A Fan of the Game

Sports Talk, Straight Talk

Inside the Shark Cage, Vol. 52

Quite the absolute annihilation, destruction and obliteration tonight as the Sharks pummeled the Calgary Flames 9-1. Nine players had multi-point nights, and eight different players scored a goal. Joe Pavelski led the pack with four points (1 goal, 3 assists).

Coach Todd McLellan’s decision to move Ryane Clowe down one line and bring Manny Malhotra up one line might be the best idea of the season.

He wanted secondary scoring, and boy did he get it. Only two goals came from the top line. Scott Nichol and Jed Ortmeyer both amassed three points, and linemate Clowe added two more for a total of eight points. I never thought I’d see the third line do that — not even on their best night.

Maybe Devin Setoguchi breaking his scoring drought opened the flood gates for the rest of the team. It was Ortmeyer’s first goal in 28 games and Nichol’s first goal since November 17. Let’s hope they save some of this firepower for the playoffs.

The second line notched eight points (3 goals, 5 assists). This is an oddity because Joe Pavelski and Manny Malhotra are both natural centers. They’re playing off each other so well, though. Pavs takes faceoffs on the right side; Malhotra takes them on the left side. Add in their domination of the faceoff circle, and the second line is almost guaranteed to start with the puck.

This is what happens when an unstoppable force and an immovable object have a baby. (From SJSHARKS.com)

Only four players failed to get a point, but they contributed as well. Torrey Mitchell fought Rene Bourque late in the game, Jody Shelley had four hits, Marc-Edouard Vlasic was a +2 and Kent Huskins was a +3.

This was the worst I’ve seen the Flames in a long time. I can’t tell you how much I love pounding Alberta teams into the dirt. Granted the Flames played the previous night, but this was a team who gave up early on. Goalie Mikka Kiprusoff became Mikka Kovalev with his lack of effort.

By the way, the Oilers got crushed 6-0, so Alberta lost tonight by a total of 15-1. That’s just plain redonkulous.

It’s about time the Sharks crushed someone like this; they’ve usually been on the wrong side of these games. Unfortunately, the Sharks couldn’t score one more, much to the chagrin of the fans who chanted “we-want-10!”

Other Notes

Hit-O-Meter: SJ 34  CGY 30; Brad Staubitz led with seven. Bitz also fought Brandon Prust early on in the game.

The Sharks travel to Los Angeles tomorrow to take on the Kings.


January 19, 2010 Posted by | Hockey | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jayron Hosley: Cornerback of the Future

Jayron Hosley

Jayron Hosley

How does a second coming of Brandon Flowers sound to you Hokie fans?

With the recruitment and signing of cornerback/kick returner Jayron Hosley, that is what some are saying.  The Hokies defense is sure to be set at cornerback for another four years.

Hosley comes from Atlantic Community High School in Delray Beach, Fla., the same high school that former Tech cornerback Brandon Flowers went to.  It was no coincidence that both are Hokies.

“Brandon brought him (Hosley) up by himself,” said defensive backs coach Torrian Gray.  “From a personnel standpoint, Brandon was always sharp.  He would tell me, ‘Coach you have got to recruit this guy.’”

Flowers informed Gray that Hosley is the exact same as him, except only faster.

“That’s a heck of a compliment coming from a player like him (Flowers),” Gray said.  “If Hosley can be anywhere close to that, we will be more than pleased with him here.

“Brandon and I have similar playing styles,” said Hosley.  “To hear him comparing me to him at the level he is at, I think that’s great.”

Tech was late to begin recruiting Hosley in January but it didn’t matter.  Hosley had been waiting for an offer from Tech for a while.

“I wanted a Virginia Tech offer,” said Hosley.  “If I got an offer from them, that’s where I was going.  After my visit, it sealed the deal.  They showed me around campus and the area.  It’s a nice campus with the scene.  The locker room was nice and the facilities were really good.  The coaches were really down to earth and the players were really cool.”

On Feb. 6, Hosley finally made his commitment to the Hokies.  With spring camps just around the corner, what can Hokie nation expect from the incoming freshman?

“He’s an explosive player,” said Santaluces Community High School football coach, Paul Meunier, a rival school to Atlantic.  “We were always cognoscente of where he was.  On special teams we tried to kick away from him because of that explosiveness.”

“He has the tools to be very good,” said Gray.  “He has instinct and play-making ability that will be a real asset to us.”

With the Beamerball philosophy of score on offense, defense, and special teams, Hosley will fit right into that.

“He had a lot of long plays and interceptions,” said Gray.  “The ball seemed to be a magnet to him.  The ball just seems to find this guy.”

When on the field as cornerback, Hosley doesn’t necessarily feel he is on defense.

“I always like to have the ball,” Hosley said.  “When the ball is in the air, it’s anybody’s ball.”

Hosley enjoys playing his part and being a good teammate.  No unnecessary flashy type moves after a play.

“I’m a laid-back player that likes to be aggressive,” said Hosley.  “Not so much an angry player.  I just like to make plays.”

That kind of attitude stems from Hosley’s family life.  He is extremely close with his family and the trip to Virginia from Florida won’t change anything.

“My family is number one for me,” said Hosley.  “They keep me focused and I like to spend time with them.  We are going to stay in contact and talk every week.  It won’t be too hard knowing they are behind me.”

Being a family is something the Blacksburg and Virginia Tech community knows all about, which is why it was taken into account during recruiting.

“The kid is very close with his family,” said Gray.  “I was impressed with how tight-knit they were.”

Hosley will soon become apart of the family and quickly get acquainted with the intensity of college level football.  The speed and complexity of the game is something both Gray and Meunier agree will be Hosley’s biggest challenge.

“For any high school player, the toughest task is adjusting to the speed of the game,” said Meunier.  “Even playing in the speed of varsity football here in south Florida wasn’t enough.”

“(First-year production) will depend on how well he can pick up the playbook mentally and translate that onto the field,” said Gray.

Hosley knows the challenge ahead of him and is ready to start.

Jayron Hosley

Jayron Hosley

“(I’ve got to) adapt to the college level, work hard and stay focused,” said Hosley.  “I expect to be great and get better every year, and be the top guy coming out of college to further my career.”

Expectations are something Hosley is ready to make a reality.  Those include continuing to be a great defense and winning a national title.

“It’s a really great defense now,” Hosley said.  “I’m a good player coming in, and we have more good layers coming in so we can be really great.  We have great potential and I think we can win one, two, or three (national championships).”

With all of the Brandon Flowers comparisons, let’s hope Hosley can help bring Hokie nation what it wants and what Flowers never could: its first BCS national championship.

February 16, 2009 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment