A Fan of the Game

Sports Talk, Straight Talk

Inside the Shark Cage, Vol. 21

Quite the underachieving performance by the Sharks, even though they won 4-3 over the Nashville Predators. The Sharks didn’t play like the hot team that they are. They played down to their competition, yet still came out on top.

Devin Setoguchi and Ryan Vesce returned to the lineup tonight after being injured. Vesce only received eight minutes of ice time, so I couldn’t gauge how good he looked. Seto scored a goal in the third period, after looking one step behind all night. That’s two games in a row where players returning from injuries scored.

Joe Pavelski, who did that last game, scored the first goal of the night. Patrick Marleau sped around the net and backhanded it to Pavs, who easily slotted it past goalie Dan Ellis.

But like I said before, the Sharks played down to their competition. Patty, Pavs, Seto and Scott Nichol were the only ones who looked like they wanted to play tonight. The others were content with playing at Nashville’s level. My best guess is they’re coming off two games against Stanley Cup Finals teams (Detroit and Pittsburgh) and just didn’t get pumped up to play the Predators. While I understand that mindset, you can’t come out with it. Not in the National Hockey League.

Picture 11

Joe Pavelski scores a goal (From SJSHARKS.com)

Again, the Sharks didn’t impose their will and their style of play on Nashville. They allowed the Preds to play a slower pace game with controlled breakouts. Nichol tried a bunch of times to spark the team with his speed, but that only seemed to spark Nichol himself to keep doing it.

No team led by more than one goal. The Sharks were trying to be too fancy with their passes and dekes instead of just shooting at the net and getting rebounds. There were a few three-on-twos where the extra passed doomed any chance of scoring. Someone besides Heatley needs to be a little selfish.

Speaking of Heatley, he and Joe Thornton were invisible tonight. Couldn’t find them. Thornton’s mind was elsewhere. I don’t know if it was the communication or him, but he was passing to empty space consistently.

I think San Jose finally woke up when Nashville took the lead 3-2 in the third. Then things started to speed up, checks were finished and more shots were taken.

Seto became selfish and blasted a slapshot past Ellis to tie the game.

Leave it up to ol’ Danny Boyle to finish things off with his patent full-ice skating. A little give ‘n’ go and Boyle took a shot that went through the five-hole of Ellis, with one minute left.

The Sharks survive and are now on a nine-game point streak.

Nashville Commentators

How do these guys have a job? It’s pretty unanimous that these are the worst in hockey. They are so boring to listen to and do not research anything.

If there’s anything that irks me, it’s when a commentator says a guy’s name wrong. Boy, did that happen tonight. Play-by-play guy Pete Weber kept saying VEESEE when it’s pronounced VEH-SEE, and both commentators said Nabokov’s name with emphasis on the first syllable. Wrong. It’s not NAH-ba-kov. It’s Na-BAH-kov. Your whole job is to say people’s names and if you can’t do simple research to see if you’re saying it right, get out of the business.

Also, another research tidbit. Weber said Jason Demers was up with the Sharks only because of Rob Blake’s injury. Are you joking me? He’s been up the whole season! Check a stat sheet and you’ll see he’s been in every game. Sheesh. Do Nashville a favor and quit.

They also compared Seto to Jordin Tootoo. Best non-intentional joke ever.

Other Notes

Hit-O-Meter: SJ 16  NSH 19

It was Thomas Greiss’ second NHL start and he looked decent. He made some awesome saves, but was out of position at times. It’s a learning process. “Jesus Greiss” will continue to get better.

The Sharks battle division rival Dallas on Thursday.


November 11, 2009 Posted by | Hockey | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

USC and Serena

What is ESPN’s fetish with USC about?

“You’re seeing a freshman QB grow up in front of our eyes.”

OMGZ LOLZZ!!!111 I 3 USC so much!!

OMGZ LOLZZ!!!111 I ❤ USC so much!!

Umm, how? He was 15/31 for 195 yards and an INT. He just handed off the ball to McKnight and threw it to the flats and let the receivers do everything. He did squat. Seriously, this is one of the biggest problems with ESPN. They are obsessed with USC, ESPECIALLY Mark May. I can’t imagine how Mark May kept his head from exploding when USC was losing. He regularly sends Pete Carroll flowers. It’s ridiculous. He’s as bad as Lou Holtz is for Notre Dame.

Get some people who will actually tell things straight!

Serena Williams was disqualified for taunting. Probably the second best news of the day (besides Virginia Tech destroying Marshall). She is beyond arrogant and such a poor sport, it’s good to see she got hers. Serena is another one of ESPN’s darlings. Rick Reilly wrote an article on ESPN saying the Williams’ sisters are the most underreported story in sports. GIVE ME A BREAK! That is all I hear about when tennis highlights come on, or the only reason tennis shows up on SportsCenter. Please. Again, get people working for the best sports network who are actually honest and tell it like it is. It’s become a circus.

How could anybody DQ.... ME?!

How could anybody DQ.... ME?!

September 13, 2009 Posted by | Football, Other | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Virginia Tech Baseball Outfield

PUBLISHED Feb. 19, 2009

The Hokie outfield has depth that maybe no other Tech team has seen in its past. It’s something head coach Pete Hughes thinks is a vital component to be competitive in the ACC.

“(This is) the most competitive position on our team,” Hughes said. “They’re (players) fighting for their life out there. There are six guys who can start for us.”

One thing that comes with depth is the fierce competition. Throughout the offseason, practices have been hard-fought by all the players.

“We’re going to be more competitive,” Hughes said, “Because every single practice and every single day those guys are fighting to get the edge over each other. That’s what great programs do. They have competition every single day.”

The six players competing are Klint Reed, Sean Ryan, Steve Bumbry, Steve Domecus, Mike Kaminski and Buddy Sosnoskie.

One thing they all share is good defense, another thing Hughes said is necessary to win games.

“First and foremost, we have to be able to defend, in this league, in the outfield,” he said.

Ryan had a .992 fielding percentage last year and is considered to be one of the best defenders in the ACC.

Bumbry fielded at a .985 clip in 2008. Both only committed one error over the course of the entire year.

Of course, defense doesn’t put runs on the board. Ryan has shown he is just as good offensively as he is out in the field.

Ryan batted over .300 last year despite an injured hip, which means — when healthy — there could be even more production out of the senior.

Bumbry was inconsistent last season, something Hughes said changed over the offseason, especially with his good showing in the intersquad Fall World Series.

Two junior college players, Domecus and Kaminski, bring much needed leadership to the team.

Domecus can play catcher as well, giving depth for that position. Hughes described Domecus as high-energy and meeting his leadership, maturity and productivity requirement for junior college players.

Hughes is also high on Kaminski.

“Mike brings power and speed to the table,” Hughes said. “He has power potential, and he is a very good defender in the outfield.”

Rounding out the six players are Reed and Sosnoskie. Reed touts a .976 fielding percentage. He batted .287 last season with 27 runs batted-in.

Sosnoskie was redshirted as a freshman because of a shoulder injury but can now play outfield and first base. Hughes expects him to be a great candidate for the very important leadoff spot.

March 1, 2009 Posted by | Baseball | , , , , , | Leave a comment