A Fan of the Game

Sports Talk, Straight Talk

Inside the Shark Cage, Vol. 28

DISCLAIMER: Minor language. Proceed with caution.

Quite the piss poor, I-feel-like-disowning-you “performance” by the Sharks in their 7-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. The Sharks should have just stayed home in their cribs and choked on their pacifiers rather than “play” tonight.

Joe Thornton: Hey guys, let’s step on the ice.

*SILENCE*

Team: …and do what Jumbo? Are you going to finish that thought?

Thornton: Ya know, step on the ice and succeed with good ol’ fashioned California chillin’.

Team: OMFG, you iz brilliant Jumbo! Why didnt us think of that?! LOLZ.

Give me a damn break. This was disgusting. Absolutely putrid. Um, helllllooooo? Um, hi? You little children play professional hockey. Sounds kinda cool when you think about it. How about you actually play the game. And try. Just try.

What the hell happened during this long layoff to make the Sharks play like a beer league team? They allowed three, THREE shorthanded goals. Two of them were on the same power play!

Nobody wanted to play, everyone played with jocks on their heads. Turnover after turnover, fail after fail. If there was any doubt left about our defense, those were put to rest. From now on, if anyone tells you the Sharks defense is good, go ahead and tell them to remove their secret Ducks jersey or to go watch the NBA.

What a joke. Jason Demers played his worst game of his career. Dan Boyle felt like playing with an injured foot because this was a big game. He did end up scoring very late in the game, but it’s refreshing to know he waited 56 minutes to do something with his life. He finished with a -4 rating.

Also joining Pimple — I mean Boyle — with a -4 rating were Thornton and Dany Heatley. For all the great stuff they’ve done recently, this game shat all over it. Good gracious, it was atrocious. They must be stunned to know you have to play defense too. What a concept!

Manny Malhotra does his best pylon impression (From NHL.com)

With five minutes left to go in the second period, the shots were 26-7 Chicago. What in the blue hell is that about? Seven shots after 35 minutes? I could get eight shots on net by doing cartwheels the whole time.

At that time it was 4-0 and after the fourth, Ryane Clowe took it upon his messed-up-nose self to take a penalty. Brilliant. What a smart hockey player. Take a penalty and you show those bad guys you can beat them even with a man down. Ryane Clown. Blow me up a balloon while you make a joke of yourself.

Let’s go ahead and give credit to Chicago. They came in with an exceptional gameplan and their coach Joel Quenneville and perfected it. Sharks coach Todd McClellan was lost in the Tao of Joel’s stache.

This is the Blackhawks’ eighth win in a row and they’re no signs of slowing down.

LOL WUT?

Frazer McLaren managed a +1 for the Sharks. Ha ha ha ha.

AHL

Five AHL players were in the lineup: Jamie McGinn, Benn Ferriero, McLaren, Steven Zalewski and Derek Joslin. Certainly looked like Worcester was playing.

Kent friggin’ Huskins…

…was on the power play. Yes. On the power play and caused the turnover that led to a Chicago goal. Don’t EVER put that guy on the PP again.

Optimism Corner

Hit-O-Meter: SJ 26  CHI 17

Faceoff Percentage: SJ 56%  CHI 44%

The game ended.

Other Dreadful Notes

The Sharks’ injuries are plaguing them so badly now. Rob Blake, Devin Setoguchi, Jody Shelley, Brad Staubitz, Torrey Mitchell need to come back.

Per NHL rules, the Sharks are required to play again. They play Edmonton in Edmonton, Friday.

–Ray

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November 26, 2009 Posted by | Hockey | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inside the Shark Cage, Vol. 24

Quite the what-comes-around game for the Sharks in their 4-3 loss against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Sharks stole a few games from Nashville and St. Louis lately (what goes around), and in this game, they were in position to win, but couldn’t hang on. The lack of defense is starting to rear it’s ugly shark head.

While Sharks defensemen are good offensively, they are mediocre defensively; that goes for defensive defensemen Douglas Murray and Kent Huskins. They are competent, no question, but they are now shut-down quality. It hurts having Rob Blake out, but the Sharks have always lacked a star shut-down defenseman.

I don’t think it’s pertinent to acquire one, but perhaps some of the current players should attend a few hockey camps and learn some defensive fundamentals — specifically not to leave your man! Their eyes are always on the puck looking for a breakout. As much a fan of the couterattack as I am, if  you don’t stay with your man, they’re going to score on you.

They also need to learn how to clear the puck better. The d-men were terrible in the beginning of the season at it, they got better but the problem is starting to come back. There must be some secret way of clearing that can help them. I’m tired of seeing them exert so much effort for no reason.

The Chicago game was back and forth. Very entertaining to watch. Once again the Sharks scored two goals right after another. It took 45 seconds this time, compared with 16 seconds yesterday, to put up two goals. Tonight those two scorers were Jason Demers and Patrick Marleau.

It was Jason’s first career goal and it’s about time. He’s played so well dishing out assists, and he deserves this goal.

The Sharks got on the bad side of a controversial goal call. Joe Thornton batted a puck off the back of Cristobal Huet. He raised his hands him to signal goal, but upon further review, it looked as though the puck dropped and stuck on the goal line. That allowed the Hawks to come back and tie it.

Picture 14

Jason Demers (#60) celebrates his first NHL goal with Dan Boyle (From SJSHARKS.com)

Goalie Evgeni Nabokov’s rebounds haunted him tonight. The Hawks knew he comes out to challenge players a lot, and their game plan of getting shots and burying rebounds work. Hopefully no other team was watching because it worked marvelously. Rebounds left Nabby flailing like Hasek, and of course d-men were not in position to clear out the garbage.

The game ended up going to overtime, but Brent Seabrook ended things very quickly — 41 seconds into the extra session. Seabrook found open ice and received the puck cross-ice. He buried it past Nabby. Nabby tried to do his patented double-pad stack, but it failed miserably. If he would have stayed up and just pushed off his right skate more, it could have been an easy stop because Seabrook’s shot was kind of weak.

The third-period woes continue. The Sharks are not finishing teams; they’re letting them hang around in the third. They once again played well in the second, but I got deja vu seeing this same team get tired in the last period. I won’t put too much emphasis on that from this game because it was the back-end of a back-to-back.

Other Notes

Hit-O-Meter: SJ 17  CHI 21; Patty led the team with three.

Dan Boyle was the goat tonight as he had the worst plus/minus rating (-2). Demers’ +1 was the only positive marker on the team.He added an assist along with his goal.

The Sharks point-streak remains in-tact. It stands out 12 games.

The Sharks travel to Nashville for a rematch with the Predators on Tuesday, just one week after defeating the Preds 4-3 at HP Pavillion.

–Ray

November 16, 2009 Posted by | Hockey | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

NHL Power Rankings

1. San Jose Sharks 13-3-0
Entering Nov. 11, the Sharks boast the NHL’s loan undefeated record at home (9-0). The “Shark Tank” as fans call it, has been a dead zone for opposing teams as well as an imminent loss. Under the new coaching regime, the Sharks offense is reaching is potential, with the most goals for in the league. The defense has stepped up with the offseason acquisitions of Rob Blake and Dan Boyle, providing leadership and guidance for the Sharks fairly young defense. Most importantly, San Jose has shown character in being able to come back in games in which they trail, something absent the last few years.

2. Detroit Red Wings 9-2-2
The defending Stanley Cup Champs find themselves at number two in the power rankings. Marian Hossa has been exactly what they expected, netting 8 goals and adding 9 assists, in only 13 games played. Detroit is still playing as advertised, with a tough defense led by Niklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski. Goalie Chris Osgood has split time with backup with Ty Conklin and neither has put up stellar numbers, making it difficult on Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, the Wings offensive juggernauts. Both carry the Wings offense again this year, although Datsyuk has only put in 3 goals. With right-winger Johan Franzen coming off injury, Detroit is going to start spreading the wealth.

3. New York Rangers 11-5-2
After 18 games played, no one would think that youngster Nikolai Zherdev would lead the team in points, but that is just the case with 5 goals and 9 assists. Markus Naslund, a big free agent signee, has been doing his part with 5 goals and 8 assists. With the exception of a hat trick last week, center Chris Drury has been struggling. Scott Gomez has had problems with finding the net, only scoring 3 goals thus far. Drury and Gomez are key to the team’s success. They have to improve, but with a goalie like Henrik Lundqvist and his 1.99 goals against average, the Rangers will be in every game.

4. Montreal Canadiens 8-2-2
Left wing Alex Tanguay leads the team in points with 14, along with defenseman Andrei Markov. Montreal is fourth in the league in the goals per game category with 3.42. With the combination of that offense and goalie Carey Price, the Canadiens are a very dangerous team. Price has a 2.61 GAA and .917 save percentage, keeping games close. The problem the Canadiens have is on defense. With the exception of Markov, not many defenseman are contributing. Roman Hamrlik has 5 points, but the rest have 2 points or less. The offense will not be able to carry the team the whole season. The defense must get involved if Montreal expects to win the tough Northeast division.

5. Boston Bruins 8-3-3
Archrival Montreal got the nod over Boston because of their head-to-head matchup earlier in the season, a shootout victory for the Canadiens. Boston has been a very formidable opponent and the record shows that. On average, the Bruins get outshot every game, but goalie Tim Thomas has been exceptional, boasting a 1.85 GAA and two shutouts. For the offense, Marc Savard is the unquestioned leader of the team with 16 points. The next best offenseman has only 9 points. Savard is also second on the team in penalty minutes, putting added pressure on the penalty kill unit. With Savard being off the ice constantly, more players have to step up if the Bruins are to legitimately challenge Montreal.

6. Buffalo Sabres 8-3-3
Buffalo has one of the best penalty kill units in the game, which helps them cover their own mistakes. Along with doing that, goalie Ryan Miller has a GAA just over 2. Buffalo is a team that just gets it done and they score when they have to. Their records at home and away are virtually identical making them a team to bet on every night.

7. Washington Capitals 8-4-2
It’s been a breakout year for Alexander Semin so far, leading the league in points with 22 (11G 11A). Alex Ovechkin has been an assist man this year, with 7 helpers and only 3 goals. It’s safe to say an Alex is going to score every night the Caps play.

8. Chicago Blackhawks 7-3-3
Captain Jonathan Toews has been having a tough time lately, with only 1 goal in 13 games played. Patrick Kane has picked up the slack, however, leading the team with 18 points (7G 11A). The problem for Chicago is goaltending. Nikolai Khabibulin has started seven games and Cristobal Huet has started six. Rumors are swirling that Khabibulin could be traded at any time, but with a 7-3-3 record, it doesn’t look like it is much of a distraction.

9. Pittsburgh Penguins 8-4-2
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin only have a combined 7 goals, yet lead the team in points. How is that possible? Both have a staggering number of assists. Malkin has 18 assists on the year, and Crosby has 13. As good as it is to see both helping their teammates, Malkin and Crosby need to start being more selfish and put the puck in the net if Pittsburgh wants to get better.

10. Anaheim Ducks 9-7-1
After such a terrible start, Anaheim has climbed back into the hunt for the Pacific division and the Western Conference. Over the last ten games, the Ducks are 7-2-1, making them one of the hottest teams in the league right now. A troubling stat, though, is they have more goals against, then for. They better get that straightened out quickly.

November 11, 2008 Posted by | Hockey | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WTHWWT – Week 10 (Ray)

We’re keeping this short.

Minnesota 28 Green Bay 27

Blow up the run defense. They couldn’t stop John Madden in a wheelchair.

Tennessee 21 Chicago 14

The Titans are the worst team in football.

Miami 21 Seattle 19

Seattle should fold. Nobody cares about that team.

New England 20 Buffalo 10

Learn how to beat the Patriots if you want to win the AFC East.

Indianapolis 24 Pittsburgh 20

Who cares who won? Lose/lose situation.

New York Giants 36 Philadelphia 31

Man, I did really bad this week.

No comment.

No comment.

November 9, 2008 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a 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

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

Shocktober!!!

Let’s do some math.

162 games + 48 saves + 11 wins + 40 man roster = x

Luckily, the MLB has done the math for us and solved for x.

X is equal to 1 World Championship for the city of Philadelphia.

A mixture of young all-stars and old veterans and one hell of a manager has led the Philadelphia Phillies to another world series title.

Everybody knew Philadelphia was good, but never this good. And no one would have predicted them to win over the Tampa Bay Rays. Congrats to the Rays on a phenomenal season and once again, congrats to all you Philadelphians.

Next year, the title is going to the north side of Chicago.  Hmm…I think I have heard this before, once or twice!

Lets Go Cubs!!!

Its gonna happen... they think.

It's gonna happen... they think.

-Nate

October 30, 2008 Posted by | Baseball | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment