sharks just looked quick and agile all over the ice, and Atlanta just couldn’t keep up — despite what the score indicates.

The first period was the opposite of what fans are used to as San Jose scored the first two goals. It was the second time all year the Sharks scored first — not a very good stat at all, huh? Not to mention the first goal was scored only 45 seconds into the game.

After criticizing Joe Thornton and Dany Heatley last game for having a grand total of 0 shots on goal combined, look who gets those first two goals: Thornton and Heatley. For the record they finished with eight total shots (four each).

Patrick Marleau tallied his eighth goal of the year just 55 seconds into the second period and should have had another soon after that. Patty broke away from Atlanta defenders and got pushed into goalie Johan Hedburg. The whistles blew but the replay clearly showed the puck in the net. The referees reviewed and somehow suffered temporary blindness; they called it no-goal. Analyst Drew Remenda was livid, which was amazing to hear because that’s what fans were saying.

The review booth in Toronto passed along that it the goal was called off because the whistle blew before the puck went it. This time it was temporary deafness that officials suffered from. The broadcasters played back the goal real-time with sound, and low-and-behold the whistle was WAY after the puck went in.

I describe this play in detail because right after that, Atlanta scored. The momentum of the entire game changed from a potential blowout into a squeaker.

Patty did get his revenge with his second goal of the night, but things didn’t feel the same.

Dany Heatley works the defense to fire a shot. (From SJSHARKS.com)

Dany Heatley works the defense to fire a shot. (From SJSHARKS.com)

Atlanta put forth a lot of effort into making the score 4-3 but Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov was up to the challenge. The Thrashers racked up 27 shots to the Sharks’ 24.

The Sharks are such a different team shot-wise this year. Remember last year when they put up 40 shots a game, every game? Seems like decades ago. I think the Sharks were trying to be too much like Detroit, and since that’s where coach Todd McClellan came from, the Sharks became Detroit #2.

San Jose is still trying to find their own distinct identity, so that might be a valid reason for their inconsistency so far, but like I’ve said before — no excuses.

Train Wreck

I think this is the third game in a row that I’ve seen two Sharks collide in the neutral zone. They’ve done it at least once a game it seems. What in the blue hell is that all about? I didn’t realize eyes are such a hinderance. Keep your head up or next time you’ll end up like R. J. Umberger in the 2006 playoffs. (If you haven’t seen that hit, take a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3Gvfr9GUC0)

Ryan Vesce

He earned an assist tonight bringing his scoring streak to four games. Hes always taking shots, finding open spots on the ice. He’s a pleasure to watch. I do not think his scoring is because of being on the top line. He works his own magic.

Other Notes

Hit-o-meter: SJ 13  ATL 8

Brad Staubitz and Eric Boulton received fighting majors in the first. Not much to report on it, though. By the time the cameras got to them, they were on the ground. I really think Todd needs to choose between Jody Shelley and Brad Staubitz. I think another speedy offensive guy could plug in for one of those two tough guys. We don’t need both. Bring up Logan Couture; he’s been on a tear in Worcester.

Next game is tonight against Philadelphia. We’ll see if Todd starts Thomas Greiss in goal because of the back-to-back games.

–Ray

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October 25, 2009 Posted by | Hockey | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inside the Shark Cage, Vol. 12

Quite the puzzling performance by the Sharks in their 5-2 loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning. I can’t really articulate what happened. The Sharks seemed to try but nothing ever came to fruition.

For the first two periods, the Sharks were giving an acceptable amount of effort, but they couldn’t put it in the net. Very frustrating for fans and the players, I’m sure.

Things started off 30 seconds in when the Lightning scored from a weakside play. Dan Boyle was the culprit this time by not covering his man.

The Sharks got a power play opportunity shortly after and I absolutely loved the lineup. Heatley-Vesce-Clowe. What a great line along with Boyle and Vlasic on the man advantage. To have a selfish (in a good way) shooter and two guys who go for rebounds was an excellent idea from head coach Todd McClellan. He ended up keeping Clowe and Vesce together for the rest of the game, rotating the third forward. I hope that keeps up.

San Jose was down 0-2 after the first after sustaining a nice forecheck throughout.

Brad Staubitz tried starting a fight when the second period started, but the Lightning showed could patience to not join Bitz in a dance.

Jason Demers and Todd Fedoruk battle for the puck (From SJSHARKS.com)

Jason Demers and Todd Fedoruk battle for the puck (From SJSHARKS.com)

The Sharks finally got on the board with Ryan Vesce. He started the play with a steal in Tampa’s zone, had a breakaway but was blocked by goalie Mike Smith. The Sharks kept it in with some D-to-D passing, shot it into a crowd, and Ryan was there. I tell you what, (wo)man. This kid is the epitome of scrappy and never-say-die. I’m going to look into cloning and see if I can’t field a team of 18 Ryan Vesce’s.

Unfortunately, Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov decided to misplay the puck, and d-man Jason Demers got tangled up with Ryan Malone, leaving Steven Stamkos with a wide open shot, which he scored. I think Nabby could have taken a much better angle on it.

That goal was the turning point as the Sharks came out in the third with a “whatever” attitude. Nabby seemed to echo that sentiment x1000 when he let in a wrister from the blue line. Sure, it was slightly deflected, but he had plenty of time to adjust. This was worse game of the season. He just seemed lost.

One thing I really want to point out was an embarrassing play by Joe Thornton. Coming out of the zone, in the third period, he nonshalantly handled the puck, glided into the neutral zone, and a Lightning player easily stole it. What a joke. I don’t ever want to see that from any NHL player. No matter what the score. As an alternate captain, you are bound to give your best and set a great example. Not that crap.

The Sharks showed up again with about seven minutes left when Boyle netted a power play goal. Too little, too late, of course.

Thornton and Heatley

0 combined shots

Other Notes

Hit-o-Meter: SJ 17  TB 16

Scott Nichol and Manny Malhotra switched lines. I completely disagree with this. Nichol has played excellent on the third line with Ortmeyer and Ferriero. I don’t know if it was the lack of ice time or if the move got to him, but I saw nothing out of him. Shame. He’s been so good, so far.

I can’t wait until Joe Pavelski and Torrey Mitchell are back. I can’t friggin’ wait.

Atlanta Thrashers are next on Saturday, October 24.

–Ray

October 23, 2009 Posted by | Hockey | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WTHWWT – Week 10 (Nathan)

Wow. Its November and before you know it Thanksgiving will be here and then Christmas then 2009.. Wow. Where is time going!?!?

Cleveland Browns 30 vs. Denver Broncos 34- Good job Brady Quinn, too bad your defense blows. I gave the Browns the advantage being at home, but once again Epic Fail.

Detroit Lions 14 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars 38- I gave the Lions a chance… mistake made! I can sum up the Lions in one word… SCREWED!

New Orleans Saints 20 vs. Atlanta Falcons 34- This game could have gone either way. I was hoping Drew Brees would out play Matt Ryan, but once again Epic Fail!

Indianapolis Colts 24 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers 20- Another game could have gone either way. I knew if I picked the Steelers they would lose and I figured that would be the best option. I’d rather write about them losing then see them win!

Time to go get that teaching degree.

Go Pack Go

Dr. Whadupcuh!

November 12, 2008 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

NFL Week 10 Picks!

Last Week’s Results:
Nathan: 8-6 (82-48)
Ray: 6-8 (74-56)

Games Nathan Ray
DEN @ CLE BROWNS BRONCOS
STL @ NYJ JETS JETS
JAX @ DET LIONS JAGS
GB @ MIN PACK PACK
BAL @ HOU RAVENS RAVENS
NO @ ATL SAINTS FALCONS
TEN @ CHI TITANS BEARS
SEA @ MIA DOLPHINS SEAHAWKS
BUF @ NE PATS BILLS
CAR @ OAK PANTHERS PANTHERS
IND @ PIT STEELERS STEELERS
KC @ SD CHARGERS CHARGERS
NYG @ PHI GIANTS EAGLES
SF @ ARI CARDS CARDS

November 8, 2008 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WTHWWT – Week 9 (Ray)

Well, it’s back to the grind of churning out a lot these posts. I got a lot wrong this week so I won’t waste anymore time with the anecdotes.

New York Jets 26 Buffalo 17

Buffalo. Buffalo. Buffalo. What happened? You had a chance to pull away a bit from the Jets but let them back in with your loss. You held Favre without a touchdown pass which is good but you just couldn’t get things done. Trent Edwards’ 2 INT did not help the cause either, nor did the pitiful offensive line performance. I really want to see Buffalo succeed but right now, they are acting as another of the many Jekyll and Hyde teams.

Baltimore 37 Cleveland 27

Allow me to issue a formal apology to Mr. Flacco. I do not know what I was thinking picking Cleveland. I am deeply sorry and my condolences go out to you. Ray Rice had 154 yards on the ground which is amazing. Not much else to say about this game. Good job Baltimore.

Tampa Bay 30 Kansas City 27

Come on Chiefs! What are you doing choking away the game! Tyler Thigpen even had a TD reception off a WR reverse pass! It was perfection. You deserve it. Go play the Lions and have 0 fans. Your effort disgusts me, much like Nathan does every time he wakes up in the morning. You allowed Jeff freaking Garcia to throw for 339 yards. Despicable. You’re dead to me Kansas City.

Tennessee 19 Green Bay 16

Congratulations to the Titans for being cemented as worst 8-0 team in NFL history. Man, this team is bad. They are nowhere near contenders. They will lose in the first round of the playoffs. You heard it here first. The Packers cannot play defense worth a lick. For some reason they released Kabeer Gbaja Biamila. That made no sense. Al Harris’ injury is still hurting the pass defense. Atari Bigby should go back to riding pine and let Aaron Rouse play more. This just makes me sick that a team such as the Titans is undefeated when they are clearly a 4-4 team at best. They will get what they deserve. I am sticking to my word — not picking the Titans until they lose.

LenDale White getting in his weekly buffet, eh, I mea workout

LenDale White getting in his weekly buffet, eh, I mean workout


Miami 26 Denver 17

Now here is a game that was truly disgusting. The Broncos, known for an amazing rushing attack year in and year out, put up a phenomenal 14 yards rushing! That meant the game was on Jay Cutler’s shoulders, but unfortunately those shoulders were able to throw 3 interceptions, one returned for a touchdown. There was so much promise in this team early on, and now they are going down the toilet. At least Eddie Royal got a touchdown today.

Atlanta 24 Oakland 0

Props to me for picking a team to score 0 points. I feel honored. The Raiders were able to put up 77 total yards during the game and only had the ball for 14:45. If anybody can find a more crappy performance, be my guest. It is time for the Raiders to fold and go away for good. Let’s play a little game of Russian Roulette with the Chiefs, Lions, and Raiders. Hopefully, the ball can split, via fission and land on all three teams. I’ve got no problem with deadweight loss.

Raiders owner Al Davis trying his hand at trivia.

Raiders owner Al Davis trying his hand at trivia.

– Ray

November 3, 2008 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NFL Week 9 Picks!

Don’t forget to set your clocks back..

Last Week’s Results:
Nathan: 7-7 (74-42)
Ray: 9-5 (68-48)

Games Nathan Ray
NYJ @ BUF
DET @ CHI BEARS BEARS
JAX @ CIN JAGS JAGS
BAL @ CLE RAVENS BROWNS
TB @ KC BUCS CHIEFS
HOU @ MIN VIKINGS VIKINGS
ARI @ STL RAMS CARDS
GB @ TEN PACK PACK
MIA @ DEN DOLPHINS BRONCOS
DAL @ NYG GIANTS GIANTS
ATL @ OAK FALCONS RAIDERS
PHI @ SEA EAGLES EAGLES
NE @ IND PATS COLTS
PIT @ WAS SKINS SKINS

November 2, 2008 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WTHWWT- Week 8 (Nathan)

Me thinking the Cowgirls would lose.

Me thinking the Cowgirls would lose.

So, I’m seriously questioning what the hell I was thinking.

1. Picking and starting the 49ers’ players for my fantasy team? Fail

2. Thinking a team from Pennsylvania would actually do something to make me happy? Epic Fail

3. Thinking Dallas would lose again? Failtacular


New England Patriots 23 vs. St. Louis Rams 16
– Just when times were getting good for the Rams, the NFL declined the contract of Jim Haslett, stating that it was an illegal contract due to the agreement on Haslett winning 6 games, and then the Rams had to travel to New England, which is never a good thing (just ask Peyton Manning).  The Patriots won another game without Tom Brady and without a dominant rushing performance by anyone. Matt Cassel had two interceptions, and yet still led his team to a victory. Maybe he is that good… Maybe!

Dallas Cowgirls 13 vs. Tampa Bay Bucs 9 – So I pick Dallas and they lose. I pick against them and I lose. Brad Johnson led his team to victory and the Buccaneers just couldn’t get anything going. Maybe next week I won’t pick the Cowgirl game.

Reactions from Cowgirls players were positive after the W

Reactions from Cowgirls players were positive after the W

Miami Dolphins 25 vs. Buffalo Bills 16 – Chad Pennington threw for over 300 yards and the Dolphins withstood the offense of the Buffalo Bills, and survived to win. The Bills, maybe looking overlooking these next few games due to the easy schedule, just could not get any rushing going, and Trent Edwards is not proven enough yet to lead his team by just throwing the ball. Congrats Dick Jauron getting a contract extension. Well Deserved!

Cleveland Browns 23 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars 17 – HEY LOOK THE BROWNS WON A GAME!!! I guess the state of Ohio has something to cheer about after The Ohio State Buckeyes lost and watched their National Championship chances implode right in front of their eyes! Congrats Joe Pa and Romeo Crennel.

Houston Texans 35 vs Cincinnati Bungals 6 – HELLO BENGALS… ARE YOU THERE? Its time you show up to give your opponents a game. You just let the Houston Texans walk all over you. I think its time for a change somewhere on the sidelines. When will y’all get sick of losing? Hopefully, its soon.

She isnt very happy with losing to Houston.

She isn't very happy with losing to Houston.

New York Giants 21 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers 14 – Who thought a long snapper would decide the game? Well, the Steelers lost their long snapper due to injury, and his replacement took the word “long” literally and hiked the ball over the punters head and that led to a safety which tied the game. Then Eli Manning led his team to their first and only TD of the game and the Giants D stopped Big Ben and the Steelers offense to clinch the game. This is the beginning of a very tough road for the Giants.. Thanks, Steelers. You let me down again!

Seattle Seahawks 34 vs. San Francisco 49ers 13 – A new coach, a new attitude, the same result. Another L in the loss column for the 49ers. Seattle, depleted by injuries, dominated from the beginning and never looked back. Hopefully Mike Holmgren goes out strong in his final games as head coach for the ‘Hawks.

P.S.: This was written before Ray!!! Nathan Wins!!!

-Nathan

October 27, 2008 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment